RKL Development Update: Wen Gameplay?!
No, seriously. Wen?!
RKL news straight to your inbox.
It’s been just over one year since we embarked on this journey called the Rumble Kong League. It’s been one hell of a ride so far. Most of you reading this have been part of this adventure since day 1, we couldn’t be more grateful for the trust and support the community has put into us.
So from the bottom of our hearts… THANK YOU!
When we announced RKL, we put quality and dedication above everything else, I remember saying on multiple occasions “building a game is easy, building a GOOD game is hard”
I've spent the last 14 years of my life working in the gaming industry and had the pleasure to work on some of the most well-known IPs in the world. Yet, nothing comes close to what RKL means to the team behind it. We are innovating the gaming space, becoming pioneers in an entirely new business model, and building a unique IP from scratch. We could’ve taken a successful existing game concept, copied the gameplay and visuals, slapped a token on top, and called it "Web3 gaming” but this is not who we are. RKL is first and foremost aimed at being fun, and it is our goal to onboard millions of new players into the Web3 ecosystem.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen growing concerns within the community about the type of content we are sharing and the lack of actual gameplay details. How does RKL play? What is the role of boosts? How will Clubs work? Why don’t the Rookies currently have boosts? and more along those similar lines, all very valid questions.
While we won’t be able to answer all of those questions right here, we will adapt and change the way we communicate with you all!
Opening up the Game Design Document (GDD)
A GDD is considered the bible of Game Design, it is a document that outlines all aspects of any given game, goes in-depth into every aspect of the game, and is meant to provide everyone on the development team answers to game mechanics and how the game will work. It is the north star of a game.
In the sense of becoming more Web3, we have decided to open up some aspects of our GDD and continue sharing more with you all over the coming months. We won’t be opening up the whole GDD (as I said, it’s also our secret sauce that gives us a competitive advantage) but we will share key aspects of gameplay features with you at regular intervals. How we envision them, what the current development process is on them, and to gather your feedback.
It is important to note that a GDD is an ever-evolving, updating, changing, and iterating doc during the development process.
For this, we’ve set up a Knowledge Base, which can be found >HERE<
One of the first topics we will be talking more about is…
We released our Kongpaper v1.0 a little over one year ago, and by now it’s quite outdated. We initially presented RKL as an algorithmic game, with no player input and more of a viewing experience than a game.
We quickly realized that this would not be as fun as we’d initially thought.
We developed a prototype, put the Kongs in there, and pressed play. You can see the result here, this is over three months ago:
It works, it looks great, but it missed something. Kongs moved across the court, but it didn't feel dynamic and you had the impression that there was a calculator running in the background, analyzing each play. This wasn’t what we wanted.
We took a step back together and identified two key areas to focus work on
Kong AI needed to be improved
We needed something to add “fun” and “engaging” elements to the game.
We are revamping the Kong AI, which is our secret sauce for how Kongs behave on the court. An enormous decision tree that is linked to each individual Kong, taking into account their Boosts, Stamina, position on the court, and everything happening with the opponents.
In order to iterate quickly, we’ve designed a 2D model, which can be quickly modified and changed, giving us enough freedom to do any sorts of changes, and improve things on the fly. We put this into action, and to quote Naz on the latest AI system:
But have a look yourself…
This way of prototyping gives us an immense level of freedom. It enables us to do changes on the fly, and see its impact in almost real-time without having to patch the game client each time. It still needs work, mainly focused on basketball rules on the court, simple behavioral restrictions, and team tactics, but it’s a huge step forward. We will continue developing it, and the next step is to implement this AI onto the 3D court.
Adding the Fun
The second order of business is much harder. Making a fun game. Every day there are hundreds, if not thousands, of games being added to the various app stores, each one of them hoping to become the next Fortnite, Clash of Clans, or “insert trending game here”. We’ve looked at many of them, worked on some of them ourselves, and analyzed them in detail over the years.
At the heart of everything, RKL is basketball. We love basketball, we love the culture around it and consider ourselves die-hard basketball fans. But at the same time, we are building a web3 game where animals play basketball in the fictional city of Athlos, in this new age of the metaverse. So we decided to add some “out of this planet” elements to the mix… abilities.
Abilities are a meta-gameplay component that can impact the match, and add a bit more over-the-top gameplay mechanics that truly excite the player. Each player will be able to select a set amount of abilities for their team, that need to be strategically selected based on your individual Kong’s boosts, their performance, and the right synergies within a said team.
You can imagine abilities including basic effects like temporarily increasing run speed or things a bit more fancy like fireballs being dunked from the 3-point-line.
There will be a strategic element to it, and abilities cannot be activated at will, but we hope that this will give everyone the opportunity to strategize around their ability setup and try to build the best possible ability combos for their team.
Abilities are currently deep in development and we expect to test them internally in the next 4-6 weeks, before starting our initial Alpha game roll-out later this year. If you are interested in joining us for the first test play of the game, make sure to follow our socials and hop on our Discord.
We believe that AI and Abilities are key game mechanics that will catapult us forward and in the right direction. We are on track to start a rollout of the game in Q4, however, as we will involve you all more, we need to be prepared for delays should certain features require significant rework before they are considered final. This is an ever-developing process, and we are involving all of you holders each step of the way.
Game development is as equally fun and frustrating, it requires a dedicated team believing in the project. Putting this into Web3, we not only need a dedicated team, but also a KONG STRONG community, that stands with us, to make sure that RKL will revolutionize the way Web3 is being enjoyed by really anyone out there.
We hope that this little text answered some of your questions, and we are looking forward to start rolling out the GDD over the coming month!
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