An Action-Adventure game, that combines Hack’n’Slash with exploration and puzzle solving. The scenario is a post- apocalyptic sci-fi world, where zombies walk restless around and technology looks like something from an 80’ties sci-fi film. The visual expression is dark and sinister, with black shadows, ink lines and clean colors. The game features zombies like they should be, slow, dumb and flesh-eating, life-threatening in groups and incredible persistent when their eyes are locked on fresh meat.
The story about an alcoholic with an identity crisis
Jazon wakes up with a huge hangover in an abandon world. His memory is gone and in an attempt to survive he invents an alter ego, as a bad ass hero. He recurs ladies, fights bad guys, beat brains out of zombies with his bare fists and fights super villains. He reinforces his belief by finding clues all around him, but will his facade hold up when the memories from his past starts to pop up?
A unique universe
A universe in the future where design development stopped in the 80’ties which sets a special heavy and rough touch on the game. The graphics are dark with ink lines, blank shadows and familiar shapes, inspired by comic book artists like Mike Mignola. Bad camera control, unlucky one-liner jokes and splat is all part of the 80’ties which the game is bringing back. The style is very unique and stands out from other games.
You will often end up in a fight with your life on the line. With a gun you can quickly kill a zombie, but with the limited amount of bullets you could maybe have used them better in another situation. On the other hand there is a great risk of dying if you choice to fight a zombie with your fists. The choices you make are critical for your survival.
If you barely survive the zombies, your next challenge is a time pressed situation that requires you to think straight. It’s dangerous to be at the same spot for too long, even though the zombies are slow they will never quite hunting you, and they fight to get in through blocked doors, windows and ventilations shafts. With the things you find in the environment or zombies you can exploit it makes you capable to solve the riddles and progress into the next room.
Music like the old days
No doubt about it, when it comes to music old is better. The music creates a wholeness in the game, with a “grungy” 80’ties inspired impression, spiced with horror and surprises. It brings the universe, style and story together and tramps the player in this intense world.
In Jazon and the Dead you start out in a desert, so we had to create whole new environment for that part of the game. Before summer we had a version of the environment that was very rough and didn’t live up to the standards that we had in the indoor environments, partly because we rushed the creation to make a deadline and partly because we underestimated the time it would take to develop the look for our outdoor scenes.
Unity doesn’t have a decal system which is so weird because every game could use a decal system. Apparently it’s something they didn’t add, so we had to find other solutions. We found an asset that does the trick and it works really well. We created a bunch of decals for the environment, that we can use in other environments as well. Earlier we had to placed planes with a texture on them, but decals are so much better. It’s easier to place them,they can add to the normal map, they work with transparency and with multiple objects.
We found a workflow for blending our terrain using heightmaps. That meant that we had to alter our texturing pipeline and use Substance Designer to create all the landscape materials procedurally so that we could output height, normal, specular and diffuse information in an easy manner. It didn’t take long getting used to Substance, and before long we figured out how to make textures in the look that we wanted. It gives a better feel for the sand and the ground in general. The sand blends into the cracks of the concrete now, before it was just a fade between the textures. It creates more variety and less repeated patterns. Unity’s Terrain doesn’t support custom shaders, and it can only fade between textures. So we had to figure out another workflow using plugins from the asset store. We found a tool that we can use to sculpt the mesh (Terrain) so we don’t need to open Maya each time. We worked on our toon shader to make it more customizable, we wanted to have more controls over the shadows to convey the strong outdoor light.
In the environment we added a bunch of props to give it more “life” and believability. Our focus was to create them stylized fitting within our art style but also in a way that would work with an outdoor environment.
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Did you have problems with unity standard assets as well? What do you think about our decals? Any ideas on how to improve these updates? Let us know and write a comment.
Lately are having a great momentum with our game. It got selected for the Made with Unity showcase at Unite Europe in Amsterdam, and last week we have...
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