Sunday, May 30, 2010

Building your own little fort

Mobile barricades
Barricading isn't limited to the "barricade" action on doors and windows.
You can make your own mobile barricades by pushing stuff around.
Shopshelves are very good for this.

Barricading shops
You can make your own little forts very easily.
 Some examples.

A simple "wall" setup (shown locked from the inside).

A slightly better one, to prevent zombies from seing who is inside (shown open from the outside).

A better one, with a "mobile door" (shown here closed from the outside) :

Barricading streets
Since you can push stuff around why not barricade the street to make it even safer?

This is not new, you can do all this in alpha 2.0.
Incidently, some of these screens show a new 2.1 feature I didn't mention...

End of post.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alpha 2.1 progress

New features : followers orders, scoring, ranged weapon efficient range and the secret feature.
New options.
New content : items, enemies (both livings and undeads), skills, events and musics.
Improved civilian AIs.
Improved UI : got rid of look and inventory mode, more mouse oriented. 
And of course fixed bugs.

Rebalanced a bunch of stuff. The idea being more actions, more dangers, more stuff happens and more stuff to do.
Some changes will be visible only after some days have passed. So if you survive long enough there is a chance you'll see something new. I won't spoil anything, the secret feature and others stuff  are revealed as you play the game.

90% done and considering adding one feature (trap those zombies) before release.

I'll take time to playtest, 2.1 should be out in one week.
There are still major features not done yet, so still alpha.

End of post.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quality feedback

I'm happy to get quality feedback from players.
I'm not talking about praise or encouragement, though I appreciate that of course.
I'm talking about finding bugs, spotting gameplay or balance problems, and making interesting suggestions or remarks.
Big thanks to the players. Those people will find their names in the credits section of the next version.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alpha 2 AAR, part II

(...continued from part I)

Damn! I thought the CHAR Corporation building would be safe but those guys have barricaded themselves in. That Zombie Master is damn agile, jumping fences like that. Maybe I should ask that baseball bat blonde for help.

Teresa Ford is eager to tag along and together we flee my district to the east. Lots of shops there. We get into one and I decide to push shelves around to barricade the place. Night has fallen, we'll get some rest here. Other people had the same idea apparently.

It's late and I'm feeling sleepy. I make a nice shelter in the corner of the shop. It's been almost a day since this nightmare started. I feel safe here and try to get some sleep...

I'm Robert Johnson. I found this diary hidden behind planks in a house. There was blood on it.
I feel sorry for that woman. I shall not follow her path. I will survive!

The End.

Alpha 2 AAR, part I

Screenshots taken in game, except the post mortem one.

Diary of Kathleen Rockwell, Survivor.

Waking up in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Barricading my house with my good friend Katrin O'Brien.

Tagging my house while my friend is in the park.We keep contact with the cell phones.

Oh no! While crossing the street my friend gets into a fight and is turned into a Zombie!

She's not my friend anymore and I push furniture to block her from reaching my tasty brain.
I can't bear to "kill" her. Plus I'm not sure I would win a close combat fight.

Zombie Park. Thanks for the fences! But the Zombie Master ain't impressed. Out of ammo and without any weapon I must run for my life...


Alpha 2 released!


I think it is a big improvement over Alpha 1.
More stable, more user friendly (keys, manual and options) and more fun (more interaction with the environement, more than one map, post mortem and more stuff).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alpha 2 Video

Alpha 2
Alpha 2 is complete.
I'll probably release it tomorrow.
Must. Resist. Putting. New. Features. 

New video on you tube showing Alpha 2.
Couldn't get everything in the video, which could be a good sign, meaning this is more like a game with stuff to do and less an empty pet project.
Video here:

End of post.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun with alphas!

I'm having great fun with my alphas versions! I mean in trying to fix compatibility bugs...
It's not as bad as it sounds. Its part of the job fixing silly stuff. That's why game companies have beta testers and a bunch of different machines to test on. Coding problems I can test most of them by myself but hardware I can't. So I can only rely on brave volunteers feedback.
Some stuff I learned: 

Deploying .NET 32 bits to 64 bits
Bug: You compile and run on 32 bits machine but it crashes on 64 bits.
Solution: In VS use the the Configuration Manager and compile for "x86" platform, not "any cpu".
To enable the Configuration Manager you must enable advanced options.

Distribution with ClickOnce
Thats what "publish" in VS does. It will download the right dlls for the user.
The bad thing is that it hides the application in a silly cache directory and only adds a mysterious im-not-quite-your-usual-link to the executable and nothing else.
Since I want some files to be available to the user (game manual and post mortem files) I'll have to find a way to copy these files somewhere else. Most likely the desktop or some C:\folder. But then ClickOnce uninstall won't clear those files and I'll have to mess with something. Bah.
I hate applications that leave crap after uninstall so I'll have to do it cleanly. I hope I won't have to write a ClickOnce deployement class or something. Talk about making it simple.

Creating DirectX textures
Bug: crash when creating a new texture on some gfx cards.
I was impressed by how Managed DirectX is easy to use. In my memories DirectX was something awfully verbose and convoluted with lots of LPDDIRECTSOMETHING crap and tons of lines of code just to fucking init a device. That was from DX6 or DX7 days in C/C++. Its so much simpler now, even more in .NET.
Good. But I was bit a naive in thinking I shouldn't have to check gfx cards capabilities and limitations when creating textures. So if I pass a parameter value that offends the gfx card, DX throws an error at you with little explanation. You have to guess what parameter is the culprit. So you have to annoy the people who tried your game and crashed with request about trying each one of your code fix. Thankfully they seem cooperative and glad I'm trying to fix the game.
Solution? : In Texture ctor the culprit is either numLevels and/or  texture size not a power of 2.
Wth? I thought texture sizes ^2 was a thing of the past.
I hope there is set of texture constructor parameters that fits for all gfx cards but I'm not too sure now...

End of rant.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Alpha released!

Thread on Rogue Temple with dl link and infos:

End of post.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New video, public alpha in the works and rogueliketemple

New video
With music.
The video size inflates fast with audio recording so I had to make it very short.
Shows Intro music and Followers. 

Public Alpha (sic)
I will release soon a public alpha. I would like some early feedback, while I can still change some major stuff.

Roguelike Temple
Registered there. Seems like a nice place.

End of post.