First person shooters have been a part of my gaming life for more than 25 years. One of the earliest memories being the infamous Golden Eye on the N64 I shared with my brother. Playing Call of Duty on my fathers Playstation. Eventually having an Xbox and jamming Halos campaign offline.
Halo was where it really began for me. It has such a deep lore in the space opera genre that really captivated me. In the game humanity is confronted by an alien race on an archeological dig and later release another organism known as the flood, an ancient sentient organism bent on devouring everything in the Universe. By the time I got into Xbox Live I was already beating the Legendary campaign alone.
Xbox 360 came out later and I played many late nights online with my friends. Multiplayer shooters, zombie coop campaign, and coop multiplayer zombies like Halo's custom infected maps, Call of duty's multiple zombie maps, left 4 dead, and the likes. The quantity of FPS games I played growing up, the hyper competitiveness that comes with being a teenager, Ive always loved multiplayer zombie shooters and the anxiety that came with it. We really want to replicate that again, so our first title in the FPS genre will be a campaign somewhere like that. We’ll try out a few things, a few looks, but ultimately it will be a zombie shooter of some variation. Multiplayer is a big next step for a second title, and we feel this will be a good addition to our library. Whether it be co-op or four player shooter campaign.
Zombie shooter style campaign
To begin we have to discover the style and atmosphere of the game. Starting with a simple concept, some guns with a rusted, used look and show off some of their history. All the gun movement will be handled in scripts, and tied to the camera to incorporate proper zoom but animate the arms and hands. Separating the gun movement and player animations gives us the best division of work between art and programming. With our artist taking on more tasks it frees me up to program multiplayer.
The weapons were going to be older WW2 guns, but were still deciding on the time period. I personally believe modern weapons are too overpowered against the undead, and would prefer to give the feeling of the older titles where the dead are slow, but your reload time is even slower. Well test some different ideas, as the pace of the game isn't decided yet.
Some buildings that are run down, decrepit and weathered. Rusted metals, deformed and mossy woods, overgrown plants on buildings and railings. Coupled with the dark and foggy world to roam around in. There is no light or electricity in rural neighbourhoods anymore, most of the world reverted to the stone age.
We want to go with a medium poly asset list, building on our skills learned making low poly assets in Monster Factory. The assets themselves will benefit from the outline shader, from Monster Factory, giving them a deeper look in the fog. This will be a truly beautiful visual title, with a corresponding story line and maybe even voice acting!
Currently were experimenting with the aged and rusting look, late in the outbreak, and a decaying atmosphere. Taking inspiration from DayZ and 7 days to die, we want players to have a lot of areas to explore. The world is bleak, and the environment will reflect that, while rewarding players for finding their own path.
The current quality of assets are a far cry from the assets of our first title, Digital Dan. We over scoped trying hyper realistic assets which didn't mesh well with the title and took too long to make. Beginning again with low poly assets at a distance, and now medium poly close up. Were raising the bar for our work, a title in a genre with a high threshold for this sort of title.
This title will use building interiors, and some bigger buildings to run through. All requiring more smaller detail, and up close views for the player to look over. Smaller assets but also the ability to keep overall asset count low. Monster Factory had over 12,000 assets per level, but I suspect this title won't require as many.
In addition to talking about our next title, I want to give an update on the work still happening with our first.
We added LOD groups to handle the rendering of objects at a distance and improved performance by a large margin. Instead of loading all the assets at once, or overloading the render pipeline with items on the other side of the map, we now only load them when within a certain range of the player. Cleaning the smaller items out and leaving the bigger buildings visible for longer distances to fill in the gaps.
Additionally, starting sometime in mid June we will be lowering the price of Monster Factory by 25%. We hope this will spur more sales and hopefully get us the 10 paid reviews that steam requires for us to show it to more people in steams algorithm. If you haven't purchased the game yet you can find it on our Monster Factory page.
More updates will follow, I am overdue for a micro blog though.
That's all for now blobs!