Or not so grand...

Shards of Infinity ready for polishing

iOS, Android, PC

Temple Gates came out of nowhere in 2017 to rock our worlds with the, still fantastic, digital port of Race for the Galaxy. While we know they’ve been working on it’s dicey cousin, Roll for the Galaxy, we also know that they’ve hooked up with Stone Blade Entertainment and have been working on their 2-player card battler, Shards of Infinity. Looks like the latter has been getting the bulk of the attention because, today, they announced that beta signups are open.

Shards of Infinity is a 2-player deckbuilder which differs from that other big 2-player deckbuilder from Stone Blade in a few important ways. First of all, it’s not a victory point chaser. Instead, it takes a CCG approach in which each player is trying to reduce their enemy to 0 hit points. Secondly, it uses a resource called “mastery”. You begin the game with none, and can buy some each turn. If you reach 30 mastery, you can unlock your Infinity Shard and instantly beat your opponent.

The digital version from Temple Gates looks to follow in the very polished shoes of Race for the Galaxy. We’ve been promised online multiplayer, an AI based on Keldon Jones’ awesome AI used in RftG, and hotseat multiplayer. From the press release:

Shards of Infinity is the second mobile board game release for Temple Gates Games, coming on the heels of the award winning Race for the Galaxy app.  “The reason to play a board game on your phone is to take advantage of digital-only features,” says Theresa Duringer, CEO of Temple Gates Games, “including AI, automated setup and score keeping, and the ability to play with friends remotely.  Our goal is to nail these with lickety split performance.” The AI for Shards of Infinity is an extension of Keldon Jones’ AI for Race for the Galaxy, which uses neural networks to create challenging opponents.

The beta is open right now to iOS, Android, and Steam users and you can signup right here. From what I can gather, if you are an Android or Steam user, the beta will be in the Early Access format. That means you’ll have to pay for it up front, but will then own the app when version 1.0 rolls around. iOS, on the other hand, offers a free beta experience, but you’ll have to buy the app when it goes live at the actual launch. So, it’s pretty much the same thing, I think.

Head over and sign up now and we’ll keep feeding you any new info we can glean about Shards of Infinity before its expected release in Spring of 2019.

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Notable Replies

  1. I’ve started a diet today, so forgive me, but I’m in a grumpy mood. I have a hard time calling an app “very polished” when it hasn’t managed to be patched for the new iPhone resolutions in over a year. “Very Polished” is Through the Ages. “Good, but needs some updates” is Race for the Galaxy.

    Shards of Inifinity sounds interesting but hopefully it does enough to separate itself from other card battlers.

  2. If I listen hard enough, it could sound as if they’ve taken the best bits of Solforge (which I ruddy adored) and polished them. Add in a good offline AI and what could there be not to love?

  3. Plays up to 4 players from what I’ve seen so far in app.

    Has some of the good bits of Ascension and Star Realms merged into one, either focus on damage to kill off your opponents and their champions (champions being like bases from SR), or build up enough of the star symbol to power up your shard, which gives you infinite damage, allowing you to kill everyone else at once.

    I’ve had a couple crashes so far, and it doesn’t yet support online multiplayer.

  4. Ah, okay. I got this from the press release " Named Best two player game of 2018 by The Dice Tower’s Tom Vasel," and assumed it was 2-player only.

  5. If this were some kind of 4-player Star Realms (meaning a deck builder where victory comes through combat) with asynchronous, I’m an absolute day 1 purchase.

  6. It seems like that’s exactly what this will be, pretty much same play loop as Ascension or Star Realms.

    They’ve done async with Race for the Galaxy, I’d certainly hope they’d do it again for this.

    Will chime in when multiplayer lands.

  7. Due to my, apparently, stunted reading comprehension, I missed completely that this is actually based on a tabletop game. That makes me even more interested.

  8. You’re going to love the fact that Shards has the same resolution issue.

    Maybe they just don’t know how to fix it… :joy::joy:

  9. Ugh. Its not a game beaker, but really? Ah well, enjoyment trumps eye candy, but eye candy doesn’t hurt…

  10. Jules says:

    It plays ok on my galaxy s8. The one thing that bothers me a bit is that I cant see the champion (“bases”) cards that are in play. I have to click to see them.
    Only easy AI and pass and play for now.
    Havent played enough to form a decent opinion.

  11. js619 says:

    Plays well on my iPad Pro 10.5, despite a few crashes. No tutorial yet, although if you’ve played Ascension it was pretty easy to pick up. I’m enjoying the game itself so far; it adds something to the Ascension model without being the swingy abortion that is Star Realms.

  12. Does the app play with more than 2?

  13. It appears that you can add up to 3 AI players…

  14. js619 says:

    @Neumannium is correct - I played a 4p against 3 AIs last night. Took longer than I cared to play, which was good since it crashed in the fourth or fifth go around and I didn’t feel the need to fire it up again. 2p is nice and quick though.

  15. It’s a pretty Star Realms-esque game, isn’t it?

    The Focus mechanic, to boost cards’ abilities, is a goodie, as is allowing some cards that you’re waiting to play on your next turn shield you from damage.

    In a funny way, that it plays so slickly, for me doesn’t help. With Ascension, you’re in no doubt that it’s a card game at heart, the cards have a certain physicality about them; you read them, flick them onto the board, double tap them to see your options - relatively there’s a lot of manipulation to become familiar with.
    With Shards, it’s just tapping gorgeous glass-like artwork that slides swiftly and effortlessly to and fro with a beautiful woosh. It works very well in RftG, but here I’d like a more ‘handsy’ experience.

