Unbound Progress

I am happy to announce that people have been not only picking up the game but writing about it. A google search for “hexit strategy”(the old name of the game) turns up two postings:

A detailed breakdown of the game

and

A more casual deconstruction

 

We’ve also had a good flow of people downloading the print-and-play pdf of the game, with 48 people over the past 30 days. Our biggest source of traffic to the game has been the unbound boardgame geek page.

unbound:endless war print-and-play pdf download chart

37 of those 48 are from board game geek

Our next steps are to make a gameplay video and a digital version of the game to help spread the name a bit more and then  early next year start looking at quotes from printers and launch a kickstarter to run a print of the game to get physical copies to people.

If you’ve played the game we’d appreciate it if you took a moment to go rate it at boardgamegeek. If you haven’t and are interested go ahead and download unbound:endless war on gumroad.

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Flight of the Fae – Gamejolt contest

 

chaos poster

This week there has been a contest on gamejolt on the theme chaos. Since I have lately been working on making a game a month, I decided to try my hand at the contest. The result was a game inspired by canabalt and (loosely) World of Darkness’s changeling called Flight of the Fae.

 

 

 

 

What went well

I had the luck to have two fantastic people helping me refine the idea I started with. Gina and Andraya were both a great help over the course of this. Having a constant source of feedback allowed me to work on this in a very iterative fashion with a very tight change feedback cycle that allowed me to evaluate the effect of changes I made very quickly.

Another boon was keeping things very simply to start with. I had something playable within a few hours to start iterating from. I had some grandiose ideas at the start that simply did not fit with the direction I ended up taking the game and if I had tried to work them in from the beginning instead of focusing on the core of the game play first I may have wasted a lot of effort.

 

What didn’t go well

I feel like I ended up painting myself into a corner with the graphics. Any changes at this point would require adjusting the game play too much I fear.

I spent a not insignificant amount of time struggling with Orthello trying to get things to work inside of its framework that I knew how to do with default unity or with other frameworks.

 

Flight of the Fae

 

 

 

 

 

All in all I’m happy with the game turned out and am looking forward to what may come in the future from it or other future games. If you want to try it out by all means go play Flight of the Fae.

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Cliche Studio: Hexit, stage right.

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.

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Magic:the mechanics — detain

image linking to detainment game http://www.kongregate.com/games/AnthonyT50/detainment

crude but it gets the point across

Detain

Detain is a keyword action introduced in Return to Ravnica that appears on blue and white cards of the Azorius guild. When a player detains a permanent, until the start of his or her next turn, the detained permanent can’t attack, block, or activate abilities.

So This post is a bit different. Instead of talking about a grandiose complicated finished idea, this post is about a prototype I’ve made. It is a breakout clone with an enemy that fires non-lethal beams as you that prevent you from moving for a short time.

 

Part of the magic: the mechanics series of posts.

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update- fonts

wingdings

Not the most legible font.

I’ve been on a bit of a break due to moving to Philadelphia and the holidays but one major thing I am looking at as I get back to work on both fortunes and the side task of one game a month is legibility.

legibility

The default NGUI fantasy font did not work terribly well from the web demo of fortunes. Fortunately I was easily able to import another font with it and BMFont.

The only difficult part was realizing I needed to change the extension of the text file BMFont created from .fnt to .txt to get unity/NGUI to be able to read it properly. Also important is to backup your project before making changes to the atlas. I got some strange results when Unity crashed mid-way through the process.

Fortunes Beta

The title is still a bit fuzzy but everything else looks sharper in Arial

I have some metrics issues which are preventing me from getting to one of the larger screens of text to show a better example of the new font. But once that is all resolved and bug tested I will get a new version of the game up here which will hopefully be at least 30% more readable and therefore 50% more fun.

Do you have any suggestions on how to make leaving feedback on the game easier? Please let me know!

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What do Tarot cards and Hexagons have in common

So things have been slow lately with the holidays disrupting schedules and James’ ungodly amount of work from his dayjob, but we are chugging along.

Fortunes

I have been working faithfully on the UI of fortunes because apparently people couldn’t figure out what to do. That was quite embarrassing. Got a lot of feedback from the feedback Friday posts over on Reddit and done a lot to shape things up.

Only thing is there has been a resolution error between the Unity editor and the web player, and apparently what I thought was the visible area was in fact larger then what actually gets shown. So in the future I need to separate my build folder from what gets shown here on the website. Unless you all enjoy seeing my mistakes. Oddly enough even in full screen it just shows the same partial portion of the screen.

Hexit Strategy

That is the name we are thinking of for the hexagon game we’ve mentioned recently. Thanks go to my friend Sam for the name suggestion.

We are editing a pdf for a print and play version with the current rules and then will be working on a variant based on our recent playtesting and feedback from Sam and we can see what works better and what people like more.

Hopefully we’ll be getting a press cutter sometime next year and be able to make a copy of the game with actually symmetrical pieces instead of the uneven cardboard coasters we’ve cut ourselves.

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Feedback friday

Not a whole lot visual changing dramatically at this point, but we are trying to get things tested and changed with fortunes.

So I’d like to ask you to give it a shot and leave some feedback in the comments here, there, or to lathomas@clichegames.com.

Some questions

How intuitive is the interface?
How long did it take you to figure out what to do?
Did any actions have unexpected results?
If yes what did you expect and what actually happened?
Do you have any other feedback?

Known bugs:
Cards should be greyed out and have white labels while its not your turn. On your turn the labels should turn red if they aren’t playable or yellow if you can. Occasionally the labels stay white and the playable cards remain greyed out. At this point the game must be refreshed but I’m trying to find the cause of this.

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Grimace final push!

We are entering the final hours for the grimace kick starter. Thank you to everyone who has helped support us.

If you were waiting until the last minute we’re hear, if you weren’t planning on helping fund the project, we’d like some constructive feedback to help improve in the future.

Thanks for reading!

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Grimace Half-way Mark

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.

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Fortunes feedback

So I’ve pulled back some from the grimace kickstarter to focus on getting feedback on fortunes. So now I’ve got to make things more intuitive to help people figure out what to do. Things aren’t as bad as they are confusion wise because there was one major flaw hindering people figuring out how to play…

The rules button appeared to do nothing.

I say appeared because it actually told the browser to bring up a window to load a pdf of the rules, but pop-up blockers have been preventing it from loading. I originally tried to load the pdf in the current window but it just replaced the small box for the game with the pdf and that is not an acceptable solution. So I need to go through and create a dialog to page through the rules and show that instead of just handing off the rules pdf.

This may be better though since I can make this tailored to the video game reference as the pdf is specifically explaining the game as a physical card game. I still want to improve the UI a bit more so that it is not as necessary to go read the rules page in the first place. It’s time to grind my UX skills and polish this game up some.

What user interface quirks bother you about fortunes or other games?

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