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Will To Survive
September 6 - Liquidoodle
The last month was pretty hectic, running a Kickstarter campaign definitely eats up all of your time so it's been lovely to get back to working on the game. The aim at the moment is to shift from working on a prototype and moving towards developing a more polished beta candidate. I don't have anything visual to show for this weeks progress as I have mainly been doing programming work but I thought it was good to keep you all in the loop.
The Code Bit
The first thing has been to start cleaning up and improving some of the code libraries that I'm using. The code now works more efficiently and will save me from some headaches later down the line. Cleaning up all the code also allows me to finally look at drafting in a bit of support that has been offered to me from friends which should speed things up.
The second thing has been to strip the game logic back and start rebuilding it, essentially starting from scratch but pasting in the code from before that worked well and re-writing the stuff that didn't work so well. This should give me a good foundation and allows me to bring in the new combat scheme and defence placement mechanics with a clean slate rather than hacking it around the old code.
Game Pad & Keyboard Support!
Stripping back the code has meant I can overhaul the input controls. I've now enabled the game to use a game pad and you can now walk around using the WASD or arrow keys. Coupled with the options to use a mouse or touch screen this gives you a few options to choose your preferred control scheme or mix them. Which is how I think it should be.
Where To Next
This next week will be a bit more of the same really, I've still got more code to clean up and re-build so it may be a few weeks before I have anything new to show really. I've also been in talks about some freelance work which is great as that's what is funding me at the moment due to the Kickstarter campaign not reaching it's goal; It does mean I'll have less time to work on the game but I need to eat and pay the rent ;)
There are lots of way to keep updated with the project now with tumblr being the latest addition. Whenever I post an update I'll make sure it gets put up across them all so that you can choose which one works best for you.
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Until Next Time!
August 30 - Liquidoodle
The time has finally arrived and it's the end of the campaign. I've got in touch with the press, chatted to backers and together we've pushed the campaign as much as we possibly could but sadly the project has been unsuccessful in obtaining it's funding this time around.
Although it is a great shame this is an outcome that I was fully prepared for, crowd funding can go one of two ways after all. The campaign has been a success in many other ways and a lot of that is down to you lovely lot. I would like to say a massive thanks to you all for your continued support and generosity.
Is This The End?
One of the reasons for doing the Kickstarter was to see if there was actually a market for the game, I was sold on the idea myself but I wasn't too sure how others would perceive it. The general response from people has been excellent however showing that there is clearly a place in the world for Will and that makes me even more excited about the project than ever before.
I can definitely say that this isn't the last you'll see of Will! The project will live on so don't despair. I will also be posting regular updates via the blog, Kickstarter, IndieDB and Steam so that you know how things are progressing. I will attempt to update things each week but failing that I will certainly make make time to update you guys every other week.
There are a few different directions that I can look into heading with the project now, I could spend some time developing the game and attempt another funding campaign in a few months time. I could look into other funding options such as private investors or I could contemplate going the alpha funding route. Whatever I decide I will do my best to keep you updated and let you know what the plan is.
Right now I have actually started work overhauling the prototype, I've stripped it down to it's bare bones and begun putting it back together in a far more clean and improved state. The aim is to create a really solid foundation to start building the final game from, address some of the issues from user testing and also smarten up some of the code so that I can begin to accept help that has been offered from some of my programmer buddies.
One of the areas the campaign has done well is here on Steam. With over 10 thousand yes votes, 600+ followers and 300+ comments so far the Greenlight page is currently sitting at 94% on the way to the top 100 which is something to be very proud of. Thanks to you all for voting and sharing! Be sure to share it some more and let's see if we can get the project into the top 100!
To wrap up I would like to say a massive thanks to you all again for voting, sharing and pledging. You are all awesome and it means a lot to have people out there who believe in the project. I certainly hope I can continue on with the game and ultimately create something that you really enjoy playing.
Alex & Will
August 23 - Liquidoodle
The Will to Survive Kickstarter campaign is now in the final week of funding. So far we've managed to raise just over 3 thousand but there is still a way to go before it gets fully funded.
Any help you can give by sharing the campaign or pledging towards it will be massively appreciated and will go towards developing the game into something fantastic.
Will to Survive Kickstarter Campaign Here
August 20 - Liquidoodle
Today I wanted to talk a little about the new direction that I am looking into heading with regards to combat.