  16. js619 says:

    I don’t find it as irritating as Star Realms; my main objection to Star Realms is that I’d die before I felt like I’d gotten an engine going. Could just be the ineptitude of the easy AI, but…

  17. I downloaded it last night on my iPad, but did it too late to really want to try and learn it.

    Did it today on my phone and learned the game, but discovered that I really don’t like playing it on my phone.

    So iPad tonight it is!!!

  18. Pitta says:

    Online multiplayer is live and it’s pretty awesome.
    Also they added full iPhone X support and it’s flawless as well…played a ton on my phone AT LAST.

    There are some server problems at the moment for some (can’t create games and multiple notifications per single turn) but they are on it.
    The app is on the right track to be glorious…it’s the child of Ascension and Star Realms which is awesome for me as I loved both and I much prefer fighting against an opponent than a multiplayer solitaire score chase.

  19. I haven’t logged into it in a couple of days. Do you have to set up an account, or do you have to set up each device individually?

  20. Pitta says:

    You set up an account (mail + mailed code which act as one time password).
    Then you simply put your account on every device you own to sync multiplayer

  21. Are notifications coming through email or on the device? I saw your posts on BGG about this and it sounded like they were coming through email?

    Maybe I misread.

  22. Pitta says:

    No, it’s native iOS notifications, like Race for the Galaxy, Ascension or Star Realms.

  23. Looks great! I’m whovian223 at gmail dot com for Friend requests.

    I haven’t set up my iPad yet (tonight), but am still open for some games.

    Anybody know if this is one of those betas where we aren’t supposed to post things about it?

  24. Pitta says:

    I just added you as a friend but due to a bug I can’t start games (update is underway but still not online in TestFlight).
    But if you aren’t affected by the bug, feel free to invite me for some games!!!

  25. I know it depends on a whole host of factors, but does anyone have a sense how long it usually is for games of this type to go from a beta of this type to a full release?

  26. Don’t see a game on my account.

    More of the problems that @Pitta was talking about?

    Pitta, I sent you a game, but it’s also not showing in “my games” so may be having the same problems.

    Edit: Hey, @Neumannium, what’s your reporting experience like in betas like this? Is it something that you can report on, screenshot, etc? Making sure that you note it’s a beta? Or is it considered not cool?

  27. Yeah, can’t get the game to stick, some sort of bug.

  28. Pitta says:

    Mini patch coming out shortly with:
    fix for not being able to create games
    fix for android notification
    fix for ‘extra’ notifications (hopefully all the cases here, keep an eye out)
    This should address some of the weird waiting/your turn states as well. Getting stuck while loading I wouldn’t expect (or expect this to fix…) so that will be something to keep an eye out for.

    We’ll add ‘remove badge’ to our todo list.
    We were going to add a text tooltip for the log entries, but maybe we should add a zoomed card as well.

  29. What is “remove badge?” Hopefully an option and not a feature…

  30. It depends on the publisher and the game. I’m not supposed to post anything about the TtA expansion, for example.

    I talked with Theresa at Temple Gates and she didn’t mention that anything was embargoed. I will double check. My spring break starts tomorrow (we’ll be driving until Saturday, but then I’m planning on catching up on this huge backlog and start posting like a madman) so it would be good to know what I can post. Will let you know.

  31. Considering that their beta feedback method is a public thread at BGG, I’d say it’s safe to talk about it.

  32. That site’s still around?

  33. Seems to be hanging on. Unfortunately, the iOS Boardgame Blog seems to have died off. Haven’t seen anything posted by Brad in months and the unpaid minion he gets to do his dirty work for him has been slacking lately. The only one of my subscriptions that gets any traffic is a bunch of complaining about Yucata being down (again).

  34. Brad hired the wrong people…

  35. Pitta says:

    Update is live!!!

  36. I accepted both games (from @js619 and @Pitta). I was going to be starting one game and the other one my opponent was going to start.

    Yet “next game” appeared in the first game, and when I hit it, it crashed.

    Since it’s only happened once so far, I didn’t want to report it as a bug. But has it happened to anybody else?

  37. js619 says:

    Have only had the opportunity to use it twice, but it worked both times

  38. It worked when you didn’t really have a Next Game but it popped up anyway?

  39. Pitta says:

    Worked fine here (tried multiple times with more than 4 games ongoing).

    It displays the next game button until you don’t have any more (in that case the button doesn’t pop up for me, I have to exit via the top right menu).

    EDIT: Actually I just noticed in the splash screen there is a message stating that next game button is borked for some, so it is a bug and they are aware of it.

  40. Yeah, I saw that too.

    The bug, for me anyway, was hitting it when you actually don’t have a game waiting. Both you and Jon have games with me. It was my turn in Jon’s game and the game with you was waiting for you. I hit “Next Game” inside of Jon’s game and it crashed.

    Otherwise, the Next Game button works fine.

  41. @Pitta did our game get deleted?

    I just saw the new one

  42. Pitta says:

    Now that I was able to play some games, it’s official: I’m in love with the game.

  43. I. Luke have sworn we were further along than that game is. Oh well. I must be losing it.

  44. Still no invite to the beta. Very dissapointing. Signed up just the day Dave wrote about it.

  45. It appears there are not actually any clocks right now. 30 minutes, 1 week, it’s all infinity I believe.

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