January Update

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Still procrastinating on capturing video, so here’s new captain artwork for Bjorgolf! Hoping to get happy/sad emotes in for each captain, whenever I get around to implementing them.

Been converting things from using a single controller to supporting any number of them or AI, which was completely foreign to me and more complicated than expected. But now it works! You can add up to 4 controllers and share them between players however you want.

On AI turns, my little fetal AI just waits 3 seconds and passes the turn back to you. Next I’ll teach it how to kill. Our old Hex Gambit AI used to get stuck in logical loops or think too hard or something… It had a tendency to just kinda stare at you and time out. I’m aiming for something faster and more responsive this time.

All of this is working towards some kind of PC alpha demo for our Kickstarter backers in the near future. There won’t be a lot of content in this first build, but there will be enough to have some fun, and the foundation should be pretty sturdy bug-wise. It’ll look something like:

  • PC only, maybe a Mac version if someone wants to try it, but I can’t test for Mac
  • 1-4 players locally, with 0-4 controllers supported
  • Add 1-3 AI opponents to the mix
  • Free for All or 2v2
  • Might be Soldiers-only battles for this first build

That’ll be a nice start for getting feedback on the new controls and the gameplay tweaks I’ve made. Back to work!

Categories: Hex Gambit

December Update

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My local multiplayer version of Hex Gambit is actually looking good! I have a system for setting up attack targeting by just filling in a little form (hits 2-5 spaces away, only along straight paths, stuff like that), which is super easy to work with. AP is in, everyone can pillar tap, and undos are working! Today I’m working on unit spawning. Won’t be too long before I can actually play Hex Gambit with this thing!

For those of you that got a chance to play the original, here’s some differences I’m experimenting with to make things more “local” friendly.

  • Captains will have an assigned minion loadout, so each player just chooses a captain. I may do a “Custom Match” mode that lets you pick all of your minions like the original, but the new way is much faster to set up, especially for four players.
  • Custom Match options: you’ll eventually be able to tweak how many Action Points you get per turn, how many Undos are allowed per turn, player handicaps and stuff like that to make your own house rules (the yellow numbers next to the team scores in the screenshot above represent that player’s handicap).
  • No locked moves! Cooldowns will be used instead on a per-minion basis. When they spawn, any moves that have a cooldown start in cooldown. You’ll have to keep the minion alive long enough to charge their strongest moves.
  • Multiple maps! I’ve set things up so that minions can figure out arbitrary layouts.
  • Setup phase is instant: a handful of your units types will be picked at random and placed on specific “start tiles” as invincible, spawning units. On your team’s first turn, they become active and you play like any other turn.
  • Action Points carry over! You can store up to five and bank what you don’t spend for later.
  • Moving now costs Action Points, and you get less AP each turn. This way, things pass back and forth more quickly to keep everyone engaged.
  • UI overhaul from the ground up to make things easier to figure out (work in progress).

My hope is that these changes will make things easier to explain to new players and make your matches even more exciting!

 

Categories: Hex Gambit
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November Update

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My Action RPG is pretty cool, and very far along. But it would also take a very long time to finish, and I’m needing a game that I could realistically launch next year. So this month I sketched out some possible project schedules and experimented a bit. This one is showing promise:

So far, I’ve got:

  • Seven team colors with all seven minions animating
  • Crowdsurfing works and looks a bit smoother than before
  • Undo(!) is mostly ready
  • Support for as many maps as I want
  • A simpler camera system, and the board perspective changes on new turns.
  • Play with a controller or keyboard or both if you’re crazy.

I definitely can’t make Hex Gambit: the massive online community turf war. But I think I could make Hex Gambit: the couch multiplayer game? Check back for updates, or sign up for our mailer.

Categories: Hex Gambit
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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

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
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Hex Gambit is out on Steam today!

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Around the start of 2017, Alex and I set out to make Hex Gambit, the culmination of all of our post-Outwitters turn-based strategy experiments. Almost 2 years and a Kickstarter campaign later, what a beast this thing has become!

