Friday, October 18, 2019

Controls

Some touch controls, and looping background with more art.

The more I create, the more I want to create.


I see so many possibilities with this. I have all the skills, resources, and tools. I have enough art for now, so I have switched to writing code. First before even adding enemies, I need to establish the feel of the game. The movement, responsiveness.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Unity and NordVPN

Three technical things...


Switching to Cascadia Code Font

Microsoft has released a new open-source programming font called Cascadia Code that features ligatures which can be enabled in most IDEs. This changes a sequence of characters to the proper symbols.

Image from: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/commandline/cascadia-code/

Ahh. At last, I found something that I prefer over Lucida Console.

Getting Unity to work with a VPN


Typically I would work with Unity with NordVPN disconnected. This VPN client and some others are not compatible. For this new project I wanted a proper fix. So, after a bit of searching I switched to using the OpenVPN client with a few steps to work on startup (link). And, changed the network connection DNS to 1.1.1.1 (link).

Now, I can stay connected to a Nord server all the time with this client.

Reducing the size of the Git depot


Plus, I cleaned up the Git repository of the new project by specifying more ignore folders to prevent it from growing in size too quickly.

These art files for the backgrounds already are 30mb, so any commit with minor changes naively will store both versions, and, an additional copy because I have a remote depot on my Dropbox where I push changes daily. These files and licensed Unity packages will be kept separate from the depot, still backed up automatically on my Dropbox folder.

In other words, the depot is much smaller, and everything continues to be backed up daily anyways.

The code is still the most important. These are tiny but critical files. I still use a batch file to copy and store copies of all the code to Dropbox and Google Drive, in addition to the two Git repositories, in case somehow files get obliterated or the depots become corrupt. Unlikely, but never know.

I neglected to use ignore folders for Gem Heroes. The depot is now 30gb. A lot of this is regenerated content for specific platforms. At least for the recent iOS build, I just switched the platform (which takes half an hour) and built the Xcode project to finish on a rented Mac in the cloud. I reset these changes because saving any of this is unnecessary, once I have the Xcode project.

Friday, September 27, 2019

City

A bit more art and adjustments to the screen effects.

I expected myself to just use most of the art that I already licensed, but lately I have been satisfied with some of my own creations. I have continued the same style, but changed my approach a bit in Clip Studio Paint.

City buildings and random objects

Kitchen and random objects

It is a simple look, but that also is the challenge. Everything is reduced to a minimal number of blobs and lines. Just the slightest change in a curve will change the shape and make something look very different. The outlines are really thick too, so shapes can't be too narrow.

I'm just creating random objects freely, without really a firm objective in mind. Some of the pieces (especially the kitchen) will be redone.

I'd like to create a few more objects, and then put together a limited demo with just one or two zombies and a handful of weapons.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

90s style vector art on an 80s style TV

A simple background, with different camera filters applied. I tend to prefer the filters, to prevent the game from looking too much like a Flash game that uses vector art. I tend to like the imperfections and stylized look. Plus I get to spend less effort with all the lines and shading for the scene objects. It is very difficult to paint imperfections on the floor without making the game look too busy and cluttered.

80s TV Filter + Hue Shift

Arcade Filter + Hue Shift

Original

That kitchen consists of individual pieces, which can all be rearranged. This got me considering having semi-procedurally generated backgrounds, with many areas to explore. Still, I must remind myself to stay true to my objective of just creating an arcade style shooter that focuses on the weapons and action.

There could be ammo and money inside objects, like looting areas in the Fallout series and The Last Stand: Union City:


Even spare parts to craft and augment guns? Funny objects to use as bullets? It is a zombie game, so it should not take itself too seriously. I want to be playful and less restrictive with design decisions.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Getting a sense of scale

The first step for creating Zombie Guard 2 is to establish the proportion of objects to each other. I created my first hipster/biker guy, as one of the many characters to be featured in the game. Then, I used some placeholder background just for getting a sense of scale. I do not plan to create much of the art until later, but I still prefer to at least establish the look.

Character 1

Establishing proportion of characters and backgrounds

This seems about right. I will now increase the thickness of the ink outlines of the character.

In Zombie Situation, I neglected the proportions. There was also a lot of wasted space, so I need to consider props and objects to make these areas more interesting.

Zombie Situation (Flash)

Definitely characters will be able to move around and explore small areas. Zombie Guard 2 will be action game, with plenty of weapons made possible with a powerful projectile system and special effects.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Just updates

The updated loading screen for Gem Heroes, and new gameplay video to be shown in the listing.




Along with a bunch of bug fixes and adjustments.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Prototype

I was wondering if I could combine Oregon Trail with zombies in an action oriented RPG with some comical storyline. Take Zombie Guard, and place characters on a moving vehicle, on their way to some place during the apocalypse while blasting away. It has multiplayer potential.

Some inspiration for mechanics came from Swamp Attack, zOMGies 2, and theme ideas came from movies like Zombieland and others.

Zombieland (2009)

zOMGies 2

Swamp Attack


But this essentially becomes two games in one - action, and strategic resource management. I would have to please both crowds. Players who want action don't want to conserve ammo, and players who want to manage resources may not be fond of the action.

I created a prototype for this anyways. But I was not really feeling it. These ideas can work, but it does not suit me well.

Prototype

I will at least keep the projectile system, which utilizes many powerful Unity components. I'm having fun extending it with bitwise flags for other behavior like seeking, piercing, bouncing, splitting, etc. So, now I consider just creating an arcade shooter, focusing heavily on projectiles and perhaps some gun crafting system for ridiculous weapons.