In Colt Express, one of the additional objectives will be to unlock collectible items. You will do that by accomplishing achievements. These unlockable items will be of different types and allow you to personalize your game:
Colt Express allows you to customize your heroes with new skins. Pick new colors for Belle or your favorite bandits!
There will be different types of wagons. Some wagons will only be playable on certain levels of the Story mode, so brace yourself because there will be challenges.
In addition of the traditional wagons of the board game, like the bar carriage and the luggage carriage, we created 4 new wagons, including a security wagon and a library wagon.
In Colt Express, the train you’re boarding goes from a station in a town and crosses the desert to another town.
With the digital version you will have the opportunity to play regularly and travel a lot, through our unique landscapes. You will cross the desert under the scorching sun and chug between the canyons and past cactus. But sometimes the Wild West has surprises for you, like when the sun is gone the night comes and you could encounter a thunderstorm. Blistering when the sun is out, you may sometimes see clouds in the sky along with rain!
Collect all these elements and much more in October!
We close out our interviews, and conclude this saga of articles before Colt Express digital launches, with Steven Painchaud, Frima’s Project Manager.
Steven PAINCHAUD – Project Manager
Can you tell us what you brought to the digital version of Colt Express?
My work consists of coordinating everybody’s work and following the progress of the game development. I especially assist with meetings where the team is stuck, so I often have the chance to bring my ideas to solve them.
My most direct contribution is probably the « tap and hold » option to show the mini-map on the screen. We wondered how to show the mini-map without always making the same moves with the fingers, for all the different cameras. Having played FPS [ed. First Person Shooter like Doom or Call of Duty] in the past, I give the idea “to hold the trigger” by keeping one’s finger on the screen to see things larger (like we hold the trigger to aim). I’m very happy my idea has been selected.
What was the most important step for you on this project?
When I put our first concept screen of gameplay on my phone, I realized at that moment we had a game!
What was the most challenging part of this project for you?
My biggest challenge was to refrain from walking over to Maxime, our Game Designer, during the creation of the Game Design Document! Being a board game fan, I had many ideas in mind. I even proposed some ideas during the brainstorms I participated in.
Why do you like working on the digital adaptation of Colt Express?
I love board games! I have a group of friends with whom I play every two weeks; and my girlfriend and I often play together.
As soon as I knew that Frima (the development team) would be working on Colt Express, I asked to my manager if I could be assigned on the project.
What part of Colt Express Digital do you think is the most innovative?
I think it’s the “planning/improvisation” aspect of the game that fascinates me: you understand your cards, you make a small attack plan before playing your first card, the player before you “punches” you, and so you wonder, “Do I continue my plan or do I take the opportunity to punch Tuco, who just arrived in my wagon, and maybe make him drop his second diamond…?” And this is only the planning phase! Then in the action phase, everything you planned fizzles out because Ghost has played a card on the first turn that you didn’t predict and he punches you to a nearby wagon and it changes all your plans.
It’s that aspect of “improvising your plans” that I find fascinating and that I still find difficult to master it… but the digital version will let me practice! 🙂
Why is Colt Express different than other games?
As I mentioned earlier , the mix of “planning/improvisation” is probably the element that differs the most from the other games. We never know who is winning or who is losing before the end of the game, and we can have the most incredible plan, just to have it fizzle out at any moment. I think our digital conversion perfectly captures this side of the game and we are dying to share it with you.
What mobile games are you playing these days?
It will sound a bit scripted, but my favorite game is Ticket to Ride! As soon as I have 10-15 minutes and I feel like playing a board game, I take out my phone and catch a quick game.
What are your inspirations for your work?
For Colt Express :
Ticket to Ride on iOS for the whole digital conversion part, Darkest dungeon for the character animations, Hearthstone for the card manipulation interface, and Super Mario World 2 for the creative use of parallax in the background.
As a more general inspiration, I would have to say I admire the developers from the early 90’s; a smaller staff (10-20 people) could produce a quality game in a shorter timeframe.
Do you have anything else you want to add?
It might sound like a pointless issue but, without looking at any photos of the game, ask yourself: “what direction should the train go during a game session?” From left to right or right to left?
During the 4th week of production, we asked ourselves this question: the art design team was producing visuals going in one direction, and the gameplay design team was producing concepts going in the other direction!
We argued for two whole hours before reaching a consensus (the one I was defending, by the way) : the train had to be going from left to right since the instructional and promotional pictures for the physical board game always shows the train going from left to right.
Despite the fact that we all agreed on the “left to right” approach, someone still occasionally produces an artistic asset showing the train going in the wrong direction…