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Post news RSS Zombies in Space - Devlog 6 - Preparing for the Alpha!

This devlog reviews the latest changes to the game as it is prepared for alpha testing!

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Welcome back to the Zombies in Space devlog. My name is Daniel Lautzenheiser and I am the sole developer on this project.

Before I jump into the progress I have made, I would like to announce that I am targeting to release a demo for the game in May of this year. Also the Kickstarter pre-launch page for Zombies in Space is live. And I invite you to visit Zombies in Space by Arcbound Games — Kickstarter and follow the project, so you will be notified when the Kickstarter launches later this year!

The last two weeks have been a frantic dash towards completing the first alpha build of the game, which hopefully I will be able to finish sometime next week! Here are some of changes that have occurred.

New player animations. The game has had a couple of iterations on the player animations already, but I still wasn't completely happy with the results. One big concern was that all of the sprite in the game other than the player were completely in profile, yet I had the player turned slightly so you could see a little bit of the front of the character. This perspective inconsistency mixed with some feedback I recevied about the animations themselves, led me to completely redo all of the player animations.

I started with gathering some inspiration, looking back at older titles that had similar styles of characters and the general look and feel I was going for. I found myself looking at games like Prince of Persia and Flashback for inspiration. In the end a lot of the new animations are based on of Prince of Persia 2's sprites. However, I wanted my game to be much faster paced and more responsive feeling, so I ended up drawing probably only half of the frames compared to the source material.

I also added a completely new animation for the player when they are walking backwards while shooting. Up till now it simply played the same running animation and the player moved at the same speed as if they were running forward. With the new animation, I cut the player's backwards walking speed in half and the end result felt really good.

Next up, the save system. The game now has a proper save system. I have decided to go with a mix of the classic metroidvania style save points and the more modern, dark souls like, instant save system. The end result, everything of importants in the game saves automatically when it happens, including death, but the player's respawn point is based off of the last save point they visited.

Money! The game has money now for the player to pick up. I spent way too long tuning the way the money bursts out of crates. Right now there isn't anything to buy in the game, but I plan to add some shops for the player to visit after they leave the tutorial area.

Enemy death animations! All of the enemies in the game now have death animations and many of them persist in their dead state after they are killed!

Finally, abilities! The game now has player abilities! Currently there are two abilities you can pick up, Bash and Double Jump. The bash ability is like a dash, but can deal damage to enemies and will eventually be able to break open certain doors. The double jump is more straight forward, you can just jump twice before hitting the ground. All abilities in the game utilize a new energy system, where you slowly gain energy over time or can gain it faster by damaging enemies. The more damage you, the more energy you get back.

Thanks for readonly this devlog! The game will be entering its alpha phase hopefully next week, at which point I will be reaching out to the folks who signed up to be alpha testers. If you are interested in testing out these early builds of the game and providing critical feedback prior to the May demo, please sign up via Arcbound-games.mailchimpsites.com

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