Please make the synchronous (real-time) mode available


#1

Hi.
I bought the game on Steam and finished (I guess) my first game, but it wasn’t a great experience.
The asynchronous play isn’t fun for me.
It ruins the rhythm of the game and having to relaunch the game and see a replay everytime to remember what has happened is annoying.
I can wait 5 or even 10 minuts per turn, but the “unknown amount under 3 days” is just too much.
Also, you can run multiple matches at the same time (I don’t want to do that) and if my opponent is doing that, he or she can easily quit our match prematurely when they get bored or start losing just a bit (and it takes at most 3 days before I know that).

Another issue (related to the asynchronous play) is that the match ended when I wasn’t online and it disappeared.
When I launched the game to check the match I started yesterday, I couldn’t find it.
I know it’s over because I gained EXP, but I can’t know if I won or lost and how it ended.
This one blew my mind and I’m sure it’s not a feature of the game, but I’m surpised that it hasn’t been fixed before the early access (has no one ever complained about that?).

Dispite all that, the gameplay itself was intriguing and I’m sure it’s going to be more fun with repeated plays (so much things to explore), but its asynchronous nature and the ending problem are discouraging to do that.
Also, at this rate it will take too long to unlock other captains.

I might be in a minority, but please don’t ignore potential players like me.


#2

This one is likely on One Man Left’s loooong list of improvements, it’s been bugging us before Early Access launched, too. Priority has been getting a larger player base, so they made sure the core game and Apex Cup work first.

As for the synchronous play mode, I can see this happening in the long run but not now. It doesn’t work with people being scattered through all time zones you can possibly imagine. Would you like to queue up for a synchronous game that tells you “Finding opponent… Estimated time: 9 hours 47 minutes”?

Synchronous play is, however, enabled by default. If your opponent happens to be online at the same time, you two can enjoy the match live, blitzing your turns.
You can always use the Hex Gambit Discord server - or specifically its #friendly-matchmaking channel - to find someone to play with. If you tell them you want to play the match in one sitting, who knows, someone might have the same itch!

Hope you continue to enjoy the game despite its asynchronous nature.


#3

We’ve heard you (and others) loud and clear on this one. It’s something that’s been bugging us for a while too. But as stated in our discord, we did have bigger plans for this but are re-scoping it to something we can ship quicker. Which is why it wasn’t in EA launch to begin with.

In regards to synchronous play. Our EA audience won’t be as large as our full launch audience so games may go slower. As @Harti stated, queue times for our player population would be untenable outside our ‘big launch’, and this is the primary reason we opted to focus on the async experience so the game can be played in alpha, beta, launch, and hopefully many years after without needing to sustain huge concurrent player numbers. That said, real-time play is possible if both players are in-game at the same time.


#4

Thanks for the replies.

I think it’s actually beneficial to implement the real-time mode if you want to grow the playerbase.
There are many people who don’t want to spend hours or days to finish a game that could be played in 15-30 minutes.
If online matchmaking is impractical, how about “create a table” system?
Also, I think 3 days is way too long even for the reason that people are scattered through all time zones.

About the problem, if the game has this big problem, I think you should’ve written about it honestly in the description on the Steam page, or you’ll lose potential players by making them upset or disappointed. The price is not cheap.
I decided not to post a negative review on Steam to warn people, so please try not to disappoint them.

Unfortunately the game in the current state is not something I want to spend my time.
Please tell us if the problem is fixed. I might come back then.


#5

I’m in 100% agreement with Rheingold. Outwitters was fine with the asynchronous play because you could just go on your phone and quickly go back to the match. Getting into the game on PC is a bit bigger of a hassle. Kind of like how chess has correspondence chess and blitz chess, you can possibly create two different queues? One “blitz queue” for turns lasting under 5 minutes or so (and you’re only allowed to be in one of these games at a single time).

I understand that it’s not feasible right now because it’s early access. But I really do think it would be a good idea if the game reaches a critical mass of people where you could always find somebody to play.


