Conceptualizing: Part 2

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From our earlier CQC prototype (along with a few others that didn’t quite pan out), we arrived at something we were calling at the time Outwitters: Skirmish. It was “Outwitters” in name only; there were no races, no bases, and no fog of war.

skirmish1-gameboard

In Skirmish you chose 3 heroes, and each hero had its own minion class (the little guys with the numbers). You’d win the match by owning all 4 flags, defeating all the enemy heroes, OR by earning enough Victory Points. VP was a way to keep matches from dragging on too long; you got them from taking over flags or defeating enemies.

A lot of these ideas are still present in Game 6 in one form or another, but a lot has changed.

The biggest cut feature from Skirmish was character customization. Each of these heroes had something like 5 special moves to choose from, but you could only equip 3 moves for a battle. So we might both pick the Scallywag Captain, but we could still be using him in different ways.

This was very cool for variety, but it took a lot of reading and comparing to choose from all those moves (choose 3 characters, now choose 3 moves each). It didn’t help that the moves were also fairly complicated and interacted in all sorts of weird ways. They involved things like status effects and passive attributes that basically went full RPG.

Overall it was a lot less approachable than Outwitters and a lot harder to teach, which is not what we’re going for. Our goal for Game 6 is something as elegant as Outwitters, but with more flexibility and surprises in the way characters can be used.

Here’s a look at a few of the game pieces we had for the myriad status effects and traps in Skirmish:

skirmish1-gamepieces

From this prototype we learned that customization was cool, but we had to keep complexity in check.

Want to know more? Stick around! We’ll be posting lots of artwork and details here weekly. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get email reminders when we hit big milestones for our followup to Outwitters, like the launch of our Kickstarter, Early Access/beta, and the official release.

Categories: Game 6

Conceptualizing: Part 1

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The road to Game 6 started with some pretty simple questions. What do we like about Outwitters, and what could we have done a better job with? As game designers, we explored these questions with lots and lots of prototypes. Some of them never got passed the “idea” phase to a playable state, like this abandoned “gameboard” file I found while digging through our old stuff. I think I was in the middle of figuring out what size everything needed to be on a phone screen.

abandonedprototype

We explored all kinds of stuff. Should moving a piece really cost you a wit? What about square spaces instead of hexes? What if you could push people into pits? Does that kill them? How can we make teams more unique from each other without adding a ton of production time to new races?

cqc-gameboard

This is one of our more “out there” prototypes; what we’re working on now is a lot closer to the classic Outwitters map setup. I throw these gameboards together in Adobe Illustrator (much faster than having Alex actually code them), create a quick and dirty PDF manual, and we copy/paste game pieces around the board to play.

I called this prototype “CQC” because we were experimenting with very small boards. Positioning your units was important, but it wasn’t as crucial as how you played your character’s abilities.

Only red team could move on the red spaces, and only blue team could move on blue. The three brown spaces in the middle could be used by anyone. Your general, the mustachioed guy, could only jump between the 3 dark spaces, and you lost if he was defeated. Each player had a deck of cards with troops you could spawn and crystals to trigger their special moves. As you can see we had lots of different minions, and you could choose which ones you wanted to add to your deck.

The card deck portion felt too random for an Outwitters follow-up, and the board size was pretty stifling. But the idea of having a general, like a living Outwitters base that could fight back, was one that we decided to explore further…

Want to know more? Stick around! We’ll be posting lots of artwork and details here weekly. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get email reminders when we hit big milestones for our followup to Outwitters, like the launch of our Kickstarter, Early Access/beta, and the official release.

Categories: Game 6

Space Food Truck’s on Sale!

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It’s that special time of year where everything in America is on sale, and the Steam version of Space Food Truck is no exception! Get a single key or a 4-pack (already 4 keys for the price of 3) for 50% off, now through November 29!

You can grab these prices on Steam as a part of their big Autumn Sale and through our official site. And in case you hadn’t heard, Space Food Truck is also now available on iOS and Android tablets for just $9.99.

Happy Turkey Day! Check back Friday for your weekly peek at Game 6.

Categories: Space Food Truck

The Evolution of Outwitters

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So explaining this new game, you probably noticed we’ve been carefully dancing around the phrase “Outwitters 2″. Don’t freak out. Keep reading.

There was a temptation to call whatever PvP strategy game we ended up with an Outwitters sequel. The new game has hexes, it’s turn-based PvP combat, it’s got a carefully thought-out league system. It even has runners, soldiers, and snipers. I think anyone who enjoyed Outwitters is going to love this game, but so many of the rules have changed that it feels misleading for us to just slap “Outwitters” on it. I prefer to think of it as an evolution of Outwitters, like a spiritual successor.

