Saturday, 29 November 2014

Still Alive and Kicking (or Shooting Zombies!)

Well, it has been a while (three month or so) but I have been trying to get my life back on track and Dork Tales is still on hiatus and the procedural terrain minecraft thingy is as well. Since Windborne basically stopped production I moved on to another game for my free time and it is another sandbox building game (who would have guessed, lol, like those too much) called Creativerse. Creativerse is a bit more like minecraft visually but not mechanically and I have about 400 hours sunk there since the end of August...

All that doesn't sound very productive and more like wasting time but it is not really because through the community of those two games I met someone who also wants to start out in game design and he has skills that I do not have and that are needed for indie development like an art and marketing background. We were playing a lot of coop and streamed that on his channel and we joked about starting our own company to make games. One day, he contacted me and introduced me to an old colleague of his who was willing to fund our first steps...

As we all played Skyrim and sandbox games, we want to make our our own mix of the two at some point but to start out with that would be a guaranteed failure! We have to start simpler and a lot smaller, so Loki, my coop buddy, came up with the idea to make a zombie fps. I am not a big fan of zombies in any kind of media but he convinced me and we started out working on a few level concepts and I started to write a simple shooter controller in Unity. With some assets bought from the store, we will be able to get a few levels set up in a short time and shoot some zombies. (Really like the asset store for Unity!)

Those are the little buggers!

They are cartoony and cute but can be quite deadly in masses as well:

The game is about shooting them and collecting coins to upgrade your weapons to shoot more of them... more or less ;P

The first part is nearly finished for testing, have to do the menu works next and do the weapon upgrades later. The plan is to have a working prototype (or vertical slice) up and running to test out between us and a few selected testers and with the feedback improve the game and then go on to Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight to get more eyes on it and a bit more funding to compensate us for the work done so far and finance the rest of development.

Development shot: Unity 4.6 with new UI system and a glimpse into one of the levels. 

How many level we want to have is not 100% clear yet but we are confident to produce quality levels in a short time frame to add a variety of different setups without going the procedural generated route .This approach gives us more control over the look and feels of every aspect of every level to include Easter eggs and different ways to finish a levels.

The types of levels we have planned at the moment are mazes, wave setups and boss arenas. There will be no open world and no crafting apart from upgrading weapons via coins. Coins can only be obtained in-game by killing zombies or collecting them in rooms, no option to buy them for real money in a store or stuff like that.

The game will be single player for Windows PC with the option to port it over to Mac and Linux. Multiplayer is not planned but could be an expansion later on with maps specifically designed for that. We aim for Steam as a platfom to get a lot of people to be able to see the game but will also publish it elsewhere like Desura or DRM free on Humble or GOG (long term goals, lol)

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