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HOF Studios

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A member registered Feb 15, 2016 · View creator page β†’

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I appreciate your support! Thanks for the feedback and comments.

Still working on those maps! I'm still keep it that way but I think the latest round of changes will make it seem less convoluted. It's possible I could ditch the "zone select" screen (the world map) but to me it's more of an organizational thing than a map you must navigate. I do appreciate the feedback and will keep working on it.

I agree having penalties or having to start over after the team gets wiped out is pretty harsh and makes the game much less accessible and more frustrating to first time players. This is the main motivation for the change. 

From the developer side the "ensure they are updated to the latest version" is the best part. With itch I am never sure that people know that there are updates and they are not playing the latest version (even though I do display a message on the title screen). For instance, in the last month since I released Build 42, we've had people play all of these versions. This is at least part of the reason i want to switch to Steam. As a dev, it's frustrating to see people playing older versions of the game!

Build 42.8
Build 41.8
Build 41.7
Build 40.6
Build 36.6
Build 39.3
Build 15.6 (this is the old demo)

That being said, I do understand the concern over DRM. A lot of people don't realize that Steam DRM has to be enabled by the dev and I don't plan to do that. I'm not sure that Steam can't remotely uninstall the game, but it means that you should be able to move the .exe folder and contents and break it away from Steam (at least I think that's true).

Hey thanks for the post. Always glad to get feedback/suggestions. I think most of this is on our to do list already so we are planning to address it before launch!

As for the Kickstarter, I have definitely thought about it of course, but a few things have kept me from going that route. Mainly the time it takes to run a KS is very significant (can consumer 2-3 months easily) and I am not sure it is worth that kind of time investment. The other reason is that the amount of money I would need to hire someone else full time and take another year to work on the game would require a much higher goal than I think is realistic based on the recent KS campaigns I have seen (and I do pay attention to them). Most gamers have no idea what a developer is paid and what kind of time frame and investment is required to make a game. I decided for this game I would do as much work as I could myself and pay some contractors for things like art out of my pocket. My wife and I decided we could take 3 years to try this and my time is almost up! The game I will release this summer will definitely not live up to my original vision for the project but I think it will be a decent indie game that will be competitive with other similar titles in terms of quality and playtime. 

I have several more big things to add to the game and also am planning to do some work on existing areas (like AI) and I think this will all come together to deliver a better overall experience than what you are playing now. The current version has most of the "final" systems but quite a bit is still placeholder and with a bit of expansion, i think it will seem much improved.

Thanks for the feedback. If it seems like there is demand to keep updating here on itch, then we will probably do that. 

We will definitely have at least one (and possibly multiple) DRM-free option at launch aside from Steam so you should be safe to get the final game for sure.

Thanks but let's hold off on the champagne until after August!

We will definitely have a DRM free option for First Access buyers if they don't want the Steam key. Just make sure you message us when we launch if there is any confusion. 

thanks! I logged it and we will see if we can solve it. Definitely weird. 

thanks for the bug reports!

The path not drawing is logged (and really weird) but we haven't been able to reproduce it locally for some reason. I think there is some detail I'm missing. Is it happening on every mission or only on the tutorial?

I actually meant to fix the tutorial options issue but it slipped my mind so I will log it.

The UI scaling changes definitely still need some work before they are final. We'll make some adjustments and push an update but probably not until next week unless someone finds some game breaking bugs.

What's your screen resolution? I've had reports of that before (but usually only on the tutorial) and haven't been able to reproduce it for some reason.

I'll update the version. Yet another thing haha

Thanks! I forgot to mention that the save data got reset anyway so you have to start over. I'll add that to the DevLog.

I just haven't sent the email yet. I like to have a little bit of burn in first to make sure there are no problems (like forgetting the save data was reset). I'll send it tomorrow.

Sorry about the delay. there were a lot of bugs to fix (i still didn't get them all) that kept me busy over the weekend. It's playable enough to release today so I pushed the button!

The Build 42 update is now live and actually I think we have anticipated your request to make the weapon more visible as that is a major part of the HUD redesign we have in this build.

As for the other idea to show the hit percentage of potential moves, i am somewhat opposed for a few reasons:

  • agree with @FroBodine that it's a little gamey as you couldn't do it in "real life" (though I hate saying that because this is a game after all haha) 
  • Also, what if there are multiple enemies on screen? do i show the change for each of them? It feels like too much information. 

I'll keep thinking about the "spirit" of the request though: make it more clear if I am making a mistake by moving here. 

it's not clear to be how to get to the "browse" page for the tool that you show above. 

