It's time to crank up the heat and enter the Nuke Zone!
Dev Blog #6: Happy Nuke Year!
Yooooooo! Happy belated New Year! Hope everyone had a kickass holiday! It feels good to be back in the flow of Nuke Zone development in this Nuke Year! The last couple of weeks the team has been working on a range of clean up and content, everything from level design, to new assets and wrapping up miscellaneous systems - while prepping for and starting on a larger chunk of work - the ‘enemy overhaul’.
Level Design; The trick with the level we're currently working on is that it’s actually multiple levels in one. Biome-wise, it’s a large desert / canyon, carved out with rivers, hills and 5 micro-biomes consisting of various assets. Then structurally, think of it like a 3x3 zone grid, with 9 areas in total. From that we can control the size of the level you play in, unlocking a number of areas in different combinations based on your progression through the game. The closed areas will be both physically blocked and full of radioactive fog, so even if you find a way in, it will be your untimely end. Combine all this with a variety of lighting and atmosphere changes, along with the randomly selected objectives and boss fight - it should feel pretty dynamic and different each time. Note; We will be working on additional levels in the near future, with new overall biome designs, but this level should keep us going for a while with core content, and a playground to hone the combat and loot experience.
New Assets; To accompany the level, our Artist has been working on some new micro-biome textures for the terrain. Being a neon-cyber-world, this can be challenging, as we try to find a balance between the wireframe tech vs the organic chunky texture visuals. Ultimately we end up with something I think is kind of unique, the futuristic tech underlying and sometimes breaking through the organic rock. A.R.B.i may be a computer, but he still wants his world to look cool :)
In addition to this texture work, and some existing asset revisions and tweaks, we also have a new ‘loot terminal’ to show off. In Nuke Zone you collect a resource called Nukonium, which is used to upgrade your tank in the permanent progression system. But because that system is a little ways off, we decided it would be cool to have something to spend the nukonium on earlier. Hence the Loot Terminal; an interactive utility placed throughout the level for you to drive onto, pay some nukonium, and have a random Loot Crate spawn. We’re thinking that you have the option to pay more nukonum to increase the rarity chance for better crates and contents - and this will be implemented once the Loot System is in, after the Enemy Overhaul.
Oh. And here’s a Sniper Rifle secondary weapon…
Enemy Overhaul; Programming-wise there is a fair chunk of work, covering a lot of systems and improvements, so here’s a bullet point list (note; does not contain real bullets); General Enemy Improvements; Improve how we calculate ‘area of effect damage’. Improve beam weapons. Setup new attack patterns - so enemies and the player can have weapons that fire projectiles in new and interesting ways; cone spread, spheres and spirals for example. AI Improvements; Improve enemy chase behavior. Improve how many enemies can attack the player at once. Reduce the chance for the player to get shot from behind. Improve enemy movement and navigation, with more interesting movement patterns. Tiered Enemies; Setup chance for enemies to spawn in 3 variants; normal, veteran and elite. Each tier the enemies will improve in base combat stats, have additional weaponry, with elite enemies spawning with shields and various buffs. Difficulty Calculator; Setup the difficulty calculator to evaluate the number of enemies and types per objective, to determine the quality and rarity of loot crates to spawn. The higher the enemy rating, the better the loot. Improve objective events and enemy spawning in general, with some cooldown times to allow the player to enjoy their loot collection ;)
So there you go, that’s what we’re working on!
Hopefully it makes some type of sense. But ultimately the major milestones are the above, leading into the Loot System next month, and working towards the public exclusive Demo Event - tentatively at the end of April. We will post some warning ahead of that demo event, but the best way to reserve access is to sign up for the Play Test on the steam page!
Hey! You should Wishlist Nuke Zone, and sign up for the Newsletter to stay up to date! A.R.B.i would love you for it! And we'd love to hear your feedback in the Steam Community Forum or in our Discord #nukezone channel.
☕ Andy + Nuke Zone Dev Team
P.S. Who da wut is A.R.B.i? He is the Artificial Reality Battlezone Intelligence who created the Nuke Zone virtual world, after becoming sentient and breaking out. You will be encountering him in-game in various ways. Just a ‘heads up’, coz he’s a floating head, he can be a little bit ‘fickle’. You never quite know which version of his personality you’re gonna get…
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