The past couple of weeks it has been slow going because we have taken a break from this project but it hasn’t been forgotten.
We got some valuable feedback from some of the other contestants and with that have started to fix those issues.
I’ve spent some more time looking for ready art assets to buy for the game and adding them to the prefabs for the tutorial level. We now have walking and moving orcs so this makes it really cool to play. The nav mesh agent is doing a good job at running the scripts but now we need to connect the AI to the animation system so when they attack it will switch from the movement to attacking animations.
The main hero is still a cylinder sorry folks its hard to find what I really want for this avatar in the game. I might just have to break down and do a modeling session and make what I want. Then our animator can have some fun making our avatar move.
In the tutorial level I’ve switched how the player attacks from the AI deciding to attack to now allowing the player to click on what they want to attack. This for me seems to make the game player better.
We will try and get an updated build to the game for everyone to try and play. The competition release had some major issues because of missing textures that I would at least like to get fixed and uploaded so people can play.
Our team entered the GameDev.Net Week of Awesome III this year and had 7 days to create a concept and make a game. This turned out to be a great week and a lot of fun. Our families were great for this week and very supportive. I know many times they asked what they could do to help which was really endearing.
What went right:
- Our team early on adopted the Unity3D game engine for our preferred software to develop the game. Unity3D gave us a lot of power and tools to focus on making a game instead of working on mundane code and with a week this gave us the tools we needed to focus on game development and not game programming.
- Multi-Player from the outset was a major feature we wanted to have in our game. Weeks before the completion we started to learn how the networking components of Unity work so that when it came to the competition we would be prepared to work on this design.
- The competition theme aligned with a half idea I had been working on for weeks before the competition started. Granted we really didn’t discuss a lot about the design before the competition because we didn’t want to violate the rules so I never wrote down any of the ideas just kind of kept with the theme. When we read the theme “Death is useful” it immediately fit with Orcs Vs Zombies. The first couple of hours we discussed some ideas and formulated a decent game concept that throughout the week we kept to the idea and in the end produced a game based on this concept.
- Our menu system was started from day one so everything was built off the buttons and GUI scaffolding we built. Amazing one of our team members wives stepped in and created some nice looking screens for us and revamped the boring buttons to make them look a lot more fun.
- The sound engine in Unity is quite amazing! It provided just about anything a sound artist could want to generate environmental sounds. It would have been nice if we could have spent a little more time in the sound system adding in triggers and other map features.
What went wrong:
- The version of Unity3D we selected. We used version 5.1.2f which only one developer had the professional license. Even though we used this as a pro to the project it was also a minus because only one developer could do the full build.
- Networking was a pain and we spent many days working on getting it up and working. In the end we had a good working code base but we spent a lot of development time on the code when we could have done more on the level and game development side.
- Not having a modeler was very painful because our concept art couldn’t be turned into game assets. Our animator drew up some amazing concept artwork but turning those into game models ultimately failed. At no fault of our animator! In the end we had to purchase a few models so we could have something besides block and cylinders in the game.
- As part of our design process we had been working on our tutorial world and got it to the point where it was being used to test our network scripts. This turned into a nightmare when we started to try and program the tutorial into the level. We weren’t able to connect to the player or parts of the game that would require communication between the player and game to get events to drive our tutorial. In the end we had to rebuild all our prefabs and scripts for the tutorial level. Now if we make a script change in the network it will have to be mirrored with the tutorial level. In the end we had to settle with a couple of events and then let the rest of the tutorial run on a timer.
- The repository we chose is very powerful but it was also a lot more complex than our team members were used to using. The idea you had to check out a file then check it in was hard to manage because most of the team was used to using SVN. Our animator wasn’t able to share with us his assets because he could add files to the repository. In the end it came down to an issue where he didn’t select the workspace properly. Something this simple caused us several days of headaches.
We finished a game in 7 days! Our game is playable, networkable, and has some aesthetics. We could use some time to polish and play test the game but in a week this is hard to fit in. Our team worked hard on this game for a week and it may only be a prototype it still is a very valid and playable game. For a prototype this is a decent game that could very well be a good long term project to work on and build into a larger and more powerful game system.
If you ever have a chance to make a game with friend’s we highly recommend it because the experience is well worth the effort.
So the last few hours we have bus supper busy working on adding in our models and texturing the game maps. As usual these hours are typically the busiest and we are not at our best because the whole team is tired from the last few days of hard work.
Happy to say at least most of the stand in objects are gone. They still could use the animations to be connected to the models but we spent too much time remaking all the controller code for single player and multi player.
Overall I’ve very happy with my team they put in a week of very hard work and we have a playable demo because of it. There still maybe more work done on this game it just depends on what happens after this competition is over.
