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Hack ‘n’ Slash is a puzzle action game about hacking -- reprogram object properties, hijack global variables, hack creature behavior, and even rewrite the game’s code! The game is in Early Access so that you can help us improve it before it’s finished. And remember, the only way to win is not to play...by the rules!
Release Date: May 6, 2014
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“We’re releasing on Early Access so that players can influence the tuning of the mechanics, provide ideas for puzzles, help guide our Steam Workshop integration, and support the final game. Hack 'n' Slash is still in development and there will be bugs, but players who get in now will help us improve a game that can expose people to a whole new way of playing and thinking about games. Check out our development roadmap below for more details on our Early Access plan!”
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Hack 'n' Slash patch!

May 30th, 2014

In-game menu
There’s a new in-game menu that opens when you press [Esc] on the Keyboard or [Start] on a 360 controller.

It lets you adjust the (new!) user settings, and provides the single most requested feature: a way to quit from inside the game!

System settings
The game now automatically stores system settings. These include keyboard control mappings, fullscreen/resolution settings, and audio settings.

Keyboard controls
You can now remap the keyboard controls from the game menu. Remap to your heart’s content! Be careful when remapping the buttons for “Select” or the navigation controls - all changes are immediate.

Settings
From the settings menu you can toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode. The game automatically saves your windowed resolution as you drag the window, and always runs at display native resolution when you go fullscreen.

From here you can also control your audio settings, adjusting either the master volume or the volumes for the individual sound categories.

Optimizations and compatibility
This build contains a lot of optimizations and compatibility fixes. It addresses several issues with load times and crashes to desktop on certain hardware.

One major change we made is that we now store textures using a different compression method. We initially shipped with PNG files for all in-game textures, not because this is the ideal choice for a game, but because it allows you to poke around the game’s directories and easily look at or mess with all of the the game’s textures, which was important to us.

Unfortunately, PNG’s are a kind of bad choice for a runtime format because they decompress to 32 bit-per-pixel textures in memory, so - for example - a single chunk of background terrain takes up 4 MB in video memory. This is a killer in terms of memory foot print and, on some systems, performance.

Typically modern games load textures into one of the S3TC compression formats. This is a much more efficient texture representation that modern graphics cards support natively. We switched to doing this for Hack ‘n’ Slash and it makes the game run a lot more smoothly across a wide array of hardware.

Unfortunately, using one of these formats makes it harder to mess with the files on disk. We even experimented with loading the PNG’s and then converting them to an S3TC format at runtime, but this increased load times too much on older systems. We want to make sure it's still possible to mess with the textures with off-the-shelf tools, though: the most efficient texture file format that our engine supports is proprietary to Double Fine, so we didn't use that. Instead, Hack ‘n’ Slash’s textures are stored in the DDS format, which is not incredibly common, but you can find plugins for graphics programs and converter tools online.

Furthermore, DDS files are not optimally compressed on disk, so we actually take an additional step of gzip compressing the textures to make the disk footprint as small as possible. So you’ll see that the texture files end with the .dds.gz extension. But tools like gzip and imagemagick will let you convert to an easier-to-edit format.

The game engine still supports (and prioritizes) PNG files. You can still a create a PNG with the same name and put it in the same directory as the texture you want to override. It will automatically override it. We'll also continue to support PNG files when we roll out Steam Workshop support.

The good news is that, even though the patch is large, the game will now take up substantially less disk space on your computer!

Bugfixes
Lots of small content bugfixes went into the game with this build. More to come! Please keep the bug reports coming! We’re cataloging and addressing them as quickly as possible.

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About the Game

Hack ‘n’ Slash is a puzzle action game about hacking -- reprogram object properties, hijack global variables, hack creature behavior, and even rewrite the game’s code! The game is in Early Access so that you can help us improve it before it’s finished. And remember, the only way to win is not to play...by the rules!

The wizard has mandated that everyone confine themselves to the village, the castle armory has started to forge weapons so powerful that no one but guards are allowed to carry them, and anyone who attempts to find a sprite and demonstrate their bravery would face certain death. The new laws are for your own protection, but you don’t buy it. You’ll show everyone what “brave” means and, if you’re clever, maybe uncover the secret reasons why everything’s gone sideways.

Key Features:


  • Use in-game tools to hack the game while you’re playing it
    Your sword can hack the variables of objects. You find magic artifacts that allow you to tune global variables to your liking. Discover equipment that lets you see the game’s internal debug visualization to uncover things that weren’t meant to be seen.
  • Hack the code
    As you achieve advanced hacking mastery, you’ll be able to dive directly into the game’s assembly in the form of procedurally generated dungeons and modify the live-running code.
  • Make the game yours
    Puzzles have myriad solutions, many of which we haven’t anticipated. As you master the game’s hacking mechanics, you can mold and shape the game in whatever way you desire.
  • Crash it!
    You’re hacking the game for real! You can totally break it. Roll back in time to change the rules so the bugs don’t cause the world to fall apart, whether they’re yours or ours!

