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-hexcavator-

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

Creator of

Recent community posts

https://ottomaddox.itch.io/f15h-74nk

whoa this is so good!

hey hi! i just released



a free downloadable creature-maker and drone machine for windows and macOS

https://ottomaddox.itch.io/f15h-74nk

assemble weird guys tone-first
or
spin hypnotic melodies bone-by-bone





give em eyes
give em tails
set em free in the bubbly deep



when you're satisfied, upload to the depot
----------
this is an early version, so there may be bugs;
keep me posted and (hopefully) have fun makin stuff!

<3 hex

Hey, sorry, this is a weird MacOS gamemaker bug. Try copying the .app to your desktop or anywhere outside the folder it downloaded to by default. Should work then!

Seconding (fourthing?) the sheer thrill of the slide mechanic. The sense of speed adds more than you'd expect to dungeon crawling! Satisfying hack-n-slash, and generous buffs to build yr overconfidence just before you get crushed. Really enjoyed it!

Super satisfying riff on classic mechanics. I especially loved the per-tile sound effects & overall audio design. Sweet 1-bit amber palette!

Genuinely funny and thrilling. A simple but brilliant mechanical variation. Having to type more difficult sentences to execute stronger attacks is *chef's kiss*!

Great mechanical mashup and v crisp presentation! Really enjoyed it.

This is great! I enjoyed the simple satisfaction of harvesting souls (esp the low-grade stuff like maggots and gnats) and rambling around hallways searching for sustenance. The log writing is crisp and the color coding helps delineate the layers of gameplay (movement/feeding/etc)! Really cool stuff, imo.

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Hey hi!

I just released afield, my submission to the 2022 7 day roguelike (7DRL) jam. This is one of my favorite annual code-sprees, and I'm feeling p good about how this year's project turned out!

https://ottomaddox.itch.io/afield


It's a short, simple game continuing my, uh, tradition of focusing on the parts of roguelikes i like best -- strategic movement and resource conservation -- while stripping away more complex combat mechanics and character progression.

You play a bug (who doesn't love bugs?) trying to grasshop home over diverse terrain. Each tile type permits a jump of 1, 2, or 3 tiles (diagonal movement allowed but counted manhattan style). Along the way, you dodge creeps (the little red and black guys), or face them head on with your special abilities -- resource cards you win each time you complete a level.


To make it home to Bug City, you simply have to survive 30 levels of (procedurally generated, ofc) obstacles and baddies.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the results! The design is dirt-simple but feels fairly robust; I'm happy with the look and feel (especially the audio design), and the whole loop is there. I definitely wish I'd added more ability cards (only the core 3 made it) and maybe some enemy diversity, but I think the game works in its most basic form with the parts that survived scope-cut. 

I'm hoping I'll have time to polish things up and maybe add a little more juice here and there. In the meantime, the game's free to download (Windows only for now) on my itch page. If you get a chance to check it out, I'd love to hear what ya think.

Thanks so much!

<3 bryan/hexcavator

Just submitted afield, my 7DRL 2022 panicked code-mess!

https://ottomaddox.itch.io/afield


It's a short, simple game continuing my, uh, tradition of focusing on the parts of roguelikes i like best -- strategic movement and resource conservation -- while stripping away more complex combat mechanics and character progression.


You play a bug (who doesn't love bugs?) trying to grasshop home over diverse terrain. Each tile type permits a jump of 1, 2, or 3 tiles (diagonal movement allowed but counted manhattan style). Along the way, you dodge creeps (the little red and black guys), or face them head on with your special abilities -- resource cards you win each time you complete a level.

To make it home to Bug City, you simply have to survive 30 levels of (procedurally generated, ofc) obstacles and baddies.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how this came out! The design is dirt-simple but feels fairly robust; I'm happy with the look and feel (especially the audio design), and the whole loop is there. I definitely wish I'd added more ability cards (only the core 3 made it) and maybe some enemy diversity, but I think the game works in its most basic form with the parts that survived scope-cut.

Most of all, I'm super excited to check out everyone else's games now that I can safely come up for air! Thanks as ever to all the folks who hosted the jam; 7DRL remains one of my favorite weeks of the year!

<3 bryan/hexcavator

Hey! Yeah, it's "notarized" through Apple, so it should run fine on all recent OSes/hardware.

Hey hi!


bryan/hexcavator here. I'm so excited to announce the release of I don't think I've walked this stretch of road before, a brooding 3D narrative vignette I built in Gamemaker: Studio over the last year and a half. It's an homage to lo-fi/early 3D aesthetics and the minimalistic filmmaking of Jeff Nichols & Kelly Reichardt, built around a hopeful story of personal reckoning.

The gameplay is simple point-and-click investigation. Players traverse a lonely backroad, interacting with evocative scenes & objects to evoke snippets of prose. The experience is compact, and meant to played in a single 20-30 minute session. In lieu of the aesthetic bells and whistles of modern engines, I tried to rely on weird camera work, layered ambient soundscapes, and pulsating synths to build atmosphere and tension.

I was inspired throughout the project by the community of brilliant folks doing 3D development in Gamemaker: Studio. GM:S gets a bit of a bad rap when it comes to 3D design, but the framework's bare-bones tool set and open-ended scripting language offer a great foundation for lo-fi experimentation and artistic constraints.


The story is an attempt to address family/personal trauma without derailing into the more nihilistic, destructive takes that tend to dominate video games - particularly where masculine characters are concerned. Also, there are mysterious entities of unknown origin. What's the point of making a game without mysterious entities?

It's been a long, slow, weird road to get here (development-wise and, well, because the world is ending again), but I'm thrilled to nudge this lil guy out into the world. I'd be so grateful if you swung by for a visit! FWIW I've also set a launch discount of 20% ($4 USD) to sweeten the deal a bit. Windows & MacOS builds are available; Linux on the roadmap!

OK! Thanks for hearing me out, thanks for supporting weird art, thanks to itch.io for sustaining this platform! And if you ever wanna chat about the game or review it or stream it or whatever, please don't hesitate to reach out, here or in my Twitter DMs (@bryinlyin) or via email.

Take care,

<3 bryan/hex

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

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

(1 edit)

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

(1 edit)

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!

(1 edit)

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