18 May

Moving Forward

Posted by Justin under Juggernauts, Momentum

So sadly Blue Max is no longer on this site. Its been quite a few weeks since I made a post. Its been a time for reflection on what Blue Max was, what it could have been, errors made, lessons learned and things accomplished.

Prior to its going I had started on two new projects based on original IP. They were on the back burner for the last couple of months while I worked on improving the games I already had. The huge hole in the site left by Blue Max has motivated me to attack these projects with new vigor.

Because these games are original one of the hurdles has been their lack of existing rules. Having complete and tested rules makes the process of writing code possible. I was going to say ‘easier’ there but really, without finalised rules coding is not just harder, it is impossible.

Rules on paper are much easier to tweak and change than rules tied up in code. One of my first priorities has been to come up with complete sets of rules that can be play tested with bits of cardboard, stand-in models, pens and paper. At the same time I know that eventually these games will be online so I can make rules that work for that medium from the outset.

So let me introduce the games


Momentum is a game of fleet combat in space. Movement follows Newtonian physics (but not in an incredibly strict way) and players will have to balance how their ships divide their resources between thrust, weapons and shields.

The first draft of the rules is complete. All I have left to do is commit the ship designs to a form I can distribute. I am keen to get some play testing done, so if you think you are up for it drop me a line.


Juggernauts is a game of giant mecha combat in a steampunk setting. Set in an alternate history where the War of the Worlds was not a fiction, the nations of Europe have taken inspiration, if not the technology, from the Martian tripods and built their own walking, fighting machines.

A friend and I developed Juggernauts as war game over a decade ago. Now I am updating them to be played on a hex grid with simultaneous movement. It seems to work well as one of the features of the game has always been that these massive machines are ponderous and difficult to manage.

A big advantage with this game is that it is a collaboration so there is someone to play-test with and in this case Marc, my partner in crime, is an excellent artist who can help with collateral for the game. The disadvantage is that it is a collaboration so for anything to happen we both have to find time in our hectic lives, and have that time mesh.

Phil Hall, Blue Max and Hexcell Games

Phil Hall is the designer of the Blue Max board game. I thought I had an understanding with Phil from February 2010 that I could proceed developing an online version of his game. Phil did not in fact give me his permission. It took over a year for me to learn I had got it […]

World War 1 movies: Flyboys

Flyboys is a fictionalised account of the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of the French Air Service manned by American volunteers before America’s entry into the war. It is enjoyable if extremely light fare. It is the standard motley-group-of-cocky-newcomers-bond-and-come-good story with the Hollywood mandated love story layered on the top. The flying sequences are gorgeous. All […]

Progress Report – 3 April 2011

The last weeks have been a time of reflection, and actually playing the games. I have been going over the feedback I have been getting in email and through the forums – fixing errors in various games and apologising that the errors occurred in the first place – thinking of ways I can make what we have […]

Announcing the Hexcell t-shirt store

Hexcell Games now has t-shirt designs for sale. Hit shirts.hexcellgames.com. The store is powered by Printfection. They offered the most flexible shirt and website design options. And as if by design Printfection is having a sale this week. Save 20% on all orders no minimums OR 25%on all orders with a subtotal of $50 or more! To get the […]

Progress Report – 13 March 2011

A few small updates in the last two weeks. The player profile now shows some basic information about Blue Max. The number of games they are playing and have finished is shown and the number of turns they have submitted over the last thirty days. The number of moves they have made is dependent on the number […]

Progress Report – 28 February 2011

A couple of small changes to report this week. Chat in both Blue Max and Deduce or Die! now tell you what round comments were made. Unfortunately all chat messages made before this new system was implemented will be reported as having been made during ‘game setup’. Reporting the game turn a message was posted […]

MeepleTown features Hexcell Games

Christian Wilson has said kind things about Hexcell Games on the MeepleTown blog in a post listing sites where you can play board games online. He is particularly enamored of Deduce or Die! http://meepletown.com/2011/02/getting-your-board-game-fix-online/ I subscribe to a fair few board game sites and blogs trying to keep up with what is coming out and living vicariously […]

Away from keyboard for 5 days

I took a holiday away from the Internet in late February.

Progress Report – 14 February 2011

What I got up to in the first two weeks of February plus news on HTML5 and game development.