Super Hexagon now Available for Blackberry 10

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Surprise! Super Hexagon is now available for the new Blackberry 10! This wasn’t originally something I had lined up – the opportunity to do it just sorta came along.

Basically, Laurence Muller, who ported the C++ openFrameworks version of the game to Android, has an interest in Blackberry – he maintains the unofficial Blackberry port of openFrameworks. So when Blackberry came along and asked us to do the port, we figured, let’s give it a shot!

If you’ve got one of these fancy new Blackberry 10 devices, you can get it from here, or the store on your device. (A playbook version is also a possibility at a later date.) Enjoy!


Super Hexagon for Android

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Super Hexagon is now available for android! To celebrate, it’s having an 99c android launch sale!

Hats off to Laurence Muller, who coded the port, and made this possible. We’ve done lots and lots of testing and fixing to make this work well on as many android devices as possible, but of course, on as wide a platform as android, bugs are inevitable. If you encounter any problems, our android support page is here.


The hold up

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Finally, a Super Hexagon on Android update!

So, first of all, this post is 90% good news! Super Hexagon on Android is basically done. It’s been basically done for a while, in fact – we sent out beta test copies before Christmas. (We being myself and the coder who’s handling the android port, Laurence Muller of EpicWindmill.)

That testing session revealed a couple of bugs – most weren’t too serious and were quickly fixed, but one was more complicated. Since it became clear we weren’t going to sort it out in time for Christmas, we took a break and only resumed work on it again a few days ago.

The bug is an input lag issue. It appears to be limited to the Nexus 7 tablet, but we’re not sure, it may be more widespread. I’ll let Laurence explain:

To test for the input latency we used the app “Multi-touch Benchmark Test” on 3 test devices:
– Nexus One
– HTC Desire S
– Nexus 7

The idea would be that we would touch 2 devices at the same time and compare the relative latency. I’ve recorded a video of this test here (fullspeed).

To make it even more evident, I converted the video that I recorded at 60 fps and slowed it down by 50%:

If you look closely at the video, you see that the Nexus 7 seems to delay touch events in general. Touch down/up are noticeably showing delays compared to the HTC Desire S.

Figuring out that this was happening has been driving us crazy. It may not look like much in the above video (which is running at 50% speed), but even a slight control responsiveness issue like this basically kills Super Hexagon – every single touch overshoots, making the higher levels unplayable. Earlier levels are playable, but it constantly feels “off”. As far as I’m concerned, it’s unreleasable this way.

HOWEVER, as I happen to own a Nexus 7, I was originally under the impression that this bug affected all Android devices – and that appears to not be the case. The hold up was that I was getting Laurence to investigate and try to fix this “bug”, when evidently it’s actually a hardware fault with one specific android model.

So! Our next step is do so some more testing, and figure out if other devices are affected. (We’re pretty sure it’s not actually a problem for 99% of android devices out there.) After that, we’ll be looking to release the game very soon for any android device that can handle it (which excludes the Nexus 7, sorry)! Thank you for your patience 🙂


Super Hexagon coming to Steam next week

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You’ve no idea how happy I am to finally be able to share this news. Super Hexagon is launching on Steam next Tuesday the 27th of November, for PC and Mac.

It’s going to cost $2.99 (the same price as the iOS version), but I’m hoping to launch with some sort of discount (still talking to Valve about that).

I’m sorry this has taken so long. I appreciate your patience with me! I wanted to launch much sooner than this, but ultimately I just wasn’t happy with the performance of the flash version. So, I knuckled down and rewrote everything in C++ – this new version of the game runs at a higher resolution than the iOS version, and runs fast and silky smooth on every machine I’ve been able to get my hands on – a very important thing for a game like this.

I’m very excited to finally be able to share this game with more people. See you on the leaderboards! 🙂


Wanted: Coder

EDIT 21st Nov 2012: This position is now filled! Thank you.

Hey all! I’m looking for another coder for a contract job. Here’s the deal:

I recently ported Super Hexagon from Flash to C++, using the cross platform openFrameworks library. That port is now finished, and the game should hopefully be launching on PC and Mac very soon.

I’m looking for a programmer to port this new version of the game to Android, and then later to iOS (as an update to the existing version there). The library I’ve used is supposed to be cross platform, so I don’t expect it to be a huge job – but there are enough complications with it to make it a job for a more experienced coder than myself.

Part of the job will be to implement Scoreloop on Android, and Gamecenter on iOS. (On iOS, you’ll also need to write some code to pick up the old flash save files.) You may also need to optimise the code to make it run at 60fps at retina resolutions.

You don’t necessarily have to use openFrameworks if you’re more familiar with a different C++ framework on Android/iOS (it should be relatively straightforward to swap oF for something else).

