We’re back from GX3 and it was a blast!
First, thanks to your Twitter votes, we placed third in the Intel competition and won a Dell Venue tablet! It also serves as a little more publicity for Hex Heroes. Thank you so much for your votes!
Despite a few hiccups involving controllers and button mapping that our star programmer, Brendan was able to iron out back at HQ, Hex Heroes saw a lot of attention and was pretty well received! Take a look.
Last night we attended a demo night sponsored by the Phoenix chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). It's always helpful to get the game in front of developer eyes as well to get their particular brand of feedback. Hex Heroes was warmly received and everyone can see the potential as it becomes a more realized game.
In addition, we met another of our backers! It's great to get the game into your hands, even when it might be riddled with bugs. Your support keeps us going, we don't want to let you down, Heroes.
With all of the feedback and plenty of notes we took from both events, here’s a quick breakdown of some of things we’ll be tackling moving forward.
One of the biggest problems was that we needed to explain almost every aspect of how to play. Because Mario and Chris are not included in each purchase of Hex Heroes, our challenge now is making the game more intuitive. Thankfully, a lot of this will come from some much needed changes to the UI and a tutorial.
Hero Expectations and Toys
Even though the game is cooperative, some players wanted to fight each other. In game development, we refer to certain mechanics that are fun to do but don't always contribute to gameplay as "toys." A great example of a toy is the ability to slap your team mate in Rayman Legends. Including a way to playfully brawl with your friends in Hex Heroes, as well as other toys, is something we’ll definitely include if we have time.
Currently, combat is pretty straightforward, but not very elegant. Outside of mashing the attack button, there’s not a lot of complexity. Our system for landing combos is based on timing, but since enemy attacks can be interrupted quite easily, there’s no incentive for successfully combo-ing or no punishment for not. We’ve known combat to need a hefty amount of polishing, but it was very helpful watching it more in action.
At GX3, unless someone expressly wanted to play the commander, we guided players to pick up controllers and play as heroes. This was mostly for simplicity’s sake, but it helped us realize how little we felt engaged while playing as the commander. We’ve wanted to include more interaction from the commander since the project’s inception, but again seeing the need in practice, rather than solely on paper, helped us know better which directions to take.
Our next steps are optimizing the game for the Wii U. We've yet to figure out the cause of our frustrations, but every way we can optimize will help us out in the long run. Thankfully, we have plenty of ideas on how to trim the game’s fat - once we really dive into that process, we’ll have a much better understanding of where we’re at.
Let’s wrap up this update with some pictures of some of our favorite cosplay we saw at GX3!