It has been a little over a month since we announced Rise of the Infected and right now we would like to look back over the last four weeks to discuss some major progress as well as what to expect in the near future. We are planning to give a regular update each month to cover what we consider to important new features and changes. However if you wish to stay more up to date, we do regularly post screenshots and videos that can be found on our profile page on IndieDB. If you frequently visit YouTube we also have a Channel you can subscribe to for each new video upload.
Before we get to discussing all of the details, here is the latest video demonstrating what we currently have implemented. We skip over some of the minor details that are still very much work in progress.
There have been a lot of resources added to the game and the time it takes to setup a new game now has given us good reason to implement a new loading screen. While somewhat crude at the moment, the main purpose is to give you quick overview of the loading status. Over the next couple of weeks there will be more work done on this feature, using multiple threads to load resources, combining certain resources, and a few other minor details.
New Map Perspective
In our first news post and first few screenshots/videos you will notice that game was using an Isometric perspective for the City Map. During one of our developer discussions we made the decision to change from an Isometric View to a Orthogonal View for the "City Map Only". This will allow us to implement certain features more quickly and with more depth. Of course we still plan on keeping the Isometric View for all missions in the game. We want a more up close and detailed perspective for them as the majority of the game action will be there.
The current map engine now supports multiple map levels to simulate more than just the first floor of a building. Each level has a Ground/Wall/Object Layer, and by default when you start the game you will be viewing the top level. If you wish to view within the buildings and lower levels you can change the map view from the main menu.
We are still looking for talented artists to help us out with the graphics for Rise of the Infected. What we currently have in place are some free open source tiles we have modified, or sloppy ones made by us programmer types. If you are interested in helping us out, feel free to send an email to Tristan.
City Map Primary Interface
Throughout the last month we have gone through a few different versions of the interface on the City Map. This has been for many different reasons, but as of right now we seem to have found a good fit for the Alpha version of the game. The main menu has buttons to easily access the additional menus, as well as a space to display the current Game Date and Map/Time Controls.
One of the features not shown off in this video is the Message Window. This is a window that can easily be toggled to see important events that might be going on within the city or your shelter. You can find a video of it here.
We have also added support to our Interface Engine for the repositioning of menus by the player. Certain menus have their positions locked to prevent movement, but most of them come with a standard alignment that is overridden once moved by holding (Shift + Left Mouse).
We have put a little bit more work into our Cutscene Engine to support the interactive Intro we have planned for the start of every game. Before it was only capable of displaying images and text, and the ones we had in place were horrible black and white placeholders. We took the time to create some more appealing backgrounds and text boxes. The most important feature however is the ability to make a choice within the Intro. The only choice to be made right now is which Survivor you choose to follow and have lead the rest of your group. More options will be made available later on in development.
We have complete remade the Survivor Details screen to be a more overall management menu. You can now use the Next and Previous Survivor buttons to cycle through all of the available survivors without going back to the list. Beneath these buttons you now have the option to exile a specific survivor from the group, which releases them out into the infected city. This will have certain negative and positive effects later on depending on the Survivor you exile.
With the increased size of the menu we incorporated the entire skill and task management into the lower half of the menu. You can now easily see a list of all the Skills learned and available to the survivor, view more info on each skill, learn and forget skills, as well as improve on the learned skills further. Tasks can be assigned to each survivor to determine their activities throughout day to day live in the shelter, if you wish to temporarily disable them you can simply toggle them on and off while leaving them assigned.
We have contained most of the important survivor details in the primary content window at the top of the menu, while adding support for additional details to be displayed in the secondary content window based on the tab selected. We plan to have more content displayed in these over the next couple of weeks.
The shelter menu has been the latest feature overhauled just within the last couple of days. We have increased the size of this menu as well to allow future expansion. Most of the content displayed is the same as before, but most of it is better organized and appealing. The threat level is now a graphical meter highlighting the current level. The food and water ration levels is now a list that highlights the current ration level, and allows you to simply select the level you want. Just below each list is the number of days that your survivors can continue at the current level.
In the primary content box at the top you will see that we have some new information. The storage space and living space available/used. The number of men/women/children, survivor deaths, infected killed, outlaws killed, etc. This is a portion of the simulation mode we are working on right now. More will be done with these over the next couple of weeks.
The Storage and Living space is something to note however as it applies to the next feature we have implemented.
Shelter Space Designation
Our goal is to give you full control over your shelter and survivors, to allow you to handle the situation however you might if the situation were real. One of the major aspects behind surviving and thriving in a post infected world is rebuilding. While we work on some important details for the construction and building aspect of the game, we have already begun to implement some of the concepts of how it will work.
The first is mostly about having control of your shelter space. Keep in mind that the Shelter shown off in this video is much larger than what you will initially start out with in the game. As the city map is divided into a grid, you have control over the portions of the grid your shelter fills up. You will be able to decide what to do with the space you have available.
Right now we have added simple support for designating a general use for the space. Later on you will be able to place certain objects in a specific location, restrict survivors to certain areas, assign task locations, etc.
The types of designation we have implemented so far is Storage Space, Living Quarters, Mess Halls, and Recreational. The first two already have an effect on your shelter and survivors, while the latter two are still being worked out. Each grid that you designate as Storage will increase your capacity to store resources, if you do not have any space you cannot bring anymore resources into your shelter. With each grid you designate as living quarters, you provide space for a survivor to sleep, rest and store their belongings. While having insufficient living space will not prevent you from taking in more survivors, it will effect their mood and status.
As you can see we have been hard at work each and every day with the hope of getting to a point where we can share a playable version of the alpha with the public. We will be updating screenshots and videos over the next four weeks, so remember to check in. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them here, email us, or visit our forum.