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Will To Survive
October 18, 2013 - Liquidoodle
Well hello there everybody!
Things have been busy and going well with the game since the last update. I've cleaned up the last few bits of code ready for Dan as well as doing spots of project organisation and planning but for the most part I've been getting to grips with a new tool called Spine.
Spine is a wonderful 2D skeletal animation tool and I've been wanting to play with it for a while as it will really help do some more advanced things with both the player and alien artwork especially in terms of the new combat mechanic which we will be starting soon. I've uploaded a short development diary for you to check out.
The artwork isn't by any means final but it's already looking much smoother and higher quality than before. It also uses far less texture memory and is far easier for me to create, meaning I can spend more time polishing and adding more content.
Meanwhile Dan has been getting to grips with the code and has currently been putting in some rather swish path finding then he's going to be vastly improving the collision detection so that Will no longer gets caught up on corners and walls so easily. Hopefully we can upload a video of that next week.
Where To Next
The next stage of development will be to look at getting the new combat mechanic working, I've already got a battle plan written and will be starting on the artwork this weekend. Once we are ploughing through that I dare say there will be much more videos and updates for you to see... it's quite exciting!
We are currently doing really well on Steam, we're number 26 but were recently at position 24. If Valve continue to Greenlight projects at the rate that they are presently going that means we stand a very strong chance of getting green lit in the next batch. That's only going to happen if we stay pretty high up in the ranks however so any help you can give by sharing this Greenlight page with friends, family and colleagues would be greatly appreciated... LETS DO THIS! :D
That's all for now, thanks for reading and supporting!
September 27, 2013 - Liquidoodle
Hello ladies & gentlemen, apologies for the lack of updates over the past two weeks; Everything has been rather busy and chaotic plus there wasn't really much in the way of news worthy things to write.
I'm now done with cleaning up the code for the game and it's many libraries so it's nice and organised ready for some help on that front, I'm much happier with it now and have even added the ability to change resolution and toggle full screen display with some keyboard short-cuts which I had been meaning to get around to for a while.
I've also overhauled and fixed the weird issues I was having with collision. In the process I've made some handy debug display stuff to aid me diagnosing problems on that front in the future too. Hopefully fixing those issues will mean sorting out the draw order of tiles and objects will be easily fixed now as well.
And lastly I've started getting the new interaction controls to work, it's still early days on this but it'll mean that interacting with the world is much more intuitive. Hopefully I'll be able to put a video up soon to show the new method in action.
New Team Member
I would like to give a warm welcome to Dan Ward (a.k.a. ButtonsZ) who is kindly offering his help on the code side of things. Dan is an old friend of mine who has recently graduated university with a first (clever sod) and is a programming ninja. Dan will be helping out on the game in his spare time when he's not working which will really help speed things up. Welcome on board Dan!
Where To Next
So the plan for October is to mainly work on the exploration controls, improving collision and adding path finding which should make the game much more fun when you are wandering about the world. We'll also be looking into further developing the map system, giving the ability to exit and enter buildings, move between building floors and also adding in a sewer system which will be an important way to get around safely. One thing we also want to look into getting working is the ability to use skeletal based artwork created using a tool called Spine. This will vastly improve the animation quality of the player and enemies but not only that it will also mean we can do some rather cool new things. Definitely go and check out the program here: http://esotericsoftware.com/
Ok, back to work I go!
September 18, 2013 - Liquidoodle
Very brief update to inform you all that we are now in the top 100 games on Greenlight since that last batch of 25 got green lit, in fact we are currently sat at #81 which is really awesome news.
Massive thanks to everyone for voting yes and following!
September 6, 2013 - 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, 2013 - 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