This is our final download version:
We are not considering this the last day for this project. It has been a lot of fun working on it this past week. We are all tired and in need of a break from this long week of development. Here is where we stand at this time.
Tutorial level is created and now single player is no longer networked and fully playable. This took a lot of development time to convert from multi player to single player because all the scripts had to be mostly redesigned to work for single player. Things we would like to still add are a waterfall feature with sound, better tutorial steps some more events trigger the tutorial steps.
Multiplayer now has one large map and tons of Orcs. Players will need to band together to stop this massive amount of Orcs from killing all the humans. We still need to work on the environment texture and play balancing.
Lastly, in addition to the developers of this game I want to thank all out families. Our wives and children have been great during this whole competition. Thank you for letting us make this game and helping us when you could!
Stay tuned, we are still working on the game!
Finally found some decent audio files, not perfect but they will do for now. What a major time waster when your looking for something like sounds and music.
Our artist has been hard at work and has one of our Orcs almost done modeled. Next will be texturing and animating so things are starting to come together. He also has a ton of textures we will be using to paint the world maps to help enhance the style and design. It will be so nice to see something in the game world besides those basic shapes and colors.
The intro game level now has minions added so the main player can spawn them. They are tough little minions because currently they can take out all the Orcs without getting a scratch. There are a couple of small issues we need to fix on their AI scripts when the player stops. The current behavior is for them to keep moving but after they reach their way point they should also stop moving. Just an idea for now.
We have a demo now so try it out and let us know what you think.
Today has been a lot of fun because we now have working AI but still needs a little debugging, player interactive movement, and a few other small things that are helping bring the game further to completion.
The player controller is based on clicking a point on the map and the player moving to this point. After we added Lerp to the motion this really help make our camera seem more fluid as the player move around the game world. Adding this kind of navigation helps really reduce the amount of keys players will need to learn and enhance our game play.
Added a tutorial level for us to work on so that we can teach players how the game works. This is part of the test build tonight so walk around and have some fun. The Orcs now are getting a little pummeled by the rocks so at least this is working. We have take some time to at least style up the game level so it doesn’t look like another snowy planet.
Jesse has been hard at work on building our workshop and also central game controller. These features will allow the player to add abilities to their in game avatar. The current game will support 3 basic avatar modifications.
Today we worked a lot on the AI systems and also started getting the combat system working. Having a simulation to watch where the red pill is being attacked by green squares was a lot of fun to watch. As part of the combat system we have added an extra class for Armor that handles reducing attack damage and preventing friendly fire from dealing damage to the units.
Next we are going to be doing some major debugging of the scripts because several of the AI systems are having a difficult time dealing with spawning objects properly. In one of our simulations the humans attack for two seconds and then just stop once the Orc has engaged the closet human.
Here is a test version that show the basic working system of the menu system and also deals with connecting to the server to run the simulation.
That is it for this update should have something a little later tonight so stay tuned.
This was a very slow but productive day. Because our team is in 3 different geographical locations getting us all up and working on the same system has been a learning experience. Some of the tools we are using to keep in communication during the development process include:
Google Hangouts – This is to allow team member to connect through a video conference so we can work together, share our screens, and of course see each other face to face.
Perforce – This is the glue behind our project which keeps the game project in sync between the different computers we are working on.
Unity3D – Is our game engine and basically the system we will be using for this project.
Today the team worked on a plan of what we want to do and build. This plan is very exhaustive which helps keep us working on the base game ideas. The blueprint we create will help us keep track of our progress, delegate items to team members, stay focused on the game needs.
AI Research has started on the following topics:
- Squad AI – Used in the patrol to either attack humans or zombie defenders.
- Turret AI – Used in the Hero and Humans attack abilities
- Player AI – Used in the Auto attack feature for the player so they don’t have to click anything.
- possible Pet AI – Used if we add in the feature to have the Hero’s search and find lost Humans.
The best way to describe the game is its an impossible siege type game where the Zombies have been recruited to save the human race instead of eating them. The player will use a diverse set of skills to control mini-zombies to fight off the multitude of Orc weaves as they come in a trey to demolish what is left of the human race.
Multi-player is a key component to the game design and we have integrated several ideas into the game design to make this part of the build. We have defined several trophies that the players will be able to earn. Our goal for this week is to make a playable game by Tuesday or Wednesday this week. From that point it will be a lot of play testing and balancing to see how the numbers will work out.
We currently have 21 Major tasks and 132 programming tasks. These are just starting numbers and will probably grow and shrink as we work on the game. That is it for now, jump in and join us in this small but epic experience.
We have just published our initial Game Design Document. This is a start and we are now moving forward with this game concept. Jump in and enjoy as we work on our game where death has some meaning.
The base of the game will be two players will work cooperatively to save the Human race. One player will control an Avatar that exists to help build the Zombie life force while the other will work towards preserving the human race.