About this project
Hex Heroes is a multiplayer real time strategy game for Wii U where up to 4 players share the TV harvesting resources, building structures, fending off enemies, and exploring dangerous territories. Another player uses the gamepad to manage resources and teammates, make executive decisions, and survey the land from a bird’s eye view. Hex Heroes can be played solo, but we’re sure you’ll want to wrangle up some friends to join in!
Developed in Unity, Hex Heroes first began as a contender in a local game jam in the Summer of 2013. Game jams are weekend-long events in which teams of all sizes gather together to quickly develop a game in just 48 hours. Jamming is a ton of fun, and it really tests one’s limits for delivering a compelling experience. During the jam, we were able to develop what is seen in the video, and while it was only a tiny slice of what we wanted to eventually deliver, we felt we were able to convey the idea of a party/real time strategy game. With your support, we can fully commit ourselves to the project! We will deliver something polished, something fun, and something the Wii U was made for!
Hex Heroes is like nothing you've ever seen before. For fans of the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) genre, imagine playing a classic game like Warcraft or Age of Empires - you have the world at your fingertips, units to command, and a city to build and fortify by using the gamepad. Those units, however, are your teammates on the couch. They play on the TV in split screen, helping you carry out the decisions you make. It’s going to take a lot of cooperation between the 5 of you to strategize and succeed, but that’s exactly where the fun is. The party aspect derives from the chaos and shenanigans that are likely to ensue, but when you combine your strengths and different viewpoints, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment - assuming you’ve not ruined friendships along the way!
We all enjoy playing games our own way, and with Hex Heroes’ different game modes, you'll find the style that's comfortable and fun for you. We're starting off with two modes that can be played both cooperatively and single player. Lair Mode tasks you and your team to uncover and seal enemy lairs, while Horde Mode challenges you to protect the townspeople from oncoming waves of enemies for as long as you can. More modes will be unlocked as you help us reach our stretch goals!
It doesn't stop at game modes. Utilizing the Wii U's unique features, Hex Heroes offers asymmetric gameplay using the Wii U Gamepad. Gamepad players see an overhead view of each of the players on the TV. With the touch interface, they can select individual players to upgrade their stats, or construct a number of buildings that power up all the players. The Gamepad is the perfect fit for strategists who want to manage and command. All the while, the TV players harvest resources for the gamepad, fight enemies, and complete objectives. If you’re a more hands on action-y player, the TV is for you.
Prefer single player? We’ve got you covered! In single player, the gamepad will still have you carrying out executive decisions and managing resources via the touchscreen, but you’ll also control 2 different characters on the field. As a single player, you have the advantage of knowing everything, but you won’t have the help of your friends. It’s an entirely different experience, but one that's enjoyable all the same!
Want online play? You got it! Hex Heroes will initially feature an online battle mode for single player! We understand there are few games on Wii U that feature online play, and we want to personally grow that library. You’ll be able to take to the online battlefield in 1v1 matches that put your gamepad and TV juggling skills to the test!
We’re certain Hex Heroes will earn a spot in your co-op hall of fame, but you don’t need to take our word for it. A bunch of our fellow indie devs think so too! They’ve graciously approved their awesome game mascots to be included as additions to the Hex Hero crew and we could not be happier. Cameo characters will serve as costume swaps for our existing classes, but have their own personalities and animations. You'll have as much fun playing as them as we’ll have Hexifying them!
So far, cameos include:
- Alicia of Heart Forth, Alicia
- Zoya of Trine
- Egoraptor of Game Grumps
- Danny of Game Grumps
- Ross of Game Grumps
- Juan of Guacamelee
- Max of Mutant Mudds
- Shovel Knight
- Rusty of SteamWorld Dig
- Lady Faye IV of Rogue Legacy
- Subject W of Paradise Lost: First Contact
- Cyrus of Wizorb
- The Drifter of Hyper Light Drifter
When starting a match or mission, TV players will have the ability to choose 2 classes to play at once, having the ability to swap out on the fly. Like range and stealth? Then go with the Rogue/Archer combo. Have a taste for full on support? Match up the Woodcutter and Scout. Want to be a well rounded team player? Go Knight/Woodcutter. Having 8 classes lets each player create their own unique character and role on the team. Finding your strengths with given classes will come in time, and knowing how your whole team functions will serve you well when deciding to assemble your crew. It’s all about balance and strategy. We want teams to really think about a playstyle before hitting the battlefield, and 8 classes makes the possibilities almost unlimited! Here's a little peak at how the classes differ:
Class voting has ended! Below are Hex Heroes 8 classes as decided by our wonderful backers!
We’re developing Hex Heroes with all ages in mind. As a core gamer, you can become really skilled with your favorite class combo and take your strategies to the battlefield, while your little brother/sister/son/daughter can play on the TV hacking and slashing and helping you out on the gamepad. With the gamepad and asymmetric gameplay, Hex Heroes will be able to cater to all levels of skills and will have something for everyone. We’re core gamers at heart, but with the Wii U, we’ve been able to include our family or friends that aren’t as skilled but have just as much fun - we’re looking to replicate that feeling of inclusion.
