A fresh start

Welcome to Hexode, a blog dedicated to game design.

What is Hexode?

It is definitely not just a blog. It is a project. Hexode, as a video game, is a turn based strategy game focused around space combat on a hex based grid. At the moment of this post, Hexode is still in early development stage (so early it cannot be called a game yet). The code is open source, You may visit my github page, follow the stages of development, and even contribute. Despite its open source nature, and my openness to collaboration, I have a clear vision of what I am trying to achieve (more on that later on following posts). Of course people can fork the project and make it their own, I am totally fine with that. I am just stating that I will keep the ownership of this particular repository.

Even though, I have a “real” job aside, and thus not so many time to spare (and I am not even speaking about this “social life thingy” that everyone is bragging about), Hexode is more than just a pet project to me. I’d like to see all the past efforts and learning investments come to fruition.

The ideas behind Hexode have been in my head for a long time now. The github repository is actually a few months old and hasn’t been updated recently. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t working. I was in a learning phase and decided to halt development. It has been a long and slow process to decide what game I really wanted to build. I won’t elaborate to much in this post about gameplay details as there is too much to say. I want to keep this blog as clear as possible and I will extend on the subject in following posts. Furthermore, some of these ideas about mechanics are not completely matured and will need to have a first playable prototype to evaluate. This also explains why I am a bit reticent to tell too much. It is simply to early in the project’s life.

Who is running this website?

Just one guy, A poor lonesome developer. I had a dream once: to become a game designer. I have come to the conclusion, two or three years ago, that I needed to take steps in order to make the dream come true. So I began developing things from scratch. It was ugly as shit. So I decided to take it more seriously and learn the right tools. I started with Unity3D. And it was an epiphany! This software is really a blessing for beginners and indie wannabes like me! Being a software developer myself, Unity helped me to handle the tedious part of assets management and 3D stuff, yet offering me all the power of scripting.

Things improved, I clearly saw the potential. But it was still ugly. Not ugly as shit, though.

The main obstacle preventing me from building the game of my dream was the graphical part. I first figured that I could reuse assets form the Unity store. But it made me highly dependant of that, forcing me to adapt my game design to the assets that were available to me. I figured that I didn’t want to continue like this as the end result wouldn’t be to my taste.

So I decided to take the hard path. Learn 3D. Yes that’s right! I thought it would be easy but I couldn’t be more wrong about that! Oh boy, was I wrong! There is a lot of aspects to consider. I would mainly separate these into three sub categories: modelling, rendering (or texturing) and animation. Learning this takes me a lot of time, a precious resource that I happen to have a lack of.

I like to think of me as a game designer, even though I have not yet actually released any game. Being a game designer is more of a mindset: I am designing a game, therefore I am a game designer.

Why this blog?

There are three reasons for this blog to exist.

  • First, it is a way to keep track on what I do. I will post updates about the project, with the hope that it will keep me motivated and more focused on the results. I plan to feed this website until project completion… or die trying. (in the latter case, consider this blog a testimony)
  • Second, it is a way to give some visibility to the project, and get some attention. I don’t have high hopes about the number of visitors, but I consider this blog a first step and a good base to showcase my work.
  • Third, it will be a way to share my experience. Help others to make their own games by showing the whole process behind Hexode. Because I am so kind, ya know…

What will You find on this blog?

As I said, its purpose is mainly to post updates about the game itself. But I’d really like to share my experience and the difficulties I encountered. You know how, whatever you do, there is always A THING you wish you would have known BEFORE! (I am looking at you, blender)  Well, I tend to have a lot of those moments. And this blog will be a way to share those as well. SPOILER ALERT: There may even be tutorials!

The point is that I will keep this blog up to date. Consider this a “pre-new year’s resolution”.

So here it begins!

Next post will follow soon and be about 3D modelling with blender.

The dev.

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