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.
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).
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that at one point in my life believed that the web comic Ctrl+Alt+Del was good. Not mediocre but actually really good. Clearly I was delusional. Regardless of my mental state though this fandom resulted in a few unfinished (I’m beginning to see a trend in the kind of content I post here) games.
The first game was intended to be a third person sand box adventure game. The core game play would consist of walking around, talking to people and triggering scripted interactions. Anyone, everyone, everything, and every place ever depicted in the comic were going to be included and for the most part I was fairly well prepared to deliver on that plan. Regardless of there quality it still saddens me that I created so many models and textures which will never be put to use. There would also have be some simple platforming and what you would expect from a bare bones brawler but it was going to be primarily dialogue driven. That was really all just going to act as a hub world though. Within it there would be retro inspired mini-games (Frogger, Tetris, ect).
The community was actually really great about the game. The initial response to it on the forums where accusations that it was a virus (that seems to be a common response). But people where really cool after they realized that despite its low quality and lack of completion it was legit. Along with a reasonable amount of offers from different forum users looking to help on the game (none of which I accepted since I wanted to do the game myself and didn’t have a script yet for anyone to get started recording voice work) I also got a ton of people offering up free web hosting and that kind of stuff.
The main site for the game was and still is http://cadgame.ga-servers.com/ with hosting provided by Xtrife. There was also a mirror of the complete site but I’ve lost the address for it and the name of the user who set it up. A few other users chipped in by hosting mirrors of the early builds of the game as I released them. At one point someone even registered the URL www.cadthegame.com and had it redirect to the site but that address doesn’t seem to be usable anymore.
Even Tim Buckley (the person who makes the comics) was pretty awesome about it. He posted blue prints of the main characters house which hadn’t been available previously (when I first started I had worked out a somewhat nonsensical layout for the house based on the colours of the rooms and the colours of the adjacent rooms you could see through open doors). He also mentioned it twice on the sites front page which did a lot in terms of drawing attention to the game. The first mention actually resulted in Xtrife’s site being shut down for a while because of the bandwidth usage from people downloading the demo (despite whatever company he was getting his hosting from having apparently advertised uncapped bandwidth).
It never got anywhere that resembled a game though. If anything the fifth and sixth versions where even less complete then most of the releases that proceeded them. The main menu looked nice and would have made an alright screen saver. I’m still in love with the settings menu that I setup for the fifth/sixth release and the original settings menu before that wasn’t bad either. The character models and the textures in particular where by no means perfect but I still think I did a great job of translating those characters (which in the comics only ever existed at forty five degree angles) into. As I said before I made a frack ton of other graphical content even if most of it was never used. But as a game it never evolved. From how many times I remember reprogramming everything from scratch you would think I would make some changes to either add new functionality or perfect what was already there but It never really progressed beyond where it was in the second release (which I put out pretty quickly) with it just consisting of pointlessly wandering around a small area with nothing to do well struggling under a camera system that never really worked well enough for a third person game set in such a small and odd space and a collision system that never really felt smooth or correct whenever walking up against walls or through doorways. The camera especially haunts me. The way walking worked was just a result of me not knowing things that I do now. But spent ages working on the camera and I’m not sure I could do much better even if I did it now. Everything I changed seemed to somehow make it worse. Maybe it was all in my head. I don’t remember complaints about it. But people really don’t realize how difficult it is to make a third person camera that works well in a closed in and fairly complex environment. A first person camera? Stupidly simple. Third person in an open area where nothing can obstruct your view? No problem. Third person in a simple box room? Not a big deal. But when you bring doors and other things like that into the equation it’s impossible not to have the cameras view either obstructed or placed somewhere it shouldn’t be or feeling like it’s constantly jumping around and changing distances. Anyways the game sucked. Also well I’m not sure if my computer is just acting weird (I definitely didn’t use to have this problem) but for some reason several of the releases have Ethan (the main character) constantly walking in a certain direction and not fully responding to keyboard controls. There’s more shit I want to say but this going on forever so I’m just going to stop for now.
Download all 6 of the original releases.
The game’s site.