If you’re interested, please get in touch, and we can discuss rates, deadlines, and more about what’s involved. Thanks!


Hyper Mode

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It’s been a while since Super Hexagon came out on iPhone – I guess people might be wondering what the hold up is with the PC and Mac ports. Well, long story short, I wasn’t happy with how the game was running on some computers, so about two weeks ago I started porting the game to C++.

What does this mean for Super Hexagon? Well, exciting things! A linux version is now possible! Leaderboard issues aren’t a hold up on Android anymore! Maybe even retina support is possible on iOS! I dunno. Right now I’m just going to focus on getting the game out on PC, but this is a good thing, overall. Wish I’d done it before launch.

I think I’m done with Flash, now. I’ve used it for about four years at this point, and gotten very comfortable with it – but I think I’ve gotten to the point where it’s holding me back. It’s time for a change!


Available to over 1290 devices

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I’m working hard to release Super Hexagon as widely as possible, as soon as I can! For PC/MAC, I should have some news there soon. For Android: here is some good news, and some bad news.

The good news: The Super Hexagon port to android is almost finished! The game is properly resolution independent, and it’s running really well on my own Nexus 7 (see the photo above)! Last weekend, I quickly ported an old flash game to Android, partially to help me catch bugs with my framework. I was originally hoping I could release Super Hexagon on Android this week.

Here’s the bad news – I’m having some trouble with the leaderboards, and it’s probably going to hold up the release of the Android version. (The rest of this post is a long technical ramble about why that is.)

Having a good leaderboard system is pretty important for Super Hexagon. One of the nice things about the iPhone version is that Apple’s built in leaderboard system, GameCenter, is actually really really good. You can have several different boards per game, it creates a separate list for your friends (this part is super important for me), it even allows you to send challenges to people to beat your highscores! For Android, I’m basically looking for exactly that – a GameCenter-like system. Unfortunately, the options aren’t great.

A big part of why they’re not great is my tech – I’m using Adobe AIR, so to access any of the existing leaderboard systems on Android, somebody needs to have written a Native Extension (ANE) for it. This really narrows down my choices – here are my options, as they stand:

    (1) A plugin called GREE is the most obvious choice – it’s got an official AIR Native Extension available as part of its SDK, so it should definitely work. My problem with it, unfortunately, is that GREE is kinda terrible. It’s slow, it’s cluttered with useless “social” features, and games that use it crashed several times on my Nexus 7! It’s definitely an option, but it doesn’t seem like a very good one.

    GREE actually bought and closed a company called OpenFeint last year, which is a shame, because OpenFeint would be have absolutely perfect for this. Oh well.

    I also looked in a similar service called “HeyZap”, but the only ANE I could find for it just enabled the social networking stuff, not the leaderboard stuff.

    (2) Then there are things like ScoreLoop and Swarm. These both look ideal – they’re lightweight systems that do exactly what I need! Unfortunately, neither have AIR Native Extensions, so I can’t use them.

    I contacted the smaller one, Swarm, to ask if they were planning to add support for that. They mostly just seemed surprised that anyone was using Adobe AIR 🙁

    With ScoreLoop, I investigated the possibility of hiring a coder to actually WRITE an extension for me. However, it looks like there’s a lot more work in that than I realised, so that’s probably not going to happen.

    (3) Finally, there’s the option of just coming up with my own system, possibly using something like Scoreoid in the background to handle the MYSQL stuff. I’m seriously considering this, and maybe using Twitter/Facebook to generate simple friend lists, but the problem here is that even IF I took a few weeks to actually do this, I’m still going to have a system that’s inferior to things like Scoreloop or Gamecenter. So it seems a bit pointless…

So, that’s where I currently stand. What now?

Well, for now, I think I’m just going to focus on getting the PC and MAC versions out. There’s good reason to think that if I hold off even, say, a month, the situation with Android leaderboard services could drastically improve! For one thing, GREE are apparently in the process of integrating OpenFeint with their system – which might mean that OpenFeint would become an option again, which would be great. Also, it appears that Scoreloop are currently working on an official AIR Native Extension, which would also be great. So for the meantime at least, it seems I’m going to have to hold off on releasing the Android version.

Another (horrible) alternative is just to release the Android version without a leaderboard system at all. But I really don’t want to do that.

Anyway; for now, I think I’m going to get the PC and Mac versions out, and come back to this.

I’m getting some comments on twitter about *why* it’s so important that the game has leaderboards, so I thought I should clarify: I feel they’re really essential to motivation in the game. If I released the game without leaderboards (on any platform) I would be releasing an inferior version of the game, and I just don’t want to do that. In general, I don’t think most games need high scores, but Super Hexagon does.