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Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2

2 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 03 2013

Whenever renaming something gets discussed, Romeo and Juliet will get brought up. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Recently, we made the decision to rename our boardgame, previously Hexit, to Unbound: Endless War.

This was not a decision made lightly, especially since we have been calling it Hexit for quite some time.

What really surprised me is the number of people who have come forward to tell us how much they liked the old name more. This was surprising because we have heard so often about how we could do better for a name than Hexit.

Personally, I am happy that they cared enough to complain. Don’t get me wrong, the points that were brought up were good ones and did get talked about extensively, but I have to admit that it was kind of flattering to have people get upset over the name change. It shows that they are invested, which gives me high hopes for this game of ours.

To that end, Anthony and I thought it best to take the time to explain our decision. I realize that some people will still prefer Hexit, but hopefully they will appreciate the reasons behind the change. If you are one of those people and would like to discuss it more, feel free to send me an email and I will be happy to continue the conversation.

So, here are the reasons behind the change.

  1. The old title made our hexagon based strategy game yet another game involving hexes with the prefix “hex” in the title.
  2. There is a lot more that is important thematically in the game besides hexes, such as the exploration, the fluid board and, of course, space.
  3. The title Unbound is more appropriate for us to create a game universe around and provides an opening for flavor text.
  4. We hope to one day use this game and the things surrounding or associated with this game on other platforms and media, and having “hex” in the title seemed binding. Sure, having books or movies or television shows in the game world is an extreme long shot for us, but us having gotten this far was a long shot. Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe we will get lucky, and we are making plans for if we do (and plans for if we don’t, but it is good to dream).
  5. We are working on an expansion or two, (multiplayer!), and Unbound: Rebellion or Unbound: Revolution sounded better and seemed to fit more than Hexit: Rebellion or Hexit: Revolution.

Truly, I appreciate everyone’s input. Again, if you still feel strongly about the title Hexit, feel free to contact me.

Thanks to everyone who has shown support for our game.

And if you haven’t played our game, Unbound: Endless War, feel free to download it here. It is pay what you want, even nothing (nothing is fine, we just want you to play).

-James-

Cliche Studio: Hexit, stage right.

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 10 2013
Hexit Strategy Cards

New cards with art

 We’ve updated the Rules for Hexit Strategy and James has rendered a pdf with the rules and print outs for those of us who don’t know us personally to be able to play as well.

Spread of Cards

Spread of Cards

We’ve also included a new special card from the first test version, an explosion hex which reveals and destroys surrounding hexes once it is revealed. Since it reveals the surrounding hexes before it destroys them, this can potentially cause a chain reaction.

Explosion hex

Big Bada Boom.

 

So please if you’ve read the updates before and wanted to try it out yourself, feel free to download the pdf and let us know what you think.

Grimace Half-way Mark

3 Comments | This entry was posted on Oct 04 2012


solely for the half way there line

So we’ve made it a little over halfway through the time left for the grimace kickstarter. I know some of the people I’ve talked to personally are procrastinating because they have time and I’m hoping others are doing the same too, but we’re half way there, only 2 weeks left so go ahead and go for it folks.

In other news I’ve been reading The design of everyday things and User interface design for programmers. Hopefully these two books will help me with making fortunes more straight forward and obvious to people who don’t already know the rules since the most common feedback I get is something that boils down to, “What do I do?”.

Have you played Fortunes yet? If you haven’t take a moment and go play fortunes. If you have please leave us your feedback.

Fortunes update – working on UI

2 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 22 2012

So I got some feedback from reddit that people were confused about what to do when playing fortunes. Surprise to me, I’ve been working with this so long everything seems pretty natural.

So I’ve made two changes recently to help make things more intuitive. I greyed out the cards you can’t play instead of just having there name turn red, and I worked on getting double click support in.

When I added the ability to drag your cards to play them I took out the old click to play. This was to prevent mis-playing cards which was admittedly mostly in preparation for the mobile version. This I think made things less intuitive in the web version. Hopefully this fixes things.

If you haven’t already had a chance or you want to see the new updates please take a chance to go play fortunes now!

Avatar Strength, Luck, and Player Strength

0 Comments | This entry was posted on May 31 2012

I came across an interesting post about different factors of success on reddit today which was pretty thought provoking. Avatar Strength doesn’t have much to do with any games we’ve made as of yet but there is a balance of luck and player skill to fortunes.

 

Earlier on in the project I was concerned about things potentially being too far on the luck side of things for fortunes but James reminded me that it makes sense thematically to be a bit more on the luck side of things for fortunes then I’d normally be comfortable with doing. So yes there is luck to fortunes, but that just makes your victory all the more exciting when you come from behind with poor luck to win anyway.

 

In other news I am almost done with the NGUI overhaul for fortunes, it is looking much better now and I’m getting excited about the progress. Would any of you readers be interested in trying it out before we release it into the wild for a public alpha?

Our foray into the Edge create unity3d competition

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Mar 20 2012

Since we are ahead of schedule with programming for fortunes we are entering the Edge Create Challenge

Edge create

Edge Create Challenge 2012

We came up with a game for their theme of ‘edge’ that we’re tentatively calling Just Deserts. It is about a struggle to preserve an ecosystem on the verge of dying out. We’ve got a good working prototype with programmer models going on right now.

Beautiful programmer models

Are any of you taking part in the edge competition? Let us know in the comments!

