Now We Wait

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It’s been a somewhat momentous month in the lengthy saga of Hex Gambit: Respawned.

If you don’t recall, last April I turned in the original “final version” of HGR to my publisher. They spent the last year or so reshaping that into an online game, and in the process a whole lot of stuff broke (because the game wasn’t built with online in mind).

Since May I’ve been cataloging and fixing everything that wasn’t working like it used to, adding some menus, and now finally the game is back in that shipping candidate state, but with online multiplayer!

Pencils are now up, and we’re starting the certification processes for all the consoles. I imagine it will be months before we have a release date, and I’d guess the game will launch sometime in the first half of next year.

That puts me back into “kinda sorta finished, but the game isn’t out” limbo. I’ll be getting reacquainted with the food truck prototype next.

Categories: Hex Gambit
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Whiplash

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My Food Truck prototype was thiiiis close to playable when, wouldn’t you know it, Hex Gambit: Respawned came back knocking. Also I took a little vacation time and got COVID.

I’d been on standby for a long while, waiting for my publisher’s programming crew to get the online multiplayer ready. This month I’ve finally got the green light to add our missing online multiplayer menus and wrap my side of things up.

Unfortunately some of the features I mentioned previously had to be cut for the sake of time, so no online tournaments or skill-based matchmaking at launch. I have added some neat stat tracking to keep things interesting, though. Here’s the state of things:

  • EXP is granted for wins only. As you level up, your title and badge will gain prestige. Win streaks add bonus EXP, so skilled players level up more quickly.
  • Best win streak, most wins in a month, and lifetime wins are recorded.
  • The captain you’ve used most frequently in the past 11 matches is recorded as your favorite captain.
  • Playing local multiplayer or online now grants medallion rewards, which unlock captains and multiplayer levels. So you can unlock all of the game’s content playing whatever mode you like!

I’ve got a few more animations and polish items to take care of, then my work on HGR should be wrapped up next month. No solid release date for the game yet, but late this year or early next seems likely. Keep an eye on this blog for updates!

Categories: Hex Gambit
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Too Quiet

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Weird month! Two rough colds, a lot of bonus child care, some life changes to add anxiety. I was more than a little distractible. Most of that situational weirdness is behind me now, and I’m aiming to make up for lost time in February.

Hex Gambit: Respawned news! At last, I’ve seen a match with a server and a client connecting to play. A lot of the undercode™ is being reorganized by my publisher for online play, so that’s still a very cool strategy game coming later this year. Can’t wait for you guys to play it!

Prototyping! …This damned pirate hex RPG. I’ve pumped a LOT of time into this one. I think it could be very cool, but it’s also a huge project. There’s a few more enemy encounters to put together, and then I’ll have a playable thing that I can show to people. My next prototype will likely be much simpler, for my sanity.

I did get to play with some of my nephew’s sketches for pirate monsters, which was fun!

And hey, here’s some DnD characters I drew this month when I was feeling extra distractible. That’s my bard, Ziggy McJagger, plus a fire druid lady for a teammate.

Categories: Hex Gambit, Prototypes
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Year of the Patience

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In 2019 I wrote:

“I pretty much know how to make make my own games now. All that’s left is to finish one, then I can call myself an indie game designer again.”

If the meaning of the word “finished” is “to complete a shippable game”, then I’m an indie game designer again! Unfortunately… I think the meaning of the word “finished” is to get that game onto a store for you guys to play. So, still not really a game designer… and that’s honestly starting to get to me a little bit.

Patience!

This year I completed the Hex Gambit: Respawned offline experience, including a 5 hour campaign mode, local multiplayer, customizable house rules, with full controller support! I also got an Epic Megagrant to keep my head above water! A lot of that is stuff we’ve never accomplished in the history of One Man Left. I did all of that on my own, I pushed those changes on git, and… crickets.

Patience.

HGR is being ported to every major console by my publisher. Online multiplayer is in the works. Super exciting stuff is coming Summer-ish 2022.

That’s a very long time for me to sit and wonder what launch day will look like. So I’ve been prototyping for half of this year. Should I make prototypes until HGR launches, or go ahead and commit to something so I can launch a follow-up more quickly? Should I leverage our popular legacy franchises, or make my own mark with something you guys don’t know you want yet? Should I commit to strategy as a genre, or is it time try something new?

These are the questions I’m grappling with as we head into 2022. The important thing is: I’m still here somehow.

We haven’t had a decent game launch since Space Food Truck in 2016 (currently 50% off!), so THANK YOU to anybody that’s still following this feed, or our Twitter account, or checking in with our discord. It’s taking time to turn this thing around, but I’ll have something awesome for you guys to play soon.

My resolution: I’d like 2022 to be the year I can finally call myself an indie game developer again. I want to be selling a finished game for the next New Years post.

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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
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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!

Categories: Hex Gambit
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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.

Categories: Hex Gambit
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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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