I got back to working on the zombie game and I’ll probable have something up sometime soon. I’ve given up trying to get libvorbis/libogg to work and with it I’ve abandoned OpenAl and I’m going to just stick with DarkGDK’s built in audio support. There isn’t anything really wrong with it I just wanted to limit my dependence on DarkGDK. Anyways whether I’m using OGG files through OpenAl or MP3s through DirectSound what matters is whats getting played not the format. I’m guessing you probable aren’t super psyched about Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata let alone the four second clip (wav files are stupidly big) that has been looping in the game up until now so you should be happy to hear that the background music is one of the things that will be seeing a change in the next release.
RekcahDam (you can find some of his stuff over at MySpace and at 8BitCollective) has provided me with some nice original music to use for the game.
If you want to check out the non looping version of the song that is going to be used in the upcoming release of them game then hit up the following link.
Here is another updated release. when you destroy a box pieces of it break off. There is still definitely work to be done for destructibility but its an improvement. I redid the graphics for the flame thrower and well it may not look especially fire like I think it generally looks better and definitely fits in much better with the overall art style of the game. I tried also replacing the graphic for dead zombies (the x looks like a plus sign half the time) by having them blank green inside and covering them with blood but they ended up looking too messy and somehow a lot more distracting. I found that having them fully filled in made them draw your attention more then the zombies that where still alive. The flamethrower (right mouse key) has also been changed a bit in terms of functionality. the flames move forward a little bit slower and don’t reach as far making it a lot less stupidly overpowered. In some ways its actually been made more effective though. Along with people/zombies slowly being hurt from being on fire they also get hurt from the initial hit of fire so if you continually blow fire onto them they will now die a lot faster then if you just hit them with a quick spray to set them ablaze and then step back and wait. The angle that both fire and bullets are shot at is slightly randomized now also. It doesn’t really match up with the size of the reticule but its fairly close and is the beginning of having weapon accuracy/inaccuracy effect gameplay. You can pause and un pause the game now (enter key). You can also run (shift key). running obviously increases your movement speed but it also drains your energy. Energy regenerates naturally over time but if you run well your out of it then instead of using up energy you hurt yourself and use up health.
I’ve been having some trouble getting a few libraries I want to use working (I am truly a noobish noob and I have no problems admitting it) which is why it took me a while to post this newer version and why it doesn’t really have much of what I wanted to include in it.
Here is the sixth release of the STILL untitled top down zombie game.
Crates can be destroyed. The penalty for killing humans has been lowered from 100 points to 50. There is also a flame thrower (you have it right from the start and it has unlimited fuel). You press the right mouse key to use it and any zombies/people that come in contact with the flames catch fire and continually burn and lose health until they die.
I’m actually somewhat less happy with this then I was the previous version. Previously there was still just as much functionality missing (actually more obviously) but what was there was in my opinion of great quality. The new additions are kinda poorly done. The crates don’t really break they just disappear after a few shots which looks odd. The flame thrower has some graphical problems and even when its working as should the fire is really fugly. Functionally its only half working also. You can shoot it through walls for example. Most of all the frame rate has began really fall apart. When you torch a bunch of people and they all start dieing off at the same time things really stutter.
Oh well. I’m working on getting some new stuff working in the game and I think I’m going to sink some time into cleaning up and reworking what is there so far. Get it running smoothly again.
In the meantime somebody recommend some possible names for this game. I can’t think of anything I really like and I would rather have something less generic then “the zombie game” to refer to it as. Kill the brain eaters? The undead uprising? The crappy compilation of conflicts with crowds comprised of corpses?
Fifth release now of the still untitled top down zombie game (seriously if you have any good ideas for a name I’m totally open to suggestions so leave a comment).
You can kill zombies now. A new zombie spawns in the distance whenever one dies so you can never really kill them all. You have a limited amount of bullets and cant shoot if ammo runs out though I set it to over 9000 for now so you likely wont notice that it isn’t unlimited anymore. There is a simple and meaningless score system (get 10 points for killing a zombie and lose 100 when you kill/turn a human. I fixed up the way people are pushed back by gun fire and that’s now also applied to objects like crates and cars. I setup the zombies to be moved closer when they get too far away (It won’t be a feature that you will be required to play with in the final game but instead an optional thing for one of the bonus free play kind of mode) which works well and without even increasing the zombie count at all this results in the streets being stupidly crowded. I didn’t even need to make the max distance for zombies too close (I don’t think its noticeable that its happening well playing the game). Your gun now continually fires when you hold down the mouse key rather then only firing when you first click it.
