Hex: Shards of Fate’s First Singleplayer Trailer

Hex: Shards of Fate [official site] has been out and playable in multiplayer for some time, but its singleplayer mode – planned since its 2013 Kickstarter – is only now beginning to see the light of day. The first in-game footage of the trading card game’s PvE mode is below.

The video shows combat through the dungeons of Fort Romor, at the end of which you battle against Lord Adam. This is a lot like what happens at the end of each day in the RPS chatroom. Adam’s deck “represents the forces of the three kingdoms fusing together to create an overwhelming force,” and his cards allow him “to summon Lord Ben and Lord Alex.” John and Pip can take them all, I bet.

Anyway. We recently sent Lord Paul Dean to visit Hex’s developers and learn more about the singleplayer mode, including the AI that underpins it:

Designing the fundamentals of a card game is one challenge, devising an ever-growing roster of cards to play with is yet another, but what Jones’ team now have to do is create an artificial intelligence that presents a credible and capable challenge to players. It has to know how to play, understand every card in the game and, like any of Hex’s human opponents, be able to anticipate, to adapt and even to surprise. “And,” insists Jones, “it doesn’t cheat.”

We also previously sent Lord Ben into the game itself (probably Adam did it), where he found much promise among its multiplayer modes. Singleplayer is more likely to tempt me to give it a try however, given that Ben, with his years of Magic and other card game experience, found it difficult when playing online. I hope its AI has a setting for incompetent folks like me.

9 Comments

  1. Strategist says:

    I played it as you guys last featured it and must say that it was absolutely not up my alley. It felt kinda empty, I never really manged to understand the different levels of one turn and then again I missed any strategical or tactical depth. As a long time fan of Scrolls, Card Hunter, PoxNora and such I must say HEX is a dissapointment!

    • jasta85 says:

      I think you just pointed out the issue. PoxNora, Card Hunter and Scrolls are all turn based tactical board games that have a card type system for randomizing what units/abilities you get. Hex is a TCG where there isn’t really any strategic movement on a board (like magic, and 100’s of other TCG’s out there), so naturally it’s going to feel shallower in terms of tactical depth. They’re different game types, the only similarity being that you have “cards” in one form or another.

      • Strategist says:

        No idea why I had to make my dissapointment public the other morning, maybe a bad coffee or such.
        Nevertheless I wish the players and devs fun with the game :)

        • quidnunc says:

          if you’re interested in playing another turn based strategy game with cards you could try Duelyst which is still in beta I think

      • quidnunc says:

        there’s obviously still tactics, it’s just not positional

  2. Gothnak says:

    This was the whole reason i kickstarted it. Interestingly the stuff i want to see in the preview is how your deck changes between matches. Is it a set starter deck? how does it work?

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t know how readily you’ll be able to alter your deck mid-dungeon, but you definitely will be able to use your own custom decks. That’s kind of the point. :)

  3. jrodman says:

    I hope they’re able to avoid the “AI always cheats” feeling of duels of the planeswalkers.

    I mean the cheating AI in that game series isn’t always hard to beat, but it always totally rigs the decks.

    • quidnunc says:

      if the arena is something to go by their philosophy seems to be to instead make the enemy hero have powerful abilities (which could backfire for them) and/or custom cards rather than what dotp had done in the past which was difficulty through drawing a stacked sequence of cards. Both can require trial and error to beat but the former is more fun because it should play more like a puzzle. That said I’m skeptical of the good things they have been saying about the AI.