90% syndrome

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jun 16 2011

The software developers among readers should all know exactly what I mean with this title. You get a project going, get some great momentum, and get almost done. Then bam, well this isn’t quite right and you need to back up, or boom you need to slow down and polish that a little bit, etc.

So it is with pleasure and pain that I say that Marco Polo is approximately 90% complete with its first iteration. A slew of issues seem to have veritably conspired to slow me down including some hard drive problems(Thank god for svn).

Please forgive the bluriness

Marco Polo on an actual phone

Despite the slow down this is still very exciting times. In the next few months we will finish up our alpha version of Marco Polo, head down to birmingham for play on con and begin formalizing our designs for the next game(we have at least 4 more planned out but we can start hammering out more specific details based on what we learn from the current project).

So readers, where do you usually get android apps from? Let us know in the comments!

Screenshot Saturday

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Apr 10 2011
rough version of menu screen

First draft of a menu screen. It will get prettied up later.

So I’ve managed to get taking screenshots from the phone itself worked out instead of just capping my whole screen in the emulator. I’ve got all the necessary extra screens working for the most part but decided to share screen shots before moving on to the final one.

create game dialog

Thankfully the interface does not rely on my artistic talents!

Some of the screens are still need more labels and formatting, but I am focused on functionality right now. James has an artist who has offered to help with some of the polishing for the interface and I may get Gina to help us out too.

will be a display list of games

Choice 1-3 will be game names in the future

This simple list screen ended up being a lot more trouble then it should have been. I originally tried to get it to be in a dialog like the create game screen but android’s internal support for lists is only presented in the form of a whole new activity. After having gone through the motions once I may go back and make the create game screen it’s own activity as well.

hilighted version of the game list screen

You have chosen....wisely!

No country for old screenshots

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 07 2011

So Despite labeling the last screenshot post screenshot Saturday, there was no updated screenshot this past weekend. Unfortunately there wasn’t much graphically different between the two days. In addition to the coding work on this project, I’m trying to design this site to make it look better, and working a full time job to boot.

My point here isn’t to complain about my schedule but to talk about what isis getting done. I have two somewhat tricky commands left to implement and then we get to start working on the user interface. I am also organizing the project and investigating rally to help get things more streamlined going forward.

Are any of you game designers or programmers? Leave a comment and share what you use to organize your projects/programs and whatnot. We’d love to hear from you!

The Man Who Sold the World

5 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 16 2011

Not too long ago, I read an article about the development of economics in games:
Everybody Wants to Own the World

Mostly, the article discussed about how a world’s economics are becoming more a part of games, but also how developing cash sources are becoming more important than other aspects of character building.

One snippet caught my attention, though, “Eventually, I am overflowing with cash, which now allows me to get into all of that expensive equipment relatively easily since I now have the cash to be the hero that I need to be.”

You see this a lot in games, so much so that in every game I can think of where you have to buy goods, eventually you can become so flush with cash that nothing is beyond your reach, and this bugs me. True, a person can do this in the real world, but it is a lot harder (trust me).

One of the reasons why it is so easy in games is that money only has value for one person in the game-world, the player. No one else needs money. Sure, shops ask you for it, but nothing is done with it. It just disappears. Since there is no need for money outside of the player, prices never change, allowing the player to amass vast fortunes that do nothing for the player after they get whatever the most kick-ass equipment exists in the game.

Such is true even in games like Fable III. (Spoilers) After you take over, the world needs cash, so you have to raise it either one way or another. This may sound like this would be pretty cool, except that it is easily done. Just buy up the world and wait. Since the game doesn’t advance until you advance it, but your money accumulates based upon how long you play, you can just sit and wait and you will eventually have all the money you need and them some. And after you get enough money to put into the treasury, what do you do with the money you continue to accumulate? Nothing. Nothing at all. Sure, you can buy all of the equipment in the world, but that won’t even put a dent into your vast fortune. Plus, as an added bonus, the kingdom never needs money again.

Though that may appeal to some people, I see it as a problem. As such, I have a few ideas as to make this a non-issue:

1. Make the player character need more things than equipment. Make it so that they need to eat regularly. This will make it so that the player has to spend money regularly.

2. Necessitate upkeep and maintenance of properties. Fable III did this, though it was too cheap. I would also include the development of properties.

3. Have prices change based on supply and demand. Now, this is a bit more difficult, as you have to have a system in place to determine supply, a system in place to determine demand, and a system in place to determine how much money is currently in circulation. This will make it so that players will have to manage their money much more closely.

4. If you run a country or town or whatever, a system for tax rates, as well as upkeep and development costs. This is something I would have very much liked to have seen in Fable III. I mean, why can’t I keep the orphanage and turn one of the money properties I own into a brothel? Why not better develop Mourning Wood? How about restoring the fort to keep the Hollowmen at bay?

5. Speaking of property develop, military development as well. Even though I never control the army in Fable III, since I have insane amounts of cash, I would have gladly spent it all just to give them the nicest uniforms and equipment, even if it didn’t affect the game. Why? Just because I could.

6. If you own a ton of properties and shops, or have a staff, or an army, their salaries should be an ongoing cost.

These are only a few of the ideas that come to mind. Are they easy? Not really. Are they worth it? Absolutely, they will keep me playing, and the more I play, the more likely I will buy DLC.

Still, though I applaud the inclusion of economics in games, I believe that it should be as richly developed as all other aspects. Otherwise, at some point it becomes forgettable or useless.

-James-