Don’t Shoot Your Buddy available now: a local 2-player prototype

In the past few weeks, I’ve been learning how Unity’s new UI system works and I ended up doing a mini-game/prototype: Don’t Shoot Your Buddy.

It’s available both at the Android store and on Itchio:

The game is a 2-player game, designed for mobile devices. In each round, you must shoot the zombies that spawn from the middle… but you must avoid shooting your buddy. Win 3 rounds to win the game.

Started prototyping a 2D murder mystery

I started working on a 2D murder mystery, pixel art style. The basic gameplay is about deducing the murderer based on stuff you see on the screen. You play a “coroner” (or “medical examiner”) in early 20th century world and help the local police to figure out cases.

Each case can be played in a pretty short time (I think it will take like 10-20 minutes maximum to solve a case). There won’t be any pixel hunting or that type of work. All the information will be presented to you, and it’s up to you to interrogate suspects (who are also present at the scene)… and then choose who is guilty (if anyone).

After all, maybe it was a hunting accident?

coroner-case-of-the-chopped-arm

Stopped survival co-op prototyping

I decided to pull a plug on my co-op wilderness survival game prototype. This happened couple of weeks ago or so.

Biggest findings/reasons:

  • Online multiplayer requires time: I had major plans for different scenarios, where threats and many things would happen… but putting these together in an online multiplayer game requires quite a lot of time. I spent much time on networking, too little on gameplay. I really wanted to try out Unity networking, and it’s a really good… but testing multiplayer is a headache for team of my size (that would be me).
  • No graphics budget…: I don’t have the budget to do the things I wished to do. I must pick something simpler.
  • Not fun after one month, not fun after a year: If a prototype isn’t fun (or have something that would give reason to dig further), there’s not much reason for me to continue. I progressed too slowly for this type of game.

Too big scope for me. Going to try something smaller.

Very, very early coop testing screenshots

Alpha 1 build 915 screenshots

I’m prototyping my wilderness survival game. The game is aimed for 2 players, and my first goal is to create an island scenario where two lads have to survive for several days. Players will have to make choices about what they’ll do with limited time. Will they recon the island to find a better place to set up the camp? Will they hunt? Find water? Collect firewood? Players need to work together and decide what’s the most important for survival right now, and keep in mind they gotta build a signal fire to get spotted.

I’ve been using a same character 3d model for both players and I wanted to bring some new 3d models in the game. The 3d models are more high poly than I will eventually have (since the rest of the game will have lower poly models), but they’ll do for now. Here’s the first character.

isleshot1
I have to figure out a way to reduce the amount of polygons this guy has, now he is at 18 000 tris

Bugs
I haven’t corrected item positioning for all items… and this type of things just happens. At this point I’m not too worried about fixing every item, since they are subject to change. I’ll positioning some items correctly (like the axe) just to see that positioning works OK. If it works fine for couple of items, it will work fine for the remaining similar items too.

thathurts

Why bring high poly chaps in the game now?
Currently my game has a few important gameplay features: collecting items, fire crafting, shelter building. Tons of important gameplay related features are missing: rain, hunting, boiling water, inventory, packback, ropes, game related events, signal fire. All of these features will require quite a bit of time to make a playable scenario.

So, why bother with the character models when I haven’t even tested if the game is fun to play? Why there’s no simple cubes flying around?

There’s couple of reasons…
One pretty important reason for me is that I’m a sort of a “visual developer”. I like seeing some graphics as they kind of make developing more fun. Not that I’d hate boxes and whatnot, but it’s cool to see actual items and not only cones and cubes here and there. I’m very much in favor of having cubes in prototypes, but there’s some additional benefits when using actual 3d art.

I’m an Unity newbie
I’ve been using Unity now more actively this year, and I’m learning the engine. By adding 3d art I get to see all sort of issues my game has. I see drawcalls getting higher. I can see FPS ratings changing. I can learn about how terrain and rocks could use blending. I notice how my terrain texture is very blurry. I probably wouldn’t notice all these with simple objects with a shared sample material/texture.

I get to test how fast the game runs
Since I’m an Unity newbie, I have no clue how fast the game runs. By having something different than cubes and whatnots, I get more idea about how visuals affects speed. Here’s something I tested yesterday: by adding 40 guys (2 different) on the screen, my old machine went from solid 60 FPS to 30 or so. (My buddy’s computer had solid 60 FPS all the time).

plentyofmen
Gotta figure out why framerate drops with these fellas on the screen

And….
It just is cooler to playtest when there’s two different models, one for server and one for the client.

bothguys

Now the basics of networking and items are done, and I get to continue adding gameplay elements.

Stay tuned.