Draw Nine

Draw Nine is now available on itch.io! This is the same game I submitted for IntroComp last year, but with a complete story and a brand new look. The cards you see here were produced by Joe Wright, who I highly recommend following – he writes excellent fiction as well as producing excellent art.

If you haven’t tried out the early version already (which included the complete story, but none of the visual flair), the game sees you take on the role of a magician who uses enchanted cards to cast spells. However, you’re given just nine cards at the beginning of the game and these must see you through to the end. The selection is random, so it’s up to you to choose the path through the world that makes the best use of what you’ve drawn. There may be a significant element of trial-and-error involved, but not to worry: there are many paths to try and several different endings to find.

This game does a few things differently to most of my previous ones, though many of the features made it into something else in some form or another. New bits and pieces include:

  • Vector graphics: the cards will scale to any size with no loss in quality.
  • Animated background: not a huge change, but I think it looks neat.
  • Separate foreground style: pretty much essential to keep the text readable against the background.
  • Card choices: a lot of my games offer the player a huge range of options, so writing a story around the same three every time was a new experience for me.

I recommend playing in fullscreen to get the most out of this: click the icon in the bottom-right of the game. It should also display fairly neatly on mobile (and should certainly prove playable), though some formatting may look strange on smaller screens. Use your device in landscape mode for best results.

I’m planning to post Draw Nine on philome.la in the near future, and also hoping to put together a standalone mobile version, but will hold off on that until I’ve had some feedback on the version available on itch.io. It’s easier to make changes over there and there’s a built-in section for comments, so all in all it seems like the most sensible choice for now.

I hope you enjoy the game, and please do let me know what you think!

2 comments

  1. gdeyke

    Ooh, the graphics really fancied this up! I especially like the 0-card graphic. The background animation is a nice touch, but doesn’t loop smoothly, which gives it a jarring feel especially on low-text passages.

    I also think the hover animation on the cards is a bit much. A glow, a slower jiggle, or a single upwards jump might be a better choice.

    • Damon L. Wakes

      The 0-card graphics were pretty much added in response to a quirk of the HTML table style which meant that the remaining cards would either expand to an inconveniently large size or leave a conspicuous gap. I’m reasonably confident that a more experienced author could solve that styling problem, but ultimately I felt as though it was more useful to throw in a reminder that the card had been consumed.

      I’m sorry to hear that the animation doesn’t loop smoothly – I’ve noticed a jump myself at certain times, but it’s generally been okay on my desktop and phone. I might see if I can solve that by opting for a local GIF rather than a base64-encoded one (at least on Itch), but using GIFs in CSS is new to me in general.

      The hover animation is actually just (text-style: “rumble”) applied to the image, which is very simple and reliable: a surprising number of text-style effects work exactly as you’d expect on images, including “mirror” if you want to flip things horizontally within Twine. I’d probably prefer a single upwards jump myself (like picking a card from a hand), but I can’t think of any neat/reliable way of doing it. Again, I reckon there are people out there who could, but I suspect the options I’ve got in mind would be more likely to shove the rest of the passage’s contents downwards instead of lifting the card up.

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