Backer Reward Updates And Booster Pack Add-On

Cross Posted From Kickstarter.

It has been five days since we launched this campaign and we are really impressed with those who have supported us so far. You guys are awesome.

However, we did realize that our rewards weren’t explained at all really. We can’t believe that we let that slip our minds the way we did. So we have come to tell you what those special rewards are.

The Booster Packs

The booster packs will be pulled from the over 100 tokens we have planned for launch plus the many many more we will add as the game grows. Each token will be assigned a rarity value, common, uncommon, rare and legendary. This value will be based on the token strength relative to the rest. Each pack will contain 6 tokens, 1 rare or legendary, 2 uncommon, 3 common.

The booster packs you get can be redeemed at any time after the game launches. We will not force you to redeem them at the beginning. So if you want to save your packs until we have more tokens in the game, you will have that ability.

Additionally, if you would like to add booster packs to your pledge, you can do so quite easily. For every $1 you pledge above your reward tier, you will be eligible to get 1 extra booster. So if you pick the $5 reward tier and pay $8, you get the 2 boosters that come with the tier plus 3 extras for a total of 5 booster packs.

When we send out the surveys, you can let us know how many you want.

The Badges

We have 5 embroidered patches that backers can get. These will be based on the corresponding tokens in the game. They won’t be exactly the same, as we have color limits, but they will be as close as we can make them. So here are all the badges we have coming to you.

The T-shirt

We also have a t-shirt that you can earn through backing us at $75 or more. This shirt will be a royal blue with our game’s logo across the chest. Here is a mock up of what that shirt will look like.

There you have it. We have a lot more news and updates coming your way as this Kickstarter rolls on. So stay tuned.

First Day Down And An Update About Single Player Mode

Cross Posted From Kickstarter.

We wanted to send a thank you to everyone who has backed Demon’s Hex so far. We really appreciate your support. We are working hard to make this a successful campaign and a successful game.

And to show you more about the direction we are planning on taking Demon’s Hex, we wanted to explore more about the single player RPG mode.

This is where much of a player’s time will be spent. It is in this mode that the players will advance in the story, level up their tokens and earn new tokens for play in the multiplayer portion of the game.

But right now, the story mode contained in the prototype is not much more than a map. So I wanted to provide you an idea of the direction that we will be going with it.

We have been taking part in a one game a month challenge this year. One reason is to better familiarize ourselves with the HaxeFlixel engine but also to expand on ideas we have for features in Demon’s Hex. In June, we explored two features, Tiled Map Editor support and the single player RPG mode. The resulting game is Alex’s Meadow RPG.

Sample of Demon's Hex's Single Player modeWe hope this game gives you an idea of how we want to approach the single player interactions in Demon’s Hex. Each point on the map will feature either a story node or a battle node. In the story nodes, you will have your conversations with NPCs and open up new areas to explore. In the battle nodes, you will fight the evil that has cursed the land.

We really like the idea of allowing the player to walk around the map, but we understand that will not work well with touch screen devices. To that end, we are going to be adding in path finding AI into the game so that the player characters walk to where ever the player touches on the screen.

The portrait window will also see an update. We are going to be changing out that rectangle with a hexagon to be consistent with the game theme. We think that would be a nice touch.

So try out Alex’s Meadow RPG and let us know what you think. Also, please continue to share our Kickstarter campaign with everyone you know.

Announcing: Demon’s Hex Kickstarter

As of today, we have launched our campaign to fund Demon’s Hex. All the details are available at our Kickstarter Campaign Page. So check it out.

From this time forward, we will be posting regular updates over on the Kickstarter page and cross posting them here. We also have a handy widget over in the sidebar to allow you to quickly find the campaign and track it.

Please share our campaign and help fund Demon’s Hex.

June’s One Game Was A Lotta Fun And A Whole Lotta Pain

Alex's Meadow RPGI am really surprised that I completed this one. It was looking like I would be stuck on a couple of really annoying bugs for a time there. But I managed to pull through though.

Alex’s Meadow RPG was a blast to make. This is my first ever RPG. While it is not an RPG proper, there are no leveling, stats or anything like that, it does have that RPG feel to it. There is a lot that would have to be added for this to resemble a real RPG.

But enough about that, let’s talk the game as it is. As you may know from earlier blog posts, this game was based off a level that my son designed. It was really fun watching how excited he was to create the level and then to actually see it turn into a game. Read more

I have made my First HaxeFlixel Contribution

Recently, I have been working on my June One Game. I decided to take the level that my son built and turn it into a quick game. So I did what I thought was all that was needed and pulled it into a HaxeFlixel project. And it borked. This is what I got.