I really like this idea and added the tools to my project. this is a good resource for beginning devs to see what things are actually being used to build games. Keep it up!

I'm actually wrapping up details on the last few changes right now! Sorry, this took a bit longer but I got a little ambitious and decided to redo the HUD again. Here's a preview. I'm going to do the build here shortly and then do some playtesting to make sure all is well. If I don't run into anything major I'll push it out to itch.


thanks for the heads up. I have been keeping an eye on that but will add it to my list to go make some notes. I like to see what the other games are doing for sure.

Their team is much larger than ours though so I doubt we will be able to approach their level of polish. I heard they have 20+ people and we have 1 full timer and a few contractors LOL. I bet they will be able to come close to x-com 2 but probably will fall short on content. 

Nice! We'll fix that in the next build LOL.

I hate to tell you but it looks like we are resetting save data in the next build since we are changing all the items and rebalancing the game a good bit. Hopefully that's not discouraging since you've played a lot!

Merchants should be on the map. I'll log it as a bug.

I just mean the map screen. 

i logged a bug for this behavior. Thanks!

I’m glad you are enjoying it. Keep making suggestions and pointing out problems. It’s still a work in progress so that’s what we want!

hmm, I haven't seen that myself or heard anyone else mention it but I will see if we can reproduce it!

Was it on the tutorial mission? did it happen on any other missions. any additional details you can think of that might help? 

thanks for the question! We may change it to work that way at some point but for now, the numbers open the command menu and SPACE executes that command. It should be marked next to the button in the same font/color as the other tooltips.

the icons must be appearing in a tooltip themselves if they don't have a tooltip. on the sub navigation screen, you can click on a character and then view their inventory and the tooltips should appear there.

hey! thanks for the question. you should be able to sell stuff now at the merchants. Maybe there is a bug but the items should appear in the "sell" list and you can scroll it to see everything.

We also have the "base" funds which you can now add when doing an objective loadout (if you have any funds at least). We are still working on a few more ways for you to spend money in the base. Buying subs, buy/sell equipment (merchant) and hiring more permanent team members are the working ideas for right now.

ha! i haven't seen that one yet so will definitely log it. Thanks!

yeah bug. I thought we fixed that one but I will log it again. 

Actually just added a way to end the mission if all enemies are dead. If you try it, let me know if it worked and what you think!

https://hofstudios.itch.io/doe/devlog/31650/build-41-update

I made an update to add a close button and a hot key. if you try it, let me know what you think.

https://hofstudios.itch.io/doe/devlog/31650/build-41-update

I have also been thinking about that. With all the loot scattered around you now have to search almost 100% to get it all so that makes sense.

I'll add a cancel button and hot key to all the action input boxes in the next build. Good suggestion.

It's been pointed out by someone else that the background is too dim and I actually went back and played the old "demo" version this weekend and noted that the game was much "brighter" then so I will also try raising the overall ambient light level on missions. 

Glad you mentioned the level generation. I still see some bugs occasionally so if the level doesn't load you may have to force quit and restart. I'm also occasionally seeing 2 rooms spawn on top of each other which does weird things to pathfinding. We'll definitely get those problems solved in the next build. 

(Edited 2 times)

hey thanks for the post, but not sure i totally understand. this change is definitely somewhat experimental and i fully expect that it will need some polish before being acceptable. I have to start somewhere!

So your turn starts and it "auto targets" an enemy.

You want to move (I guess?) instead, so you are clicking the minimap?

You should just be able to click anywhere walkable and the path should start drawing. Is that not working (or not happening?)

Let me know if i don't have this right.

I am ok with adding some kind of cancel button (or hotkey) to get this behavior also. 

Voices are back in 40.6 so no worries

Though it's interesting the number of people who thought it was NOT good and complained about it. maybe I listened to the wrong people!

(Edited 8 times)

We'll try to keep this post updated with the latest release roadmap 

Release Plan
Release Date is looking like May/June 2018 July August 2018 (have to avoid Steam summer sale) right now and will include these items:

