Welcome back to the Zombies in Space devlog. Sorry its been so long since the last one. I took a break from making these update videos over the holidays. Hopefully now we'll get back on a more regular schedule, about every 2 weeks. I have however been working on the game.
Before I jump into what has changed, I wanted to remind everyone that the game's planned Alpha phase will be starting hopefully in the next month or two. If you would be interested in playtesting the game and providing feedback, please sign up with your email via the link in the description.
For most of December, I focused on gameplay improvements. Starting with the guns now having clips or individually loaded bullets, and corresponding reload animations. With this I overhauled the UI to show not only the player's health, but also their current gun, remaining bullets and reload progress. Health packs were also added to the game, and with that came a complete rewrite of the crate loot dropping code to drop ammo or health based on what the player needs the most while still keeping things a bit random.
I also worked on differentiating different surfaces in the game. While most of the map is metal walls and floors, the boss room actually has a dirt floor. I added footstep sounds to the game with different sounds playing based on what surface you were on, and I also added new dirt impact sounds and effects for bullets hitting the dirt.
Speaking of the boss, a lot more work has gone into the fight. While it is still not to the point where I am completely happy with it, the fight is starting to feel more like a proper boss.
As Jaunary approached, I shifted my focus to preparing to create the Tutorial level, which is my goal for the month. And one major component was still missing, hidden areas. Up till now you could see all of the rooms around you even if a wall was in your way. After spending a long time thinking about it, I decided that did not provide the correct astomphere for the game. So not only did I add hidden areas that appear only when you walk into them, but I expanded the use of that as I started to build the tutorial level. Doors now hide the rooms you cannot see when closed, climbing up or down a ladder hides the floor you just left and even crates can hide an entrance to an area you could not otherwise see.
So far in January, the tutorial level's creation has been my primary focus. I added some basic button prompts to guide players through the level, aiming to really stay out of the player's way. And finally, I added a basic dialog system to the game, that I plan to use sparingly to progress the story throughout the game.
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