I think there where a few other things (mostly minor tweaks) but that’s pretty much everything thats changed.
Here’s the fourth updated release of the zombie game. Well at this point it probable still shouldn’t be refereed to as a game. There’s no end point. No winning or losing or even progressing. The zombies are still unkillable. But I did make improvements over the last time I posted it. First of all I brought back everything that got cut out in the last one (humans are back as are the fading roofs over buildings). I fixed the problems I had mentioned with shooting. Both humans and zombies drop blood now when shot and you can kill humans now and turn them into zombies. There are new objects (cars and several variations of crates). There is now back ground music but its just a looping four second clip from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. I didn’t want to use DarkGDKs built in audio support (I had some problems with audio in DBPro which I’m assuming haven’t changed) and I want to minimize my dependency on DarkGDK anyways so I’m using OpenAl and I’m not setup to use MP3 or OGG files yet and WAV files are even more massive then I remember so anyways that is why its only a four second clip. I also made a bunch of little tweeks that probable aren’t noticeable. People (you, zombies, humans, everyone) are slightly bigger. Your a little bit more dense and zombies are a little bit less which makes somewhat easier to push through crowds of zombies but not by much.
Occasionally I do actually do something productive and constructive rather then just posting things I made ages ago. Here is the third revision/release/version/whatever of my zombie game (the top down 2d one). It isn’t noticeable but I rewrote a lot of the game and what is noticeable is that I added in gunfire. You still cant kill zombies but if you shoot them they get pushed back. There are some problems with shooting right now. The bullet impacts the first shape it finds a collision with in the line of fire rather then the nearest point it finds a collision with (which in reality would really be the first thing it hits). The problems with this is somewhat lessened by another incomplete aspect of the shooting mechanic. Rather then shooting in the direction your aiming you shoot to the exact spot your aiming meaning that you wont hit anything standing beyond your reticule. I know a few games actually do that intentionally (I think Alien Shooter does it) but its not something I’m fond of so I will be fixing it.
The last of my zombie games (and one that’s I’m actually still working on) is another top down one and actually reuses all of the 2d graphics made for the Wii homebrew game and the gameplay is also essentially what the Wii one was intended to be. Like two of the previous zombie games I posted about (the Wii one included) it also uses Box2D. The difference from the Wii game being that along with obviously being on PC its also technically in 3d (though you might not guess it by looking at it) the upside of which is that if I choose to at some future point in time it will be easy to implement 3d elements into the game. I’m also planning on having a fairly heavy online focus. Don’t expect a full on MMO (there is no way I’ll be able to get a big enough community together to sustain even a small world like that) but something more like Animal Crossings (minus the friend codes). There will also be score boards and the ability for community made levels.
Download Release 1.
Download Release 2.
1UP Forum Thread. (there is a bit about it in the last few posts)
The vid shows versions 6 and 10. 6 was the last one before the jump to DarkGDK so it has some stuff that I never got around to re doing.
There’s a video game site called 1up which has a bunch of podcasts and one of them which I subscribe to is at1up. One of the episodes included one of the hosts giving a description of his ideal zombie game (third person team based game with a slow pace and a focus on resource management and constructing blockades and things to keep locations secure from endlessly spawning large numbers of slow moving zombies) and I thought they I would like to play that game so I went about making it.
I still intended to fully handle to programming side of things but rather then doing everything myself (like I did with the Ctrl+Alt+Del game which was another game that needed a lot of media which contributed a lot to me getting burnt out on the game and caused the progression of the programming side of things to suffer well I was still working on it) I figured I would get others to contribute art assets.
The people over at 1up where pretty cool about trying to draw attention to it (something I’m somewhat surprised they bothered with considering the quality of the crap I posted). It got quick mentions on several of the following episodes of the podcast and the forum thread was stickied at one point.
Unfortunately it didn’t help much and nobody really did contribute. There where a few offers but not many and of the people who made those offers a lot of them where for things that I really didn’t need help for or where up front about saying that they wouldn’t actually be able to do anything until some future point in time. Of the two or three people who where offering to make what I was requesting and seemed like they actually knew what they where doing (one of them posted some really quality character heads he had made for some previous zombie themed mod) after being told exactly what it was that I needed and what range I wanted to keep the polygon count in and that sort of thing and responding saying that they could do it they all disappeared and never actually produced anything.