Development Roadmap:


The game is launching on Early Access which provides an opportunity for you to join us while the game is still in development to help us dial in the mechanics and puzzle design. Here's a look at our roadmap for the remainder of development that shows what we’re planning and what we’d love your input on!

  • Final dungeon
    The final dungeon is not currently in the game. This is the point where you take all the tools you’ve gathered and everything you’ve learned to finally take down the wizard and restore freedom to the kingdom. We want to make sure the puzzles are carefully tuned to the mechanics of the game, so we want to get feedback on those mechanics from you before we lock down the ending of the game. Play through to the final dungeon, then join the community, and tell us what you’d like to see. We’ll use that information to build the final dungeon that’s right for the game.

  • Extra puzzles
    The critical path of the game is designed to be achievable by anyone who’s clever and likes solving puzzles, whether they’re technical or not. The game also needs puzzles for serious reversers, though, and we want to tie them together with the mysteries of the world on the periphery. We want to know what parts of the world or the mechanics pique your interest. With that information, we’ll dive deep, burying secrets in the game that will thoroughly challenge you and elucidate the things you care about.

  • Steam Workshop support
    By the time you’re well versed in the gameplay of Hack ‘n’ Slash, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the game’s internals and you’ll be ready to make your equipment, puzzles, and creatures. Tell us what kinds of tools you want to make the things you imagine and we’ll build first-class Steam Workshop integration into the game so that you can share your ideas with the rest of the world.

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 2.2Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, Intel HD 3000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Lion 10.7.X
    • Processor: Intel Core i series processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6770, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, ATI Radeon 4870 HD, Intel HD 4000, or equivalent card with at least 512 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 2.2Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, AMD Radeon HD 6850
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Must have OpenGL 3 with GLSL version 1.3. Some users may need to disable Steam overlay.
Helpful customer reviews
117 of 137 people (85%) found this review helpful
176 products in account
2 reviews
6.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Hack n' Slash is in early access, but it is magnificent already.

Bugs are present, so if that bothers you, you may want to steer clear until v1.0. I havent come across anything game breaking, but I have encountered a few instances of the game freezing or inventory scrambling. Regardless of this, I have really enjoyed my playthrough so far.

If you're the least bit interested in this games mechanics and can handle a few minor hiccups, I'd say go for it.
Posted: May 6th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
163 of 216 people (75%) found this review helpful
40 products in account
5 reviews
122.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I hit my Game Hours and edited that to be so large. 10/10 game
(i actually play this game for hours on end)

~

This game is literally a puzzle version of the OG Legend of Zelda with more code language than getting stuff from a stranger in a cave.

(note that Double Fine Productions is probably hard at work clearing out some bug crashes and what not, since this review was made during early development.)
Posted: May 6th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
60 of 78 people (77%) found this review helpful
160 products in account
3 reviews
3.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is amazing. One of the best puzzle games I've ever played. Extra cool if you happen to be a programmer, as the game eventually involves parsing/modifying functions to progress.
Posted: May 7th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
282 products in account
10 reviews
1.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Full disclosure: I work for Double Fine, the studio that makes this game. From where I'm sitting I could throw this banana on my desk at Hack n Slash's creator, Brandon Dillon, with a good chance of hitting him in the head. That's a good idea actually, be right back.

While some games are content to bedeck themselves with the aesthetics of computer hacking, Hack n Slash is a deeply legit exploration of the actual mechanics of hacking. You modify actual running code using tools that function like real hacking tools, and it's wrapped in a very charming and well-judged take on the original NES Zelda.
Posted: June 19th, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 33 people (67%) found this review helpful
537 products in account
4 reviews
5.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
A nice ride into the world of hacking things. Thanks to the fact that i learn that hacking stuff since long times i can tell that in this game you are really confronted with some of the fundamental concepts of hacking.
Catching passwords trough some unwanted outputs or changing of global variables are just a few of them.

Also you get familliar with the think outside of the Box expirience a hacker needs each day. I only whish that there are more upcoming eastereggs and some funhacks you can do if wanted. I alsohope that there will be more than just the final dungeon.
More maps and a little bit more stuff in general.
Beside this fact and trough its early access the game offers a nice playtime and is also underlined with funny dialoges and a catching story :D

The start was a bit greedy on functions, but soon after the first boss the real hacking skills were needed :D

Ill give this game 8/10 in its current state (there were some crashes but because off the way the game is made it never REALLY crashed just the room restarted and often it was my fault for hacking sth. into an infinite loop ) also a little lack off content but this is early access and the devs have some time left to make new content and More stuff.

For everyone intrested in programming and/or (logical or) zelda this game is fine and worth the 20 Bucks (i expect that moar content WILL come)
Posted: May 9th, 2014
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