Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Outpost 2 update time

It's been a while hasn't it. Client work has been tripping me up so it's been tricky to have a good clear run at O2.

Ok, so where are we at ? Level 4 is finally nearly almost done. Finally. Nearly. Hopefully when you finally get to play it you'll see why it's been such a beast to do, there's a lot of stuff in there.

Because it's a sewer level we've added some new underwater baddie types. They swim towards you really quickly ( Where you can't shoot them ) then burst out of the water really close to you. They're really jumpy things, much more so than the "Red eyes".

Also some various tweaks have been done, the doors don't take as many shots to open if you've run out of keys, as that was just annoying. The pistols power has been doubled ( Hopefully that'll make up for the lack of attachments for it. I know a lot of people requested that, but it's meant to be a weapon of last resort, not something you upgrade ). Also the SMG bullets now move a lot quicker, and I've increased the power too. The armour now works more like it should, it was regenerating too quickly before, it should work more like Halo's, which it does now. Oh, nearly forgot, a skip button on the intro at last, as so many people asked for it via the Facebook page feedback.

Speaking of weapons, added these on Saturday. 

Trip wires, nice

Those are the trip wires I've been wanting to add for ages. You shoot them at any target and they just stick, then shoot out those red laser lines you can see there. Any baddies passing through them die instantly, and then 3 seconds later the whole thing explodes. These are going to be really handy on the Swarm levels.
They're not quite finished yet as I want to be able to attach them to objects, they just work on walls right now, so you'll be able to attach a couple to say a desk, open a door into a room full of baddies in and push the desk in there.
Now I don't know if anyone will ever do that, but I think it's important to give the player as many ways as possible to play with the game mechanics, plus it'll be kinda cool.

As I finished the client work last week, and what with the time of year, I treated myself to adding a little Easter Egg to the game.

Old school baby

There's not going to be any streaming films this time, but you may find this old 1983 classic in there ( It's not really an actual clone of a game from 1983, just part of the mythology ).

It's actually from a prototype ( A failed one funnily enough ) that I did a while back that rather than just had it sit on my HD never seeing the light of day I thought I'd skin up and drop in the game.

There will be a challenge to beat that hi-score btw.

And that's it. I'm in two minds about posting the game with level 4 in via the Facebook page, we may hold off 'til level 5 is in there ( I've got to do UI things before adding level 5 though ) so we'll have to see how we feel about that.

It's all feeling really good, I'm really pleased with how it's coming together. Level 4 feels like the first "Proper" level with the first 3 being more tutorial like and introducing the flipping between points in time / characters. Level 4 is where we open things up and give you actual tasks to do with lots and lots of baddies.

Squize.

Comments (59) -

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/2/2013 7:09:21 PM |

    Righteous, Squize! I like this out of the box thinking! I love these updates and these waterbugs are going to be cool. Keep it up, Squize. When you get this baby released, I'll spread the word everywhere I can about this work!

  • Squize

    4/2/2013 8:32:18 PM |

    Thanks mate :)

    I've finally finished level 4 just now before replying. I'm so glad that's been killed off ( Although the art needs Lux to go in there and give it a pass to make it as good as it should be ).
    The water based baddies work so well, I couldn't be any happier with them. They're easy to kill as they just pop up, but man do they pop up.
    I've got client work the rest of this week now, but hopefully I'll be back on O2 this weekend, I think I'm making a start on the UI stuff, so the terminals, the inventory, perks all that stuff.
    Then onto level 5, which sees up back on Haven with Jameson in a zero g level ( Which is a little bit too much Dead Space, but I'm hoping we can make it feel cool without too copied ).

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/3/2013 10:51:07 PM |

    Rockin', man. :-)
    Will swarm be limited to one level design or will can it be done on various difficulty settings in various environments?

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/3/2013 10:52:20 PM |

    I mean will Swarm mode be playable at various difficulties in various environments? Forgive my grammatical errors.

  • Squize

    4/4/2013 4:32:38 PM |

    Swarm mode is being moved to "Side missions" so you can play it at any time, well via the level select screen, in the main story.
    The original plan was when we did O:Swarm was that we'd re-use those levels in O2 to stop ourselves dying doing another 9 Swarm levels, but now I'm not too sure, I'd like to at least to re-design them slightly.
    So yeah they'll get harder as you go, more spawn points, trickier layouts etc. and we've got more baddie types to play with this time too.
    Each Swarm / side mission level will have an objective too, although to be honest it's probably just completing a set, and that will unlock a perk which you can use in both story mode and Swarm.
    Also I'm toying with the idea of having one of the levels unlockable only by a community action, so say it'll take a million total baddie kills and it'll unlock, which may be cool.

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/5/2013 8:19:28 PM |

    Good thinking. :-)
    Looks like you're really giving it a good effort here!

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/5/2013 8:20:09 PM |

    Now, if only the bigger companies would put as much elbow grease and intuitive thinking into their products....

  • Zedacus

    4/6/2013 5:39:10 AM |

    I completely agree with you. So many of the modern games could be several times better if they added newer stuff and came up with newer and better ideas such as Nintendo is trying for, at least a little bit, with the Wii-U system and several of their games. The side effect about them is they're games are more cartoony and meant for younger generations to enjoy. But it shows that some people still have that, old time care for children, I think that is a good characteristic and I know my children would love them one day... When I'm older haha.

    @Squize: I agree with Manuel, Keep up the creative ideas and long/hard work. The world needs plenty more of that. We haven't had very serious wars for quite some time now, so I think a lot of people have "lowered their standards" way to much. Which is why I am disgusted with the US. China seems to be doing a decent job with their standards (in my opinion). But so are several other countries, but I'm getting way of subject....

    Just, do your best. The game is looking great so far.