It’s got 2v2, 21 team combinations, a huge territory control game for the league, a single player mode with AI, trophies and ranks to earn for your profile, and it’s playable in four languages. And when the dust settles on today’s launch, we’ll be optimizing it for our first console release on the Nintendo Switch™! If you want a reminder email when the Switch version is ready, sign up right here.

Whether you’ve been an owner since Early Access or you’re just picking up your copy today, the inaugural season of the Apex Cup has begun! Come join a faction, meet some other players on discord, and leave your mark on the Summit in our most ambitious project yet.

Here’s a list of fixes in today’s Launch Update:

  • Fixed bug with Flametraps causing selection of units to stop working after triggering it.
  • Flametraps no longer trigger if a friendly unit is on top of their own flametrap.
  • Flametraps no longer cause a crash when trying to surf through a flametrap.
  • Fixed some localization errors.
  • Fixed a few animation bugs with minion deaths on lower end hardware.
  • Fixed several bugs in tutorials where players could get stuck.
  • Replays and in-game UI handle crowd surfing animations better.
  • Fixed UI and AI bug showing incorrect ability status.
  • Fixed a few visual bugs involving AI doing a sequence of moves.
  • Fixed bug with looping spawn audio.
  • Fixed bug with looping blizzard audio.
  • Added more SFX.
  • All Captains now available in Blitz Royale only.
  • Updated visual FX for Flamespaces and shout.
  • Fixed tutorial animations stopping mid-dialogue.
  • Update minion and captain ability in-game text to reflect latest balance changes.

We’ve got plenty of stuff we wish to add in the coming weeks, and as players pile into the Apex Cup we’ll be monitoring any issues on the hub or our discord.

Categories: Hex Gambit
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Finishing Touches

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We’re just 2 days away from PC launch of Hex Gambit, and we’re still working hard to squeeze in as many finishing touches and bug fixes as possible! Here’s a fresh batch of polish for you.

New

  • New Apex Summit scenery and faction victory cinematics!
  • New Blitz Royale Completion screen
  • Updated Captain selection screen

Improved/Changed

  • Added better support for offline mode
  • There is now a soft cap of 30 games per account simultaneously
  • Brutes can no longer toss characters into a crowdsurf.

Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where hypnotizing a runner would damage them upon movement.
  • Fixed a crashing bug with Motivator AI in Blitz Royale
  • Fixed a bug with Runner’s Hard Surf not unlocking at correct VP on servers.
  • Fixed ranking bug where the profile screen always showed ‘contender’
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to delay game timeouts indefinitely.
  • Fixed an occasional crashing bug in the placement phase
  • Fixed an AI bug where some Captains would attempt to target recently spawned units
Categories: Hex Gambit
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Quality of Life Update

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We’re closing in on launch day, but we’re still not done improving the game! We’re trying to squeeze in as much polish as we can in the coming days, as well as get to the bugs and usability requests that have been lingering on our to-dos for far too long. Hex Gambit launches on Steam October 15th, so tell your friends and get ready for the first real season of Apex Cup! Be sure to drop by our Discord servers and network with other players.

New:

  • Integrated the pillar tapping UI into your action bar. The in-game iconography is now a 3D icon that doesn’t obstruct your other action buttons.
  • Pathfinding has been re-worked from the ground up. Resolves a lot of edge cases where runners and other units would take longer routes rather than favoring crowdsurfing.
  • As a result of new pathfinding, movement highlights now show every space you can move to rather than just your range +1 crowd surf.

Improved:

  • You can now deselect units by clicking anywhere (!)
  • Updated Stadium Visuals

Fixed:

  • Inspire Visualizations now correctly remove themselves in replays
  • Fixed Match History not remembering dismissed games.
  • Intimidate Visuals now disappear correctly if you’ve targeted multiple enemies.
  • Doubletime passive ability now becomes active mid-turn for Brutes if you cross the required VP threshold
Categories: Hex Gambit
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OML Twitches: Episode 21

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Alex and I emerge from our dev bunkers to stream a match in the latest build of Hex Gambit for PC, launching October 15th! Can Alex turn his losing streak around after months of intense coding?

Categories: Hex Gambit, OML Twitches
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