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Announcing Deadnaut, a new Screwfly game of tactical sci-fi horror

Due out in October for Windows, Mac and Linux, Deadnaut is a game set in a future where humanity finally makes it to the stars, only to discover it’s the only civilisation left. Everyone else was wiped out long ago and it’s up to you and your team of five guns-for-hire to figure out what happened.

Along with a refined and improved relationship system, like that seen in Zafehouse, Deadnaut introduces the concept of stability, where the mental state of your characters requires monitoring as they delve into increasingly more terrifying and disturbing mysteries. If a character doesn’t like confined spaces, they’ll react negatively if left in a small corridor, while someone unsettled by death will have a hard time moving through a derelict starship full of corpses. Continue reading ‘Announcing Deadnaut, a new Screwfly game of tactical sci-fi horror’

Tweak visual settings, controls and performance with Dead Island: Riptide Helper

Back by popular demand, Dead Island Helper has returned in a new incarnation for Riptide, the sequel to the first game.

Like Dead Island Helper, DI:RH allows you to tweak a variety of normally inaccessible game settings to disable certain visual effects, modify key binds and much more.

Here are the major differences between DIH and DI:RH — other than compatibility with Riptide:

  • The drop-down menus now expand to the left. This prevents menus from appearing on the second monitor on multi-monitor setups.
  • Added an option to us OpenAL instead of XAudio2.

Continue reading ‘Tweak visual settings, controls and performance with Dead Island: Riptide Helper’

Zafehouse: Diaries is alive!

After ten months of development, we decided it was time to reveal Zafehouse: Diaries, the debut game from Screwfly Studios. It’s the spiritual successor to Zafehouse, a game I made in seven days about five years ago. Since then, I’ve been tinkering at creating a sequel to encompass much more of the zombie apocalypse experience. Two prototypes were created over the last couple of years, until I finally landed on something I felt could work. Continue reading ‘Zafehouse: Diaries is alive!’

Dead Island Helper: Automatically improve performance and apply tweaks without having to edit files

NEW! I’ve released an updated version of DIH for Dead Island: Riptide. You can read about (and download) it from here: http://www.theplaywrite.com/tools-and-utilities/tweak-visual-settings-controls-and-performance-with-dead-island-riptide-helper/

UPDATE #15 22/09/2011: v1.94 beta, out now for the brave! I finally managed to track down the crash problem that was causing issues for so many people.

This update also fixes a crucial bug with the save game backup feature – it is strongly recommended you update to v1.94 beta if you use this feature and please, DO NOT use any of the save backups you’ve created with versions of the tool before 1.94 beta because they won’t work! Continue reading ‘Dead Island Helper: Automatically improve performance and apply tweaks without having to edit files’

TrackWork initiative tracker updated to v0.53, now supports Pathfinder


I had a few requests to add support for Pathfinder to my lightweight D&D initiative tracker. I also took the opportunity to address a few bugs people had pointed out. Oh, and there’s a new icon so it matches the rest of my role-playing tools such as CrawlNotes for dungeon mapping and the 4e Power Toolkit.

Here’s a list of changes:

– Added support for Pathfinder. Touch AC, Flat-Footed AC and CMD can now be entered for combatants.

– Reactivated the heal / wound buttons from v0.4. Back by popular demand!

– Fixed a bug that prevented negative values for most statistics.

– Fixed a bug that would cause the program to crash if negative values were entered for Listen / Spot skills.

– Fixed a bug with the random number generator that would set the maximum value for a random roll to be one less than the actual maximum (so a d20 would be 1-19).

– Made some of the checkbox descriptions clearer.

– Few other miscellaneous tweaks and UI improvements.

Download TrackWork v0.53

Did you die or something?

You’d think so. But no, I’m definitely still alive.

Certain recent events threw a giant spanner in the works for all Zafehouse-related activity. I can’t 100% say that I’m in the clear, but at the moment it looks like I’ll be able to continue working on the game. Sorry for not being able to provide anything more conclusive than that (or sooner than today). :(

I can let you know of a few changes I did make before “the news“:

  • Rewrote the event system. It’s more flexible now and uses tokens and delegates to deliver more dynamic text. Very modular and much needed given the increasing scope of the game.
  • Focus is now very much on the survivors. I’ve always been quite adamant about the state of zombie games these days being about shooting and looting rather than the characters. Zafehouse 2 is very much a story about people, not the undead they slaughter. That, and a particular Flash game that reinforced my desire to move away from the “Civilization: Zombies” gameplay.
  • Don’t worry, you still have to barricade and scavenge for supplies, and the systems behind these are robust. But managing the emotional and physical needs of your survivors will be just as important (if not more so).
  • Time was too granular. The game now has 6 phases, with shorter, more frequent “activity blocks” during the night and longer ones during the day. For example: 6am-12pm, 12pm-6pm, 6pm-9pm, etc. The distribution / length of these phases has yet to be finalised. I wanted to bring back the feeling of dread one gets as day transitions to night. I thought it was a highlight of the first game and Zafehouse 2 wasn’t really replicating that. It also removes the oddity of “if I’d had one minute extra I’d have finished that barricade” which was extremely jarring.
  • I think the Direct3D renderer might have issues on some newer mobile GFX chips, in particular Intel / GeForce configurations using Optimus. But I can’t confirm it. I guess that’s what the beta will be for!

Speak Russian? Play Zafehouse!

Enterprising Zafehouse player Worthis has taken the time to translate the original game into Russian using the freely available source code. Not only that, he’s made it easy for other players to translate the game into their native tongue.

He’s published his work on the Zafehouse forums so if you feel like playing the game in Russian, or translating it into a language more compatible with your brain, please check it out!

Link: Zafehouse (multilingual) [Zafehouse forums]

Zafehouse 2 makes the move to Direct3D… without the 3D bit

About three weeks ago, I put the finishing touches on the Direct3D 9 renderer for Zafehouse 2. Previously, the game exclusively used GDI+, the default graphics API for .NET. Now it runs on a bizarre fusion, with Direct3D performing compositing and GDI+ painting the final image onto the screen.

Well, except when I use native GDI calls to paint instead. Actually, now that I think about it, GDI+ doesn’t do a heck of a lot for Zafehouse 2 anymore.

Now, this change raises a number of questions: Why not use Direct3D for the entire process? Why change APIs in the first place? Isn’t the Direct2D API in DirectX 10+ basically what you’re describing?

These are all fair questions, and I’m going to try to answer them.

Continue reading ‘Zafehouse 2 makes the move to Direct3D… without the 3D bit’

Defending your Zafehouse 2

Working hard every single day. Most recent addition – building defenses! A screenshot can be found above, with a nice big version if you click on it!

The “I” shaped objects represent doors, while the “O”s with the funny curves are windows. A window is currently selected by the player (the red circle) and a little image shows you how fortified it is. Red arrows mark entry vectors. Oh, and survivors can’t walk through barricaded doors or windows… so keep that in mind!

Still lots to come, so hang tight!

Notes

Will be posting more images soon, but wanted to show off the dynamic note system. This is just one type, the post-it. Others include typewritten pages and, well, make suggestions if you like!

Development is ongoing and I’m getting closer to an alpha release – much closer than the previous incarnation of Zafehouse 2 ever managed. Trying to hit dates, but it really is unpredictable right now. Just know that I’m working hard on the game every chance I get. This is about 2-3 hours a day right now.

PS. Ignore the note text… it’s purely placeholder. ;)