We take our visual quality very seriously and when it comes to games, we like style. The board game look was inspired by our desire to breathe life into something that otherwise might feel lifeless.
For instance, little model figurines may appear simple, but they’ll move and feel like they’re alive.
With a hand-painted appearance, we want to capture an experience of playing a living board game! Please keep in mind that what’s seen in the video is only a couple days of work - with your help, we’ll be able to make the visuals truly sing and Hex Heroes will look as good as it will play.
Check out a preview of how our art could look in game!
UPDATE #17: A Peek into Development
Hex Heroes’ little figurines and magical lands are all about taking us back to playing with toys as kids. Who better to score our game than the composer who scored much of our childhood gaming, Grant Kirkhope! With such memorable adventures as Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64, to more epic ones like Kingdoms of Amalur, we’re wanting to strike a harmonious medium. We’re absolutely thrilled to have Grant on board, and we hope our game’s soundtrack will find a cozy little spot in your memories alongside Banjo and Kong. Have a listen to one of our favorite tracks from Kingdoms of Amalur!
If you liked that, check out the rest of Grant's awesome work - Music of Grant Kirkhope
Game development is a dynamic thing and the more donations we receive, the more we can add to the experience. Anyone who backs Hex Heroes will get to vote on the order of some of the stretch goals. This way, you’ll get to decide, and therefore guarantee, that the game we deliver is to your liking! We've already held the first vote, and the backers have spoken! Here's how the stretch goals are shaping up:
Local Versus Mode & Journey Mode
In Local Versus mode, it's Gamepad vs. TV players (1v4)! The Gamepad takes on the role of overlord of monsters, spawning hordes and coordinating attacks on the TV players. TV players must fully cooperate to defeat the omnipotent gamepad opponent! They will have to take up the mantle of fortifying their town and harvesting resources on their own as they simultaneously fight to survive the Gamepad’s waves of enemies. If the town falls, the Gamepad wins, if all the monsters’ lairs are discovered and destroyed, the TV players win.
In Journey Mode, your team must get from point A to point B. Oh, did we mention there will be hordes of enemies and obstacles in your way? You'll need to find your path and overcome the obstacles to make your way to the objective. Go for the gold by achieving the high score!
Multiplayer Online and Miiverse Support
We've been listening and have already included a single-player online mode. For online play, the biggest concern for any indie game on a console is the number of people playing simultaneously. And Hex Heroes also has to deal with different party sizes. But if this goal is met, we'll be developing a multiplayer mode where you can pit your team against another.
In addition, we'll add features to support Miiverse. Collect stamps and post your best photos and art. We're also exploring the possibility of a way for you to interact with your friends in-game similar to Dark Souls or Wind Waker HD.
PC Online Enabled
We know the Wii U will be the ultimate way to experience this game, but we also know it’s doable on PC. It won’t be quite the same experience, but we don’t want to shut anyone out who’s eager to play the game. This also opens Hex Heroes up to a wider audience, which potentially means more backers and more content. That's why we've announced a PC version will be included in the initial goal! :D
Here are the details on how the PC version will work: UPDATE #10: Wherefore Art Thou PC Port
So what does "PC Online Enabled" mean? Because the gamepad view is such an integral part of the experience, it will require at least two computers. This means we will create a networking component so you can connect and play with your friends, as well as voice chat. So whether you have 4 players on one machine or 5 computers across the world, we'll try to recreate this unique gameplay experience.
Map Maker and Sharing
The tools to create and share your own worlds! Make impossible gauntlets or peaceful meadows. Once you’re done with your masterpiece, share it with the world!
Extras and Bonuses!
- Online Leaderboards: Are you boasting the fastest time to seal all the hexes in your neighborhood? Did you slay 1,000 enemies in Horde Mode? Share your accomplishments in the online leaderboards.
- Music Player: Dig those crazy Kirkhope tunes in-game, jukebox style!
- Developer Commentary: Listen to us talk about our labor of love. We’ll share stories and trade some laughs. It’ll be like a developer sleepover!
- Collectible trophies (a la Smash Bros., including a “backers” trophy featuring all our in-game backers), secrets, easter eggs, and more!
We’ve thought long and hard to make sure there’s a reward tier for everyone! Most rewards are inclusive of previous tiers, so check out their description for details.
If you don't have a Wii U and still want to support our project, your $10 pledge will get you a copy of the soundtrack plus all the goodies in our Digital Grab Bag (PDF instruction booklet/Wallpaper pack/Name in credits/Papercraft, and now digital art book). This offer is not included in subsequent rewards.
Digital Art Book
We've been blown away at the number of backers who have increased their pledges. To show our gratitude, we are including a digital Art Book at the $20 reward tier and above.
Here's a preview of how bases will look for those who reach the respective reward tiers! Pledge high enough and you'll be able to show off a bronze, silver, or gold base when you play (online too!)
Interested in backing at the $250 level for a 3D print? Check out all the juicy 3D print details here!
