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Zafehouse 2 and 4e Power Toolkit updates

Unfortunately I don’t have anything super special to show this week. Instead, I can give you short updates on Zafehouse 2 and the 4e Power Toolkit.

Zafehouse 2: I’m slowly making progress on combat. It’s turned out to be a bigger task than I thought, mainly as I wasn’t happy with the first implementation. It worked much like it did in Zafehouse, except it was handled on a “shot-by-shot” basis so you could take actions between rounds, such as healing, moving and switching weapons. The major difference was the combat log had pretty pictures and a greater ability to break down information.

Anyway, while it worked, it didn’t give the player as much control as I would like. So, I’ve kept the core of the combat code, but now, the combat window comes up with a zoomed-in version of the room, and you can assign the occupants to defend a door, or, handle whatever is happening in the room. Currently, you can assign as many people as you want to fight what’s in the room, but only two people can defend a door (I had a hard time justifying how six people could stand next to a door and unload their weapons without killing each other – remember, these guys are stressed, terrified and exhausted survivors, not Delta Force commandos). I will be re-balancing the game to take this two-man limit into account.

I also plan to re-implement the way windows are handled. As per a suggestion by Coded One, they’ll be added to rooms much in the same way as doors. They’ll be coloured differently and require less supplies to barricade. Zombies will only be able to enter them one at a time (maybe), and the player will not be able to climb in/out of them if they are carrying two weapons. These are just some on-the-spot rules I’ve come up with, so if you have any suggestions as to how windows should be different to doors, let me know.

As an aside, a few weeks ago a game called Fort Zombie was announced. It smelt more than a bit like Zafehouse 3D (and I wasn’t the only one to pick up on the similarity), but a studio was bound to latch onto the idea eventually. :D

Thanks for sticking with me. I’d like to see Zafehouse 2 out in the wild as much as you guys, but these things take time. It’s getting there, just a little slower than I’d like. I promise it’ll be worth the wait.

4e Power Toolkit: I haven’t done anything on the 4ePT for a month now. I’ve been focussed on Zafehouse 2, and it looks like it will stay this way in the foreseeable future. When I do jump back to it, I plan to implement the Race Creator, and add support for uploading races and individual powers, as I’ve come to realise that creating an entire class is quite an undertaking. I’d also like to translate the app to French, as I’ve had a few requests. No promises on when I can get round to it though – I’m kept fairly busy at work doing the whole game designer thing.

~ by Logan on October 1, 2009.

4 Responses to “Zafehouse 2 and 4e Power Toolkit updates”

  1. Awesome to see the windows idea being implemented. I also like that survivors with fewer weapons can enter through windows, it makes it seem like a good concept for scouting. However, I do have one question:

    What is the advantage of entering/exiting a building through a window? I can see some interesting situations where you have to drop a weapon to leave a infested room through a window (especially since all weapons have different strengths and weaknesses as described in one of your earlier posts), but I’m trying to think of the advantage of entering through a window. Basically the trade-off is: One weapon but you can enter a building through the windows. How will this be an advantage? Will it even be an advantage?

    Maybe you could limit the number of door entrances into a building. So say there is a 5 room building with only one door. You already sent in a survivor through that doors and saw that there were lots of Zombies guarding the entrance room. However, you use your “Scout” survivor, who’s only armed with a shotgun, into one of the back windows to scout around. I think that depending on how Zombie “gatherings” work (Do they tend to bunch up in certain rooms? Around doors? When attacking a building, how many group at the doors vs. the windows?) the idea of windows could add another fantastic layer of depth.

  2. Take your time, i feel that zafehouse will be a unique zombie game.

  3. can i just ask what parts of ZH2 u havnt done or perfected yet? and do u have an estimate to when the game will be released now? anyway, the game looks really quite good and i cant wait to play it!

  4. @Coded One: Originally windows were to be a one-time barricade “sink”. If you opted not to barricade windows, it’d allow zombies to enter from outside. Seeing as they’ve changed radically from this initial premise, I’ve opened the floor to suggestions on how they should operate. I quite like the idea of them acting as “scouting” entrances. Also note that windows can appear on any room in a building, whereas entrances can only appear in very specific places, so there should be a positional advantage to entering via a window.

    In the end, I think windows will be, at the basic level, just another type of entrance. The differences between them and doors won’t be super-massive.

    @kuluk242: Thanks for the support. :) It’s getting there, though I really wish I could work on it full-time.

    @murray: I’d say the game is about 40% done. What slows the process down is that I’m prototyping quite heavily. This means that, instead of designing something and coming at a problem with lots of documents, I just start coding and see where things go. This approach has its advantages (faster results, more fun for me, if it does work then I’ve saved myself months of documenting), but its main disadvantage is that I often toss things out and start from scratch. Combat is a good example – I thought a glorified log would be enough, but after play-testing I yearned for more control. So, the log now has a graphical survivor assignment window, for which I’ll release screenshots soon. The assignment window however means I’m recoding combat flow, which takes time. I’m a big believer in dumping something that doesn’t work than, well, polishing a turd.

    I still have to implement the affliction system (injuries, fear, etc), and content (events) provides a constant workload. I’m thinking I might provide people with the opportunity to come up with their own events, including supplies and the like. But we’ll see how we go. :)