Image for post
Image for post

It’s hard to believe, but October 2020 marked 10 years of making games at Heart Shaped Games! We’re celebrating the milestone with a brief retrospective on our work as a studio so far, and some exciting game announcements. We have updates to our released games, new platform releases, new merch, and news about what’s in store for our upcoming sci-fi strategy RPG in development, We Are The Caretakers.

Celebration Announcements

Hero Generations: ReGen Gets a New Update With Easy Mode!

Image for post
Image for post

For the first time in nearly 4 years, we’ve released a new update for Hero Generations: ReGen! …


Hi everyone,

As I’m sure you can understand, 2020 has thrown a wrench into our best-laid game dev plans. While we feel fortunate to have already been working remotely, the challenges of this year affected our work routines, event & release plans, and overall productivity in significant ways. Many of us are juggling childcare at home alongside our work, and handling many other personal and professional difficulties. Plus, it’s important to us that we don’t crunch just to meet a deadline, or rush the game out and sacrifice quality.

All of this means that although we’re continuing to make great progress on the game, we decided to target a new release date for We Are The Caretakers. We’re expecting that to be in the first half of 2021, and we’ll share a more exact timeline once we’re ready to commit to one. …


Hello! It’s been awhile since we gave an update on We Are The Caretakers. Much of the team was extra busy preparing for various industry events and working hard on features for our IGF submission earlier this month.

Image for post
Image for post
We Are The Caretakers on display at IndieCade 2019

Last week Stephen attended PAX Australia, and Scott and Xalavier attended IndieCade in Santa Monica, California. In addition to showing WATC at IndieCade, Scott spoke as part of a panel on running Kickstarters, and Xalavier ran a Night Game called “Fulfillment.” We were able to show We Are The Caretakers in the “Game Tasting” area, and received some good feedback on our updated build. Most notably the game’s core ideas seem to be understood clearly now without hitting bugs or points of confusion. …


I’m Scott Brodie, Founder & Creative Director at Heart Shaped Games. Our team recently returned from running its first PAX East booth, and since we benefited from the advice of other indies in our preparation, I thought I’d share our experience too. This was our first booth at a major convention despite being in business for 8 years, so it was a big step and investment for the studio to make. If that wasn’t daunting enough, we decided to also surprise announce our new game, We Are the Caretakers, on the first day of the show! So was it a good decision? …


Highgrounds Update From Devs (Archive From Forums — 3/15/17)

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve responded in the Highgrounds forum — we’re a small team that’s trying to accomplish a lot across all of our games, and it’s easy to miss some of the conversation that happens here. I’ll definitely work on participating more often.

I want to address a few threads that have popped up asking why we have not continued with updates to the game over the past year. We’re all about being open and honest, and in Highgrounds case it has very little to do with our desire to keep improving the game, and more to do with how the game sells. The reality is that Highgrounds makes little to no money for us. We are lucky to break even each month between our server costs and sales, which are both in the range of a few hundred dollars. If you take into account the time we spend with customer support, dealing with cheaters/hackers, we lose money on keeping Highgrounds alive. …


Put together by one of our community members, Impronoucabl

Every time you win a battle with a commander in your army, that commander earns XP. This includes campaign battles, ghost battles, random PvP battles, basecamp battles and battles that you initiate via the leaderboard. No XP is awarded for beating someone who you challenge directly via username or friends list, which is how the vast majority of games like Highgrounds work, mainly because of cheating as we’ve previously discussed.

Your first commander has a maximum level of 25. Once you’ve gotten your commander most of the way 25, a second Commander will automatically be awarded to you for free. That commander has a maximum level of 35, and once again, when you get that 2nd commander most of the way to his level cap, a third commander will be awarded to you for free. Each commander has a max level cap that is 10 levels higher than the previous commander (i.e. the max level is 45 for your third commander.) An active player will hit the cap on their first commander relatively quickly, and the end result should be a relatively powerful commander! …


Hi everyone,

Unfortunately due changes in the Armor Games and Kongregate platforms we are unable to support, and as part of our overall updates to our web games and sites in response to the new EU GDPR policies, Highgrounds will no longer be available to play on either sites as of May 31st. We want our Armor Games and Kongregate Games players to be able to continue playing Highgrounds our main website, http://www.highgroundsgame.com, and have put together a support system to help you make the transition. Here are the details:

To be clear, this only affects players on Armor Games and Kongregate. If you play on our website (http://www.highgroundsgame.com), Newgrounds, or any other website, your account will NOT be affected.


This article is based on a talk I gave at the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. My slides and other info about the session can be found here.

This year there was one game design topic that took up most of the space in my notebook. The notes come from thinking both about my own work, such as Brave Hand and Hero Generations, and from analyzing some of the many great indie games I played. It’s an idea that is considered taboo and “bad design.” That topic is gameplay setbacks.

A gameplay setback is a game situation where the player loses something they had, but instead of resetting their state, the game asks them to figure out how to continue on anyway, without getting back what they lost. …


I had the opportunity to speak again this year at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, on the Mobile Game Designers Notebook session. I was joined by Chelsea How (Owlchemy Labs) and Kenny Shea Dinkin (King), and the session is one of my favorites, so I was really excited to be a part of it. My topic was gameplay setbacks, and how they can be used as a tool to create impactful moments for players.

The session was recorded, and should be available in 2 weeks on the GDC Vault. In the meantime, you can check out my slides below. The complete text of what I said can be found in the notes section of each slide. Thank you to everyone who came out!

Download Link: GDC 2018 Mobile Game Designers Notebook Slides

About

Scott

Founder, Creative Director at Heart Shaped Games. Games: Making We Are The Caretakers, Hero Generations, Brave Hand, Highgrounds.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store