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Neuroshima Hex! 3.0» Forums » General

Subject: The App: History & Future rss

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Mikael Lindholm
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Remember this?
Big Daddy’s Creation’s much acclaimed NS Hex app from September 2010, with the 2.0 graphics.




Phone:




Tablet:




Even though I’m disappointed at BDC for stop developing the app, I never pass up an opportunity to say how good I think BDC’s NS Hex app is/was.
Imo, few boardgames are as suited as NS Hex for a digital adaptation - and Big Daddy’s Creations really nailed it with their version. The design choices they made were spot on. Like no visible fire - only zoom-ins, highlighting, vibrating tiles, and cool weapons sounds. And a background music score that really builds atmosphere. (Just think of how bad it could’ve been: Bird’s Eye view, 3D animations, poor sound effects and a tedious and moronic music score). In fact, I’ve yet to find a game that even come close to the NS Hex app in this respect. Many classic titles are nearly unplayable to me because of their crappy execution. It’s an art to translate a boardgame into an app.

So, aesthetically, imo – for looks, sounds, flow and overall gaming experience: 5 Mad Bombers (out of 5).




Portal wanted BDC to update the app with the boardgame 3.0 graphics (2013). Unfortunately, BDC then did the strange move of coming up with their own ’v3.0 Look’ in May 2015. It did follow the boardgame 3.0 in that it solved the problem with the multiple uses of the Plus symbol (+), which I remember constantly having to look up when learning the different tiles. It used the original 3.0 board + kept the 2.0 illustrations. Further, it did away with the black borders on the tiles, and used a bleaker palette. Nothing particularly wrong with the look in itself – it worked - but it had nothing to do with the original boardgame, and therefore had no place in the app in the first place.



I wish BDC would’ve put their creative energy into solving the poor online set-up instead, which has prevented playing the app online from being the success it could’ve – should’ve! – been.

- Maximum 5 games at a time
- 72 hrs/move
- Resigning/timing out also killed the game for the other players
- Nearly impossible to add players to a private player list (you had to have their Game Center names, which meant you had to catch them online and ask them for it)

This effectively killed the online gaming. How could BDC fail to see that? It’s a no-brainer.



Lukasz Lazarecki, of BDC, admitted (May -15) that the path they chose when they made NS Hex in 2009/10, didn’t allow them to implement an army like Mephisto, for example:

"We're working on Uranopolis. Mephisto looks like something that won't make it to the digital version - it's just too different and would require us to reimplement almost everything from scratch, which we can't afford to do, obviously."

Wich was unacceptable to Portal, of course.

So, in Jan -2017 Portal announced they had bought back the rights to the app from BDC, and would now develop it themselves. They promised 3.0 graphics & cross-platform multiplayer in 6 months. That didn’t happen, but they did the long awaited 3.0 graphics upgrade (Oct 30th), and released a buggy Uranopolis (wich was what BDC was working on when they left off).

So far, Portal haven’t relased any info about the app. But in ’Portal Game Informant #27’ (Sept 11th) they let us see a screen showing - what obviously is – the new app in developement.






What can be seen immediately is that the HQ scores are moved from on top of the HQs, to the corners. Personally, I think it’s much more intuitive and direct to have the scores on top of the HQs. The pro with using the corners for displaying the armies/players is that you can see the playing order much clearer, as if you were sitting around a table (esp in a 4-player game).

The choices will always be between how much info you want to show directly on the screen - and risk an image that’s being too cluttered - and putting as much info as possible in side scrolls, to get a ’cleaner’ look. I think BDC found a good balance, but it may not be the only way to go.


Oct 30th: the 3.0/Uranopolis update.
The 3.0 artwork is beautiful, but the many details make it work better the bigger the screen is:




... and some pics of the new app








It’s hard to see, but the last screen shows some kind of stat percentile in green and red to the left ("Battles Won 56%"). On the right I Think it says ’Achievements’ (?). I really hope they’re not continuing with the same kind of lame and pointless ’Achievements’ Game Center had (?).

