April Fools 2016

So, you might have noticed that things were a little “off” last Friday…

For one thing, there were some extra special default base set skins:

In fact, we have a proud tradition of having a little experimental fun with Prismata on April 1st. We deployed a pack of totally radical units last April 1st, and some of them actually made it into the game (looking at you, Resophore). April 1st is often a great time to test out highly experimental features that likely shouldn’t be in Prismata, but might be fun to try out. This year was no exception, and we actually did a number of things, including the following:

Mouse-tracking googly-eyed skins for the entire Prismata base set

David programmed these a long time ago, but they’ve been gathering dust for the last few months as we waited for the perfect opportunity to deploy them. The fact that they look a little cross-eyed and wobble when you mouse over them is actually the consequence of a bug in their positioning code. We subsequently decided that this bug was actually a feature, so we left it in.

Folks have been asking us a few questions: Will these will become actual unit skins? Will the original googly-eyed skins receive the mouse-tracking treatment? The answer is maybe. We were somewhat concerned that the mouse-tracking feature would be too annoying to include as a part of actual Prismata unit skins, but many players have been forthright in demanding that we make them permanently available, so we’re looking at a few possibilities for including them in a limited set of high-rarity skins.

Another fun fact: the base set googly-eyed skins have been programmed to switch on and off every April 1st, permanently. In fact, if you start a game before midnight on March 31st but purchase some units after midnight in the same game, they’ll be given googly-eyes.


The April Fool’s Patch Notes

If you didn’t get a chance to read them, here they are (my comments in bold):


Software and Balance Update

A number of new features have been deployed:

  • Space and Infernal skin sets have been added. (True, they actually were. The best way to start an April Fool’s patch.)
  • A limited amount of animated skin content has been added (more to come!) (Also true.)
  • Premium skins now feature a special colour highlight in game, with the colour corresponding to rarity. (Something we’re testing. It’s not permanent.)
  • The Analyze button has been added back to the menu in Ranked Play games (it can still be disabled in vs Friend mode). (A total lie; my apologies.)
  • The leaderboard size has been increased from 200 to 250. (Also a lie.)
  • Some in-game units have been augmented with a new cursor-tracking feature to help resolve ambiguities in cursor position. (See above.)
  • Sending an emote to your opponent now consumes one “emote activation point”. Emote activation points can now be purchased in the emotes menu at a cost of 99 shards for 60 activation points. Existing emotes in your collection can now be “disenchanted” to generate 15 additional activation points. (This has been an inside joke at Lunarch for quite some time as a way of poking fun at the way a lot of Free To Play games implement consumables.)
  • Your resource pool is now hidden from your opponent during ranked games. Observers will not be able to view either player’s resource pool. Replays and the “Analyze” screen will still display both players’ resource pools. (As a bonus, this software update combos with the 4th software update above.)

Additionally, in response to user feedback, we’ve implemented a few balance changes:

  • Wild Drone and Vivid Drone have had their costs reversed. Wild Drone now costs 4EEE, and Vivid Drone now costs 5EE (+ sac 4 Drones). (Believe it or not, we considered this. But alas, it didn’t work out.)
  • Shadowfang’s cost has been reverted from 8RRR back to 7RRR. (Sorry folks; it’s not gonna happen.)
  • Wincer’s activation cost has been changed. Instead of sacrificing 5 Drones to attack, it now sacrifies an Animus, a Blastforge, and a Conduit. (Also not gonna happen.)
  • The supply caps of Savior, Odin, and Resophore have been increased from 1 to 4. (Bwahahahahah…)
  • In an effort to increase the gameplay diversity in Prismata and reduce the importance of luck in determining the outcome of games, we’ve made a change to the Prismata base set. Animus, Blastforge, and Conduit have been replaced by three new structures: Condimus (costs 3 and randomly produces R or G), Blastuit (costs 4 and randomly produces G or B), and Aniforge (costs 5 and randomly produces B or RR). (Oh, the irony of how well-though-out and seemingly balanced this was.)


So, the final bullet point in our fake software update wasn’t 100% lies. In fact, it was the ruleset used for the event that debuted last Friday—the so-called “GAME OF PURE SKILL” event, in which the base set structures were replaced with alternates that randomly generated resources (based on RNG, of course!)


Though it produced some infuriating RNG-fueled moments, the event led to a number of highly entertaining games (and replays from the event work!) As usual, there will be an encore event the following Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) if you missed out.

To those of you who were hoping for Firespinner to make a return… let’s just say we’re still working on ideas for future events. 😉



About Elyot Grant

A former gold medalist in national competitions in both mathematics and computer science, Elyot has long refused to enjoy anything except video games. Elyot took more pride in winning the Reddit Starcraft Tournament than he did in earning the Computing Research Association's most prestigious research award in North America. Decried for wasting his talents, Elyot founded Lunarch Studios to pursue his true passion.