So it’s stuck with the stuff I made which was always intended to just be placeholders. In terms of gameplay at this point it’s basically just a low quality incomplete regular shooter. You use WASD to move and the mouse to aim. You can zoom in and out and move from first to third person using the mouse wheel (a feature that I would really like more games to have). You can shoot with the left mouse button which draws attention to you. The zombie AI is at its best an incomplete imitation of how the also incomplete people from Escape from the cubicle behaved. There is some semi original stuff about how health and energy worked but I’m not going to get into that here you can go find info about it at the 1up forum thread for the game.
Around half way in I switched over from making the game in DarkbasicPro to using DarkGDK. Outside of the Wii homebrew stuff I had messed around with this was my first time really working in C++ but the transition wasn’t so bad and I have no regrets about doing it.
I remember having certain things done which don’t seem to be in the tenth version I have here so I know I must have worked on it for a little bit longer but not by much. After transitioning over to DarkGDK I started avoiding working on re implementing certain features knowing that I would need to rework a lot of what I did once I had the final models and animations and I also avoided doing new things because a lot of that was somewhat dependent on media that I didn’t have and I didn’t want to have to make more placeholder crap. So the game never really progressed any further. I think the main reason I stopped though was that I was just fuckin sick of working on the 3d mesh of the level I had been making.
1UP Forum Thread.
A long while after making that first zombie game Wii homebrew became a possibility and and I started getting into it. One of those Wii homebrew games was another top down zombie shooter. I think I actually reused the same image for the reticule but aside from that the graphics where all new and obviously out of necessity so was the code. This time around it was full 2D. It didn’t take too long for a quake port to make it to Wii and the last time I bothered looking into what other people where doing on Wii some original 3D homebrew games where starting to pop up but at the time making games in 2D was more or less the only way to go. It never really got very far. I actually found the transition to working in C++ (which I had never used before) fairly easy and I had become fairly comfortable with great and simple to work with graphics library called libwiisprite which another homebrew programmer had made specifically for Wii. But I was also using Box2D again and having trouble figuring out a few things related to using it in C++. In the end the game had you moving and aiming perfectly fine and also had a car you could push (slowly though since cars tend to be heavy), collision detection with most but not all of the walls and one lone zombie which followed you around. I’ll dig it up and post it if anybody wants it but I don’t think I’ll bother sharing it unless/until I get back to working on it Which I’m actually seriously thinking of doing in a way.
I’m easily impressed by quantity in games. Serious Sam for example has always seemed to me like more of an accomplishment than whatever more modern shooter is available. Unless you’re going to really do something serious like Deus Ex I would rather have hordes of easy to kill N64 looking baddies over a few one with nice bump maps. That’s why I love the idea of zombie games. It’s a justification to make a game that revolves almost exclusively around the concept of crowds. So I’ve made a few zombie games.
First up is one I made with DarkBasic Pro and was going to become a crimson land style shooter minus the power ups and with some added solid environmental objects (tombstones in the one test level and presumably buildings and walls in future ones). It was also the first time I used Box2D for a top down game (something I’ve become rather fond of doing and a lot of what was done making this went on to being a source of inspiration for that cubicle game from a previous post). Originally it was going to be a first person (or maybe over the shoulder third person. I don’t remember for sure.) but somehow transitioned into being top down. It’s not complete and you can’t get hurt or die but aside from your immortality essentially everything else is functional. I’m actually really happy with a lot of it. The feel of the aiming/camera controls seem less phenomenal then I remember but are still good and nothing beats running through a thick crowd of zombies (even if it would become a suicidal thing to do once injury and death where implemented). Plus it just looks really cool and cartoonishly colourful. There are some nice particle affects showing clouds of radioactive smoke rising from canisters. The character models are ugly but they look fine from a distance and there is something extremely awesome about watching the zombies rise out from there graves. Unfortunately it’s also a complete programming mess and the frame rate (at least on my far from cutting edge computer) well starting out fine turns to shit fairly quickly. It doesn’t help either that well you may not guess it by looking at them the polygon counts and texture resolutions for almost everything is much higher then it should be (a side effect from the initial plans to make it first person which would put everything into a closer view and demand a higher level of detail).