That’s right I’m still alive! (As is Mr Green line, dispute my best efforts.) Apologies for the prolonged radio silence, long story short, everyone else has had far more important things going on in their lives lately so I’ve been doing a bit of a one-man development team thing even more then usual over here.
But I’m back on the radio now, and as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve brought some progress back with me. You might also have noticed I replaced the site’s games page with a page all about lunacy with far more up to date information.
I’m doing a bit of reorganizing over here, when that’s done I should start blogging and tweeting more frequently again.
Another development video, this time with 100% extra ominous green line! Sorry about that, my video and YouTube had a falling out.
- Even more Optimised: As boring as it is to say, Lunacy has undergone yet more optimization! Everybody’s favorite element of games development.
- Music: Andrews’ awesome music is in game, now if only I could figure out how to squeeze it into the next Dev Vid without me having to stop speaking for ages.
- Searchable Buildings: Buildings can now be searched for supplies, there’s some definite survival game flavour sneaking into this action game.
- Close Quarters Weaponry: Melee/Close Combat weapons are in and working! To be specific a particularly nasty looking baseball bat filled with nails.
- Lighting Overhaul: Lunacy is now lit by a mix of vertex lighting, baked light maps and my sweat and tears. In layman’s terms, it’s prettier!
- +1 to Scenery: Cars, ambulances, new lampposts, porch lights, new hedges and some suspiciously Cretaceous footprints have been added.
- +1 to Ergonomics: On screen joysticks are larger, more sensitive and aligned with the camera in a more constructive manner.
- Camera Upgrade: The camera is now angled in a more interesting way, and automatically adjusts itself should buildings block your view.
- Smoother Zombies: Zombies now animate and turn more smoothly.
- Moar Zombies: The zombies in the suburbs have diversified into Classics, Runners, Sprinters and Crunchy Ones and been color coded for your convenience. I imagine I’ll do a post about the differences between these guys sometime soon.
Only the werewolf transformation and survivor tracking mechanics need to be done now. Then all the core bits that make up a game session are complete and focus can move in the direction of menus, journals, leveling up etc.
Going back through our original 29 page design document, I can’t help but notice how incredibly uninspired the enemy types were. For example two such enemies were the bloated zombies and abominations, just generically larger zombie creatures, the result of mutation and/or Frankenstein-esc body modification.
Now that should sound very familiar to just about anyone who’s played any game with undead antagonists. So familiar I doubt their appearance in Lunacy would cause players to bat an eyelash or even briefly consider what those creatures are doing there. After all I’m pretty sure it’s a commonly accepted trope that wherever there are enough zombies in videogames bigger zombies just happen. Even if that’s not the case its pretty much expected practice of any evil antagonistic faction to start taking their undead apart and putting them back together in horrific, if not questionably practical, ways.
So why am I bringing this up? Well Lets face it, by indie standards Lunacy is not a startlingly original game and I don’t think including such a predictable roster of enemies was going to at all help in making it memorable. As such I’ve been trying to take the enemy roster in a new direction.
So what is far more likely to catch peoples eye, make them interested and maybe even get them to think about the situation a bit? A Vampire T-Rex!… or that’s the theory anyway. This all fits back into a thematic flavor I was initially uncertain about. Where in the game fully embraces the ridiculousness of werewolves fighting zombies and strives to push that quirky insanity further as it goes on. Introducing such wonders as a Vampire T-Rex and Zomb-bees whilst still trying to maintain some measure of logic and not entirely unhinge into sheer randomness. Ideally having the characters question the sanity of the increasingly surreal nature of their opponents in their journals as they go on.
Admittedly, I might also be somewhat motivated by me thinking a vampire T-Rex is the most awesomely ridiculous thing ever, though that might just be the fault of my growing isolation-fueled insanity. Anyway I hope you’ve enjoyed this little delve into my thoughts, we’ve finally finished with some of the more tedious development tasks so the next progress update should be far more interesting.