VZ Games
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VZ Games

Hash Rush — The Road Ahead 2021

Hello there everyone,

This article has been a long time coming, so please sit back and enjoy this in-depth look at our plans for Hash Rush in 2021.

Before we begin, we do need to state one thing. Originally, we planned to publish a write-up for each year (we’ve already published 2017), and then at the end of this month (January), we’d talk about our plans for 2021 (so this article). But, after looking at the community and reading the feedback that we recently received, we decided to address the game development plans now.

That said, please note that this article only addresses the game, we have a lot more (really good) news that we will announce at the end of January/start of February.

So, join us as we look at the road ahead for Hash Rush!

The State of the Game

If you recently played Hash Rush, you would have noticed that though the game is fun/enjoyably to play (that is the community’s common consensus), there are a number of bugs that rather strongly — and negatively — impact the overall experience of the game, with bugs in the combat system being the biggest. Furthermore, our community have made it clear that there is a growing feeling that the game feels as if it has a bunch of features that are (in theory) exciting and fun, but at the same time they feel incomplete, or too unstable to properly enjoy.

That feedback did raise a lot of eyebrows at our end and we knew that we had to act — and act fast. So, after reviewing the game ourselves, we have come to agree with the community’s sentiment, so for the last few months have been looking at the game, revisiting the game design, and talking to the developers so that we can all get a better understanding of the challenges that we need to overcome.

Ultimately, we all came to the conclusion that the game ‘as it is now’ is filled with far too many holes/issues that would prevent us from really going live (with blockchain/payment etc — as we will not add any form of monetization to a game that is not stable). Furthermore, fixing the various issues have proven to be an incredibly difficult task. We did try, but the cause of a few of the biggest bugs are so deep that we had to think of a new approach.

Our solution to this is to start over — well in a sense (please hear us out before jumping to any conclusions). We are working on a semi-redesign of Hash Rush meaning that the game is being re-coded from bottom-up, but we are also re-using what we can from the current version of the game, as not everything is in a bad state.

Actually, the majority of the game is very solid, it really is one major feature that causes all of the issues, the planetoid and spherical setting as this breaks the game’s pathfinding, which in turn ruins the combat system and the AI systems.

How will this impact the players?

When we look at this from the player’s perspective, we can confidentially write that this will not negatively impact our player. In fact, the re-design will allow us to seriously improve our communication flow and even incorporate them in the design/development of new features.

While we are working on the new version, the existing Production/Weekly version will be re-named to ‘Demo’ as that version really is a good representation of Hash Rush (albeit a bit unstable), however, that version will not be updated. Instead, we are going to work on the new version — until it is ready — and then add that to the launcher for you to play.

Estimated Time Frames/More information

Put simply, it will be playable in the first half of this year (2021). At this stage we cannot go into all the details just yet, but we will share a full roadmap/explanation in the first week of February, so hang around until then!

Changes to the Game/New Features

Firstly, we want to make clear that though some parts of the game will change, the soul of Hash Rush will remain the same — meaning that the moment you jump into the new version, you’ll see that it is Hash Rush and not something else.

When it comes to changes, there really is just 1 major change, but it has a lot of knock-on effects, that change is to how the planets work.

Planet/Sectors

In the original version of Hash Rush, every player starts on a planetoid and the entire planet is their map. While this concept is popular with the community, it is also the single cause of the majority of bugs that exist in the game. As we mentioned earlier, the game’s pathfinding does not interact well with the spherical setting, and this in turn breaks numerous other features, from combat, to AI, and even unit selection.

The change is as follows. Players will still start a planetoid, however, the planet will now be split into a set amount of regions. This means that instead of the player tackling the entire planet at once, they now have to conquer it region by region.

This gives us two huge benefits. Firstly, each sector will be a flat playing field, and not a sphere which instantly makes fixing the pathfinding much easier.

In fact, you’ll be pleased to know that our very early tests have shown that it is already working much better, something that you can see in the video below.

In this scene we are testing the combat to make sure that it is working properly.

Important: Please note that the scene above is purely a test environment. It was set up with some very basic Hash Rush elements so that we can all see combat in action. It is NOT how the new version will look.

The second major benefit is in the uniqueness of each region. Currently, Hash Rush has 1 planet and everyone has the same map/layout. This makes the replayability extremely minimal as even if you were to play through our harder maps, the layout remains almost the same, so it feels extremely repetitive. . We did have plans (and working demos) for procedurally generated planets, but ultimately there were issues (again with the spherical setting) that kept pushing us back. Now with a flat surface, those issues have instantly vanished, so each region will be unique.

Looking to the future, this also allows us to designate specific regions as special regions. One idea that we are looking at is having a map editor that allows players to create their own maps, then playing that map (or other maps from the community) in the specified regions.

That is it for now, in a sense, this announcement is rather short, but at the same time it covers a lot and finally addresses our plans for how we are going to fix the game.

Finally, please remember that this article only covers the very surface of a lot of work that has gone into Hash Rush in the last few months. A lot more information will be published between the end of January to the start of February and that will go into a lot of detail. We just felt that it was vital for us to publish this piece now.

Do you have any questions for us? Or are you concerned about the changes? Then please join our Discord server and ask away there. The Hash Rush team will be on hand to answer all of your questions.

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