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SoCoder -> Blogs Home -> Blogs

Created : 15 January 2011
System : Linux

Ideas for Rise of the Zombie Snowmen: Not Terrible Edition

Picking my brrraaaaaiiinnnsss...

So, now that exams are over and I have a little more time on my hands, I'm going to finish Rise of the Zombie Snowmen (my Xmas Xompo entry). The other version was just about releasable, but lacked a whole bunch of content I never got round to, and had a few significant gameplay flaws. I've identified the key things to fix, but what was wondering if anyone who played the game had any other feedback or ideas I hadn't thought of.

Currently, my thoughts are:
- Change item pickup to make it less impossible. The original plan of point with aimer at item while in range and press E turned out to be a terrible, impossible-to-execute idea. I'm thinking of changing it to the following: drop an item with a key (probably G), walk over an item when you're not holding anything to pick it up. A dropped item can't be picked up for a small time just for playability reasons.
- Possibly make changes to player inventory / item using. I'm not too sure about this one, but I've been contemplating a few possible variations on how the player carries and uses items.
  • 2 items slots, toggle with Q. Slots can take anything. Mouse1 for Item Use 1 (fire / swing melee), Mouse 2 for Item Use 2 (melee with item). This is what is currently used, except using the mousewheel for slot toggle. The problems here are that there isn't always much scope for switching weapons, and having both buttons do the same for melee weapons is a little confusing.
  • Player can only carry one item at a time, otherwise same as above. Because I never found myself using both slots, so it lowers confusion there, but still suffers from the other problems.
  • 2 item slots. First slot is for ranged weapons (pistol, shotgun, etc); Second slot is for melee weapons (branch, axe, etc). Mouse1 fires the ranged weapon, Mouse2 swings melee weapon. This method removes the need for the player to worry about having to switch weapons, and makes the mouse controls make more sense. To swap weapons, because there is no weapon switch, the player would walk over an item and press E to swap it. This would swap the item with whatever is in the slot it is going into (depending on whether it's a ranged or melee weapon being picked up). I kind of like this idea.
- Make gameplay a little less frantic. The enemies move faster than the player to make running away not an option, but this just makes things really frantic. Changing this will take some experimentation, but I'm thinking of adding an ability for the player to sprint, with some kind of regenerating tiredness meter to limit its use. In addition, I'll probably change the enemy AI to make them not just charge at the player.

- Add all the bits of random world in that time didn't allow for, such as marshes, abandoned buildings / towns, etc.
- Add more items.
- Sound effects!

If anyone didn't get to play the Xompo version, and they dare to put themselves through its terrible rushed-ness, it can be downloaded here: dl.dropbox.com/u/4376047/Rise%20of%20the%20Zombie%20Snowmen.zip
Any feedback on the above ideas is appreciated.



Sunday, 16 January 2011, 14:58
If you fix up the weapons, and have more of them, then I don't think the enemy speed will be much of an issue. It's certainly not for other Arena shooters!

Other changes sound great! Go mental with it!!!
Sunday, 16 January 2011, 15:05
I think the enemy movement is also something major that needs to be changed. You end up just constantly running in one direction.

The other factor is that you get huge build ups of enemies, I'd prefer it if it was possible to battle through a group.