    Oh and, this isn't to important for you guys and has nothing to do with the game, but I turn 18 on the 21st this month. :) Just thought I would share that. Take Care!

  • Squize

    4/6/2013 3:35:34 PM |

    If we don't speak before, happy birthday mate :)
    I've finally started working on the PDA / Inventory ( I've been putting it off, it's just so boring ) and I've got to name the different armour parts, I think there may just be a Zedacus-18 helmet in there somewhere :)
    ( Manuel, if you've got a name you'd like to see dropped in there let me know please, I can't use your email as it's a little too long ).

    Just to try and defend games in general, no one sets out to make a crap game ( Or film, or book etc. ), there are always external forces which dilute the vision. Sometimes that's publishers, or budget or skill or a dozen other things. I've got a feeling I wrote a blog post about it, but there have been so many they blur into one.

    Using adver-games as an example, I really don't like doing them. You find either the agency which wants them has settled for being mediocre so you're just making dross ( "We'd like a Pac Man clone to advertise the new Fiat". Of course you do ) or things just get taken out of your hands.
    We used to pitch for games, a design agency would approach us and they say they've got such a such a client and the advertising game is going to be based around whatever, so we'd write up a GDD ( Game Design Document ) and 50% of the time we'd be lucky and it'd be accepted. Then the amends start happening, and the game you originally planned gets screwed around with as there are so many people with a say in things.

    Here's a real life example, we did a game for The Prodigy for the "Invaders must die" album ( I was so excited about that as I'm a big fan. Fuck me, it's The Prodigy ). I remember it had a really low budget and a quick turnaround, it was either 7 or 10 days, next to nothing. We didn't pitch for it, and they had a game design in mind, they wanted it like some infinite runner thing with shooting.
    We were talking about the main sprite, and it went like this,
    "I think it should be something abstract" < I was playing a lot of Rez at the time.
    "We were thinking it should be Keith"
    "Erm, ok"
    "And maybe he finds a cape and he can jump higher ?"
    "I really hate that idea, plus there are 3 people in the band, it's not just Keith"
    "Well the record company have ok-d it, so that's what we're doing"
    And in that instant I just switched off from the project. As soon as a dumb idea is forced upon me I just lose all interest, and it goes from something I want to be proud of to just a way to make money.
    ( Luckily the band hated that idea too, and they went with mine ).

    This is why a lot of games are poor, whether it's an adver-game ( Which are poor 99% of the time, they're just so shit awful ) or an AAA console game, because just so many people have a vested interest in it that it's very rarely one persons true vision.
    The really good innovative games are the ones where the designer has been able to do what they originally wanted, or they're good enough to make the most of the crap thrown at them.

  • Zedacus

    4/6/2013 6:32:09 PM |

    Thank you, that would be pretty cool to have a helmet like that. If I could have it custom colored to, that would be sweet like neon blue, with gold trim on it. That's just how I customize myself on any game and it looks pretty cool. I got the color from a computer game I played when I was younger called Priston Tale, but I'm sure you'll have to talk to lux about that one, right?

    I wasn't really directing it at games completely, I generally meant a lot of people in the world, mostly in the US. A lot of people are lazy and don't take pride in their work here, which is why I think our economy is bad still.

    I know what you mean, people don't like to go with the original plan which tends to be the best one. People like to keep changing things and frankly, I don't like to get into a lot of the really popular stuff. It is just kinda annoying. I like to find the good stuff that a lot of people don't seem to notice as much. I found you guys didn't I? Haha. A lot of the games I've been seeing now are just custom versions of other games and I mean, that's okay... But you need to change a lot more of it. To many Tower Defense games, the best ones are originally from WarCraft II and III in my opinion. All the flash tower defense games are way to similar like: Cartoony, over done music, and not really anything that makes it stand out from the rest. Some are different than the rest but even then it's just to popular and that's all they really want because they can get paid if they make it so you buy things on them to have even more fun. I think that's what Armor Games is going for, maybe they are trying to expand and get bigger, and I suppose this is the best way for them to do that in which case is not a problem, but I still find some good games on there. I just don't play the online ones anymore because you always have to pay for better stuff in those browser games.

    Now, I've only listened to The Prodigy's main song, Invaders must die. And I haven't even heard it for a while which is sad for me because I really liked it. Pause.... There, now I am thanks to YouTube. :)

    As a final statement, I think Blizzard was doing great when they started out. Of course they where or else they wouldn't be so huge, and they are still doing good I suppose but the new Diablo III has to much change to my liking, but I do like Star Craft II. I will play it when I get a better PC, eventually and then the expansions as well.

    Well, let me know about that helmet :)

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/6/2013 8:25:00 PM |

    Agreed with Zedacus's last post. He said exactly what I was driving at. So, about video games, the saying is true: too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the pot. Ugh.
    It's definetly best when you have a more limited input on how a game is to be designed because conflict will arise, the more mouths are injected into the conversation.
    Good stuff with Squize and Lux here.
    As for myself, perhaps you can use Caliente for an addon that makes the flame thrower hotter? ;-) Or a piece of armour, however you see fit.
    If you'd like help with names for armour pieces, your duo here would be more than happy to help make this easier for you anyway we can.

    @Zedacus
    This man really has some good ideas, doesn't he? That's the thing about smaller developers, they have good vision and can see the light without being blinded by the bulb.

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/6/2013 8:27:14 PM |

    @Zedacus
    And just in case I don't get at you on time, I also wish you an early happy birthday. :-)

  • Zedacus

    4/6/2013 8:48:43 PM |

    Thanks, both of you and god speed! I've always wanted to say that.

  • Squize

    4/7/2013 5:29:59 PM |

    You guys are now officially more active on my blog than me ;)

    Caliente is now a chest plate in the game ( We're not going to be able to name attachments, to be honest we're struggling for room in the UI as it is, and having to use really small fonts, which quite a few players weren't happy with in O:H, but it's the only way to fit enough info in there. Plus we have to have as much text as possible translatable, which means leaving lots of extra room. German for example seems to use every letter in every word. Spelling tests in Germany must be murder ).