1 Year of Tutoring
At $4,000, you’ll get 100 hours of personal time (through Livestream/Skype) with Mario as he works with you to develop your art skills! 2 hours a week of one-on-one, online tutoring can be yours for the next year. You’ll build a portfolio as well as a rapport, and who knows, by the end you might just be ready to work in the industry! On top of that, during the year, Mario will critique any work you send his way and help you refine your talent. It’s a fraction of the price of a year of school and far more personal too!
Tutoring involves starting with foundational 2D and digital painting/concept art and moving into 3D modeling and texturing. Does not involve rigging and animation.
*Must have access to a drawing tablet/computer (such as Wacom) and Photoshop*
One-of-a-kind Canvas Art
We’re adding two new rewards for you art aficionados. Mario’s personal work can now be yours - but act fast, there’s only 2 pieces available! Both are acrylic on canvas and inspired by video gaming, and either can be yours at a $450 pledge (includes shipping, US only).
Have a look at the rewards overview!
Our roots for gaming run deep, and we’re dedicated to not only recreating the sense of wonder video games provided us as kids, but also innovating and delivering new experiences at the same time. We’re all gamers at heart.
Mario Castañeda - Cofounder and creative lead of Prismatic, Mario has been involved in game development for over 6 years with a BA in computer science from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and a BA in game art from the University of Advancing Technology (UAT). His most famous work is his contribution of the art in the award winning game, The Bridge.
Grant Kirkhope - The BAFTA-award nominated composer of your childhood! Grant’s contributions to the game industry date back to the 90’s with his earliest work on Killer Instinct 2 and Goldeneye 007.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is delivering a tight and polished game. The development process for video games is very iterative, and Hex Heroes will be no exception. There’s a lot going on in our game with 1 player on the gamepad and 4 on the TV all doing different things, and so we need to ensure the game is not just balanced for every role, but also fun. Of all the tasks involved, polishing and balancing will take the most time, and we’ve accounted for that in our Kickstarter goal.
If we reach our initial goal, stretch goals aside, you can be rest assured we’ll have delivered a fun and working product. Fear not, our team is an experienced one, with over 5 shipped products total across various platforms and years of development under our belts.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It's not. That's a mistake made when we first put together the campaign and there's no way to edit reward tiers after they've been accepted.
The $50 Wii U tier, will be made available anywhere the eShop is available. Thank you.
Okay, a PC port is a bit of a misnomer. Our biggest concern with a PC version has always been losing the experience that is tailor-made for the Wii U. So we wouldn't be porting the game, we'd be revamping it to fit the PC platform. Our solution, as detailed in the stretch goal's description, is to set up a connection between at least two computers (up to 5) - one acts as the gamepad, and the others are players on the field. This would also require voice chat if you're playing online.
That stretch goal is all fine and good, because it details the multiplayer version of Hex Heroes on PC.
We have announced a PC version that will be available immediately when we reach the initial goal. This version will have the single player modes plus local co-op for up to 3 players, all on one screen - the gamepad view takes the bottom portion of the screen, and the top half is split between two players on the ground. You can find a mockup of the PC version here:
What’s this “asymmetric gameplay” you keep mentioning? Is that some new thing all the kids are doing?
Asymmetric gameplay is the concept of 2 or more people participating in one game, but having completely different experiences. In New Super Mario Bros. U, up to 4 people can run around, stomp goombas, and save the princess, all while someone else holds the gamepad and assists in placing helpful blocks or unveiling secret items. Asymmetric gameplay brings a whole new level of cooperation to gaming, and in case you couldn’t tell, we’re excited about it!
While we would love to deliver local co-op online as well, we can only promise single player at our initial funding goal. Local co-op online would require a good amount of balancing in terms of matchmaking - we would want it to be fair if a team of 3 is paired up to battle a team of 5. That means extra care and attention to details, but you can bet we’ve got a stretch goal for that lined up. *wink*
No reason. I think we’ve developed a twitch or something… all of us… collectively...
While we’ve thought about how a port would work on these platforms, we can’t guarantee anything. If success on the Wii U affords us the time to port the game, and the demand is high enough, we will. But right now, the Wii U gives its gamers the most natural experience we want to deliver out of the box, and so we’re targeting that first.
We believe in Wii U. We’re all Wii U owners and are sold on the potential the gamepad affords party play. There’s so much interaction that’s yet to be experienced in games, and we’re certain Hex Heroes will make groundbreaking use of asymmetric gameplay.
If the campaign’s successful, after the game’s launch you’ll be free to purchase the soundtrack from Grant himself or through backing enough to reach the first level reward tier.
We’re hoping to include the common European languages from the beginning (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish). If interest and support is high, we’ll definitely translate to more!
If you pledge at the $15 tier (or $10 Early Bird) you'll receive the code for the platform indicated in the reward description (either Wii U or PC). For reward tiers above that, you'll choose which platform you want to receive when we release the survey after the Kickstarter ends. At the $50 tier (or $45 Early Bird) you will receive 1 code for the platform the reward indicates and you'll be able to choose either platform for your 2nd code. For reward tiers above that, you'll choose the platforms for both your codes in the survey at the end.
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