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-hexcavator-

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A member registered Mar 07, 2016 · View creator page →

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Hey hi!

hexcavator here. Today I released a demo for STONEPUSHER, a slow-burn puzzler I've been working on these last few months. It combines two of my favorite genres: narrative walking simulators and highly-constrained logic puzzles.

You can download it free for Windows and/or Mac here: https://ottomaddox.itch.io/stonepusher


You play as an unnamed "stonepusher", a sort of archivist who walks an endless loop around a huge mountain collecting stories from the landscape and its inhabitants.


In the meandering spirit of the world, I decided to stick with simple sliding block puzzles, which might be familiar if you've ever spent time in a dentist's office or roadside diner. Each puzzle comprises a image broken into a grid of tiles, with one piece missing. To solve a puzzle, you slide pieces into and through the empty space until you've reassembled the original image.



STONEPUSHER changes the formula up a little by randomly choosing which piece of a puzzle is missing. The low resolution style also makes deciphering the images sort of an art (or annoyance) unto itself. Each solved puzzle is part of a triptych of puzzles which unlocks a new story upon completion. If you want to follow the story but hate the puzzles, you can also insta-solve them with magic.


As is my habit, I've tried to do a lot with a little visually and sonically, focusing on creating a dynamic natural environment that carries on a life of its own in the background of the gameplay. There's weather, a star cycle, and other little bits of flavor to build the world.


The demo offers a single triptych and story set against a single "biome". My plan for the full game is five biomes from seaside to mountain peak, and three cycles of five stories that are semi-randomly revealed according to [insert clever mechanic here].

Because the time is cruel and money is tight, I'm offering this little slice in hopes of assessing whether or not the overall idea works. If you have thoughts or feedback, I'd love to hear from ya!


In any case, thanks for checking STONEPUSHER out. I hope you find it strange and evocative and maybe a nourishing distraction from other places and times.

<3 bryan/hex

don't worry, it's fantasy water

hey hi!

I just released S T A Y H O M E vol 1, a short interactive experiment about spending quiet time in a washroom.

https://ottomaddox.itch.io/stayhomevol1

Listen to the breeze;

Watch the days go by;

Brush yr teeth, take a bath, soak in the sights.

No stakes, no pressure, just solitude & tranquil vibes.

If you get a chance to check it out, remember to crank up yr volume!

mac & windows builds; $1 USD; thanks so much! <3

-bryan/hexcavator

awesome, thanks for giving it another try; hope you enjoy!

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Hey there, we just uploaded a new build with support for several lower resolutions. If you don't mind giving it a try, it might fix the issue you were having! Let us know if you can!

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Hey! Right now the game requires a 1920x1080 display to properly show all the scenes. I'm testing a lower res version, but unfortunately it's not quite ready to release! I'll post again here if/when we get it sorted! So sorry!

Hey, thanks! Sure, please do!

Oh, cool! If you do, please let us know how it goes!

Hey! It’s about half an hour long; maybe a little more or less depending on reading speed and how fully you explore. For what it’s worth, we designed the game to be completed in a single session. Hope this helps!

Hey hi!

I'm -hexcavator-. For the last month and a half I've been super lucky to work with Elijah Forbes on B-Sides, a short point & click adventure game about Zee, a non-binary college student on a road trip home who gets stranded overnight in the nowhere town of Paradise. Before long, Zee finds themselves entangled in an eye-opening story of doubt, self-discovery, and the paranormal, all centered around a mysterious disappearance ten years earlier.

You can download B-Sides free for Windows or Mac here: https://ottomaddox.itch.io/b-sides

We also made a quick trailer to give a sense of the game's style and tone!

Design-wise, we tried to preserve the look and feel of "classic" adventure games while keeping our interface as accessible and minimal as possible. We wanted the story and characters to take center stage, so we focused on conversation and exploration to drive the plot forward rather than complex puzzle-solving.



The creation of B-Sides was supported by the Hand Eye Society and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival via Comics X Games, an annual exhibition and jam featuring collaborations between game developers and comic artists. In addition our itch page, you can check out the rest of the jam games and TCAF as a whole via the links above.

We're super excited to share what we've made, and we hope you'll spend some time exploring Paradise and getting to know Zee!

Thanks so much!

yeah, i'm loving the mellow but still-punishing vibe! great OST & the downward pull of the map is v satisfying!

thanks for playing! i wasn't able to implement the tomes quite as meaningfully as i hoped during the jam, but i'm working on fleshing out the mechanic a bit and will update when i can!

i LOVE the visual atmosphere! rlly nice sound design too!

hey thanks!

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Hi all,

This is my second 7DRL (did 2018, skipped a couple years, back cos i rlly love the jam!). I'm super excited to see what other folks are drumming up, and figured I'd share my submission here:

https://ottomaddox.itch.io/converger

CONVERGER is a tiny urban brawler roguelike with a few mechanical twists. You play a bunch of punks fighting fascists over 14 nights of chaos. In each battle, you play three to six groups of punks; the catch is that they all move simultaneously, so you have to navigate obstacles and enemies while trying to keep each group's situation in mind. Beyond defeating the various scumbags you encounter, the secondary goal is to unite groups of surviving punks, who become more and more powerful as they gain solidarity. Everything resets between battles, so the payoff is pretty constrained, but my hope is that it's a fun, brain-breaking distraction for a few minutes!