What are these changes, you nervously ask? “Destroy the enemy base” is no longer your goal; you’ll have a more flexible path to victory. There are lots of differences between teams, not just one super-expensive unit. You can start exchanging blows on turn 3, and the action escalates as a match goes on, so you won’t be seeing 100 turn games. We were even able to remove fog of war without killing the element of surprise, because minions now have several abilities and are a lot less predictable.

Want to know more? Stick around! We’ll be posting lots of artwork and details here weekly. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get email reminders when we hit big milestones, like the launch of our Kickstarter, Early Access/beta, and the official release.

Categories: Game 6

Space Food Truck Update

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icon96x96

We’ve just rolled out an update to Space Food Truck for all our platforms addressing some of the performance issues we’ve been hearing about. Here’s the list of tweaks for 1.2.285.

Changes:

  • Fixed memory consumption issue on inventory screen. Should fix the crashes many are reporting on mobile as well as result in notable performance improvement on lower end machines and devices.
  • iOS-only: reduced OS requirement to iOS 8.0.
Categories: Space Food Truck

What Now?

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Space Food Truck is complete. We have a lot of features, expansions and gametype ideas we could still add to it (maybe we’ll post some of that later), but there was another project being tossed around that we’ve really been itching to green light.

In 2012 we made our first strategy game called Outwitters, and ever since moving on from that game we’ve had a pet obsession. When I looked through our “Outwitters 2: Think Again” folder just now (that was a working title), I counted 9 hex-based, PvP strategy prototypes we’ve tinkered with. Some were a lot like Outwitters, and some were barely recognizable. Finally, after 4+ years on and off experimenting, we’ve got it. A worthy successor. And that’s what we’re working on full time, starting next week.

In about a year, we hope to have it ready for launch. There will be a Kickstarter, and we will need your help! If you haven’t signed up for the mailing list yet, definitely do to keep up with our progress. And you can also check back here weekly to peek over our shoulders while we work.

Categories: Game 6, News, Outwitters

Space Food Truck is out today for tablets!

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iOSDL Android

Our cooperative card adventure Space Food Truck arrives on iOS and Android tablets today! Now you can scour the galaxy for exotic ingredients on the go, asynchronously, or pass your device around the room. The game even has cross platform support, so any iOS, Android, or PC user can join your crew if you meet up in the same lobby.

With the smaller screen comes a smaller price of just $9.99.

PC Version is 50% Off!

And for a limited time at SpaceFoodTruck.com, we’re matching that tablet price for the PC version to celebrate the launch! The 50% discount also extends to our 4-pack, which already saves you 25%. We heard you liked discounts, so we put discounts on our discount.

No matter what platform you’re on, it’s a great day to grab Space Food Truck.

Categories: News, Space Food Truck

Friendly Reminder

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Space Food Truck: Tablet Edition launches in two short days, and this is your friendly reminder to jump onto the One Man Left mailing list. We’ve made a tradition out of giving away free copies of our games every launch day, and Wednesday morning will be no exception. 20 free copies of SFT: Tablet Edition will be painstakingly hand e-mailed to 20 randomly-chosen subscribers.

The mailer is, of course, also a great way to keep up with big OML announcements. We’ll shoot off a few emails a year announcing our next project or reminding you the day our new game comes out, so if you like what we do consider signing up!

Categories: Space Food Truck

SFT Comes to Tablets Nov 3rd

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(Almost forgot to mention, we’re giving away 20 free copies to our mailing list subscribers on launch day like we ALWAYS do!)

Sorry about the week of silence. We needed some time to get these launch details finalized, and Alex took a trip to Seattle for Steam Dev Days, so we were a little off our weekly blog game.

But today we’re happy to announce that our co-op card adventure Space Food Truck is on its way to Android and iOS tablets November 3rd. And with its reduced screen size comes a reduced price of just $9.99! Even better, Alex managed to get the game working cross-platform between iOS, Android, and Steam. It requires you and your crew to manually locate the same session from the Join Game list, but that’s all that stands between you and your differently-deviced friends joining forces for the good of the galaxy.

Learn more about the game at SpaceFoodTruck.com.

Categories: Space Food Truck

SFT Cross-Platform

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Alex put in a little extra elbow grease to get Space Food Truck running cross-platform! Behold the iOS, Android, and Steam versions playing together in sweet synchronicity.

I’m cooking up a fresh press kit as we speak. We should have the tablet version’s trailer and release date ready next week.

Categories: Space Food Truck