Several Layers Failed To Show.

Compare that to the level my son created.

Alex's Full Blown Tiled Map

I hope you can see the problem. So I turned to the HaxeFlixel forums to figure out what went wrong. Read more

Revisting Let’s Play Videos

cropped-dkgaming_title_long.pngIn the early part of last year, we wrote an article about our thoughts on Let’s Play videos and fair use. This was written in response to Nintendo’s choice to use YouTube’s Content ID system to claim ad revenue on user created videos of their games.

In that we wrote that fair use trumps any claim we may have on video’s depicting our games.

But for us, we don’t think that creating a video of you playing our game is anything but fair use. How can it not be? You are not creating direct copies of our games. So you are not infringing our right to be the sole distributor of our game. The videos are clearly transformative. Meaning, it is not a substitute for people buying our game as watching a video is a vastly different experience than actually playing it. Additionally, the majority of let’s play videos include content, such as commentary, that is not created by us. That is the copyright of the person creating the video. We provided a canvas, they made the painting. That is how we see it.

Because of these thoughts, we chose not to give explicit permission to create let’s play videos of our games because we have no to right to do so.

But now another issue has come up, one that was at issue back then, but didn’t make the headlines as it is now. This issue is whether game developers have any right to claim money made by let’s players. Why is this an issue now? Two reasons.

One is the news that PewDiePie made roughly $4million on let’s play videos last year alone. That is seriously a lot of money. I would love to do something that brought in that kind of cash.

The second reason is Fez creator Phil Fish’s response to that news. On Twitter, he wrote that Let’s Play video creators owe game developers a large portion of any money they make from those videos. This did not go well among a lot of people.

So we gave our general thoughts on this matter last year, but wanted to respond further. So we wanted to answer a few questions about our thoughts on this money issue. Questions are thanks to Oklahoma Game Developers (which I write for and own) Read more

Tiled Map Editor Is Making A Big Difference

Tiled Map EditorSo I have been working with the Tiled Map Editor and I am super excited about using this cool new tool. I already mentioned it when I wrote about my May One Game Project. But I wanted to share some of the cool things I have found when messing around with this tool.

First off, I cannot emphasize more just how darn cool this map editor is. This thing is super easy to use and super fast. I can churn out basic levels in no time. The sample map I am going to show you in this article was tossed together in about 5 minutes. I didn’t have to really work at this at all.

In comparison, my prior efforts to create hand coded levels were a bit convoluted in retrospect. That one took me over an hour to put together.

So let’s explore a sample level I created. This one is inspired by the level I created in my other attempt that I linked above. It isn’t quite the same, though. Read more

A One Game A Month Failure In May

Unfinished Bomberman Clone For May One GAMThis month I set out to create a Bomberman style game. I got the idea from two sources. One was a demo for grid based movement on the HaxeFlixel website. From that demo, I learned of a powerful map editing tool called Tiled Map Editor. Using these, I began work on something that I just was not able to complete.

I feel like I am a broken record on this, but I ran into a wall of time. May was the last month for my wife and I to move everything out of a failed business venture we had. So we were spending every night and weekend I had cleaning and moving things out. As such, I had extremely limited time to work on this game.

However, even though I did not complete my May One Game, I still learned a lot from this one.

May One GAM GameplayThe major thing I learned was about the Tiled Map Editor. Everything in this game, aside from the starting point of the player, was put into this game using the Map Editor. I could have even included the player position in this, but i chose not to as I was building the game.

This Map Editor is extremely powerful and has been added to my permanent set of tools I use for creating games. Every 2D game I make from now on will use this tool for its level creation capabilities. Check it out for yourself to see what I am talking about.

The second thing I learned was how to properly implement grid movement for a player character. Looking at the demo code for the feature it was pretty easy for me to parse out what I needed to do to get it working. This is another feature that will be included in future games and could actually be used to expand my March game Board Game Quest.

This is definitely a game idea I want to complete in the future. I think once fleshed out it could make a great multiplayer game. THe original Bomberman still remains one of the most fun games I have ever played.

So if I find myself able to revisit it, you will not be disappointed. But for now, I have other plns for the month of June.

 

An Easter Themed Game For The Month Of April

Easter Egg TossApril was not one of my best months. I had a very hard time getting to work on games this month due to a lot of other things going on. So when I actually had time to work on a game, and there was little of it to be sure, I went with something very basic.

