Sticky Post of Progress

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You can wishlist Hex Gambit: Respawned on Steam today! That would really help me out, as more wishlists increases the game’s visibility on the store.

Currently working on: Hex Gambit: Respawned is being ported to these launch platforms: PC | Mac App Store | Switch | PS4, PS5 | X Box One, X Box Series X/S. We’re also adding cross-platform online multiplayer!

Categories: Hex Gambit
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I Got Time

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Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!

First a quick Hex Gambit: Respawned update: I’m getting some firmer timetables from the publisher on the online multiplayer and console ports, and Summer 2022 is looking like a likely launch window. That’s a bit of a wait, but they’re adding a ton of value to the game and I’m excited to see it all come together. HGR will be a big frickin’ game.

So minus a month or so of UI work on Hex Gambit, I’ve got 6 months on my hands. What do I do with that? Short term, I want to get this pirate RPG prototype firmed up.

Pirate mechs!

I have a good idea what the playable game will look like, but there’s SO much setup to get an RPG ready to try. Items, accessories, buffs, debuffs, abilities, weapons, character growth, enemy encounters… can’t really play until all of that’s working.

This month I dressed up the UI a bit, added an item system (my only currently working item is an apple, but the system is ready to make pretty much anything), and added an equip menu for weapons and accessories that I’m pretty happy with. I’ve got the basics of buffing/debuffing in for the accessories, and a general idea of how I want to tie this all together.

I’ve also dabbled in some character and item art. This isn’t really a style I’ve decided on, I’m just blocking in shapes and concepts at this point.

Categories: Hex Gambit, Prototypes

Digging for Treasure

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Hex Gambit: Respawned news: nothing much to report. My publisher Blowfish Studios’ team of devs are still hard at work porting HGR to its various launch platforms, squashing bugs and getting the basic online features up and running. Things will get more interesting on this front closer to the game’s release date (Q1 2022).

So I’m in a holding pattern, which gives me lots of time to think about what I might do next. It’s hard to answer that without knowing where Hex Gambit’s launch will go, but I’m not gonna sit around here doing nothing!

Doesn’t look like much yet. More concerned about how it plays atm.

My latest experiment is a piratey tactics RPG for 1-3 players, coop. I’ve been working on this one on and off since July, which is insane, because it’s still not playable (almost!). A prototype REALLY shouldn’t take this long to put together, but if it doesn’t work out I’m thinking I could rework it into something else easy enough.

Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Movement and targeting are in, thanks to the basic hex game starter project I made.
  • Six weapon types like cutlasses and flintlock pistols, each with a unique advantage/disadvantage.
  • Damage calculations feel good! Had to rework this a few times, so that defenses reduce attack damage in a way that makes sense. There are six types of elemental damage, which can be physical or magical.
  • Each character on your team is a blank slate. What you choose makes your characters better at using certain elements and weapons. I also want a random growth mode, if you want to challenge yourself to adapt your strats to the way the game grows your characters.
  • Lots of art. Pirates are fun.
Categories: Hex Gambit, Prototypes
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PAX AUS Stream

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It was really exciting to have Hex Gambit: Respawned be a part of PAX AUS this year! Here’s a replay of my HGR stream for the occasion. A lot of it is the same demo levels I showed earlier this year at the Steam Next Fest, but perhaps you didn’t catch that one.

Still working on getting the multiplayer servers up, so not much new to report today. Check back as we firm up the online features and prepare for launch next year!

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Ahoy!

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Hex Gambit: Respawned is largely in the capable hands of my publisher, Blowfish Studios at the moment. We’ve got some dummy menus in place for host/join game setup, and the servers are being integrated. So with that ball in their court, I’m continuing work on another prototype!

This one has a pirate theme, and it’s my first use of the Hex Bones project I built a while ago. The idea is something like a tactics Final Fantasy (I’ve never played Final Fantasy Tactics), with some simple character building and no random encounters or EXP. I’m probably gonna try 1-3 players co-op.

Figuring out how everything fits together for something like this is more complicated than I expected. I know how it’s traditionally done, but I’m trying to minimize some of the things I don’t think are very fun. Generally I’m not fond of having too many armor and accessory slots, or armors that are 1% better than each other, or random encounters, or finding a dominant 9999 strategy that I use every turn.

It’s giving me headaches some days. I don’t think I’ve ever built a combat system this complicated, but it’s starting to come together. And hey, ghost shrimp!

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Getting to the Good Stuff

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Hex Gambit: Respawned (wishlist it please!) started its life as the local multiplayer resurrection of the original Hex Gambit. Then it got some AI to play against, and a full-on single player campaign, and a porting deal for every major console… It’s already so much more than what I had originally set out to do. And if all that wasn’t enough, here comes online multiplayer with cross-platform play!

