It is my hope to release Paper Cowboys as a multi-player (both local and online) side scroller for the PC and console platforms in the summer of 2014. A "48 hour build" is already available on GameJolt, and the final release will have more great content, a storyline, and polish.
A couple notes on the style:
- All the non-text art assets were drawn in MS Paint.
- The art style is not rough; the final product will be stick figure art through and through.
The Intro Sequence
The intro sequence is 90% done; I just need to convert the raster comic images to vector to improve the quality, and get some feedback on ways to make it better.
The Play Menu
I can easily be persuaded to change the Play Menu layout depending on player feedback. The "Quick Join" item will try to put you into an existing game with a good ping; preferably one with friends and as close to the start of the game as possible. I have not started the implementation yet; I need to look online for how other developers do it. Then there's the classic "Search For Games" which imitates a typical Steam server list and lets you filter on games. Finally, "Start New Game" lets you host a game. I plan on dedicated server support so hopefully it's not a heavily-used option.
Paper Cowboys is not optimized to be a single player game. The only way to play single player is to host your own game with the player count set to 1. When players do join mid-game, I'll also have to make sure they aren't stuck with level 1 weapons at, say, level 7.
The Controls Menu
Note how the layout of the Controls menu provides for four players; three of which are gamepad only. It is my intent to let multiple people in front of one computer play the game, even a network game. There's just one problem: Only player one can use the mouse to aim and the others will always have to shoot forward unless I find a better way to handle it.
Unity developers: Note how I even have a Controls menu at all. I'm suppressing the Unity startup window, and using my own PlayerPrefs-based system to manage user controls.
The Next Step
I'm currently working on the character animations for the three classes. This work includes replacing the scripts I used to animate the characters with Unity 4's animation components.
I'm also rewriting the character movement scripts. In the current version of Paper Cowboys, the network model I use is non-authoritative. Clients tell the server where they are, and the server happily forwards that information to all the players. I want to bring Paper Cowboys closer to an authoritative model where the server validates client states to minimize cheats like speed hacks on official servers.
Updates will come slowly as I'm also in the middle of several other collaborations, but stay tuned anyway!