I never write here anymore…and I always say that’s going to change…so no promises on that in the future.
Anyways, to the point. Last weekend I took part in the Newgrounds Game Jam 8, with my partner, Nicholas Deary. We both have worked together in NG Jams before, about 3 times together now, so we are starting to get to know each other pretty well in terms of working and mindflow. Interestingly enough, right after game jams, we usually just go back to our own business and start messaging each other again only right before the next jam!
This time that’s changing a bit, since we didn’t finish our game for the game jam deadline, even though the game engine is working almost 100% as we want it to. All that was lacking was content, in terms of puzzles, and art, and a point to the baddies, which all they did was run at you, if they hit you, you saw static for a bit, otherwise they just disappeared after 5 seconds.
Here are 4 screenshots of the current engine:
Currently you can walk around, look at certain things, pick up items, and toggle switches (open doors). Might not seem like a lot, but each item and switch can have a required item to pick it up/use it. Also, switches can be linked to multiple doors, with either open, close, or toggle commands, which gives us a chance to make puzzles in getting the right order or switches or something. It isn’t a lot…
But that’s why we’re going to jam things up this coming weekend again, and stick in a few more features, and prepare a proper level to explore and do stuff in! Additional things I want to get running from the engine side is switches not only open doors, but switches themselves having an active state, and they can be a requirement for picking up items or using other switches. And switches to have different types, like a user activated switch or auto switch, that activates when the player, or other entities are nearby. And also if it’s a toggle switch or a momentary switch (while standing on it, it’s on, when you leave, it’s off). This will already multiply the possibilities of different puzzles, especially if you need to use the bad guys to solve certain puzzles!
The whole take I’ve had on this project is not as an action top-down shooter, but much more like a puzzle game, with horror elements. Right now the horror is working out okay, but sound work as well as an improvement on the gfx should help. While you can do it, there is currently no point in equipping items, as you need to use them from the inventory with your mouse on other objects. I might change this to having to equip and hit other items to use it, if anyone actually reads this, they can leave a comment below suggesting something! :)
I have thought about doing pop-up puzzles, or password entries, and I’m starting to think it might be out of scope for the current game, but in the future, you can count on it!
A funny afterthought about this whole game jam thing….I’ve been working on and off on my zombie game engine for the past few months, with pretty good results. This last weekend I created a whole new engine (with a few parts tugged off of the zombie engine) in under 48 hours, and it is already better than my zombie engine in terms of features. This means that the old zombie game project is off, and I will be continuing work with this engine in the future. I think it is a really good base, since it also made improvements on level editing in Flash (it now parses a textfield that should contain a JSON object to give objects properties).
Pfff…anyways…if anyone is reading this, thanks for reading all the above, I guess it’s kind of a long read. Any questions? Comment below!