News Article

Hex Heroes Lead Wants "To Develop a New Experience on the Wii U"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"There's so much that can be done on the GamePad"

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?

[via tay.kotaku.com]

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User Comments (35)

WiiULoveSquid

#1

WiiULoveSquid said:

Heheh we'll be hearing about how so much can be done with the gamepad until we all have grey beards! Maybe in the next life, gamepad

smikey

#3

smikey said:

I backed it I think the idea is soild enough & I get a e-shop code anyway so in all likelyhood the game will be priced higher than the backing amount & i basically pre ordered the game at a discount (same with cult country)

however unlike cult country I have doubts this will meet the goal

element187

#4

element187 said:

I'm actually really excited for this. The concept sounds pretty cool.

Player 1 will be directing where the units on the ground will operate with the gamepad and the other players will be controlling that unit from the ground level with another controller.

Gonzo1

#9

Gonzo1 said:

"There's so much that can be done on the Gamepad"
Yep we've been hearing that since WiiU was first announced at E3, it would be nice if we actually saw this happen instead of devs just saying it.

Captain_Toad

#11

Captain_Toad said:

And that's the problem right there, they made it in a few days, funding goal is too high. I like to see the game made but I prefer to have it sit in the oven a bit more before starting dat kickstarter..

ricklongo

#12

ricklongo said:

This needs to happen. I'm backing Hex Heroes and Earthlock: Festival of Magic this week. If those games interest you, please consider doing the same!

Mikeopferman

#15

Mikeopferman said:

This looks great, but like most Kickstarters I will just wait for it to hit the e-shop before I buy. It seems like a lot never hit their funding goals

Stratostar

#16

Stratostar said:

If you want this game to be made, you have to back it. Simply saying "I hope it makes it to Wii U" will accomplish nothing. You can contribute as little as $1.00, and you won't even be charged unless it reaches its goal. Things might not be looking so great right now, but I implore you to take action and have a say in Hex Heroes' fate.

JtotheY

#17

JtotheY said:

It's weird that indies do this kind of stuff when you're expecting it from the big developers. If I would be a third party studio I would be so excited to try and make games with the Gamepad. Asymmetric gameplay is a gamechanging invention, but nobody sees it :(

arkady77

#20

arkady77 said:

this looks like a lot of fun. remember guys the way kickstarter works is if it does not make its target you arent charged!!!
the target amount is tiny for a console game, some big companies cant even devise a logo for $80,000, the only reason they can do it for this price is because they are dedicated guys working their butts off round the clock because they love videogames. it seems to me that they think the wii U is pretty special and could have pitched this or any idea for another console and made their target easier.
i can understand some cynicism about kickstarter but not for this project.
It comes down to this; by backing this game you are pre-ordering it cheaply and having a direct interaction with the guys that make the games rather than waiting for a company to make a game their market research firm thinks you want to play.
back the game and tell the developers what you think of the screenshots and videos and they may just listen, making better games for the fans and giving you a role in its production. how cool is that?

ACK

#21

ACK said:

I was waiting to support this Kickstarter with significant funds, something I rarely consider. The project looks iffy, but I've long had a concept fermenting in my head very similar to this and I likewise thought the Wii U was the perfect platform. Since they included the PC, I've completely scrapped those plans.

The reasons are twofold... With another platform I feel my support is less necessary as there are plenty of PC gamers who can support this if they want it. I have to say that if they cannot hit their goal with a wide audience then it's probably not going to be successful anyway. When it was Wii U exclusive, I felt they were playing to a smaller audience that may not be as aware or receptive. Honestly, I believe in a economic ecosystem where you either adapt and survive or are unfit for survival. Kickstarter sort of clashes with this ethos and, as such, I'm hesitant to meddle.

Mostly though, I want to buy into this as a game focused on the Wii U features. I have little interest if they corral the concepts to support a vastly different platform and interface. I can pine for plenty of Wii U ports of PC strategy games rather than hope for this. Also, I had little faith they were capable of producing a topnotch experience for one platform... Now I'm quite skeptical about them being spread out among PC and Wii U development and features.

JaxonH

#24

JaxonH said:

@ricklongo

Yes, SO need to see Earthlock Festival of Magic funded. That game looks straight sick. Unfortunately, it's Kickstarter is winding down and unless it gets a late rush of pledges, I don't think it's gonna make it. Not very many Wii U owners seem to back projects for the system. I mean, that game should have been funded day one from Wii U owners. And I certainly expected this one to have more than 17k by now...

JaxonH

#25

JaxonH said:

@Mikeopferman

Great thing about Kickstarter is your pledge is only paid to them if the funding goal is reached. So you don't have to worry about supporting projects that miss their funding. If they miss their funding, your donation never gets charged to your payment method of choice. Pledges are 100% contingent upon successful backing. So the way I see it, if it's a game I know I'ma end up buying in the eShop anyways, why not pledge $15 ahead of time and get a free copy when it releases? Sure, the game may not sell for QUITE that much but hey, my pledge helped make the game a reality. If not for folks willing to pledge, many of those games would never be on the eShop.

Gorlokk

#26

Gorlokk said:

What a fantastic pitch, and holy crap, a developer that ACTUALLY sees the potential in the GamePad! I'm not even big on RTS games, but I mean, this game just sounds great.

Haxonberik

#27

Haxonberik said:

Awesome idea! It may be the first game I back on Kickstarter if it seems like it will be a close call campaign. Otherwise I'll just buy it afterwards, considering reviews don't bash it.

Action51

#29

Action51 said:

For every AAA publisher with bloated executive salaries that require millions upon millions of copies sold to make the bean counters and investors happy saying the Wii U is a terrible platform, there are five upstart and creative indies excited to try and push new ideas on the latest Nintendo console.

This is like the old days of computing, but now small time developers have the tools to make engaging experiences and digital distribution lets them end-run the publishing giants that are ruining the soul of gaming.

HAL9000

#31

HAL9000 said:

I backed this project without a doubt. It looks really innovative and I love the co-operative gameplay options.

torotoid64

#33

torotoid64 said:

Pretty sad that Smosh can raise more than this for a pitiful android game (when they could had funded the project themselves) and these guys are struggling I would love to see this but its also kind of their fault they should had built up hype and slowly released small bits of info and definitely had worked on that video a bit longer so it wouldn't look so meh I hope they make it!

brandonbwii

#34

brandonbwii said:

This is the first kickstarter project I ever backed. The others, especially Twisted Fusion, I'm skeptical about. I would back Cult County but my measly funds won't account for much in the current state their in and I can't condone such a high goal when they were once going to make it without backers on 3DS.

The only thing that worries me about Hex Heroes is that even with stretch goals it still sounds like it will have too few modes to be considered a true "party game."

ricklongo

#35

ricklongo said:

@JaxonH I still have hopes. When I backed the Lobodestroyo kickstarter, it really didn't seem like they were gonna make it. Thanks to a surge on the last couple of days, not only was the project funded but they also met every stretch goal. So we shall see. I'm a sucker for turn-based RPGs, so I'm trying to do what I can to spread the word.

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