I am trying my best to provide weekly updates for everyone following our progress. My apologies if I don't always do it on the same day, I keep meaning to do it during the week, but every time, I end up spending the time working on the game. No hard feelings?
Anyways I am encouraging the rest of the team to post their WIP on indiedb so we can get more of their awesome work out to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, here's what will hopefully continue to be your weekly update!
Let's start with a picture!
My monitor is brighter than the sun, thus, now you get another picture that looks way darker than I expected, but this is OK today, because I actually want to show you the flashlight.
So I've been thinking. If society were to ever burn to cinders, I imagine you probably won't find a lot of lights since power is quite likely not being generated readily. As such, I would certainly expect survivors to never leave home without a trusty flashlight. Now, I'm a bit torn here because I really like the idea of making players hold their flashlight to provide a feeling of tension and make them feel weakened whenever they are exploring dark places. However, I also know it can be a giant pain if it isn't done properly, so for now, the flashlight is mounted on your person. Later on, I will experiment with having it be an actual item you hold in your hands.
Anyways the pic above shows you one of our buildings. I promise we will show some daytime shots eventually, though you will never quite likely see any lush scenery here. I don't want anyone feeling relaxed when they play this eventually.
As for the flashlight, yes, I fully intend to make it so that it uses up batteries. As such, it will be yet another resource for you to manage on your quest for survival, so you will need to be responsible enough to turn it off when you don't need it, or a rogue chupacabra may show up in the dark and eat your brains, or something.
Ok so here's another picture of stuff
He's dead Jim.
Look, you can't give someone guns and not make them feel satisfying to use, ok? That's a crime in a video game. I'll probably write a whole post about the weapon system later on, but let me just tell you I spent a few weeks just working on the shooting and weapons for the game. They still need more work, but so far I have a pretty extendable system that allows you to create weapons of all kinds, sort of like Borderlands.
Eventually, my plan is to actually let players craft their own unique weapons. And armor. And build their own buildings/fortify existing ones.
Yes, I did say it. Don't get me wrong, this is no Minecraft, our world is heightmaps at the moment, so while we could potentially allow players to deform the terrain, I honestly didn't see a lot of our gameplay revolving around that feature, so building a terrain engine to handle it just wasn't something I could justify spending months on (though I *really* kind of wanted to, maybe for another project)
So anyways, part of guns being satisfying to use is their effect on things. We already can spawn different particles based on what you hit (though right now we only use two, sparks and blood,). We can also create bullet holes based on the material. Eventually, I want to spawn blood/other decals as a result of player action. One of the "user stories" I always envisioned for our game was to have a situation where you can track someone by following a trail of blood or footsteps.
Also pictured here: Ragdolls. Fairly self explanatory, you know what they are, we have them. That's it. I have some interesting plans for ragdolls, but I don't want to get anyone excited before I actually have something I can show for it :-)
The majority of my time these last weeks has been spent in AI and pathfinding.
Lessons learned, buildings with narrow hallways and multiple stories are a giant pain in the neck . Here you can see the path in green, that blue thing is a giant grid the AI uses to detect obstacles.
Navmeshes are fun. A navmesh is basically a map of the walkable areas for the AI. Another fun thing about navmeshes is that they are usually created in a 3d modeling program. As a result, I had to start learning a bit of Blender, so I wouldn't need to bug artists for help with AI stuff. So I spent a good day or so, learning Blender.
Finally, let me just mention here that we are interested in recruiting 3d artists. We really need someone who can do the following. Contact us anyway if you can fulfill at least one of these roles:
- Model characters
- Model environments/props