About depth

Yesterday I made this trailer thing which resulted in some feedback and I wanted to adress one thing especially.

When people see footage of the game it often times seems to them like the game is just about mindlessly smashing stuff. That’s basically true. But it implies a lack of depth in gameplay mechanics. Lack of depth is an issue I noticed very early on.

I tried fixing it by adding some nuances to the gameplay instead of just throwing a scoring system on top of it for example. Like destroying buildings gives you health so it makes sense to not just completely mindlessly destroy everything and keep some buildings for later when enemies damaged you. Also you can sprint as much as you want but it costs health. Though when you sprint, you are able to smash into buildings. That can result in a lot of destruction which might give you a whole lot of health back. Those kind of systems are in the game to force players to evaluate the way they play the game. To give it some depth. To make the game more than just mindlessly destroying stuff. And it’s not very obvious in gameplay footage.

Although I want the game be more on the lighter side of things, I don’t think that’s enough. I feel like the game still misses something in the momemt to momemt gameplay. I am just not sure what it is yet. But I am aware of that and I am working on it.

Hugs and Kisses,
René

Devlog 1

devlog1

This week I did some changes to make the game more readable to the player and fix the super overpowered sprinting / dashing. So there were multiple issues I had:

  1. Police cars were hard to notice.
  2. It was not always obvious you were damaged.
  3. Overpowered running / dashing.

To fix the first issue, giving the police some flashy blue lights should be the obvious way to do it. But figuring out a way to implement it in a not shitty way took me some time. What I ended up doing is give each police car a Particle System that emits particles with a very short life time. And that’s it. It appears like flashing lights. After I posted about this on Twitter, Jan had the idea to make them multiple cars per enemy instance. So the police cars aren’t just driving alone but more like a squad. And it was an excellent idea. It works super well. Maybe I’ll end up doing the same thing for Jets.

To account for the lack of damage feedback I did two things. The first one being to make the damaged player flash red for a short time frame. Same thing happens to the health bar. Additionally the health bar flashes green when the player regains health. Which happens by destroying stuff.

Overpowered running and dashing: Up to this point it was possible to run endlessly and dash into stuff. It basically made every other attack obsolete because it was so overpowered. I really didn’t want to use a stamina or energy bar to limit it. Because what would happen is that the player focuses most of the time on that bar, waits for it to fill up and just keeps on sprinting as soon as it’s possible and then dashes into stuff to destroy it. What I did is to let the sprinting cost health. That way the player is forced to use it with caution and think about when to use it and when not. That might seem a bit unfair at first. But if the player sprints and then dashes into buildings to destroy them and therefore regains health, it is actually possible to nullify that cost when timed right.

Additionally I made some changes to the editor, but I think I’ll write more about that some other time.

This week I want to focus on making some new assets. Maybe new building types and mainly a couple decorative objects to allow for more varied and interesting looking cities to destroy.

 

Destruction makes the world burn brighter

This is my first post on this thing… so… Hi, my name is René!

I want to give you a quick overview about the development process so far. Turns out I am working on RK3000 for quite some time already. Pretty much two years actually. Back then I just called it Zilla and it was going to be a 2D game using pixel art. I have actually found a very old build of it, so here’s a .gif:

zilla

I think this build is actually the point I stopped working in it. Mostly because I wanted the game to be in 3D. I find exploring and maneuvering around spaces in 3D to be so much more interesting. So I just went for it. Scrapped everything I did so far and restarted. This time in 3D. Which I had to learn first. Modeling, rigging, animating and scripting to some extent. As there are quite a few things you need to take into account with the additional dimension. All in all it was quite a lot. The result of this was DESTROYKILLDESTROY.

The cities were randomly generated back then. This is a gif of the process:

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That prototype basically already had most of the stuff RK3000 has now with the exception of  Power Ups which are called Extensions in RK3000. That was a big problem I had in DESTROYKILLDESTROY. I knew I wanted to have Power Ups. I also knew I wanted to have a physical representation of them in the game. But how? With the prototype using a Monster the most logical solution was mutations. But then again: How? I still don’t know how I would do this. To morph the model in some way. So I decided to use Robots instead. Because you just need to add a box to the arm and BOOM you are carrying a gun. That’s it. Done.

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The robots idle animation.

And then there’s also the editor the prototype didn’t have. It was really tough getting good generated results for me back then. Cities that were diverse and interesting to explore and destroy. So I decided to build levels by hand instead. At first I did this in the Unity editor. Which was a huge pain the butt to do. So I decided to make a level editor. And while I was working on it, I thought I should make the editor part of the game. So players can make and share the cities they build.

So with all the stuff I learned at that point I decided to start a third time from scratch and then things just went on. Here are some more progress pictures and .gifs in chronological order.

ZillaExplosiontumblr_na485sKiga1qkvo96o1_500 tumblr_ndant2ef3w1qkvo96o1_500 tumblr_ncnp96SGjB1qkvo96o1_500 tumblr_nb4yg2MAwk1qkvo96o1_1280 tumblr_nbhvegyOAq1qkvo96o1_1280

And this is what the game looks like now:

03

The title is stolen from this wonderful song by Chelsea Wolfe.