I want to take some time to talk about what exactly Terror is going to be. Is it another Doom clone? Or yet another zombie shooter pretending to be a horror game? Well I can tell you it's not going to be either of those.
The general focus for this project is a dark action adventure game with some RPG elements throw in. Originally it was planned to be a straight up action RPG but over time, as I tried to work out the action components, I found myself creating a Doom game by mistake. This is because in terms of action game play, Doom has always been one of my favorites. So from then on I was basically recreating a lot of the internal aspects to Doom's combat which will fit nicely into an action adventure game.
The combat is not a direct clone though, I plan on having 3 classes to choose from: a Warrior, a Mage and a Gunner. Each will play very differently from one another, they will have different stats including speed. The Warrior will be much more similar to classic action RPG games, with blocking and dodging playing a big part in the combat. The Mage will used a combination system for magic, by picking up body parts from dead monsters, the mage can draw magical energy from them. Combos can be formed by equipping two parts at the same time to create a new effect. Finally, the Gunner will be a very familiar class, being the faster class in the game, the gunner will have to dodge everything as he will have no defenses, you must blast fast and conserve your ammo. That class will be the connection to Doom while the others will be designed to play like entirely different games in a sense.
Let's cover the world design, as I mentioned before the game will be an adventure game, so no map-to-map linear design. Instead, it'll be almost open world, allowing for a lot of freedom to walk anywhere, with maps being connected. I won't be following Hexen's example with a hub system, instead I'm going for a more classic non-linear world, like perhaps Legend of Zelda or Metroid. That being said, it won't be total freedom, there will be bared paths for sure but they will be few and far apart. The world I have planned so far will cover 5 major areas, a central city that connects 4 different regions, as well as smaller areas that connect those main areas. The game begins in the ruins of the great city on the planet, now it's only citizens are the ghouls that destroyed it. From there the player can freely explore the world and fulfill their objectives. (which may be different for each class, allowing for a lot of re-playability)
I'll admit that this game won't have a huge amount of traditional horror in it but it will be a very dark, gorey and overall a bit depressing in it's story and presentation. So in terms of style and mood, this game will fit horror more than anything else. Expect a lot of dark hallways, dimly lit chambers, dungeons of death and doom, as well as corpses and screeches of unholy pain. It's a horror-themed game but not a horror game I guess.
Multi-player and Co-op:
The main game is a large single player campaign, with the option of drop-in / drop-out Co-op via Split-screen only. I do NOT plan on coding for any network play. So the co-op is limited to split-screen with 1 other player. There won't be a big focus on other multi-player modes either but I will include a death-match mode as well as some others, perhaps a survival or challenge mode that can be played along or against 1 other player through split-screen. I'll throw in some bots as well so that it won't be just 1-on-1. I understand that it won't really interest many people but it'll be relatively easy to put in there as an optional mode just for fun.
The game is coded in Game Maker 8.1 and uses all native functions for 3D. The only external lib I'm using is for playing OGG files for the background music. I have spent the last 2 years coding this engine and I will continue to add to it, improve it and probably use it for another project later on. The engine is quite primitive when you compare it to modern engines but even still, it's got a lot going for it. For one thing, it can rebuild most Doom maps albeit with a more squarish design. There is some static lighting built straight into the maps, colored rooms, skyboxes, infinite height, varying elevations, windows, lifts, doors, etc. It's got the works.
It's hard to create a full feature list but I'll try to separate when is done and what is planned. So here it goes.
- Core first person shooter mechanics
- health, armor and ammo pickups
- multiple weapons
- decent enemy AI with fast path finding
- static lighting with color
- doors, locked doors and keys
- secret doors and lifts
- lava and floors that hurt
- lots of options such as mouse sensitivity slider, FOV, render distance and custom controls
- basic splitscreen support (currently mapped to an xbox 360 controller)
- basic blood particles and bullet holes
- 2 more classes; warrior and mage
- inventory system
- class-specific skill system (upgrade with experience points)
- equipment system
- switches, triggers, traps and other map obstacles
- saving and loading (design yet to be determined)
- region specific enemies, all with unique AI and abilities
- big boss fights
- objectives log that helps players figure out what to do
- improve particle system and special effects
- tons of ambient sounds
So far this has been a solo project for me. I created all the textures and various sprites, while getting free sounds at freesound.org and using the Freedoom enemy and weapon assets. I would like to design my own enemies but my artistic skills have never been anything to brag about. Whether or not I can get some help with the enemy design or force myself to become a competent artist remains a mystery. If anyone is interested in lending a (free) hand than I would be extremely appreciative.
That's all the info I have for now. I'll continue to post up news and release new alpha demos to get feedback. I'm still at an early stage in development so I need all that feedback and criticism I can get now.