  • Tutorial - the entire starting experience will change prior to launch Updated in Build 41 but more work will be done here based on feedback
  • Mission Types - currently have Find Loot, Escape, Eliminate Hostiles. Plan is to add Defend Area, Disarm Stuff (reactors, bombs), Lone Wolf, Facility Defense, Find Key and maybe a few more.
  • Character β€œPlot Lines” and Story Elements - this isn't in the game yet but we are working on some cool ideas. More soon in a blog post.
  • Random Encounters - all the encounter scripts in the game currently are placeholder. Expect more of everything and most encounters won't be skippable. We are adding some new more specialized encounter types like Hospital (find medical items), Power Production (if a power plant goes nuclear it might change the environment), Farm and a few more. 
  • Weapon Effects - adding laser, plasma and poison weapons and distinct death animations for each
  • More Items - we want to add around 20 more equippable items Added in Build 42
  • Sound Design - working on adding more ambient sounds and improving the voice over. We haven't decided if the VO will be in the final product yet either!
  • Character Classes - Expect a few changes here as we are working on 2 additional player classes and 4 enemy classes that can be unlocked. It's also looking like we will be removing the "Saboteur" class due to the Stealth system not being fully implemented Added in Build 42
  • "Step Out and Fire" mechanic when behind walls. also walls should provide some cover (at least on corners). Added in Build 42
  • Improve Procedural Level generation addressed in Build 41 and love to hear feedback
  • Improve User Experience - this was mostly addressed in Build 41
  • Balancing - i think the beginning is balanced right but difficulty doesn't ramp up enough in each new area yet

Things we'd like to do but may not have time
(but might be in a content update)

  • GamePad support - I originally planned to have this at launch but it looks questionable at best for now, so it will definitely be top priority post launch
  • Localization - I know a lot of you would like to see this at launch also but it's going to be tough to get it in from a technical perspective as we just don't have all the encounter and dialog text "set" yet so we can't really start working on this until then
  • Stealth system - the current game has line of site and some stats that use it but the UI to make them more transparent to players just isn't there. This probably means the Saboteur class will be removed also.
  • Bleeding System - we've talked about this one a few times on the DevLog but decided adding another major system at this point is a bad idea.
  • Bigger Bosses - there are quite a few "bosses" that you can face in later missions within each area and we had imagined amping some of these up but probably won't have time to implement them
  • More Enemies - we actually have another enemy "faction" planned but won't be able to get them implemented in time.
  • Melee
  • Base Building
  • Sub Battles - we'd like to do more with the subs but there's just not time!

Known Bugs

We're maintaining a Trello board with all known bugs and you are welcome to take a look!

Found something we don't have listed? Submit a Bug Report here!

(Edited 1 time)

thanks for the report. A few bugs were reported on this build and I will get a fix out this week. Was at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco all week so have been a little slow to working on it and maybe the build was slightly rushed. Sorry about that!

I'm going to add the voices back in this week and will price out getting a few more voices added. It was suggested that we use more "bark"-like  voice clips that correspond to the type of action.

Thanks for the feedback! I always appreciate your input. 

I'm not sure why the tutorial is still giving you trouble but that's frustrating (for me and you haha). Are you clicking through the dialog rather quickly? I've seen things get thrown off then and am planning to fix that at some point (but haven't yet obviously). You should possibly be able to zoom the camera out and complete the tutorial in that case i think.

The mission maps are definitely going to be a point of emphasis in a future build. I have a few ideas for improving choosing objectives and navigating the maps that I will be working on soon. Glad to hear your take as it helps a lot to understand what's not working and/or confusing.

Time Units vs Actions.... Squad based vs Initiative System.... Inventory management.... base building.... these are tricky debates. Every game designer has to make choices when designing their game, and I think to some degree it just comes down to preference. I really enjoyed playing the original X-Com games back in the day, but the simple elegance of the XCOM:EU action and inventory system really impressed me.  I also  am doing most of the work myself on the game so I have to make some trade offs to be able to actually complete it :) which is the main reason I haven't attempted base building, crafting, more complex inventory management, etc. I'm hoping I can get the other stuff right enough to make the game enjoyable. Sorry if I am somewhat failing at this! But I'm trying!

I'll check out Enemy - this is the first time I've heard of it and it looks kind of weird and interesting.

Thanks for the post!

I actually notice the same thing and like the voices as well, but I have gotten a few negative comments on the voice acting over the course of the First Access. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of budget to be able to redo the current voices and/or add more voices to the game. We've been wanting to add the text dialog for a while and I do have writers that are contributing to the project who were excited to work on that aspect. 

We have on our list to improve the ambient sounds in the game. Perhaps we should do this first before making the final determination on the voices?

I'll definitely try to see why overwatch is slower than other actions.

Yes, customizing team members will return at some point. There wasn't an obvious place for it since I was just assigning random recruits now rather than using the "store" but I think this is a solvable problem.

Hiring the merc is only required for the tutorial (first objective). It just needs 3 characters in order to work correctly. We'll probably upgrade it at some point and change that but for now it kind of needs to be that way for new people.

I did not get time to test extending the loot pick up radius yet but it's definitely on the list.