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Post feature RSS Zombie Cakes Developer Diary: Beta Release

Zombie Cakes is a cooperative wave survival game where you bake pastries to feed hungry zombies in order to survive. Join us in our developer journey as we try to make Zombie Cakes the most silly cooperative adventure game that anyone can pick up!

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This week's beta release focused on player guidance, building a storyline, and balancing the game.

Most of our guidance problems were brought to us directly from playtesting, and these sessions made it easy to see which mechanics players needed help understanding. We added UI progress bars for the wheels, so it is obvious to players whether each wheel has been fixed or not. We also added UI showing a preview as to which zombies are approaching the truck, so players could decide which pastries to put into the chute. In the alpha release, our shop wasn’t completely polished, so for this release we added a more intuitive shop design with a scroll wheel, actual upgrade descriptions, and made the players’ amount of money more obvious. Other small guidance changes included zooming in as Rico arrives, so players know to interact with him, a blueprint letting players know they have received a new machine and rearranging the Rico and jelly roll guidance to make the game flow better.

We also decided that we wanted to incorporate some storyline elements into our beta release. We wanted the players to be invested in their characters and their end goal. To do this, we started by adding a cutscene to the beginning of the game. The cutscene introduces the characters, their goal, and the main antagonists of the game, the gluten-intolerant zombies. We also developed Rico’s character more by adding in some quips and a voiceover. Lastly, we added a new and more exciting ending to the game, featuring two new mobs—the ax zombie and the big, bad, flamethrower zombie boss. Just as the player is about to escape, they realize that the truck is out of gas. They have to rush to defeat the final wave to get gas so they can escape before they are overtaken by zombies!

Other miscellaneous features we covered this iteration were new player upgrades, like a roll-frosting machine, a slide so players could exit the food truck from the roof, and an interactable driver's seat. We also added a juicy explosion on zombie death, a new soundtrack, and new audio for zombies and Rico. These features we hoped would allow for the player to have a more diverse experience in gameplay.

For the final iteration, we want to make sure that any bugs that are left have been squashed. We want to remove all soft locks we can find to create a seamless experience for the players. Additionally, we want to make sure to polish the game with some juice in order to help the player experience the world of Zombie Cakes as vividly as possible.

We hope you tune in for our final release!

Sincerely, Empty Chip Bag Studios.

click here for the builds

flat tire with progress bar and sparkly fixed tire


updated shop screen


tires popping in game intro


slide


driver's seat


axe zombie mob and flamethrower boss


very descriptive commits


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