Thursday, January 24, 2013

Philippe - Goals for the Weekend

First, I thought I'd do a quick update on what I've done so far, and while I ponder how to implement the next step, I will describe what I will finish tonight. Lastly, I will introduce the content that I plan on adding to the game over the weekend and how it builds on the strategy of the game.

I now have a fully functional AI for the zombies that operates like this:
- Zombies move aimlessly about the map until they receive one of two different stimuli
1) They spot the player (the player moves within zombie's vision range)
2) They hear a sound (A noise, such as a gunshot, is made at a location and the zombie is within earshot)

Option 1 takes priority over Option 2 as long as the player stays within vision range of the zombie. If the zombie hears a sound, then it will move towards the sounds origin. However, if upon arrival it does not see the player, it will give up and go back to wandering. Hopefully this can lead to strategic misdirection and calculated escapes throughout the game.

Next I updated the weapons system. To illustrate, I will provide an example:
Ex. Pistol
Max Range - 6 squares (40% hit rate)
Mid Range - 4 squares (60% hit rate)
Close Range - 2 squares (100% hit rate)
Where a "hit" refers to a head shot, the only thing that can kill a zombie.

This is designed to model the fear one would experience in such a situation along with the difficulty in hitting a small target that is moving. It also forces the player to consider whether it is worth moving closer to the enemy to get a better shot to avoid wasting ammo.

Tonight I will implement the re-supply feature, which will consist of a ammunition box being dropped onto the map at a location at least 10 squares from the player. This is done to force the player to move through hostile territory to survive, and makes camping a less viable options.

Okay, now for the Content. This is what I want to add to the game before the end of the Jam. I want to make everything balanced and do a lot of testing to ensure that these additions lead to enjoyable gameplay. Without further ado:
1) Four types of Weapons
- Knife (Melee weapon with a 90% hit rate) -- meant to be a risky move for players who don't have much health left; speeds up the end of the game
- Pistol (Basic ranged weapon described above)
- Sniper Rifle (Better accuracy and higher range, but takes longer to shoot and weaker at close range)
- Machine Gun (Fires faster and has a larger magazine, but has lower accuracy and range) -- meant for close quarters combat against many zombies
2) Four types of Zombies
- Normal Zombie (Moves at half the speed of the player, vision range of 5 squares)
- Wolf Zombie (Moves faster than a normal zombie and will always move towards the player without requiring vision) -- meant to counter sniping strategies
- Green Zombie (Spews noxious gas on death, damaging the player if they are within two squares) -- forces the player to risk ammo shooting from afar
- Fat Zombie (Requires two hits to kill) -- melee attacks would provoke a response if the zombie is not hit once first

2/4 weapons would be given to the player at the start of each game, and then they are placed on a randomized map and must face ever-growing hoards of zombies! The player must carefully choose which zombies to destroy first, as a wrong decision could make the situation very risky!

I believe that this is definitely programmable within the time constraints. What I worry about is whether that game won't have the strategic feel to it that I'm going for... I guess time will tell!


  1. I like the idea of being able to throw a rock to create a distracting fake target for the zombies.

    1. The goal of the game is zombie extermination, so it's less of a survival game where you must use whatever is around you to survive. I do want this to be an option, however, so see my reply to Chris' comment below.

  2. Weapon suggestion:
    Flashbang - silent to 'fire', 7 square range, creates a zombie-attracting noise on impact

    I'm looking forward to giving this game a try!

    1. I'll probably steal this. Not sure about the range, but I will make it so that the flashbang removes vision of the player and creates a sound at the targeted location. However, it won't work if you're too close to the zombies, as they will see you again immediately after the flash clears... Thus it'll be more useful to stall incoming groups when dealing with large swarms.

  3. Monaco and Mark of the Ninja have nice systems for handling line of sight and sound and might be a good reference.