    Zedacus, as to the helmet colour scheme mate, I think Lux would run me through with a knife if I asked for a neon blue and gold one ;)
    The plan is we're just going to change the visual look for each part of the armour ( 5 helmets, 5 chest plates and 3 sets of leg armour ) rather than the colour scheme, as we can't really alter the look of the in-game sprites as they're pretty tiny as it is. It's more a case of having cool looking armour to unlock via the PDA, and the armour gives you different stats, rather than the sprite you actually play with under going major changes.

    Even with working on our own thing like we are with O2, with no outside pressure, I still have game play concerns. Lots of them.
    Getting the difficulty balance correct is always really hard, one of the hardest parts of any game. I also worry about things like the terminal / shop. We have to make sure we give the player enough money to buy things, and due to the nature of the story, there will come a point where there aren't any more terminals. That could leave the player in a situation where they've saved up money to buy say a Vulcan, but never get the chance to actually buy one, which sucks. We don't want anyone finishing the game with 1000's of credits saved up, that's just pointless, but we can't easily say "This is the last terminal" as in theory no one would know that ( It's like saying "Last gas station for 100 miles" ).
    Having the two characters playable throws up a ton of issues too.
    So even it just being Lux and I working on this, it's quite possible would could screw things up badly :)
    ( That's why we got the demo out as soon as we could, maybe a little too soon, and for other issues as they come up I think we'll just ask peoples opinions on here and the Facebook page ).

    The plan in my head is to have two tiers of beta testers, the general releases which are nice and polished that we can ask specific questions about, and the more rough and ready, almost nightly builds, where we ask people we know are really into the game to go out of their way to screw things up, to flag up when there aren't enough keys on a level etc. Proper beta testing really :)
    ( The downside for those guys is though that they'll be sick to death of the game by the time it's finally done ).

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/7/2013 5:52:29 PM |

    Sounds like a professional plan to me. I'm up to the feedback challenge. But, here is the caveat: you guys pick a shorter name for me. It can be in any language, but it must have something to do with heat. It can mean spicy, hot, flaming, very hot, the sun, etc. I prefer Spanish, though.

    @Zedacus
    Are you in?

  • Zedacus

    4/7/2013 6:21:47 PM |

    First off... Check your E-mail :P

    It's a bummer you can't have the helmet a different color but maybe you can make it look the coolest or cooler than the most? I don't know, if you have any questions for some opinions or Ideas or something for some things, ask us. :D

    Hmm, mostly all the ideas I have right now I already said in the E-mail so you'll just have to look.

    @Manuel Heck yeah I'm in, I've already been alpha testing it for some time now. :)

    For that helmet, maybe you can have just the visual look of the helmet in the inventory those to colors? And, I'm ready to start testing that level 4 when you're ready. Also, it's extra work, but maybe you could show an old recording of some previous people from the storyline or something like talking or something, and then the clip starts to phase as something happens? Like maybe an alien comes in and eats their flesh? You could probably do it the same way you did the one on level 2 which I thought was pretty neat.

    But once again... Definatly take a look at your E-mail, I've sent like two... One a while ago and a more recent on that should be more important, so read the first on, then the second... then you can reply.

    Well, let us know!

  • Zedacus

    4/7/2013 6:28:01 PM |

    @Manuel This isn't what you where talking about but it's Spanish

    Temerario

    It means daredevil.

  • Squize

    4/7/2013 8:20:17 PM |

    K, email sent to both of you. Manuel your chest plate is currently called "Caliente", if you want to come up with something else that's cool. Oh, and glad you're on board :)

    Zedacus, yeah we both want to add more cut scenes in there, like the security cam on level 2, it's just very time consuming and really blows the filesize so we have to make sure anything like that is an easy win. Off the top of my head we've got two more cut scenes planned, but I'm guessing there will be a few more to come to help advance the story.

    ( In a perfect world we'd have audio logs you can find and listen to, but it's all about file size with sound, it's just so expensive. Check out a short song on your hd and see how many megs that is. We can compress it more with mp3, but only to a certain level. You have say 10 audio logs at 30 seconds each and that soon becomes massive, they would be bigger than all the graphics and sound in the game already ).

  • Fuego

    4/7/2013 9:36:56 PM |

    @Zedacus
    Temerario, that sounds like it might be a good name for another piece of armor. Indeed, what's more risky than fighting alien insects?
    Some names I thought up on the fly:
    Sabre
    Cochise
    Longsword
    Rapier
    Vercingetorix
    Arminius
    Legion
    Hoplite
    Kopis
    Gladius
    Spatha
    Remington
    Blade
    Lerx (a play on Lux)
    Slice

    @Squize
    Please feel free to share my email with Zedacus. But so as not to clog this blog up, I'll continue working on and submitting names via email after Zedacus and I generate a list together for you to choose from.
    This is going to be great! :-)

  • Fuego

    4/7/2013 9:40:21 PM |

    Any names sound like they might be in line with your form of thinking, Squize?

  • Zedacus

    4/8/2013 12:41:30 AM |

    Okay so I think Squize is sleeping now, so here is my E-mail.
    zedacus@live.com
    I like mythology so maybe some Greek god names? I'm not very big in this so I can only name off the most common ones like:
    Zeus
    Athena
    Set
    and I'm to lazy to think of the others at the moment but feel free to google some Greek god names. :)

    @Squize Yeah I think I understand how it works now, at least for the games space/file size. Maybe it would be better to finish all the main stuff originally planned and then wait for all the little extra stuff people would like. :)

    Take care though, both of you.