So far the combat in the prototype has not been met with much praise, in fact often people have been confused as to how it works as no other game features a combat mechanic like it and I've personally not been 100% happy with how it plays. I now feel like I know the correct direction to go in which will improve the game a lot and help cut down development time leading to a higher degree of polish and quality.
Out With The Old
Originally when I first developed the prototype the aim with the combat was to develop a system which would work well on mobile formats as well as desktops so I had the idea of using something along the lines of Pokémon style fight screens. It seemed like a sound concept and the player was taken to a different screen with the intention to help cut down art time and be a little more straight forward to develop in terms of AI logic.
The combat system was never truly locked down, it was still an early test of an idea but I needed to take that path in order to see if it was correct or not. I always had thoughts about changing it to a turn based system but wasn't sure how it would work, if it would work and how much extra time would be involved with that process.
As usually happens with the development process eventually you have an epiphany and everything becomes clear on what direction you should take.
In With The New
The idea behind the new combat system is to scrap the idea of a separate combat screen and to tackle the combat in the world itself. This makes it work along the same lines as games such as Shadowrun Returns and X-Com.
The game will be real-time as before while moving around then should you alert a nearby enemy or choose to attack an enemy the game will go into a turn based combat scenario.
My thinking so far is that during each turn the player and the enemy (or enemies) choose an action to perform. There will be a time limit to remain in-keeping with the real-time nature of the game but it will be sufficient enough so that you can decide what to do and act upon that. Once decided the outcome will be played out and then it's back to deciding what to do again. Rinse and repeat until either party is dead or the player manages to escape the combat area safely.
This image shows a brief glimpse at how a combat encounter may play out:
Scrapping a portion of the game and starting a fresh isn't a decision that I've taken lightly. I've made sure that if this is to happen it's certainly going to benefit the game-play but also that it will benefit the development process too. Thinking about it at great length I have come to the conclusion that it's the best direction to go for many reasons.
- Reduced Art Time - There is no loner a requirement to create art for two different screens meaning the world artwork benefits from better polish.
- Reduced Memory Foot Print - The previous fight screens required quite a significant amount of texture memory due to their size and supporting high definition resolutions would increase that even more. Now there will be no need for such costly art assets.
- Reduced Code Time - As this will all happen in the world area now I can re-use portions of AI code for moving enemies etc.
- Chance To Fight More Than One Enemy - This was always something that I wanted to do but was unsure of how to achieve in the previous combat version. Having the chance for aliens to gang up on you leads to far more deadly combat scenarios.
- Stealth - I wanted to include the ability to go stealthy before but was unsure again how to achieve this. With the new system this will be even easier to implement and will be far easier for the player to understand.
- Possible Clothing Changes - Changing clothes has been on the wish list for a while especially if I am to factor climate into the survival aspects of the game. By focusing on the world environment and not having the expensive combat screen art to worry about it's far easier to contemplate the feature of choosing clothes for Will later down the line.
- Taking Other Survivors With You - This is another aspect that has been on the wish list for a while. With this new system it is easy to envision the ability to travel and fight alongside other NPC survivors.
Onwards And Upwards!
Hopefully that makes sense and sounds good to you all. I'm certainly quite excited to get started on the new system.
See Original Update Here
August 14 - Liquidoodle
The Kickstarter campaign is now approaching the half way point, it's crazy to think it's been going for a couple of weeks already. Time has flown! Don't forget to check out the reward tiers and think about pledging, it will all go towards making this a great experience.
Now, onto some more info...
Ammo is a bit different in Will to Survive, you'll be able to find different types of each round and will even be able to craft your own once you have learnt how. You could be adding phosphorus to some shotgun shells to create incendiary ammo or applying unknown alien liquids to the tips of bullets to test the effects. Everything that you can collect in the game will have a purpose, that purpose could just be to harvest chemicals or other supplies... ever wondered how much gunpowder is in a firework?
Not many survivors live in the world now and the ones who are left tend to lead solitary lives hiding away as best as possible. They don't want to get caught by the aliens who threaten their very existence.
When you do come across a new survivor you may need to gain their trust before they help you out. Once you are acquainted you may find that they have items to trade, tips or info to share and may even have quests for you complete. It's important to try and look after your fellow humans, failing to aid them when they are in urgent need of help could mean they no longer exist. If the aliens have less humans to search for they stand a higher chance of finding you!
Until Next Time!