As you can see, much has changed.
Item Drop System
I’ve implemented a weapon system, which allows the player and enemies to interact through item drops. Here’s some interesting features of the drop system:
- You can throw any weapon. If you hit an enemy, they will be stunned.
- When you pick up a weapon, you throw whatever is currently in your hand.
- Stunned enemies will throw their own weapon as a projectile, potentially hitting other enemies.
- Enemies can pick up weapons in an effort to kill you.
- Enemies have self-preservation: if an enemy has no weapon, they independently make the choice of whether to go for a nearby gun and shoot you, or run away from you to survive.
The item drop system creates interesting scenarios in gameplay, because it gives the enemies many of the same advantages that the player enjoys.
Weapon Property System
Each weapon has its own attributes that affect how the player can use it. For example, the shotgun is high damage / spread, but can’t fire in rapid succession, whereas the pistol is low damage, but very precise and can be fired quickly. This allows me to fine-tune tradeoffs between the weapons that make decisions between them more meaningful to each individual situation.
New Enemy Accuracy System
In the previous version, enemies were able to kill you in one shot, as long as they could see you. Now, they have a chance to “graze” you (indicated by a red flash on the screen). This chance is determined as a function of your angular velocity and your distance from the enemy. I did a write-up on the specifics, which you can read here.
New Enemy Type!
To spice up the gameplay, I added a new enemy type: the heavy. Here are some of his features:
- Moves slower.
- Requires many shots to kill.
- Can’t use guns, but he can kill you with his bare hands.
The Heavy will have his own model in the future, but for now I lazily made him a scaled up version of the regular enemy.
Using an incredible asset called Exploder I was able to create a door-busting mechanic. In the future I plan to let this stun enemies on the other side.
New 3D Models
You may notice the addition of some new weapon models. These were made by an excellent team of 3D artists that I found on the Blender discord. They will be assisting me with new character models, weapons, and animations to match. The weapons above are being animated as I write this.
I believe it is essential that DEBASER has an excellent soundtrack. For this reason, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort in the past 2 months finding musicians willing to license or compose music for the game. The soundtrack is inspired largely by the incredible synthwave soundtrack of Hotline Miami.
I am going to keep the details confidential for now as negotiations are ongoing, but rest assured some amazing tracks are being added to the game as I type this.
In the past month I started play-testing. Even though the game is in a rough state visually, nearly all testers have thoroughly enjoyed its mechanics. The testing has shown me that this game’s core concept has wings, which is incredibly satisfying to me after almost a year of developing the concept essentially “in the dark.”
To satiate the UX designer inside me, I added a title screen to the game. I modeled everything in blender, and created a TV static shader in Unity for the screen. I also implemented a dolly-zoom to make this as needlessly intense as possible.
Goals for next time
I will be working 2 jobs this summer and doing summer classes, so I might not be able to work quite as much on the game as I did since the last log. Still, by the next devlog, I would like to have everything from the tutorial to the first level completed, including a small introduction to the story of the game. If I can create this “vertical slice” of gameplay I might be able to start looking for a publisher.