Hex Gambit servers are out of AP

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First, two notes:

  1. This is only a Hex Gambit thing. Outwitters and Space Food Truck‘s servers are still going strong.
  2. Adam is still working on his first solo project since Alex’s departure. It’s self-funded and going well.

Now bad stuff:

It’s costing us more to run the Hex Gambit servers than we make from selling the game. So it’s with a heavy heart that we announce the end for HG, probably my favorite game design in our nine years doing this.

Servers will cease operation for online matchmaking starting Tuesday, June 18, and the game will no longer be listed on Steam or the Humble Store.

Anyone following Hex Gambit’s development knows that the road to our intended Switch release has been a bumpy one. We over-extended ourselves trying to make the game console-worthy. It took an extra year rushing like mad to deliver on all our promised features, and that’s a long, expensive delay. We were counting on our Steam launch to put a little extra gas in the tank to finish the Switch version, something in the ballpark of Space Food Truck‘s performance. But alas, there was no gas on Steam for poor Hex Gambit.

After Alex bowed out for a full time job, he planned to peck away at the remaining work and eventually make good on the Switch port, maybe sometime in 2020. But the prospect of bleeding money until then just isn’t an option. We know that the Switch version was the big deal that everyone was waiting for, and we threw everything we had into making it happen. If I’m ever in a position to make it up to our Switch Kickstarter backers, I will. We’re both very sorry that this is how it ends.

Categories: Hex Gambit, News

Behold!

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Our heroine speaks with the… “shopkeeper” in the “hub world”. Fully functional, but fully not decorated yet.

Current Working Features:

  • Full controller support!
  • 2 secondary weapons
  • 6 enemy types
  • 3 placeholder endless highscore arenas.
  • Shop for buffs
  • Equip/unequip buffs before each level. They all work.
  • Change difficulty at any time outside of the levels.
  • Play any level you’ve unlocked at any difficulty (no enforced order).
  • When you talk to the shopkeeper, the camera goes whoosh.
Categories: Game 7

Progress Report 5

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Click to enlarge.

 I’ve figured out what a released version of this game will look like content-wise, and I’m thinking I can maybe do an alpha/Early Access-y thing this year.

I’ve got a little in-game merchant named Dinky now (above, a little lifeless at the moment), and my gold-for-buffs functionality is mostly working. Once the “earning gold” side of things is in and some dialogue/cinematic tools are set up, I switch back to combat and making things pretty. Most of the game is gray boxes atm. I’ve been putting off the art stuff because I pretty much know my way around that from Hex Gambit.

Now that the bigger picture is coming into focus, I’m feeling good about this. The dread of tackling something this ridiculous is being replaced with a little optimism. Unreal is pretty amazing.

Support This Insane Endeavor

Adam is making an action RPG with visual scripting! Follow @oneadamleft on Twitter, sign up for our mailing list, and check this feed to see what happens next. I won’t beg you for free money, but buying any of our games or game soundtracks gives me more time to work on this.

Categories: Game 7

Progress Report 4

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So now I have full controller support for the game itself and for all the menu UI I’ve added in. I’ve got a title, a third draft of story scenario, and a few arenas with unique spawners and layouts. The tricky thing now is to scope a game that’s small enough to make alone in a reasonable amount of time, but meaty enough to be worth people’s attention.

I’m editing my monstrous word doc today to make a road map from here to shipping. This journey started out asking “can I technically make a game myself?” I’m feeling pretty confident now that I can. Now I’m at the “are you really crazy enough to finish all this” part.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Support This Insane Endeavor

Adam is making an action RPG with visual scripting! Follow @oneadamleft on Twitter, sign up for our mailing list, and check this feed to see what happens next. I won’t beg you for free money, but buying any of our games or game soundtracks gives me more time to work on this.

Categories: Game 7

Progress Report 3

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I put in a little overtime to get that build ready for the bachelor trip and… we didn’t play it. Too busy having a great time on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! A lesson I’ve learned over and over about myself: I don’t work on vacation. I’ll bring books and laptops and plan to get a little done, but it never flippin’ happens. Coupled with some baby care days on either end and a nasty bout of the flu, I hadn’t looked at the game for like 12 straight days by the time I sat back down to work this week. It was daunting, and a honestly little terrifying given the scope of things, but I’m finally back in the swing of things.

This week, I’m fleshing out better controls for the “customize loadout” UI, so I don’t have to stand over your shoulder and explain the eccentricities of the current setup. Once that’s intuitive, I’d like to sit down and think about how to get some people playing this early build.

If any of you are exploring Unreal (4.21) and tinkering with their native UMG controls, don’t waste your time like I did. Sure, you can move focus around the menu and click stuff with a controller without handling any inputs yourself. But it can’t really be customized or expanded upon, so it’s pretty useless.

Support This Insane Endeavor

Adam is making a game with visual scripting! Follow @oneadamleft on Twitter, sign up for our mailing list, and check this feed to see what happens next. I won’t beg you for free money, but buying any of our games or game soundtracks gives me more time to work on this.

Categories: Game 7

Progress Report 2

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Hoping to have a stark little hub room with a couple of portals you can enter to fight some demons by the end of this month. The “Bachelor Trip” deadline looms, and I’ve got most of the combat for my prototype squared away. Six enemy types are ready (if you count a turret), each with different behaviors/speed per difficulty. And they can handle stairs and pits now!

I redid a lot of my ugly, early scripts and converted all my AI over to behavior trees (which are super flexible, definitely worth taking the time to learn). Still need to get some basic menu flow up and running: Title Screen, Hub World, Mission Accept, that kind of stuff.

