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.
A while after it was clear that I wasn’t likely ever going to bother going back to making the original Ctrl+Alt+Del game I started working on a skateboarding game because I like skateboarding games and I wanted to make one. I didn’t want to have to create all new character models and I was (and still am) feeling a bit dissapointed that I spent so much time on the previous Ctrl+Alt+Del game without having anything to show for it so I figured I could save some time but making the skate game set in the CAD universe. A lot of things where modified (I dont think i reused any textures) and most of the art assets where still made from scratch anyways but at least it gave me something to start with.
In the end the menu system was once again really the only thing that I was happy with. The video really doesn’t do it justice but I think its the best menu I’ve ever made. Its a sad and small accomplishment but at least its something. I really do think its nicer then the menus you would find in most professional games and it fits well with the style of the game and its web comic source material.
The games mostly shit though. Far better then the original game but I never got to the point of building in any real goals and as for the basic function of being able to skate around it works but never got anywhere near the point of being at all comparable with something like even the original Tony Hawk games. It did have a few small things that where nice. It was going to have simple platforming and brawling elements (like Simpson’s hit and run for example or how the first CAD game was planned to) so well I never worked in on foot jumping or the ability to swing your board like a bat you could actually get off your board and walk around (keep in mind that this was done well before Skate’s sequel was even announced let alone before it was made known that you would be able to get off your board so being able to walk as at least a minor brag able feature). It was also another example of poorly planned programing. I was still figuring out how to do things as I went along and in lots of ways it seemed to become more convoluted and glitchy as I progressed. I restarted from scratch near the end (when I re-did the menu) but it didn’t really help to fix any of the problems and just resulted in once again earlier versions having things that where lacking from later ones. Trying to retroactively force in a proper physics engine at the last second didn’t help either.
This download includes five pre compiled playable versions of the game. Two of which where never released previously. Those two also include the dba and dbpro files (the DarkBasicPro project and source files).
Also if you want to in the latest version (the one in the folder labeled “new game”) by deleting the top layer folder (located under) texturesmenu) and renaming the top layer 2 folder to replace it you can use a crisper higher rez version of the menu.
CAD Forum Thread
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.
First up was the beginning of what was intended to be something of a cross between Fracture (the 3d third person shooter that was just about to be released at the time I made this) and Crayon Physics (a 2d physics based puzzle game which interestingly enough was also powered by the endlessly awesome box2d). I don’t remember what exact order I made certain things in but if this wasn’t the first it was among the first few things I made with box2d and was made more as an experiment then anything else. Not just an experiment in how to go about programing using Box2D but to see what work work well in terms of gameplay.
This was kinda an offshoot of that previous game/toy. One of the problems with the previous one was that the world unavoidably got overly packed with objects. One solution for that was to limit how many bodies could exist and rather then creating new ones from nothing when you go to make a new shape it would absorb pre existing bodies to construct it with. In this case it would absorb either the nearest or farthest shapes depending on whether you used the left or right mouse key.
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.
Its fairly self explanatory. Its a lame and simple racing game with aliens. The image used in the icon (which was also used as the basis for the design of the alien in your ship) was made by someone else but I don’t know who. You can probable find it by doing a quick google image search for gray alien though if it really matters to you. It was made with DarkBasic Pro and requires DirectX 9.0c or higher to play. It controls with the arrow keys. There is some elastic banding going on with the speed of the competing racer. Not sure what else ther eis to say about it.
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).