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!

Categories: Prototypes
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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, Uncategorized
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Chillin’

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Having gotten Hex Gambit: Respawned into a launch-worthy state, the project has been passed along to a publishing partner to explore some porting options! This is pretty exciting stuff, but I won’t have details for you until that’s all further along. Check back later for info on platforms, release date, etc.

The porting and certification process will take months, so what’s a One Man Left to do? I’m fixing the odd Hex Gambit bug here and there, but mostly I’m prototyping!

My current experiment: a split screen FPS like the ones I sunk hours into as a kid. Am I serious about making this one? I dunno, but it’s something to play with my nieces and nephews.

I’ll get this prototype into a decent state, and then I’ve got a short list of other project premises to play around with while I wait for Hex Gambit news.

Categories: Hex Gambit, News, Prototypes
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Year of the One Man Left

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2019 is nearly through, and there’s been one man left™ around these parts for about a year now. So how’s that going?

Thanks to YouTube (especially Mathew Wadstein) I learned a skill this year that I’ve been wanting since I was a kid: 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. It was a lot faster and cheaper than college.

I’ll add some art from my Action RPG training project below. The gameplay was pretty fun and I learned a lot, but the amount of time I would need to do all of the boss fights and levels you need for a game like this is a bit much for my first solo project.

So I landed on resurrecting Hex Gambit as a local multiplayer game. I have a bunch of finished art, I own all the music and SFX, and the game design is already solid. That’s not a bad head start. Two months in, I can play with 2-4 players, free-for-all, using a mouse or a controller.

Now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and get something onto a store! Happy New Year to you all, and best of luck in whatever crazy idea you’re pursuing in 2020.

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October Update

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Took a little time this month to work on some finished artwork. Nowadays I draw, model, rig, animate, do particle FX, game design, and visual scripting… It’s a lot of muscles to keep in shape. I do about 10 minutes of gesture drawing to start my work days, but I’d like to try to keep an illustration side project rolling once in a while. That or sculpting in Blender… something artsy that doesn’t take months or years to finish.

In new game news: this month I’ve got a loading/unloading system for level streaming figured out that I think will work nicely. My levels unlock when you meet a criteria, that criteria can vary from level to level without needing separate game over screens, and it plays a little level unlock animation when you get back to the hub world.

I’ve also spent too much time tackling an arch nemesis of mine: boulders. The trick to making nice looking rocks and boulders has always eluded me, and I’ve discovered it’s because I don’t sculpt. I learned how to model doing characters, where edge flow and quads and things like that are important. None of that matters for rocks. Watching sculpting videos has been hugely helpful. I’ve always had an aversion because it’s “just another discipline to learn,” but I think it’s one that would pay dividends if I practiced.

There’s a special circumstance this month that’s causing not a lot of work to happen, but in about four days that’ll all be in the past, and I’ll sit down for a long stretch of too much work. Feast or famine!

Categories: Prototypes
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Update Number September

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The presentability milestone continues!

I’m currently on the tail end of something that often got kicked down the road in our previous games: sound FX! Of the six enemies I have in decent working order, I’m halfway through my fifth character arranging all of the stomps and grunts and death screams. I’ve also polished up all of the weapons with visuals and sound, and I’ve got to say it’s a huge morale boost to finally have some shippable elements to look at. Placeholders and half-done items were a natural part of the learning process, but it was getting depressing to be this deep into development with nothing really feeling done.

Sometime before the year is out I’ll figure out a video capture workflow, so I can show rather than tell. In the Before-Times, Alex used to capture all of the video and I would do the editing, so it’s just another thing to learn and I’ve been putting it off.

Categories: Prototypes
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Update Number… Um, August.

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Still at it! Working on making my solo project presentable for screenshots and video, and this milestone is a frickin’ doozy.

Since you couldn’t really explore the world of Hex Gambit and there were only two environments, most of the textures and assets I used weren’t really modular. That means they couldn’t be easily re-purposed to save time on this new project, which is something I’m hoping to remedy for this game and for games to come by establishing “the” One Man Left aesthetic.

Making standard floors and walls, basic textures for bricks and rocks, stylized particle effects like torch fire and smoke puffs. I’ve never built 3D levels in professional setting or taken any classes, so I’m learning all of this by doing and redoing. I’m sick to death of thinking about boxes and cylinders and meters, but I’ve finally got a decent set of assets and a competent grasp of level assembly.

The hub world is almost in a shippable state, and which will soon make it the first thing in the game I can point at and say “that part’s ready”. After more than 8 months of learning and working on this thing, I’m really looking forward to that feeling.

Categories: Prototypes
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The Announcement Milestone

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The basic gameplay loop and mechanics for my solo project are in, so now I’m working on making things prettier for a formal announcement with a title. Over the next few months I’ll be getting NPCs like Dinky the shopkeeper in and animated, polishing up some existing enemies and effects, and finishing my dialogue & cinematics system to animate the game’s intro.

Above is some WIP promo art to wet your whistle. One day my screenshots won’t be a bunch of gray boxes!

Categories: Prototypes
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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: Prototypes

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: Prototypes
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