Archive for Updates and Status

We Showed Off Our Games In Front Of Other Oklahoma Game Developers

Every month, there is a meeting of Oklahoma Game Developers. This gives anyone attending an opportunity to show off their projects. So we took some time to show off our progress on Demon’s Hex and our January One Game A Month entry, Dragon Canyon.

We plan on showing off each of our One Game A Month entries at each meeting this year. It gives us a goal and a deadline for completion. Something that we didn’t have last year when we tried it.

You can see everything else that happened at the meetup over at OKGamDev.com.

Demon’s Hex Video Update: Walls, Spinners and Win Screens

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.

New Demon’s Hex Upload

Demon's Hex

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.

Demon’s Hex Now Has Walls

Walls in Demon's Hex Battles Prevent One Space from Attacking an Adjoining Space.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.

Predictability Can Be A Bad Thing In Games

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

First Video Introduction To Demon’s Hex

 

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.

Guess What. I just Won At Demon’s Hex

Demon's Hex WinExciting 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.

Demon’s Hex Game Dev Meetup Updates

Hey everyone. On Thursday, we went to the Monthly Oklahoma Game Developers Meetup. There was a great presentation by Dan Moyer on Visual Perception and how it influences game design. We then showed off Demon’s Hex as it was on Thursday (above). Then David Hartnett of Red Clay Games showed off his online multiplayer space shooter Gravity.

The game has made steady progress since our last update and made even more since the meetup. By Thursday, I had the beginnings of a turn order working. After you placed your token, the enemy would place on of theirs. Each would be highlighted with blue for the player’s tokens and red for the enemy’s.

Demon's Hex BattleHowever at the time there were still a couple of bugs in that. For one, the enemy was not respecting used spaces and would from time to time place a token on an existing one. The other bug is that the token backs representing the enemy’s hand do not disappear in relation with its number of moves.

I have fixed the first bug. It was not the enemy’s fault. Turns out the player was being a bit stealthy with his moves. If the player’s hand had more than one of the exact same token, it would still place those tokens, but the grid array would retain a null value, thus confusing the enemy. You can read more of the bug in detail at this HaxeFlixel forum post.

I am still working on the enemy hand bug but it is a low priority. At this point, I am focusing my attention on getting token interaction going. I need to get this playable soon. I am hoping to have the first playable prototype by mid-August or so. So keep in the loop.

We also have more plans having to do with the Ouya, but I will come out with more details later. I talk a bit about it at the end of the video above, but I would like to have some more in depth information here.

Demon’s Hex Now Glows In The Dark

Demon's Hex Battle ScreenOk. Not really. But I did add a glowing feature to the tokens. This is something that we have wanted to implement in order to make the game development process move along a lot smoother.

What we had originally planned was to have the token border, the portion with the directional attack arrows, be the color designating the player control. However, I had been having a lot of trouble trying to build the tokens on the fly and it just wasn’t working. So what I ended up doing was build a token creation tool that created the full token image with a brown border. All I have to do is enter the token stats and hit save and out pops a cool new token.

The next step was to figure out how to designate who controls the token on the board. Since all tokens have a brown border, something had to be done to highlight ownership. That is where the glowing edge comes from. I was able to get this working thanks to this HaxeFlixel thread.

You can see these glowing borders in action over on the game page for Demon’s Hex. Right now, you only see the blue edge designating player control, but we will add more colors soon. The goal is to have the colors customization to help with accessibility. Right now, I am going to stick with blue for the player and red for the opponent.

This update also has the ability for you to drag and drop tokens onto the game grid. I haven’t had that in since before I started using Flixel. I don’t have player turns set up yet, but that is my next task. This will come with some rather mundane AI at first. Hopefully in the next week or two, you will be able to actually play a match.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the update.

Changing Up Our Forums And Other Stuff

Hello Folks. Its been a while since our last update. We have some changes going on at the moment.

First up, we are changing our forums. Our current setup is Simple Machine Forums which are nice, but don’t integrate well with WordPress. So we are switching to bbPress. bbPress is a WordPress plugin that provides all the forum functionality we need as well as integration with the blog and its users. This means that we will be opening up registration and commenting on our articles so that as soon as we get it working, we can have forum and blog post comments synced.

This switch will also allow for us to use our current blog theme throughout our site. Right now, our forum theme is drastically different and it can be jarring for some visitors. I have never liked it. I think having a consistent theme is part of having a good website experience. So that will be a nice change.

We will have some other updates coming in short order, so keep in the loop. Thank you again for following us.