This week began the first discussions of what the actual scope of HGR’s online play will look like, and I am EXCITED! This part of the game will be a collaboration between myself and HGR’s publisher, Blowfish Studios.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but here’s a list of some things that seem likely to make it in:

  • Unlockable characters and maps can be earned in either single or multiplayer, so play however you want!
  • Quick Matches with reasonable turn timers to keep things moving.
  • Live in-game tournaments! Details later.
  • Cross-platform friendly matches, just enter your room code. This will pair well with our discord.

It’s looking like all this cool stuff will push the game’s release into 2022, but we’ll be working our butts off to make it worth the wait! Check back for details as things come together.

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Explorations

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No news on the Hex Gambit front so far. Porting is a long process, and there are some online features being explored on top of that. Still, I’ll try to keep the blog updated monthly so you know I’m not dead.

That ‘Goldeneye’ multiplayer prototype is still being picked at. Every time I think I’m done with it, I bring it to a family function and the kids get a kick out of it. So I’ll add a few weapons or whatever before shelving it again. It’s got a few super abilities to choose from like a Jetpack, and I added a flame thrower and a grenade launcher. I’ve also mashed up all the Tilt to Live music for a placeholder soundtrack, which is just the best. Would be fun on the Switch.

I’ve also put a bunch of time into a “Hex Bones” project. This is like a bare bones framework for everything that Hex Gambit does, plus some stuff I wish it did (like handle pits). It’s a groundwork for prototyping more hexy games. I could make Hex Gambit 2 with it, I could make Outwitters (probably not), or any of the other ideas I have floating around that work with characters on a board.

Categories: Prototypes
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Steam Next Fest Stream

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The Hex Gambit: Respawned Demo is available right now as part of the Steam Next Festival! If you missed my stream last night, you can catch the rerun anytime on YouTube. And if you’re very quick, you might even snag one of the 3 keys for an early copy of the game that I’ve hidden throughout the video.

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Coming Soon to Everything

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We’ve all been waiting patiently for the full list of platforms that Hex Gambit: Respawned is headed to, and my publisher Blowfish Studios has finally pulled back the curtain!

Grab the Steam Demo here!
Upcoming Streaming event, this Sunday

This is the most platform logos that a One Man Left game has ever had to squish onto a marketing piece. Kickstarter backers will be thrilled to hear that the promise of a Hex Gambit game on Switch, years in the making, is finally happening (and then some).

I’m also excited about this mysterious little blurb on the Steam store page:

To be clear I didn’t put that there, and I don’t exactly know what it means, but I have heard that it’s a thing being worked on. Pretty neat.

Categories: Hex Gambit, News
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Beta Updates

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These are some changelogs for internal Hex Gambit: Respawned builds. Just dumping them here because it’s where I tend to look.

v0.2.11

  • Fixed a bug where the Captain’s Gambit Ready animation was playing when Gambits were set to Stock and opponents had a handicap (only supposed to play if set to Comeback)
  • Fixed a bug where Captain’s Gambits were setting two Undo snapshots instead of one, so you had to undo them twice to undo the previous action.

v0.2.10

  • Adjusted menus to work better with localized text.
  • Improved 4:3 aspect ratio support.

v0.2.9

  • Added internal ‘hide UI’ mode for footage capture. Only works in Cheater builds.

v0.2.8

  • Hiding language options for the time being.
  • Slowed down loading screen for the demo by 0.8 seconds so you can read.

v0.2.7

  • Demo: Added wishlist nag to the level select
  • Fixed icon on Steam- was the Unreal icon
  • Demo: Added full game nags to the multiplayer setup screens
  • Demo: Updated style of Custom Rules nag
  • Custom Rules: changed Captain’s Gambit options’ display text, changed default to Stock to match Campaign.
  • Demo: Added “only in full game” to Captain Select for locked captains
  • Added Enter as a more widely-supported Confirm input

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Epic News

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One Man Left is proud to announce that Hex Gambit: Respawned was awarded an Epic MegaGrant!

You might remember that for the first eight years or so of my career I was an indie game artist and a game designer, but not a programmer. When my programmer, Alex, had to bow out in 2019, I was desperate for a way to keep making games. I asked whether he thought it was possible to ship an entire game with Unreal’s Blueprint Visual Scripting. He said yeah, pretty much, and that was good enough for me.

So I spent an entire year, full time, watching Youtube, reading docs, and experimenting. Then around November 2019, I started applying what I’d learned to start my first solo project, a complete reimagining of Hex Gambit made entirely in Blueprint called Hex Gambit: Respawned.

All of HGR’s 3D artwork and animation was done for free in Blender. Everything else (aside from sound and music) was done for free in Unreal Engine 4 by one very determined guy in his basement. It has single player, local multiplayer, full controller support, AI, you name it. Blueprint is amazing!

This crazy endeavor was not without risk, and Epic’s grant money is a MUCH needed shot in the arm as HGR approaches the finish line. I’m eternally grateful to Epic for making Unreal Engine freely available for broke game devs like me, and for choosing to support my project. If they hadn’t made Unreal free to use, OML would have been done for a long time ago.

So THANK YOU again to Epic Games. Let’s keep going and ship something awesome.

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