Hopefully Portal Digital will develop Neuroshima Hex! on smart devices to its full potential. I’ve always said NSH is better suited for being played in the app, than it is on a board. The boardgame is big in Poland, with annual championships, but I think the future expansion for NSH is with the app, i.e. with Stats & Ranking, and online tournaments. It’s like the game was made for this format.

Apart from fixing BDC’s poor multi-player online set-up, detailed Statistics and a good Player Ranking system is what Portal should go for. Those are the main factors that will help this app be as successful as I believe it can be.

I’d also like to see Portal add all the cool promos, expansions and graphics for in-app purchases.


EDIT: sorry about the size of the images - don't understand how to get them bigger (?). Tell me, and I will change it.

EDIT: Done!



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https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/164979/embedding-images-pos...

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Russ Williams
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General hint: to know how to do anything in a forum post, see the BGG wiki page Forum formatting. Also you can Quote an existing post which does what you want to see how it did it.
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James Hébert
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I'd like to see the ability to activate/deactivate certain armies after purchase.

I've always had difficulty playing Dancer. I don't mind playing against it, but playing it is a royal PITA with its nonstandard way of moving. I still haven't figured it out after over 1000 plays of the game.

I'd love to be able to remove Dancer from the random (symbolized by a question mark in the UI) rotation for the human player. These days I just start a new match, but it would be nice to be able to mark it off-limits!
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Mikael Lindholm
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markgravitygood wrote:



Thanks!
 
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Mikael Lindholm
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russ wrote:
General hint: to know how to do anything in a forum post, see the BGG wiki page Forum formatting. Also you can Quote an existing post which does what you want to see how it did it.



Thanks for the tips!
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Scott Everts
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Wish they'd port it to PC/Steam. I'd play it a lot more.

I was sad when they changed out the art to 3.0 since I much prefer the 2.0 art. Would be nice if you could choose which art style to use. I always thought the 2.0 art was easier to read on the board.
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James Hébert
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ScottE wrote:
Wish they'd port it to PC/Steam. I'd play it a lot more.

I was sad when they changed out the art to 3.0 since I much prefer the 2.0 art. Would be nice if you could choose which art style to use. I always thought the 2.0 art was easier to read on the board.


I agree with you completely, Scott. The 3.0 style was not an improvement. A choice of art would be an awesome option.
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Mikael Lindholm
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jhebert wrote:
ScottE wrote:
Wish they'd port it to PC/Steam. I'd play it a lot more.

I was sad when they changed out the art to 3.0 since I much prefer the 2.0 art. Would be nice if you could choose which art style to use. I always thought the 2.0 art was easier to read on the board.


I agree with you completely, Scott. The 3.0 style was not an improvement. A choice of art would be an awesome option.



I don’t know what Portal put into ”cross platform multiplayer”, but I also hope they will port it to PC/Steam.

I like the 3.0 graphics, but I still miss playing with 2.0 - I think it counts as the ’classic’ edition. The illustrations are way cooler. But why choose when you can have it all? Is it only me, or how cool would it be to play the basic 4 armies + old DDM with their 1.0 art work in the app? And why not? Portal need to be able to offer other In-App Purchases (IAPs) than the seventeen 3.0 armies to the players. It’s a sound strategy.

In fact, the app could work as a ”repository” for the totality of Neuroshima Hex, i.e. the complete publishing history of the boardgame – expansions, obscure promos & all. All for purchase.



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James Hébert
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While we're talking about features we'd love to see, here's one more:

• A link to replay the game with the same opponents you just played. Sometimes I want to replay the team (or teams) I just lost to! It's kind of a pain remember who they were and set that up in a follow up match.

In no way needed, but this would be a nice "extra".
 
