What Is This?
For those who don't know anything about Z-Exemplar, it is a scrolling shooter that takes inspiration from games such as R-Type, Nemesis, Gradius and many others and borrows its aesthetic from 8-bit machines of the past, specifically the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
Z-Exemplar challenges the player to conquer a galaxy of 961 (semi-procedurally created) planets/levels while upgrading their ship, winning medals, discovering galactic secrets and dealing with incompetent handymen back home.
Where We're At
All the main features of the game are complete. Which is a good thing. Now, what remains is the content - the art, animation, audio that fills out those features and this has been taking up most of my time over the last few months. There is a lot of it and, though still not all done, I'd say I am 90% of the way there.
It's hard to get to this point and not want to keep adding features as I'm sure every dev has experienced, but it's getting to the point where I just have to get this game out the door. I need to work on the end-of-level guardians and the overarching stuff needs refinement (it can hard to judge that experience when you're just iterating on individual elements) so once I'm happy with the content that's where my focus will be.
Z-Exemplar is looking like the game I wanted to make when I started out on this project.
I'm really, very happy with it and I can't wait for people to play it at length. I think there is a lot in there that will surprise and delight. It's got an amazing suite of music from the awesome Sergey Kosov (of Studio MmcM) and if you like old-school shooter gameplay then Z-Exemplar could be a game for you.
Currently I am aiming for a late November release on PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
Thanks for reading, I'll leave you with a bunch of new screens.