  • Fuego

    4/9/2013 4:32:54 PM |

    This movement speed feels really good, Squize. I love it. However, is there anyway you can make the running speed transition a little smoother? It takes about 1 second to get into cruising speed and there are like little "bumps", as it were, before you get there. Can you cut the running speed time to about half? This is simply a preliminary observation, but you're definitely on the right track. Zedacus and I will submit our findings to you after we've spoken about things some more.

  • Fuego

    4/9/2013 4:41:37 PM |

    Darn it, Squize! Lvl 4 is freaking me out! I>:-D 'm fighting darn near blind here!

  • Squize

    4/9/2013 5:11:21 PM |

    Cool, glad level 4 is proving jumpy :)

    As to the acceleration, so many people have commented on that, I really do need to sit down and look at the code and see if there's anything I can do to try and make it smoother and yet still let you get up to running speed quickly.

  • Fuego

    4/9/2013 5:17:48 PM |

    Great. Man, those stalkers are great! I see you've fixed it to where they will blast out of the shadows after you! Good, very good stuff here.. *rubs hands with glee*
    Also, is there anyway you can make him run backwards faster than forwards? Those exploding bugs on level 4 keep damaging my guy because he can't back away fast enough (even if they're at close-medium range).
    Good thing you put in the tip about avoiding shadows, I really like how you can use those aerial insects to your advantage.
    Just do whatever ideas you come up with Squize, they're really good. :-)
    I'm waiting for Zedacus to get at me now.

  • Squize

    4/9/2013 8:54:22 PM |

    Cheers. Yeah the "Red eyes", I actually messed up the code with them that's why they move faster than before, and I figured I'd leave it as it plays well ( I'll have to test on level 2 though, I don't want those first two to be too difficult ).

  • Zedacus

    4/10/2013 4:42:47 AM |

    @Squize Hello, as I have already told Fuego, I am a little unreliable at the moment because I have a lot of school homework, I will test it when I can but I have been unable to load up level 4 yet, I will try it on a different web browser and see where that gets me and let you know if I get anywhere and can play through level 4. Also, I am sure I've mentioned this but because I have school, and the time difference we have, I will be delayed on getting back to you quickly until this weekend for when it is about 8 am here, it is about 5 or 6 pm there. I am unsure of Fuego's time zone but I think his might be closer to yours as well, but I'm just guessing. I'd like to agree with Fuego about the time when the running kicks in because it has been a bother to me, I'm not sure why I never mentioned it before though.

    @both of you: There is still the problem of dramatic experience when you go on the lifts for the next levels you usually gain a whole rank sometimes more depending... Fuego, you should test that out and see if you get similar results. Not sure if you played the Haven but it is supposed to be slower and I'm pretty sure you're only supposed to get experience from things you kill in order to get promoted. It is, however, useful for testing the game because we will be able to get the rank we want, faster so that we can test weapons and armors and stuff. Although unreliable as I am, maybe we could be like a permanent (or at least me) testing team for more games to come. Although I think you (Squize) mentioned that you'd be taking a brake after this, but whatever happens, happens.

    Well, take care, both of you. I will update you again sometime, I have no idea when...

  • lux

    4/10/2013 4:43:14 AM |

    I'll see what I can do for the helm :)

  • Zedacus

    4/10/2013 6:36:07 AM |

    Lux... I love you. Haha.
    Thanks. Let me know if it works out and stuff. :)

    @Squize: I tried the game on internet explorer and although it's normally a slower browser, it worked and I was able to play level 4. It looks great! I love it! I barely made it through the level alive. >.< I had almost no ammo left at the end. That SMG came in really handy when my assault rifle ran out of ammo. I'm glad I finally actually ran out of keys for the doors so that I was forced to shoot them open for once. It made me take up more ammo but it just added more to the thrill of the action. I think it's just me but I could have sworn I was attacked by an invisible alien and all you could see where it's eyes. There was only one, and then I saw eyes in two other places that vanished when I searched there. You're really showing good creativity, keep it up Squize!

    So, this may be a more difficult thing, but it's just another idea, I think there should be like complete darkness everywhere until you are in that area. It's a little difficult to describe but something like a shadow cast when walking near the walls since you have a light it should like cast a shadow at an angle from the light source that you are. Still a bit difficult to completely explain. Lets say you're standing near a doorway but you are at about a 45 degree angle to it, there should be an equivalent shadow being cast into the next room but in like complete darkness until you move so that it's 90 degrees that way you can see the main area of the room but not the entire thing until you walk into the room. Now lets say you're in the middle of the room and there is a pillar or center wall piece, for a ceiling or something in front of you a little way, there should be a shadow casting from it. on the other side and the closer you get to it the bigger the shadow would be. Just think how it would be in real life. I'm pretty sure this would be very difficult to do but it would be awesome. Anyway, just another crazy idea. I probably went into to much detail, you probably understood before I tried to explain it in further detail.

    Gotta go now, take care guys!

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/10/2013 3:00:23 PM |

    Righteous! We've got Lux in here.
    So, compressing what Zedacus said, it seems he proposes adding shadows to your character. Whether that capability is there or how much more coding work that would take, it seems like a good idea.
    My time is Eastern Standard Time. I don't know how that works with you guys, though.

    @Zedacus
    I'm pretty sure Squize will fix that leveling up before it comes out as a beta.

    @Squize
    And I do agree with Zedacus about level 4. Man, do you hate the players, Squize? Lol.
    I would recommend that you have one, lone console on level 4. That would be a good balance, I think. It'd be good to be able to get the shotgun on this level, but that's provided you've leveled up enough in Swarm to be able to get it. By making the levels harder so early, this would serve to push players to level up in Swarm first before doing the main game, so the player would get great training and they would learn how fun swarm is before they take on the real deal, the main campaign. And they would be able to see how great you've made your ai buddy, though I would say I think it'd be great if you could choose between Jameson or Lee, with both having advantages/disadvantages compared to the other, like Lee is slower but can take more hits, while Jameson is faster but can take less damage, or something like that. Of course, if you choose Jameson, Lee is you backup or if you choose Lee, Jameson is your backup.

