Saturday, March 11, 2017

7DRL 2017: Day 7 and Done

In Undeath and Taxis, you are the driver in a zombie apocalypse. Ferry militia from the fort to the abandoned farm houses dotting the countryside to mount a last stand against the shambling horde. Your car is not just a taxi; it's a weapon. Hunt for other abandoned vehicles, or hidden bunkers with supplies.

This game uses the old-fashioned graph-paper race track game as the core of its movement system. Combat with zombies puts you on the offensive side of the homicidal chauffeur problem.

Today's work:
  • Reskin herbs to be bunkers
  • Add multiple vehicles and parking lots to switch between them
  • Damage/healing numbers that float over vehicle
  • Muzzle flashes from gunfire
  • Alternate control schemes
  • Zombies dodge the vehicle's path
The very last thing I did was to make the zombies be a little smarter about how they move. They try to approach the vehicle but stay out of its predicted path. This changed the game completely. Previously you could just do back-and-forth sweeps with the car and mow them down as they shuffled into the path of the car. Now you have to do curving paths without letting your speed drop low enough they can take a swipe at you, and you have to look carefully at your move placements when you're dealing with one or two.

Because the zombies are better at dodging, dealing with large crowds takes longer, so I had to re-balance the rest of the game. I'm not sure it's completely balanced but it is generally winnable. Maybe a bit on the easy side.

The other big change today was getting the multiple vehicles in. I'm not convinced they're particularly well-balanced either, but they offer some fun changes of pace. They offer another reason to explore the map, too.

Big thanks to my wife for holding down the fort while simultaneously being cookie mom for two Girl Scout troops, and to my friend Tom Elmer for lots of testing!


Jonathan Sharman said...

Fun game! I remember playing the graph paper racing game back in high school physics when we were learning vectors. I really like how you've translated it. Now that I've gotten the hang of it, zooming around the roads feels very satisfying, especially with the smoothed camera movement.

James McNeill said...

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

The back-and-forth to the home base gets a bit monotonous; I think if I were going to do something like this again I'd probably aim for less back-tracking. Maybe you'd have to find the people in the bunkers instead of getting them from the fort.