Back in March we told you about an upcoming project called Hex Heroes, the development team for which includes artist and co-developer of popular PC title The Bridge, Mario Castañeda, and music from Grant Kirkhope, a name familiar to fans of Rare's golden era. A "party RTS" (real time strategy) title initially planned for Wii U, its goal is to take the genre and utilise the GamePad for a unique local co-op experience.
The Kickstarter campaign is now well underway, having raised around $17,000 of its $80,000 target at the time of writing; with 20 days to go it does need a boost in momentum. It's possible that early footage of the game didn't do it any favours due to its crude visuals, but that gameplay was the result of just a few days work, Game Jam-style.
In order to explain more about the project, Castañeda has spoken to the "Talk Amongst Yourselves" section of Kotaku, explaining its origins as a project while clarifying that the target now also includes a PC version, no doubt to broaden the potential audience.
It's still very much a Wii U-focused game, however, with Castañeda explaining the importance of the GamePad's second screen for its concept of asynchronous play and team work.
I've wanted to develop a new experience on the Wii U, but mostly, it suits Hex Heroes best. Wii U comes with everything you need out of the box. There's so much that can be done on the gamepad. Others have asked us about the game coming to Xbox or PS using Smartglass or Vita, but that's kind of an expensive buy in for the consumer.
While the aim is to be accessible to new audiences, additional levels of depth are planned to cater to experienced players, such as an interesting "synergy" feature.
If balancing affords I really want to add a synergy feature for classes. Currently players pick from two of the classes to play on the field. This makes sure that no team is incredibly disadvantaged or that you're ever up a creek without a paddle, but adding synergies would add a whole other layer of complexity I think hardcore gamers would appreciate.
For example: If you pick woodcutter and archer (which isn't a class yet, let's just assume there's one) and you chop down wood as the woodcutter and then switch to archer before taking it back to base, you can fire double arrows for a limited time. Things like that. Ways in which the combination is all the more pivotal to team building.
We're testing the ways that things like synergies can be implemented. Some involve allowing the gamepad to be more influential, granting them casting abilities to turn the tide of battle.
If the funding goal is hit there'll also be single player online — five-player online multiplayer and Miiverse features are a $100,000 stretch goal — and also cameo appearances such as Rusty from SteamWorld Dig, Max from Mutant Mudds and the hero of Shovel Knight.
In terms of the Wii U's future fortunes, Castañeda simply says to "give it time", encouraging gamers to own multiple systems including a Wii U; his focus and rallying cry with Hex Heroes is that gamers should seek out experiences unique to the system.
You can see the pitch video below and the campaign here. Is this the kind of Wii U project that interests you?