Support This Insane Endeavor

Adam is making a game with visual scripting! Follow @oneadamleft on Twitter, sign up for our mailing list, and check this feed to see what happens next. I won’t beg you for free money, but buying any of our games or game soundtracks gives me more time to work on this.

Categories: Game 7

Progress Report 1

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I have almost five enemy types working now, and have spent the last few days trying to design a smarter ranged attacker. I’d like the game to be top down, but not flat, so they need to be able to figure out pits and stairs. I made great progress on an enemy that could chase me around a flat level without getting stuck on walls or corners, but they went nuts when they saw stairs for the first time. Just went up and down them over and over. Close to cracking this now, though.

Of course, I could always just make a flat game with no stairs, but I like the challenge of trying this the hard way… For the time being.

And that’s the phase I’m in: make as many enemies as possible, so later I can just build some levels and mix them into interesting encounters. I figure 8-10 enemy types is a decent variety for the size of game I’m shooting for.

I’m going on a bachelor party road trip at the end of the month, and hoping to have some kind of a highscore level ready with a PS4 controller to get some early feedback.

Support This Insane Endeavor

Adam is making a game with visual scripting! Follow @oneadamleft on Twitter, sign up for our mailing list, and check this feed to see what happens next. I won’t beg you for free money, but buying any of our games or game soundtracks gives me more time to work on this.

Categories: Game 7

Sup

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So Alex is happy at his new full time gig, and he lets me pick his brain every so often. In one such brain-picking session, I asked him whether it was feasible to make an entire game in Unreal’s visual scripting system, Blueprints. He said yes, then he probably qualified it with some important information, but my mind started wandering at yes.

Could I, with 9 years of game design and game art experience, but VERY little coding experience really ship a whole game all by my damn self? And even if I’m capable of it, do I actually have the determination and savings to finish what I’m starting? I think so?

I’ve been learning Blueprint full time with YouTube and books since November, and started working on a game in December. I’m accepting contract work where it pops up, but I work better when I’m focused, so I’m not really “hunting” very hard for it (here’s my portfolio if you’re interested).

I don’t really know where this will end, but I’m hoping to at least become a lot smarter, or at best be able to continue making games full time.

So What’s the Game?

It’s a dual-stick action RPG, a bit heavier on the action side than the RPG side, from one of the makers of Tilt to Live.

Tonally, I want the writing to be something along the lines of Adventure Time or Undertale, goofy at times, but not hollow. I wrote a whole scenario for it, decided that would take too long to make, so I came up with a shorter “Prologue” to start with. I’ve got a general timeline roughed out, and I’m trying to keep the art style impressionistic, so I can make more assets with the limited time I have.

Rather than crowdfunding and all the promises and pressure that entails, this’ll be a finished, low-price, 2-ish hour single player game that you can buy and play and enjoy. And if enough people buy it, maybe I can build the larger, original scenario.

So far I’ve got three bad guys and a hero, I’ve got controller support working, and I’ve got multiple difficulties with interesting differences in enemy speeds/attacks. Let’s see what happens.

Support This Insane Endeavor

Follow @oneadamleft on Twitter, sign up for our mailing list, and check this feed to see what happens next! Nobody knows! I won’t beg you for free money, but buying any of our games or game soundtracks gives me more time to work on this.

Categories: Game 7

One Man Left

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From the Desk of Alex Okafor

Hi OML fans!

Just wanted to start off this post with a huge thanks to our entire community of fans, players, and supporters! We wouldn’t have made it this far without you guys. It’s been a minute since our last update, and I wish this was more of an uplifting “bringing in the new year” post. Unfortunately, the last few years haven’t been the kindest to our studio, and to the indie game development scene at large. The combination of difficult market realities, and having burned the midnight oil for years on end is finally catching up with me (oh, to be young).

Going forward, OML is no longer a full-time endeavor for me. I’m currently happily in a new full-time position at another company.  When I think back on the years of development, the thing that sticks with me is the encouragement and excitement from our fans on what we were working on. You guys made it worth all the effort. I’m still in awe at the fan art, tools, community led tournaments, and support our fan base had shown over the years.

  • So what does this mean for our online games? Our current game servers will continue to operate. If the situation changes with any of them, we’ll notify players on appropriate channels (this blog included).
  • What does this mean for the Hex Gambit Switch port? It’s still in development, but at a much slower pace after hours. As such, I can’t really give an estimate on when it’ll be ready.

Again, I can’t emphasize enough how great these last 9+ years have been, and can’t thank you all you enough for that awesome opportunity.

What About Adam?

First of all, I’m grateful to Alex for taking me on this adventure in the first place, and I wish him the best.

We’d both like to offer a sincere apology to our Switch backers for all of the delays you guys have endured. After a rougher-than-expected Steam launch, we just found ourselves without any options to continue HG development full time. We over-promised, and we’re doing everything we can to make it right. Thank you all for your support and your patience.

While (as an artist) I can’t help Alex finish Hex Gambit any faster, I’m exploring my options for working on another game (don’t worry, there won’t be another Kickstarter) while taking on some contract work. If you’d like to see whatever might come next from me, make sure you subscribe to our mailing list and follow me on Twitter @oneadamleft. I have literally no idea what will happen!

If you’d like to contract me to help out with your project, I do all kinds of art with a specialty in UE4, and you can check out my portfolio right here.

Stream the Hex Gambit Soundtrack

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Now available to stream on Bandcamp: the excellent Hex Gambit Soundtrack by Mike Reagan (of Outwitters fame)! This Kickstarter reward will be coming to our Deluxe Edition backers and higher early next week.

Categories: Hex Gambit