July 2012 blog archive

This page contains all the blog posts from july 2012. To read the most recent blog posts, click here.

29/07 - HD:X part 2

I've completed a small game, 'Crystal Chaos', currently in closed beta and to be released in a week or two, so it's time to get started on HD:X again. For the next couple days, i'll work on a new patch for the alpha version, including more bugfixes and AI updates.
Another patch might be in order before i start on multiplayer, mainly to add in a few extra features. That shouldn't take too long, but i prefer to keep it seperate from the bugfixes patch i'm currently working on.

I'm expecting the pvp basics to be completed relatively quickly as the same system i've used in my other multiplayer games can be used in HD:X as well with some minor modifications. The complexity lies in preventing or detecting desync issues and being able to fix them so a game in progress can still function normally after a desync has been detected.

22/07 - Break

I'm taking a break from working on HD:X, to make a smaller game. With over 5 months worth of work on HD:X, the entire single duel element (aka 'quick fight' mode) of the game is complete. Two large sections still remain : multiplayer and campaign modes.
Multiplayer will not be re-invented for HD:X, what worked in HD:Spectrum will be used again, and new features and improvements can be added ontop of that. There's need for better desync handling and i'll be looking into allowing some form of spectator options.
While campaigns rely on all the current single-player mechanics, most of the work here will go into the content or storylines for these campaigns.

At this point, it's hard to make an estimate regarding how long all of this will take. Could be 3 months, could be more. All of this does mean, that while i'm working on a large project like HD:X, i have no other games coming out and thus no real ways of promoting NULLL Games. Hence, i take a break to create a smaller game, which can be completed, released and distributed in less than a month's time. At the same time it allows me to have a change of pace by working on something that's less complex and easier to maintain or oversee.

This is a process i'll no doubt keep repeating for future projects. I have huge list of game ideas i would like to try my hand at sooner or later, and quite some of these project are as large as HD:X (or even larger).

15/07 - Alpha week 1

With the HD:X alpha out for almost a week, a number of issues (bugs mostly - of course) have already been brought up. Enough to start work on a first update. For now, the focus is on bug fixing primarily, larger changes and updates (such a new content) aren't planned until work resumes on the game. Once this update is out, HD:X will take a break and i'll start working on a smaller game for a short while.

08/07 - Gameplay modes

Next to the default single duel versus the computer and playing against player-created challenges, there are 3 additional single-player gameplay modes :

  • Marathon : A never-ending string of duels, where the computer opponent grows stronger every time the player wins. Players have to try to hold out as long as possible, as with each game that has been won, the chance to win cards increases.
  • Guardian : the player starts with a single ship in play - if the computer opponent manages to remove this ship from play, it wins.
  • Survival : the player's opponent has an invincible base, but every round, that base loses 1 HP. Players have to try to survive long enough for all their opponent's HP to be removed.

And with these gameplay modes now in the game, everything is ready for the first alpha release.

01/07 - Elite Challenge builder

Similar to the regular challenge builder, the elite version allows players to set up an AI for other players to play against. The elite builder doesn't work with deck mods, but still allows to set up cards that are in play for the AI at the start of a duel. Unlike the default builder, the elite one also allows to edit the AI's base : the HP can be changed, the energy generation and starting stocks, and base retaliation, regeneration and resistance.

The most powerfull feature of the elite builder, however, is the ability to edit individual cards. Pretty much every aspect of a card can be changed : from race, name, and cost, to all abilities and even the look of the card.

Access to the elite builder will be restricted however. Interested players will need to apply and wether or not they gain access depends on their knowledge of the game and the quality of challenges made in the default challenge builder. On top of that, challenges created with the elite builder will be subject to moderation.

Here are some screenshots (work in progress) of the various sections of the elite builder : A - B - C - D.