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Will To Survive
Finding The Right Path
30 stycznia 2014 - Liquidoodle

Good day everyone!

It's been a long time coming but we finally have a new development diary video for you to watch, everything has started to come together this past two weeks so we finally have something worthy of being shown. I'll get into detail about what we have been up to after the video for those who want to read the wall of text that follows.


Path Finding
So this has been a royal pain in Dan's side over the past few months, after several re-writes on his side of things and a few changes on my side with tile map code and the like he has finally got the system working and in-game. Hurrah! It works really well so far minus a few small issues that Dan is sure to fix later down the line and it really helps when navigating around by mouse/touch input as you can see in the video. For those who don't want to play using mouse/touch there will also be a keyboard/game pad input system available too. This system will also be used for AI patrol logic and the combat screen so it's been really important to get this working and working right.

Tile Maps
The tile map system as I said last update has had quite a considerate re-write because quite simply it was a little broken and needed to be fixed to work with the new artwork. I've ironed out the last few issues that were left with it so that it is now incredibly precise when drawing and converting from screen space to map space.

I've also tackled some of the things I've been wanting to do for a while with the system so the draw order is now fixed and allows Spine artwork to be drawn behind height tiles, the combat grid and other elements can be drawn above the base tiles but below everything else, the entire map can be tinted a specific colour which is mainly used for the combat screen and the whole map is cropped to the screen so there is no drawing done off screen to improve drawing on mobile devices.

Combat Grid
Something that needed to be looked into before going head long into tackling the combat was planning the way the combat grid would work and designing it's aesthetic. This is something else that I've got done and put into the game all be it in a basic manner.

Lots More
There's also been a lot of core code updates happening that don't entirely come across in the video. We've had a bit of a shift around and clean up of the main classes to improve things for what we were doing and for the future as the way I had tackled them was a bit strange.

The intro screens can now be skipped and I've massively improved and changed the screen and screen management system which will help later down the line. Spine artwork and the process of creating the art has also improved to allow me to make it quicker as well as supporting future clothing/skin changes. The tile map art generation and map creation has inevitably been worked on now too so we have a solid technique for creating this new style art and getting it into the game.

What's Next?
Now the path finding is tackled to a decent state Dan is going to be looking at enemy A.I. Logic for patrolling and guarding, line of sight for player detection as well as reacting to the player once he is seen. Hopefully this should be shown in the next development diary and once done Dan will be making way with the combat mechanic... exciting!

For myself, I'm split between making sure Dan has all the art required for the combat screens as well as having a re-write of the user interface system.

Phew, I think that just about covers everything...

See you next time!


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Komentarzy: 5
Liquidoodle 31 stycznia 2014 o 5:34 
No worries, it's my pleasure. Glad you are happy with all that, I personally think it all sounds good but it's always nice to get a second opinion. We will certainly need testers a bit later on so I'll keep you in mind bud :)
Wolfborn8 31 stycznia 2014 o 5:27 
@Liquidoodle Thank you so much for the in-depth reply. The way you're going at things is pretty much how I imagined it would be better in terms of gameplay. Too much randomisation and surviving could turn out to be a pretty difficult task in the long run-- this way you sort of know where to look if you're in need of a specific item. But I also like that there's some randomisation in what you can find; I believe that could wield some nice surprises. The way you're going about item placement and the way the world reacts to you sounds logical and something you can count on when planning your daily raids for supplies, which is often key in survival games. Thanks once again!
PS: should you ever need someone to help you beta test the game, I'd be happy to help out :)
Liquidoodle 31 stycznia 2014 o 5:13 
...My thinking is this will help you memorise the map so that you can find your way around once you get used to it but whenever you die and come back you won't be able to look in the exact same places to get the equipment you had before. Certain places will yield specific equipment such as raiding police stations or hospitals so you'll know it's worth going there but that awesome weapon may not show up again that you want back ;)

Something that I also want is the world to react to how you have looted it, looting trees and gardens of all their fruit may stop them from producing more for example. And looting an entire grid of a map 100% may mean less random dead bodies in the street as Survivors are no longer rooting about that area.
Liquidoodle 31 stycznia 2014 o 5:13 
Cheers Wolfborn8. The world will be part fixed and part random, essentially the physical layout of the map, buildings and most objects will be fixed and authored by us then we have the ability to control which items, objects and enemies you find are random and which are fixed.

We also have the ability to control in what way they are random, for example you wouldn't find a shotgun inside a small desk drawer but you would find mostly weapons and ammo in a police locker...
Wolfborn8 31 stycznia 2014 o 2:49 
It's looking good, Alex. I've one little question that I keep forgetting to ask: is the world randomly/procedurally generated or is it a fixed hand crafted world the likes you see in Project Zomboid, for example? I'm fine with either, both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I am curious about it nonetheless. Keep up the good work! :)