A few days ago, we decided our next goal. We want to release a playable demo version of the game by mid January. We hope to gather some feedback for further improvements. We think that external views on the project will give us new perspectives.
At the moment, I am working on our Backyard level. I want to remove most of the bugs and tweak the gameplay, so that the demo will be enjoyable. I increased the speed of the player and the zombies. A little modification to the AI now distributes the zombies more evenly throughout the level. The explosion bolt no longer explodes on impact but triggers a timer instead. Now the player has to think a bit more about how and when to use these bolts. Also the damage of the explosion changed. Until recently, the player took no harm from an explosion. That is fixed now and for better feedback (and for the cool looks), I added two more animations for that kind of damage:
Moritz is currently working on the Supermarket level which is looking very nice so far. Only the shelves need a bit of restocking. We learned the hard way how stupid the decision for a supermarket setting was. Naturally, it is the one place on earth having the highest density of different products. All waiting to be modelled… well, let’s call it a good exercise. 😉
We first tried to model every product on its own, but after a short while we chose the more sane approach of billboarding. Firstly, the workload would have been horribly high and secondly, we just don’t need so much detail having the camera that far away. Nevertheless, we made some singular models for special products so that the content of the shelves doesn’t look too flat. We also hope to create a bit of depth using normal maps.
Regarding texturing, we first used some photos of real life products but to avoid any copyright infringement, we decided to design our own brands. Another bold move… we thought it wouldn’t take more than a few hours. Needless to say: it did! 🙂 Furtunately, there are a few databases with images for free use. We also found nice fonts for our purpose. Most of the textures have been finished by now:
Last but not least, we made contact with a very experienced composer, with whom we’re now discussing adding music to the game. We hadn’t given much thought to it, but that’s the beauty of working with other people who are very talented: you just get brilliant input on how to improve your game you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
We hope that a playable demo version will be ready by mid January. Like always, we’re looking forward to seeing your comments!