Visually speaking, it looks like this:


Most of the procgen code is adapted from VERGER, another game I've been working on (also explains the terrible name, albeit poorly). The source algorithms are a mashup of various tutorials generously shared by others and my own middling experiments. The rest of the "engine" is code scraps from my Gamemaker archive and whatever else I could bash together in a week.

As I'm sure you'll note, this isn't a traditional roguelike, but enough of the familiar elements are there (turn based combat, permadeath, strategic interrelationship between items/terrain, etc.) that I think it's well-suited to the jam!

OK cool, I'm exhausted! Really looking forward to checking out other people's games as the jam closes and the jurors start tallying! Thanks to all who organized and everyone who made stuff!

-bryan

awesome! thanks so much for playing and sticking it out!

hey, thank you so much! and thanks for playing!

thanks, did my best!

thanks so much for playing!

thanks so much for the kind words! as to your question...i think it's open to interpretation!

thanks; doing my best to get it into the world! shouldn't be long now! appreciate you keeping it on your radar.

i was a cruel thief

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Hey! That's awesome! Thanks so much for playing! Hope it gave yr brain a good flex. If you're amenable to leaving a rating or review, we always appreciate the feedback!

-bryan (one of the devs, now realizing i'm signed into my other itch acct haha)

Hi all,

Unbecoming

I just released Unbecoming, a sonically-textured work of interactive horror fiction about family trauma, corrupt embodiment and unspeakable forces in a gothic rural landscape. I'm calling it a "denouement" because the game drops players into a doomed situation with very little choice as to the ultimate outcome — but it's also a bit of a jab at the whole idea of endings.

In building the story, I worked hard to evoke satisfying body/visceral horror tone without repeating the misogynistic and racist subtexts that too much American "mythos" relies on. On the mechanical side, I wanted to pay homage to the confusing/mazelike navigation systems of (cult) classic adventure games without actually punishing players for experimentation or mistakes.

The biggest departure (imo) from IF convention is the emphasis placed on foley. Almost every significant story event has an associated sound sequence, and these are woven together with ambient and quasi-musical interludes to (hopefully) build another layer of sensory depth.

The game is relatively short (15-30 min) and free to play in-browser. Any feedback/reviews/questions are very much appreciated. Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to check it out (or just read my post)!

Image above links to the game, or click here: https://ottomaddox.itch.io/unbecoming/

Thanks so much!

bryan / hexcavator

tiny toad hermit is just what i needed to hear...thanks!

hi all,

Enjoying reading through folks' thoughts about GDC and checking out sweet games! For my own part, I'm exhausted by the momentum of a video game industry that seems more interested in commodifying ideas like "indie" and "diversity" than actually holding up the work of marginalized creators or interrogating its own toxic techno-capitalism. I know a lot of ppl get a lot of good out of GDC, and I respect those experiences, but for me, at a distance, the psychic and material costs of participating feel overwhelming.

I love the possibilities of this medium, and I'm so grateful for itch.io and other spaces that recognize the value of a less profit-driven creative scene AND the need for publishing platforms to speak out against the worst tendencies of "gamer culture". As a white queer person, I think that owning the inextricability of arts practice and political identity is critical to the health of our communities AND challenging our own fucked up internalized ideas about whose work and voices have value.

OK that's my rant full of ANDs. pls check out "Apologies, for what it's worth", a short game I made with some pals: https://shrunken.itch.io/apologies
 
It's an interactive fiction about family ties and unreliable memory that takes the form of a dense letter from an estranged sibling.

Thanks so much!

b

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hi all

thanks to the organizers and all the other folks who submitted to this awesome jam!

got my game VERGER into a fairly solid playable state. it's stupid simple but it was loads of fun trying to wrap my head around simple procgen, pathfinding code, etc. many thanks to pico8 for providing an amazing platform to experiment.



major features include:

  • destructible terrain (ha!)
  • eggplants as a primary source of nutrition
  • placid ponds for magic meditation
  • relentless confusion and death

if you're interested, you can play it here: ottomaddox.itch.io/verger

really looking forward to checking out everybody's stuff!

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Hey hi!

Just released my game STAR JAR for free here: https://ottomaddox.itch.io/star-jar

It's pixely arcade chaos masquerading as a dawn simulator, with lots of naturalistic squishes and squooshes, and a few vaguely mysterious end-game variations. Drone-y chiptunes, even. A veritable recipe for a harrowing midday nap.

The project started as an experiment in Scratch to teach kids about the value of randomness in games. Eventually I ported it to Gamemaker and added lots of adult themes like collecting jars and sleeping through the sunrise.

Gameplay vid, if you're so inclined:

I've updated the build a few times since the initial release to incorporate some helpful suggestions I got on reddit n' stuff. Would love any additional feedback/crit from the itch community!

Thanks so much for taking the time to check it out!

-hexcavator- / @bryinlyin