I have finally gotten back into my groove with Demon’s Hex. This is after a long while where I decided to take a quick breather and try out some other stuff. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get a game up and running on the Ouya like I had hoped. Many of the snags I hit there had a lot to do with my knowledge of HaxeFlixel. Not that it was anything bad about the technology, it is just that I have not quite figured it out enough to get where I need to be.
So I have taken up Demon’s Hex again and boy did I run into a wall. HaxeFlixel released its version 3 during this brief respite. And with that update came a whole lot of changes to some of the core functionality of Demon’s Hex. There were three big changes that tripped up Demon’s Hex.
The first was with the way to embed a custom font. Demon’s Hex uses a font called Solemnity which gives it that nice look. But with the new update, the ability to add a custom font was removed on accident. Thankfully the fine folks working on HaxeFlixel were able to quickly add that functionality back, although in a very different fashion. I still need to make some tweaks to the display of text as now everything is offset from where it needs to be.
The second problem was with animation. Previously, I was using a function called goToAndStop to run an animation to a specific frame and end the animation. However, the new version of HaxeFlixel uses a very different way of animating sprites and goToAndStop was decommissioned. I had to figure out a custom solution that duplicated the behavior. This is working as needed now.
The final problem was with the glow effect around the tokens when placed on the board. This one was the most difficult to figure out after the change. This was a highly different process from before. It required some extensive rewriting and experimentation to get functioning correctly. I spent many hours working on it. I just finished this up this morning and I am happy with the result.
Overall, I like the changes that were made to HaxeFlixel. The new organization of the class files should make developing games with the technology far easier in the future. I had just not been keeping up with the development of it like I should have been. Had I actually been watching these updates, I probably would have been able to anticipate and account for these changes earlier.
I am now moving one to working on the actual story mode of the game. I think for now the battle portion works as a very close approximation of the final game. So it is time to give other parts of the game the love they deserve.
/ Tags: Demon's Hex
Not long after posting my article on selling an Ouya exclusive Kickstarter, Ouya changed all the rules on me. It was a very good thing too. Now, pretty much all the thought and planning that went into pulling off a successful $50k Kickstarter has been rendered useless, for the better.
The big changes are to the minimum funds needed to be raised and the exclusivity of the game. No longer will I need to try to raise $50k to get matching funds; I can now raise anything over $10k. This is a great thing as it will allow me the comfort of focusing on a smaller game project. Something I think can be more doable than a full $50k project.
With the change in exclusivity, I no longer need to worry about convincing PC backers to wait an extra 6 months. They can get the game right alongside the Ouya backers. The only people who need to wait are other microconsoles and mobile users. Not really a big deal there. Even then, they only need to wait 1 month times the number of $10k chunks that Ouya backs up to 6 months.
So what does this mean for Divine Knight Gaming? Well, it means two things.
The first is that it means that we have a far better chance of getting matching funds for any project we might do. The lower barrier will help us put together a project we feel good about and feel would be able to reach at least $10k.
The second is that we will have a lot more competition. With that lower barrier, a lot more game projects will be vying for a chunk of the pie. So by the time we are ready to introduce our Kickstarter, we may be gunning for a much smaller chunk of the pie than we initially expected. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Frankly, I am more excited about the Free the Games Fund now than I was two weeks ago. It feels more doable and open to me now. I am still not sure how I want to approach it just yet, but I certainly want to try hard at getting a game prototype or two out there to see what feels right. We will just have to wait and see.
So there has been a lot of disappointment over the Ouya Free The Games Fund. I am a little disappointed in how Ouya has responded to the controversies that plague the program as well. I won’t hide that. However, I think some of the complaints are not warranted.
Specifically, I think the complaint that it is impossible to sell an Ouya exclusive Kickstarter is kind of baseless. While the complaint that it is difficult to raise $50k in any Kickstarter is sound, it is not impossible. So it is with the Ouya exclusive nature of the Kickstarter, if it is sold correctly. Read more
I am taking a break from Demon’s Hex development to get something else going. Ouya is currently running a Free The Games Fund in which they are pledging $1million in matching funds to successful Kickstarters that raise $50,000 or more in exchange for 6 months Ouya exclusivity. Frankly, this deal is tough to say no too.
So I am going to be prototyping some potential games for play on the Ouya. I will be putting together one prototype this week. And will be doing some others over the course of the next few months.
I have a few goals with this program. First is to learn to make an Ouya game. I want to be able to develop something that plays on the Ouya with the Ouya controller.
The second is to make a 1-4-player game. The main draw of the Ouya is to be able to play local multiplayer. This can be co-op and competitive. Some of the best Ouya games so far have a strong focus on local multiplayer. So that is what I want to do.
The next goal is to release a full game on the Ouya. I do not want to shoot straight for the matching funds. That makes little sense for an unknown development house such as us. So I want to find a game that works, is simple, is fun and is multiplayer. Then I will release it and use that experience to work on something larger for the funds.
These matching funds will be available till August of 2014 or until the funds run out, whichever comes first. Hopefully the funds last till the beginning of next year, which is when I see myself being able to launch my Kickstarter.
So far, my first prototype is coming along nicely. I have basic keyboard controls for a single player running and will be implementing the other gameplay mechanics over the next couple of days. Then toward the end of the week, I will be making the port to the Ouya and test out the controls.