    @Lux
    Hello, Lux. Glad to see you here, now we have the whole team. Can you do anything about the chest armor, like have an engraving of a pepper on it or have the sun somewhere on the character's armour? That'd be great. :-)

  • Zedacus

    4/10/2013 3:18:16 PM |

    Well, not exactly shadows for the character, more like the character is the source of light and there is shadows for all walls and columns in a specific area around him.

    I know he will, but I gotta tell him so he understands what I've seen and/or if it's a problem.

    He already has some consoles on level four but they seem to be kinda out of the way rather than along the way as much, but its fine. I don't really see much problem in their placement. You gotta have something in the corners of the map so that you have a reason of exploring the whole thing. Also, he can't have the players swapping really, until they meet up later in the game or something because that would ruin the story part of the game a little bit.

    You seem to get the gist of it but I thought I would try to explain a few things of what I know/am pretty sure about. I guess we'll have to wait for Squize to get back to us about that.

    Well, I gotta go catch the bus for school, I'll talk to you all in another 8 hours or so.

  • Manuel Bynum

    4/10/2013 3:28:56 PM |

    Playing the third level on the station, I think the smg needs to have more stopping power against the tank insects. Due to its volume, it should slow down the tanks more than it currently does (id say about 10-20 percent more) and it should take less shots to put one down. I'm assuming the tank insects are the big red ones. But I definitely do think that if the stalkers are lit up in your sights, they should automatically begin the pathfinding sequence to your character. That's right, CHARGE him if their eyes are lit up regardless of how far your character is. That makes it even freaker.
    Man, this is really starting to feel more like a fight than a casual game. I like it. >:-D

  • Fuego

    4/10/2013 3:35:51 PM |

    My mistake, I wasn't clear about the character swapping, it seems. I meant that you should be able to choose either character for Swarm mode, not the main campaign.
    About that leveling up, I never noticed that until you pointed it out, I do agree about the leveling up bit, though. I would definitely recommend people level up in Swarm first to get a feel for the game and then do the campaign, with Swarm being like a training mode. Of course it's optional, but you'll have a harder time if you just jump straight in.

    Hmm...character being the source of light...I can see that. Interesting. Going along that line, I think if you have a laser installed, you should have a kind of cone of light extending along the laser's path a bit. But if you don't, then you're limited to the circular area of light that is around your character by default.

  • Fuego

    4/10/2013 3:38:35 PM |

    Hahahaha!! XD
    This mini-game is hilarious! I like it!

  • Squize

    4/10/2013 4:16:56 PM |

    Guys, pause for breath :)

    I'll try and catch all the points as well as I can.

    The room in shadows thing, like a fog of war, is really nice ( My favourite game ever, Paradroid, used a similar top down view, and you could only see the baddies when they were in your line of sight ) but it would require both a fair bit of code and then going through all the levels assigning "rooms", something which the game isn't aware of atm.
    Also we'd have the issue of what to do in dark rooms, the "fog" wouldn't really lift and people may think it's broken.

    I figured out the ranking thing yesterday. You get a big ( 5000 ? ) XP bonus for finishing a level. Then when you collect say a key on the next level the game realises it's not caught up telling you you've been promoted so brings up the text, then when you do the next thing to gain XP it happens again, until it's caught up properly. That's obviously been broken since O:H :)

    I've had the invisible Red Eyes bug ( It's like pac man when the ghosts eyes return to the middle ) but I thought it was fixed as it's not happened in ages.

    The two sets of just eyes appearing are deliberate. Someone noted on here a while back that we'd over used the red eyes to the point that every shadow usually had one hiding in there, so that's our way of fucking with people.

    There are two proper working terminals on level 4 ( Although the code for them doesn't work, but you know what I mean ). I'm not sure we should be pushing the player to upgrade their weapons too much as there are only two levels you play as Lee, so spending all your money on a shot gun and then the level ends could be annoying.

    Level 4, hard but good ?

    I really like the character based traits idea for Swarm mode, it's not something I thought of ( You were just going to be Jameson as it's his game ). I'll have to talk to Lux about that, he prefers the whole stats / RPG element thing to me, plus it means designing a level select screen etc.
    Great idea.

    The SMG is more powerful than before, granted it doesn't have much stopping power ( Unlike the pistol, which is great now. 5 shots to kill a tank ) but it does spit out a lot of bullets.

    The whole balance / difficulty curve is something we're going to really need to look at, because this time not only do we have armour but perks too. It's a case of doing what feels right now, and then seeing how the whole game fits together and tweaking it then. To me level 4 is quite a jump from level 3 in difficulty, and we may have to tone that down, or it may be a case that if you've unlocked some perks before going into that level it's fine as it is.

    I think that's it, if I've missed something let me know :)

  • Fuego

    4/10/2013 9:06:00 PM |

    Yup, Level 4 is harder but its great. It's harder because you can't really see that far, and because you make baddies spawn up at unusual times. I like it alot. >:-D
    About the smg, when I said stopping power, I meant literally "stopping power", as in the bullets come so fast and hit so hard, they slow down the enemy. Can you increase the smg's stopping power a little more?

    But about level 4's difficulty, I like how it jumps into a tougher battle dramatically. That's more realistic in that, in situations such as this, you don't get to pick which battles to fight, the bugs do because it's their home you're in ule invading ule! Lol.
    So, concerning the shotgun, I see that I'm a little mistaken. I was thinking it was going to be mainly Jameson throughout the whole game and you would get to keep all weapons. I'll have to reread exactly how the game is laid out and who goes where for how far again to refresh my memory.

