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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-

What did the man say when when the witch removed the curse? Hexagon

6 Comments | This entry was posted on Oct 09 2012

This past weekend Anthony went to SIEGE and I playtested the yet unnamed hexagon game.

Even more hexes

We played for a couple hours before I had to leave.

This is what I think so far:

  • The game balance is good. Your advantage can easily be taken away from you.
  • The game can easily take a long time to play to completion. So much so that I am thinking of going to Anthony’s this weekend, starting a game bright and early and not leaving until one of us wins.
  • Even though the game can take a long time to play, no one that has sat down to play it has lost interest, even those compatriots that do not usually care to play games.
  • The game has a good feedback loop and people get engaged in it really easily.
  • The unknown unknowns tend to make players be very cautious. As does the number of items to keep track of.
  • Counting things that are not there is a lot harder than you would think.
  • It is very easy to strike earlier than you should. People can easily force your hand.

Ben right before ripping his hair out. He's bald now.

So far we like the current ruleset, but more testing is needed. After a few more weeks of testing, I will see about a how to play video, maybe sooner if we come up with a good name.

Hexes

4 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 30 2012

So Saturday I was playtesting a new strategy game with a friend of mine.

Hexes1

It was a good game. Stupid moves were made (I fell into my own trap). The advantage went back and forth constantly. We both kept gaining and losing control of the board. I managed to take a path that my friend was making away from him and use it to my advantage. My pal got himself trapped behind enemy lines but that also managed to cut me off from the path I was going to take. In fact, I do not think there was a single point in that game where I did not feel threatened. It was a good game.

Hexes2

Eventually, I conceded, just so I could go to bed. It was five in the morning at that point, after all.

It was his first time playing, and my third, but he picked it up rather quickly.

But what really let me know that we are on to something special is that I have never seen this particular friend of mine drink so slowly. If we are hanging out, usually by that point we are pretty much gone, but not this night. We barely even talked, we were too busy playing.

Hexes3

I cannot wait to test some more.

On Funding

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 10 2012

Ant likes to send me articles. Lots of articles.

Being the good friend I am, I read them all. Maybe not in a timely manner, but I read them.

Recently, he sent me an article advising people to refrain from self-funding. The author says that from their personal experience that self-funding is a bad idea, though explicit reasons are not given for this, and that outside funding is the way to go for everyone.

Now, I used to work at Cardlytics, and one day, I asked Scott Grimes, who used to work in venture capital, what a person needed to get investment from a VC firm. These are the things he told me:

1. Your idea must be attractive to a large market of people.

2. Your idea needs to something that can grow really quickly. Most investors are looking to exit from the investment in 5 – 7 years and are looking for a return of 7 to 1. That is, seven dollars for even one dollar invested.

3. A proven track record. This means that you need to be able to show that you can grow a business. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have started a business before, but that when put in charge of a business, you led it into a period of expansion. It also means that you need to be able to prove that you can provide a product or service in a timely manner. You may have great ideas, but if you can’t produce, then investors aren’t going to be interested.

4. Customer testimonials. You need to be able to provide proof that your idea or your business can meet the needs of your audience. This can be either for your current idea or from business you have grown in the past. Investors want to know about you as a businessperson.

5. A good business plan. Now what constitutes a good business plan? Being specific about who your audience is, what your product or service is, what your needs are, where you need improvement and your realistic expectations of growth along with your rationalization for that expectation.

Even after providing all of that, VC firms only invest in 10 – 15 companies a year. Angel investors even less. The fact is that outside investment is hard to get, and chasing it can pull you away from your business, so don’t let the lack of outside funding deter you from pursuing your business. Most companies are self-funded and by doing so and succeeding even modestly, you will be able to provide those things that investors are looking for.

Nike!

1 Comment | This entry was posted on Jan 17 2012

That was what was yelled after Pheidippides made the run from Marathon to Athens. Nike! Victory!

That was what I felt after a coding marathon with Anthony this past weekend. A lot got done. A whole lot.

I had to start this post over. I started pontificating and that is not the right thing to do here.

I just want to congratulate and thank Anthony on all of his hard work and express how in awe I am of his drive and talent. I am lucky to know you, buddy, not only as a business partner, but as a friend.

If anyone reading this thing does start their own studio, remember, the asset you need most of is not cash, but motivation and discipline (and a quiet place to work helps to).

Thank you again, Ant.

No surprises here

1 Comment | This entry was posted on Jan 11 2012

So, SOPA is getting a lot of press online as of late, and today, and Ant asked me my opinion of it.

This may come as a shock, but I am not a fan.

First of all, because piracy is going to happen. It is a cost of doing business. Someone is going to take your stuff and you have to factor that into your business model. Personally, I do not think that others should bear the burden of an industry being unable to adapt.

But most of all, I believe in the rule of law. Laws such as SOPA strip people of the ability to redress grievances in our courts and allows people to punish others without any burden of proof. The right to trial is a a hallmark of a civilized society. Without the courts we are merely thugs.

And that is what the entertainment industry is asking for our government to do, become thugs on their behalf. This saddens me, because I like to be entertained, but what saddens me more are the people who are supporting this silly, asinine and wasteful bill that will prove to be ineffective at curbing internet piracy.

For our friends in the entertainment industry, please find better ways to deal with piracy than turning the government against your customers.

3 More Predictions for 2012

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Dec 27 2011

So, I am sure one of you, (either of you) read Ant’s predictions for 2012. He is ever the optimist and I love him for that. I, on the other hand, often expect the worst. Not that I don’t believe in us, but I am generally thinking about the things that can go wrong. So, here are my predictions:

1. Ant and I will get into an argument, however, after the shouting and the anger we will work things out and keep this thing going. It’s almost inevitable, as there is a lot of passion in what we are doing.

2. Something will work out better than expected and worse than we hoped.

3. The world will end (here’s hoping).

Still, I do believe in what we got going here. I think that our disparate personalities bring strength to the company. Both of us bring things to the table that the other one needs and that is why we are going to succeed. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but we will, because we want this and are willing to put in the hard work to make it happen.

Happy New Year.