Knight to E7

Knights, Pawns, & Bishops Oh My!

A Whole New Kind of Speed Chess...

Knight to E7 is a chess game at its heart. It has many elements of such games as tetris, pong, and pachinko, and a heavy does of tower defense paradigms, but at its heart, it's still a chess game.

HERE is a link to playtesting reports for various incarnations of the game.

Knight to E7

What Went Wrong

So, in its initial concept stages, Knight to E7, or Karma as it was called then, was going to be a Diablo-style point & click hack & slash.

We spent a week or so getting the core systems in, making some basic models & enemies, creating a random level generator, and mocking up a GUI.

Proud of what we had done so quickly, we set it down in front of our playtesters.

They hated it.

We asked them what they wanted from it. We took notes. We collated data. And we went to work again.

We went with a chess theme for ease of art assets. With chess pieces, we didn't need to make walk cycles or head bobs, no arms or legs or anything like that, and we only needed a handful of textures for all of them.

In retrospect the Chess theme was a mistake.

We sat playtesters down in front of the new build that had all the changes made since the initial playtesting session. It also happened to have the new chess theme.

They hated it.

With the Chess theme came many preconceptions about what was going to be in the game. People expected strategy, tactics, multiple playable pieces, and the ability to choose sides. We had none of those things.

Armed with this knowledge we figured out what we could do with the engine and made a simple game that could conceivably be put into the Tower Defense genre.

It was okay, but not good enough to support the grades of everyone on the team. It was at this point that we went our separate ways and I began development on several rapid prototypes, one of which eventually turned into UnderMiner.