#6

I have tried to play multiple times, but I have timed out on all games, making one or two turns. Playing one turn where I make random moves isn’t fun, so the game requires a lot from me to get into the game. I won’t play it again until it either hits mobile or gets live play.


#7

Fun fact: I’ve always thought that the “Blitz royale” mode would be an actual Blitz mode where you have a very short time limit.


#8

This is contradictory. How is it different being on mobile and playing one random turn there?

I understand the ease of opening the game being a difference and a problem, but you’ve always played one random turn in Outwitters.


#9

Harti
Without live play, I think this game is dead in the water.
The long time limit is a mobile exclusive thing. It works there as it fits with how people use their phones. Its always on, people check their notifications quite often and would pick it up many times a day to play for a couple minutes or scroll down a newsfeed or whatever. While a computer or game console, you would only start if you have like at least half an hour or in my case, if I have a couple hours. Excluding work of course.
I won’t start up my computer every so often to check if it is my turn and make one turn when I haven’t even completed a game. It’s time-consuming and boring. I probably like the game when I know how to play it, but the lack of live play makes the barrier so high. The barrier to getting into outwitters is way lower. My phone is already on, I can spare the minute it takes to make a move even when I didn’t yet like the game.
Live chess is what made online chess popular.


#10

Marketing videos do give a strong vibe of real time turn base blitz on tiny arena. As do marketing web page: "Transition seamlessly between real-time and asynchronous play online"


#11

What’s wrong or false claims about that statement?
I’ve played a couple of matches when both the enemy and I blitzed our turns for a few turns, then either of us closed the game and we played on asynchronously. On occasion, they’d come online to take their turns and I just stayed online despite having finished my turns, so that we can blitz our turns live again.

Really, I don’t see anything being marketed as something that this game isn’t. The functionality is there. It’s simply not enough of a player base, but why should they put this onto their marketing pages? “Hey, we want you to support this game, but there’s currently 5 active players in only one time zone, so if you’re from Europe you’re out of luck and better off getting another game!”

Makes me sad that y’all are hating so much on this instead of doing something about it, e.g. by inviting friends and being active yourselves. For real, there is probably nothing more devastating than developing a game and then reading people complain about a luxury egg/chicken problem you can’t even do anything about.
At this point I feel like they’d be better off going the scammy route implementing some dumb bot chiming in when no real player is around, doing random shitty moves, just to make people feel like they’re playing someone. This is common practice in some games, and that would actually be false marketing.

On the trailer thing: Completely up to you what you interpret into it. I’ve went to the movie theaters because the trailer was awesome but turned out the actual movie was shit. Unlike cinemas, Steam has a return-refund policy as long as you haven’t played more than 2 hours.


#12

From the Hex Gambit Discord:

Just as a heads up to keep people informed:

We do have some ideas/plans to try to improve the live play experience. Namely building mechanics/incentives into Apex Cup to encourage it. We think it’ll actually add some cool elements to the Apex Cup itself, but we’re not ready right now to dive into the details as we’re trying to get the Sniper ready for you guys.


#13

OML carries business risk and rewards. They choose Steam and Windows PC because that’s the platform where players are willing to pay to play. There is room for turn-base games. Hex Gambit is successor of Outwitters. Last version of Outwitters has this semi real time feel when you play friendly match and both players agree to blitz trough the turns. One of the goals for Outwitters successor was shorter matches and faster gameplay. Yet turn based match with tiny player pool will always be slow. Playing real time blitz mode (with strangers) requires turn timers or chess clock system. Different rules. More development and play testing. Having real-time blitz league and rules side by turn based slow Hex Gambit should make financial sense. And I feel that Adam and Alex has been saying during development that some kind of real time one sitting format is one of their goals. Friendly matches can already achieve that. As a forum member my tiny contribution to OML is to tell how as a gamer I feel about their games and development choices. Besides purchasing money, small development teams tend to value kind comments from players who enjoy their work. As an adult gamer I do worry about OML financial success. One sitting gameplay rules, rightly implemented, should have larger audience than matches that take weeks to complete.