August 27, 2014

Murder Island Update

Well it's been a while since the last Murder Island post and a lot has changed. I've got a lot done in the last couple months and I'm probably a few weeks away from having a demo version of the game ready for testing. This would have about 25% of the full content of the game.


This has been a very difficult game to make because it relies so heavily on the specifics of the design. All the aspects of the game are meant to work together so it's impossible to truly test the game until all the components are there. I started to lose steam working on this for a while until, a few weeks ago, I decided to focus and get a demo version of the first island complete. I wanted to be able to finally test out the game play elements and decide if this game is worth completing.  So after a few days of just focusing on getting a completed version, I started to see the game finally come together and I'm happy with how it's turning out. I can finally play through the game and see how all these elements work together. My inspiration for the game has been returned and I've been working on it non stop. Well, not completely non-stop, I still like take showers and eat and look out my window and stuff.

This game has also been difficult to post about because a lot of the work I've been doing is behind the scenes stuff and not really that exciting to post about individually. There's not too many exciting graphics or anything at this point. A lot of it is still using my placeholder graphics. There are a few cool things though.

My favorite graphical part so far has been the face generator. Every time you play the game you start with completely new characters. I created a face generator to create a random portrait for the character based off of a series of face components I drew separately. Here is an image of some of the possible faces put together in a single image:


Click the image to see them at their full resolution.

Items in this game are a very important part of the gameplay. So far I have about 80 different items in the game and most have multiple uses. I wanted to make the line between good items and bad items a bit blurry by giving items positive and negative effects. I'm hoping this will change the item's value and usage based on the context of the situation. For example, a flamethrower deals a lot of damage and can catch the person on fire, but it also cures you from things like ticks or fleas. So it may be worth using on your own character if you need to get rid of an insect infestation. If a character gets rabies and starts attacking his teammates it might be worth it to smack them with a baseball bat and knock them out until you can find a way to cure it.

All the current items in the game:


Another part of the item design that I really like is their ability to affect the overall world. Guns are some of the best weapons in the game, but firing them during a battle may cause the danger in the region to increase from the loud noise.  Also, things like bombs and explosive weapons can cause the food and items in the region to decrease from the explosion. So if you are running low on food it might not be a good idea to go around blowing everything up with grenades.

Battle. Click for full resolution.



So that's all I'm going to write about for now. I'm going to have a testable demo version completed very soon so let me know if you would like to try out an early version of the game. I'm going to need a lot of feedback for this one. Stay tuned for updates in the following weeks.

Curt


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