CAD’s official site.
The first cad news post about it.
The second news mention.
The now closed forum thread.
Escape from the cubicle is another one of the games that I half made and maybe sorta kinda intend to get back to some day. It was intended to be stealth game about a cubicle dwellers attempt to leave work early. At the moment though all you can do is walk around the office. Everything is physics based (once again using Box2D) so you can push chairs and boxes and coworkers and everything like that works great. Your coworkers also have a simple kind of AI (which was also going to be the basis for a zombie game I was/am working on) though there lack of path finding combined with the lack of openness/linearity of the environment makes them seem more moronic then they are and leads to them getting stuck trying to walk through cubicle dividers.
When coworkers see you they follow you and also inform nearby workers (who will then go investigate). If they lose sight of you they will continue to head towards the last known position but will stop looking if they fail to find you. You can tell what there level of awareness of you is based on thought bubbles above there heads. An exclamation mark means they see you and a question mark means they have suspicions about your location. When they are completely unaware of you there thoughts drift to random things which admittedly tend to be somewhat inconsistent. They are intended to seem absurdly sheeple like but well they praise the bible and its age based legitimacy they also prefer both The Beetles and the Flying Spaghetti Monster over Jesus and well they also obsess over TPS reports they also seem to be fully aware of there pointlessness. Anyways well I would probable rewrite most of them if I continued work on the game I still really like the idea of the thought bubbles. I was also going to make some of them go to sleep but I never got around to that and since there is no path finding yet I didn’t see much point in trying to have some of them wander around.
Another half finished feature is your interactions with walls. The plan was (and hypothetically speaking still is) to make it possible for you to lean up against cubicle walls (making you less visible) and also climb over them (which would make you visible to anyone facing the right way well doing so regardless of whether something would be obstructing there view well you where on the ground. Crawling and running where also on the list of additions to make.
Well the gameplay may be less then complete I’m still totally in love with the graphics. Though my love of it is somewhat lessened by the fact that its a total rip off of a preexisting design. To clarify I never intended to copy anything else. It just kinda happened. I wanted to make it cartoonish and stylized because making anything photo realistic when your working alone on a free game is truly a pointless effort and squares are more or less the official shape of conformity so I figured I would make them square. There heads where always cubes and there bodies consisted of a grouping of rectangular shapes. The protagonist on the other hand had a spherical head and before getting the blue shirt he has now (which was at one point also a Homer Simpson inspired pink) he wore a pro piracy t-shirt. But his head just looked lame and no matter what I did with it his hair always came out looking weird so he eventually ended up with the same character model as the other workers. And I wasnt really as crazy about the arms and legs as I thought I would be so I merged them Lego character style (The upper arms and forearms for example where previously separate shapes that just happened to touch each other) and made the mesh curve a bit at the joints so they could bend more naturally if needed. Well I was still to retain that rectangularness I had originally wanted I figured since I was rounding out the elbows and knees it wouldn’t hurt to do the same to there bellies and make them look a little more detailed. Then well wandering around google images looking for pictures of cubicles (I had began work on the level design at that point) I cam across a set of toys called The Cubes. They look stupidly identical to the characters I made. Not similar. Identical. Just a reminder that originality is a myth. With an estimated 6.777 billion people alive on this planet you can be assured that nothing you have ever done or thought of is new.
So if your interested here it is to download. Its for Windows only and requires DirectX 9.0c or higher. Need a reason to download? It has lolcats!
I’m not sure what compelled me to make this the first game I post here but regardless of reasoning here it is. Pong in all of its two player glory. I made it during a day over 9000 years ago to test out some physics stuff. I think I may have at some point thought that I might include more functionality or at least more complex graphics but I never did. There is no single player mode and although it keeps track of the score no amount of points will ever cause it to declare anyone the winner. First player uses the W and S keys to move there paddle and the second player uses the up and down keys. It has simple white on black vector based graphics.
It was made with Box2d and DarkBasic Pro and as a result of the later of the two you need to have Direct 9.0c or higher installed for it to run. You will also need WinRAR or some other similar compression/decompression program to get the executable out of the rar file.