Easter Egg Toss is about as basic a game as you can get. Colored eggs drop from the sky and you must catch them in the matching basket. Each correct catch gets you one point. But there are black eggs that you have to avoid.

Easter Egg Toss GameplayI really can’t say I am “proud” of this game as it really isn’t up to my usual standards. It is a complete game and provides some kind of challenge, but could use a lot more effort and work to make it something viable. I feel like it was done merely because I obligated myself to making it.

As for what could be done to improve it, That is hard to say. I think completely changing the game mechanics would be in order if I wanted to make a truly fun game. The rearranging of baskets is cute and all, but just doesn’t present a lot of challenge.

On the technical side of things, it would be better if I had set it up to alter the z-index of the baskets based on their y position. I would want all baskets to appear behind the other baskets if they have a lower y value (closer to the top of the screen). This would add a layer of depth the game it is currently missing.

That is really all I have to say about this particular game. I am going to try to do what I can to make May’s game a lot more interesting, unique and fun.

March Into The Dungeons In March’s Board Game Quest

Board Game QuestMarch was a fun month for me. After spending 2 and a half weeks just trying to come up with an idea for a game, I finally got around to making it.

Back in February, I wanted to make a board game but ended up doing something different. The game I wanted to make needed to be timely for a specific event but wasn’t going to be finished in time. So I put it off.

So in March, I decided to scratch my board game itch with a slightly different board game. And thus Board Game Quest was born.

I was inspired to make this particular game after the Lego Heroica line of board games. I own all but one set of that particular game and my son and I love to play them. I think it is a great game and very much would like to make something along those lines as a video game. So this is my first prototype to that end.

The game was a lot easier to make than I had originally expected. Designing the board wasn’t bad at all as it is a simple spiral to the center. I could easily add more to it by expanding the size of the board to be larger than the game resolution. The hardest part of the game board was trying to design board elements that meshed together well. I went through various iterations of walls and spaces until I reach the set you see above. It turned out to be a lot more “brown and grey” than I really wanted, but it was the best I could make.

The characters and monsters were mostly chosen at random. I had no preconceived ideas of what I would do with them once they were put in the game. I just wanted to add variety. But lucky for me, as development advanced, I was able to use the character sprites to add mechanics variety to the game as well.

Once I had the very basics of the game down, I wanted to explore adding abilities to the characters to make them more unique and make choosing them to be an actually thought out choice. So I took the 4 character types I had and the four main aspects of the gameplay and came up with their individual traits.

While these individual traits are not too amazing in a single player match of the game, as I expand the concept and introduce multiplayer, they will become far more important. In a multiplayer match, the goal would be to reach the end and beat the end boss before the others. Which character you choose would help toward that end.

There are a few things I really want to change as I go forward with this concept. The first being the spawning of monsters. Right now, they just appear at random and disappear whether you beat them or not. As I develop out the concept of the game, I would like to leave spawned monsters in place until one player defeats them.

As the game board increases in size, I would also like to add a bit of a random encounter element. So not every move results in a monster, but perhaps only a chance to run into one. As you reach nearer your goal, the greater the chance of one spawning in front of you.

Another aspect I will consider changing is the potions. Right now, it is a single potion, or two in the case of the priest. This is fine in a single player game, but I think it would not work very well for multiplayer. I think a better system would be to replace the potion with a “rest” mechanic. With this, the player can choose to rest instead of move for a turn. Doing so would allow them to recover 1hp. This would allow the player to decide if they want to try moving forward and gaining an advantage over the other players or to rest and live to fight another day. I would change the priest’s ability from 2 potions to recovering 2hp.

One other issue that I have not decided on a proper solution to is the Paladin’s ability. The problem isn’t the ability itself, but its interaction with the final fight of the game. If the player attacks the final boss but loses, they are typically sent back a space and then must roll to move then attack again. The Paladin doesn’t move however and it feels a bit annoying to have to make a movement roll then attack. I guess the same could be said of other characters as well as any roll from one space away is going to pit you against the boss. But that can be a problem for another day.

Overall, I found developing this game to be a fun challenge. It is unique from all other games I have made and has a whole lot of potential. It could be the start of a path that leads to a tactical RPG, something I have wanted to make for a long time.

One final lesson, I would like to share. I really need to begin work on these earlier in the month. I waste a lot of time in the first 2-3 weeks and it cuts into the time I could be using to make these changes I always write about. Had I started work on this a week or two before I did, It could be a full multiplayer board game right now. That would be awesome. However, now that I have this prototype together, that could still happen and it will be great.