    About the terminals on level 4, I didn't know about them, but that's because I was too freaked out to run all over the place. ;-)
    It's those doggone stalkers that are the main threat, and you do indeed screw people up quite nicely on this level because, like in real life, you'll don't know where the stalkers are, not to mention the bugs that appear all of a sudden sometimes (like they would in real life.) It'd be cool if you could make it be to where stalkers would be randomly placed in smaller quantities so you could never say, "Ok, they'll be over here" or "they'll be over there". But, perhaps that's another time, like O3 if you ever felt like it again.

    You know, Squize, this is a major jump between the first and second parts. Companies need to learn from small, independed developers such as yourself how you're supposed to make games: by innovating and listening to your customers. As the saying goes, "Give the customers what they want."

    So, compressing my notes, this is what I say:
    Random positions of smaller numbers of stalkers would be cool (if that wouldn't tear it all up)
    Make the smg's bullets hit harder
    Keep the varying level difficulties instead of following the worn-out line of "the further you go, the harder it gets". Maintain the dynamic difficulties you have in place, that is great.
    If you could, randomize the various spawn points of insects (provided that wouldn't require an extra ton of elbow grease).
    Put like an engraving of the sun somewhere on the armor.
    Keep on rockin, Squize-style. :-)

  • Fuego

    4/10/2013 9:16:05 PM |

    Oh, about those terminals, I think it would be good if you kept the original terminal hacking sequence. Don't give the players ANYTHING. ;-)

  • Fuego

    4/10/2013 9:19:49 PM |

    Lol, sorry, I just don't have nerves of steel at this point to explore level 4 anymore until later on today! That pop-up bug freaked me out! I'm involuntarily jerking! Whew, this is a trip!

  • Zedacus

    4/11/2013 2:27:23 AM |

    Okay there is a lot of comments haha, well... Lets see, the main thing I should start off would probably be that fog of war thing. Fog of war isn't exactly what I'm getting at. I think I'm thinking more like that night vision level, except without the night vision. I'll see if I can find a picture as an example of what I'm talking about.

    Here: http://i.imgur.com/RnsEy.png

    That's what I'm getting at, except without the flashlight and complete darkness (or close to it) around you. And just relying on the lights around you? Maybe on level 4 you can have some sort of portable light source, like a fire? I think this game definitely needs a lighting system  like that to it. It would really complete the visuals in my opinion and add to those jumpy parts.

    @Fuego
    I really like those terminals. I just don't think he should provide us with health kits in the terminals, if so, make them cost more. You'd be forced to farm in swarm but it would still be fun. It would make you do the swarm levels. :D

    Okay well, just a quick one for today, I gotta handle school...

  • Fuego

    4/11/2013 6:13:52 AM |

    @Zedacus
    The terminals I refer to are the ones you have to hack, not the supply ones. However, since it's easy to be confused here, Ill be specific in my reference: the control terminals, not the supply terminals. When I said "don't give the player anything", that means make it more difficult for the player to hack as it was in O:H1 so they'd have to earn their way there by putting forth some effort to achieve their goals. In simplistic terms, I was saying I think he should keep the original hacking sequence where you have to press the spacebar at the right time or be penalized instead of simply holding it down to successfully hack the control terminals.
    But, perhaps you do have something there about being forced to play the swarm levels, to where you'd have to level up there if you want to survive..there might be something to that. That would be like the required training real soldiers have to go through instead of just jumping in there sans training...I don't know. And having no health kits in terminals would force you to play with more care and also compensate for the armour pieces you get...hmm...that might work. I'd try that out and see how it goes.
    That lighting link is very interesting. I've never seen that before, it looks good to me. If Squize is up to it, that'd be cool to implement.

    @Squize
    It's your call on whether people should have to play at least some swarm levels before they jump into the fray. I myself think it's a good idea. And since your level is automatically saved on sites like newgrounds, it wouldn't be a burden to new players since your swarm achievements cross over to the main game. You should do it, I'd recommend. Some food for thought.

  • Zedacus

    4/12/2013 5:06:04 AM |

    Okay I get what you're saying, I'm sorry if I seem a little too straight forward. I'm ganna be busy for a couple days so I'll get back to you guys later.

    Good luck for now and take care. :)

  • Squize

    4/12/2013 2:50:50 PM |

    k, catch up time.

    Zed, I see what you mean by the shadows now, thanks for the link. I did play with a torch / shadow effect way back when I was originally starting O:H, but I just couldn't get it working how I wanted, plus it really eats up the CPU time, so dropped the idea.
    The dynamic shadows we have in there at present are really simplified in terms of code just to be able to have them running at all.
    You'll usually find games which have a lighting effect like that build the whole game around it, as there's not much CPU time left to do much more.

    We can do something with the way the glow of fires work in this one, they are actually above the shadow layer, so they do light things up, which they didn't in the previous two games ( You can see it working if you set a desk on fire then push it into a dark corner ), so that's something I'd like to explore in later levels.

    We'll check the pricing of everything, including medi-packs, when the game is a little more firmed up ( It goes back to the balance thing again ). The game has to be approachable for people who are playing an Outpost game for the first time as well as still a challenge for everyone who completed the first one / Swarm.

    With the Swarm levels, we're going to unlock them as you go, so completing level 1 will unlock Swarm 1 and so on. We don't want to force people into playing them, some players only play for the story, but rather reward people who do ( With perks as well as extra XP ).

    Random positioning of baddies, it's do-able for the ones which are just wandering about, but not really for the "generators" ( ie, the ones that come out of holes in the floor ). At present the AI works by doing nothing until the player is close by, so the baddie is just off screen, then it kicks into life and starts moving. In theory this should mean they're never in exactly the same spot, more the general area. I'm more interested in getting flanking and things like that in there, making them seem smarter, as that is much more scary when it happens. The code is there, just the current level designs don't lend themselves to it happening much ( On level 4, go left, past the first door, going towards the first bit of water. Once the baddie notices you and hisses go up through the door where there are a couple of face huggers. The tank should follow you up there, and that's scary as hell when it happens ).