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Mikael Lindholm
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jhebert wrote:
While we're talking about features we'd love to see, here's one more:

• A link to replay the game with the same opponents you just played. Sometimes I want to replay the team (or teams) I just lost to! It's kind of a pain remember who they were and set that up in a follow up match.

In no way needed, but this would be a nice "extra".


That sounds like 'Quick Game' (?). Choose 'Custom Game' instead, and you'll have it exactly like that.
The chosen teams will remain until you change them.

Be sure to tap the AI difficulty bars up to 3 (2 is default).







 
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Mikael Lindholm
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jhebert wrote:
ScottE wrote:
Wish they'd port it to PC/Steam. I'd play it a lot more.

I was sad when they changed out the art to 3.0 since I much prefer the 2.0 art. Would be nice if you could choose which art style to use. I always thought the 2.0 art was easier to read on the board.


I agree with you completely, Scott. The 3.0 style was not an improvement. A choice of art would be an awesome option.



Yesterday, after reading BGG's annual list of Top 10 boardgames to have on your smart devise, I revisited some old apps I haven't opened for years, I think. The only old apps to still be on the 4 reviewers lists is Ticket to Ride & Carcassonne. Neuroshima Hex was on the list up till last year, but this year it's gone. Staying on it for so long was a feat, because TtR & Carcassonne are the boardgame worlds' giants, and their apps have set the bar for how a digital boardgame adaptation should be executed - not only looks & playability (where I think NS Hex beats them), but also for developement & support. But of course, they have economic muscles Portal can only dream of. But since the list also reflects what is new & hot, and what the reviewers are impressed by right now, even those two games have slided down.

I got the Settlers of Catan app when it came out, and pretty soon started to dislike it for several reasons: the trading function, the music, all the woodgrain, and those cheap boxes!
But this they did right: you can choose what tile design to play with.





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Mikael Lindholm
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Thought I'd add the latest news about the app.

This is a Google Translation from the excellent NeuroshimaHex.pl site.

”September 5, 2020, the end of the world!
Written by Skacz in the Publisher Portal category on March 23, 2019 at 17:51.
The President of Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek, yesterday during the TV Board program as part of the "Marathon - 100 questions and 100 responses" answered questions bothering gamers. The issues that interested the fans of Neuroshima Hex are the Doomsday Machine, Big Box or the mobile version, but issues related to 51st State were also raised.

The question regarding the mat and other promotional sets for Hex, which appeared several times was summarized in this way: current prizes in the Polish Championships are not available in the store and can be obtained only during the qualifying tournaments, but promotional materials from the previous season should appear until the end week.

Doomsday Machine will receive a reprint! When? This year. The president confirmed that he will appear and it will be the final reprint, so if you do not have it yet, it will be your last chance.

Big Box for Hexa? Is possible. Portal Games is considering creating a Big Box just as it was done in the case of Settlers. The production department is notified, but its creation has not yet been officially announced. Ignacy Trzewiczek himself admitted that his box with Neuroshima is no longer able to contain more content.

The next issue is the mobile version of Neuroshima Hex. The next premiere of the Games Digital Portal will be at the turn of May-June, and the next in July. It is not known if this will be our favorite game, but responding to the level of work, the president said that currently Neuroshima Hex is at the stage of rewriting and correcting the code, and in a few months will give the exact date of the release.

September 5, 2020, the end of the world? What is going on? In the textbook for Neuroshima RPG many years ago Portal Games published information that on September 5, 2020 Moloch will attack humanity. It is on this occasion that a great neuroscience celebration will take place. We will probably learn more details at the end of the year.

Neuroshima: Red Oko, or an anthology of stories to Neuroshima RPG released in 2009 - maybe a reprint will be made sometime, but for now it is not planned.

The last of the themes was the campaign to 51st State and the addition of the Allies. As for the campaign, for now the publishing house is too busy with other projects and they lack processing capacity, but the supplement should appear in mid-May.”


 
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