Of course, this first prototype might take me a couple of weeks to get operational on the Ouya, but other prototypes will most likely not take as long as the hard work of learning the platform will be done.
So, wish me luck.
Hello everyone. I have uploaded a new video showing off the latest updates to the game. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the game this past week, but there is still some progress being made.
This video shows off a few of the new features since the last video. In it, you get to see a bit about the creation of the spinner that determines which player goes first. This spinner design will also be implemented in battles between tokens that have the same power. It doesn’t work yet, but the spinner does show the winner in one to one matches. The beginning of the video shows off the Dice Test that I used to create the spinners.
The next feature is the walls. These are put between spaces on the board that prevent two tokens from attacking each other. These can be used strategically by you and your opponent to gain the upper hand.
Finally, there are some win/lose/draw/perfect screens now that give you the opportunity to play again. These screens will be expanding in the future to include more features and information.
That’s it for today. I think the next video will be an inside look at token creation. So look for that soon.
I uploaded the latest version of Demon’s Hex to the website. You can play it over on the Demon’s Hex page.
This version incorporates the walls feature and the starting player dice/dial thingy. There is also the beginnings of a dial system showing the battles that take place when taking part in battles between equal powers.
That last feature, while functional, is not complete. I want to get to where it shows off each challenge in order rather than all at once. Not sure how to tackle that at the moment. So for now, it just points to the winner of the battle.
Finally, there is a very basic win/lose/draw state that lets you relish in your victory or wallow in your loss depending on how the tokens fall. From these screens you can start a new match or go back to the main menu.
There is also what is listed in the main menu as a “dice test”. This is just a series of buttons and a token that spins when clicked. I used it to test out the dial animation that I use in the game. Just something interesting I thought I would leave in for now.
I still have a ways to go, but at this point, I think working on the enemy AI is probably the best bet. The enemy is still pretty lousy. Sometimes it gets lucky and actually wins, but most often, it just plays stupidly.
I hope that you enjoy the latest update.
I am surprised at how easy it was to implement these things, but I have added an additional feature to Demon’s Hex. I had wanted to add some type of wall or block between spaces in order to add an additional bit of challenge to the game. So I did it.
What these walls, the grey bars between spaces, do is prevent an attack from one space to an adjoining space. If you look at the screen shot, the Dark Knight in the top middle space was unable to attack the Heads in the second row second space because of the wall between those two spaces blocked her attack. This will allow for an additional challenge to players to work with when playing the game.
While early in the match, it may not matter, the later in the match you go, the more troublesome the walls will be. Especially if you have few tokens that can attack from the openings. These walls will result in prefect games being even more rare.
It turned out these walls were a lot easier to implement than I had originally thought. But as I started fleshing out the concept, it all became a simple on/off check. I had all the other checks already in place.
I am still experimenting with a good balance of walls that are fun, unique and not too limiting. so far it seems that around 5 or six walls dispersed on the board is more than enough. Any number more than that becomes too challenging.
I had originally considered just randomly dropping some on the board but realized that I would probably go crazy trying to make sure that certain spaces are not walled off completely. So I will be creating a certain number of predefined wall layouts to use in the game. Which one you get and how challenging it is is up to chance though.
As I was working on Demon’s Hex, I came to realize something that might have been a bad thing for the longevity for the game. It was way to predictable. Every move you made as the player had a very predictable and obvious outcome. That was not good.
Why is that bad, you might ask? Well, let me tell you about it. The game has some very basic rules. You place a token on the board. Whichever sides has an arrow, the token will attempt to attack that side. If your attack power was higher than the defender’s power, you won and captured the token. If it wasn’t you didn’t capture it.
That is when I saw the flaw. When the attacker’s attack power was the same as the defender’s power, the defender won by default. While not a huge deal, this rule reduced the fun of the game. There are a whole heck of a lot of times when the player will have only tokens with the same attack power as the enemy.
So I decided to change the game up a bit. I decided to roll the dice, so to speak, on those scenarios. However, instead of a simple flip of the coin, I decided to make a dial with various weights depending on the actions taken. Let’s take a look: Read more
Demon’s Hex has made significant progress since the last time I showed it off. Now I have put together a video walk through of the game as it is now. The video discusses everything that the game has going for it. Just go over to the product page and play it yourself.
Exciting news everyone! I not only just played Demon’s Hex, but I also won a few battles! This is big. This is the first time this game has been playable in any way, shape or form. Not only can you play it over on the product page, but you can also win!
There is still a lot of luck to the game though. You start off with a random selection of tokens, which may or may not be good. The enemy does as well and they may or may not be better than yours.
The enemy AI is still weak. It still just takes a random token from its hand and puts it in a random empty space, but it can be tricky though. Sometimes it can place a random good token in a random good spot and take your lead toward the end.
I am really getting excited about developing Demon’s Hex. This is the most progress I have made in a while and I really look forward to expanding it and making it far better.
I hope you guys enjoy it. If you want to help out in development of the game, I am taking donations over on the right. Just click the Paypal “Donate” button. Any little bit helps. While you won’t get any real perks right off, you will get the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping a budding indie dev grow.