    Sun engraved armour you say ? I'll speak to Lux.

    Also yeah, the SMG isn't quite good enough even after it's tweak, although some players said that it was their favourite weapon in O:H, where it was less powerful with slower moving bullets than now. That's the odd thing with weapons, everyone has a favourite, I think it's down to me to provide a wide spread and let players choose their own based on their style ( And then to bitch about all the other ones ;) ).

    Cheers guys, hopefully that's everything covered off. The Armour selection stuff in the inventory is nearly done now, just getting back to that right... now!

  • Fuego

    4/12/2013 4:16:46 PM |

    @Squize
    "In theory this should mean they're never in exactly the same spot, more the general area. I'm more interested in getting "flanking and things like that in there, making them seem smarter, as that is much more scary when it happens."

    Flanking! Now THAT would be da bomb. I was wondering about whether you would adjust the ai to do moves like that in this one or if that'd be too much work. You should definitely implement it since that would make the game even tougher! Heck, on swarm levels, I get flanked all the time - I oftentimes have to do 180 turns to get the bugs behind me then switch back really fast to get the ones in front of me, dependent upon my assessment of which insect (or swarm of them) is the greater threat first. Squize is rockin' this joint. :-)

    "Also yeah, the SMG isn't quite good enough even after it's tweak, although some players said that it was their favourite weapon in O:H, where it was less powerful with slower moving bullets than now. That's the odd thing with weapons, everyone has a favourite, I think it's down to me to provide a wide spread and let players choose their own based on their style ( And then to bitch about all the other ones ;) )."

    About the weapons selection, heck, everyone has to play the way they think best. I read a post somewhere awhile ago with someone who preferred the rifle with fmj. Myself, I prefer the smg with fmj and rapid-fire. My buddy I turned onto this game preferred the shotgun. To each his own, definitely. But I will admit I may have made an oversight: the smg does not have the rapid-fire and fmj tweaks available yet, so forget what I said earlier.

    Interesting way you have Swarm going. Dynamic thinking here again. So if you complete level 1 and 2, but find 3 to be too jittery for you, you have the option of training on levels 1 or 2 with bugs coming at you from all directions to help you prep for level 3. This equation can be applied in a myriad of ways.  However, I do like the way you nudge people towards swarm mode.

    "On level 4, go left, past the first door, going towards the first bit of water. Once the baddie notices you and hisses go up through the door where there are a couple of face huggers. The tank should follow you up there, and that's scary as hell when it happens."

    OK...heaven help me..
    :)

  • Fuego

    4/12/2013 4:18:30 PM |

    @ Zedacus
    Don't worry about that, it's all good here. If I seemed a little too strong, my apologies. I'm glad we're here and working as a team - three heads are better than one, but not 300. ;)

  • Zedacus

    4/13/2013 5:37:57 PM |

    All is good here as well mate.

    @Squize
    Yeah, I kinda thought that might be a problem. It always comes back to games space. Well, it's alright, no need to stop coming up with ideas now. :)

    Well keep me up to date, I'll be testing!

  • Squize

    4/15/2013 3:28:29 PM |

    Hey guys. Quick update ( That doesn't really warrant a new blog post ), I'm still working on the inventory code. It's taking forever, it's a beast of a thing.

    Some good news though, Lux is skinning up level 4, so hopefully there should be a build this week with it having the final art, which will be cool.

  • Fuego

    4/15/2013 7:10:00 PM |

    Rockin.' I'm just wondering how the next four levels are going to be laid out. Boy, this will probably be done next month. Guess we'd better buckle down for the long haul.

  • Squize

    4/15/2013 7:26:51 PM |

    Next 6 levels mate :)
    And the next one we're back on Haven again.

  • Fuego

    4/15/2013 7:33:43 PM |

    Six?? Wow, I thought it was eight, not 10!

  • Squize

    4/15/2013 8:25:33 PM |

    It was going to be 11, but we dropped one of the level ideas ( I think on the mission select screen there are still 11 markers in total ). So yeah, 10 levels + 9 Swarm levels. I'm going to be dead by the time this game is finished :)

    One idea we've got is doing a directors cut as a downloadable version, which we'd charge a couple of dollars for. With the story as it is there's going to be a time gap between Jameson and Lee meeting up on the planet, and the DC version would restore those missing hours, showing more levels on Haven.
    Again, we'll have to see how we feel after the game is finished, and what the response to it is.

  • Fuego

    4/15/2013 11:32:11 PM |

    Oh, boy...we got our work cut out for us.
    Yes, I definitely think it'd be cool to charge just a few dollars for the downloadable director's edition. The price isn't exorbitant, and you get paid for all the work put into it. A working man is worthy of his wages. The catch phrase should be something like: "Director's edition available...for a few dollars more." What other incentives do you guys think you could create to get people to pay for DC edition? And do Zedacus and I get royalties? ;-)
    It's going to be interesting to see how you guys come up with different levels. I'm thinking that most probably this game will be done by mid to late summer?
    It's really cool that you're working on the inventory list now. But those levels are going to be a big burden.
    Hey, I just had an idea. Notice how you linked up some inventory pieces dependent upon playing dn8 pulse (or whatever it's called)? Is there any way you can make a powerup to where you can call in an airstrike on huge swarms of bugs? What I mean is, a jet sprite will pass over and an explosion sound occurs when it drops its payload and all bugs onscreen explode, but you only get to use this on outdoor levels either: a. once or b. you can pay for it in the inventory, but it'll cost alot to do so.

    @Zedacus
    Any new ideas, amigo? How goes your schooling? Hope all is well with you!

  • Fuego

    4/16/2013 12:26:19 AM |

    Oops, about the red eyes charging you, I need to provide a bit of clarity on that: I meant they should charge you if you light them up and there's a direct line to you without a wall blocking the way. Or should they charge anyway? Hmm...what do you guys think?

  • Zedacus

    4/16/2013 2:56:47 AM |

    Hey guys, all is going well. I've been really busy with not just school but friends and family as well. But I will test the game some time this week after I get caught up with my homework. It's all generally pretty easy but I just have a lot of it so it's going to take some time to finish. Any way, just checkin in with you guys. I will keep checking for news and let you know when I get my schedule open. I've also got my Birthday this weekend and my friend's show so I will be busy.

    @Fuego
    I'm not sure how well an airstrike thing would work, when you die you come back temporarily invincible and kill everything within a circle around you but I don't think you get exp from that. I just think that is more for a bigger game or a game that is generally supposed to be a arcade game or something.

    Maybe they could make like a last stand kinda thing. So that when you get attacked bad and you die you're not dead yet and you pull out your pistol and kill the aliens around you to come back to life otherwise you die or something. Not sure how that could be a applied to a 2-D game but w/e.

    @Squize
    Keep up the good job man, you are doing great. I know it seems like there is a lot to do but, if you stick it out then you will realize that it will all come together much faster. But what do I know, haha. I'm just trying to put myself in your shoes. But really man, you guys are doing a great job.

    Talk to you later!

  • Fuego

    4/16/2013 3:24:14 AM |

    @Zedacus
    Easy, simply purchase an airstike package, press a button to call it in and a jet sprite from dn8 will fly overhead and drop a bomb that destroys everything except for you. Think about the Swarm mode: if there is a huge group of bugs coming at you, simply call in an airstrike that makes a jet fly overhead and drop a bomb. The bomb can go off while the sprite is flying so it's an airburst bomb that destroys everything onscreen. A thunderous sound is heard and the bugs explode, simple as that. Lol, that last stand thing is so Call of Duty. I like that game alot, and use that in survival mode on COD MW3. :) It's cheap, shouldn't be too hard to code (I hope), and lend kind of an arcade feel to the game.
    But, remember, this can only be used once on outdoor levels or cost a huge amount to do to discourage airstrike abuse. Just a thought.
    Good to hear from you, Z. I was hoping you hadn't left the party. :)
    Waiting to hear from Squize now. Hope Lux shows up again.

  • Squize

    4/16/2013 4:13:16 PM |

    Ha, you boys don't get royalties ( Nice try though ;) ), just a free copy and shout out in the credits ( Which is worth so much more ;) ).

    I've been playing a lot of Black Ops 2 recently ( Far too much, I'm trying to get my score per minute up to 200 on team death match before I stop ) and although I like the airstrike idea, it's a bit one off. It may work in level 7 with what we've got planned, but if we do it it'll be a set piece, rather than something the player can buy / control.
    ( Level 7 is going to be our StarShip Troopers level, like a Swarm level in the story ).

    The red eyes do attack you if there's a direct line of sight to you and you shoot them first, try it on the one hiding beneath the fan at the start of level 2.

    I should really do another blog post, but I've been stuck on the inventory side of things, which still isn't finished, so there's nothing much interesting to say.

  • Fuego

    4/16/2013 5:59:55 PM |

    Awww...no monies? Lol. :-)
    Anyhoo, level 7 is going to be a freaking swarm mode? Heck yeah, baby! >:-D And yes, I definitely think you should have an airstrike in that level! That'd be great! That really would make that battle more epic! Boy, I'm getting excited. Put in the scream of an f-18 flying overhead in the sound file (if you can) and make the screen shake with the bomb explosion sprites! Haha!
    Squize, what platform are you running Black Ops 2 on? I'm running the Modern Warfare series on pc and also have Battlefield 3 for the pc. If you have either or all of those on pc, contact me! Just email your bro and we'll get this thing rockin. :)

  • Squize

    4/16/2013 11:22:17 PM |

    I'm a 360 boy I'm afraid. I couldn't work in front of a computer all day, and then play games on it to relax, it would drive me insane.

    An air strike would come from the ship you arrived in Haven in, the one with Haily as the computers AI, so there wouldn't be a scream of jets as such, just the smoke trails then the explosions as they impacted ( I think it'll be similar to the meteor crashing on level 3, just lots more at once ). Don't worry about the sound though, we'll make it devastating enough :)

    The plan for level 7 is we're going to have this little fort thing out in the middle of the planet, and just waves of baddies will rush you from all sides, and there will be turrets you can use to hold them off.

  • Fuego

    4/17/2013 3:12:48 PM |

    Hahaha! I didn't know your work life revolved around the pc screen, I can definitely see the major disconnect there.
    It's pretty cool what's going on there with the airstrike option, that's good.
    Three questions about level 7: About the turrets, will they sustain damage that you'll have to repair from time to time? Two, will the turrets be upgradeable dependent on cash bonuses received from each set of bugs destroyed? Three, will you have Lee fighting with you (or Jameson, I get mixed up which one you'll be playing as)? And will they take care of damaged turrets as you have to cover them?

  • Squize

    4/18/2013 4:34:33 PM |

    The turrets aren't the same as the sentry guns you'll be able to buy, think more a turret in any FPS you can think of, so you'll press space to use them, shoot, shoot, shoot and then space to stop using it. I think they'll overheat, but that'll be it.

    The sentry guns won't be upgradable. I've not thought them through that much yet, but I think they may have an overheat mechanic too. It's a case of coding them, testing them and then seeing the best way to handle them.

    And yes, level 7 is where the two meet up again ( You'll be playing as Jameson and meet up with Lee ).

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