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Where’s that Zafehouse 2 combat demo?

Excellent question!

Truth is, I underestimated how long it would take to debug. I managed to get the demo feature-complete, but the polish just wasn’t there. I’m really disappointed I didn’t get it done, but I’m continuing to work hard to get it out as soon as possible.

On the upside, setting a deadline helped me focus on what was important and it’s looking good. It also made me chop and change parts of the design that weren’t working, and combat plays a lot better as a result.

The biggest change is the addition of awareness arcs. Originally, each weapon had a firing arc that would determine bullet spread. As time went on, this arc made less and less sense, and the only weapon it applied to in any significant capacity was the sub-machinegun. I wanted to keep the arcs, but disconnect them from weapons while buffing their usefulness.

The result is the awareness arc. Each survivor can be in a focused, normal or heightened state of awareness. These states determine the width of that survivor’s awareness arc. A focused arc grants increased accuracy, but reduced defenses against zombie attacks. A heightened arc reduces accuracy, but the survivor has a better chance of avoiding zombie attacks.

The other big change is that zombies not inside an awareness arc are hidden from view. Each combat you will have to sweep the room using your survivors’ awareness arcs and set where each one should look. This means the cop can be focused on killing zombies, while civilians can make sure he doesn’t get attacked from behind. It also reflects that a lone survivor is more likely to be attacked than a group. Survivors are always aware of zombies directly next to them.

Obviously, a focused arc doesn’t let you cover as much of a room as the heightened arc. Survivors will have access to different arc states depending on their experience level, with a character like the cop able to select from all three and newbies being stuck to one (the normal state).

Melee combat is implemented and working, but I’m not 100% happy with how it works. I’m likely going to cut it from the demo, but it will be the first thing I put back in for subsequent releases. Really, the combat demo will represent an alpha test of the game.

I hope you guys can tear it apart and make it even more awesome.

~ by Logan on August 12, 2010.

7 Responses to “Where’s that Zafehouse 2 combat demo?”

  1. I’m really looking forward to the game. =] I can’t wait, and am glad for all the hard work you put into making it.

  2. That’s a neat change. Over time i just lost track how the combat works so im hoping for the demo sooner or later to see the thing working. I recall the survivors were glued to the floor over the combat but you wanted to do some changes regarding movement. So can you reposition survivors between turns or something like that?

  3. @kulik: You sure can. Before I expand on this though, a quick word about stamina and turns.

    Each turn of combat is “free”, in that it doesn’t require any stamina to do anything. In this way, every survivor can act at least once, trading blows with zombies. If you wish to take additional actions before the zombies can act however, that requires stamina. The costs at the moment are:

    1) 0.5 stamina unit: Firing a weapon/melee attack
    2) 1 stamina unit: Moving

    Survivors start with a capacity for 3 stamina units, but perks and experience can increase this to 5.

    So, back to moving. Survivors can move to any location within a room, it just costs stamina to do so if they don’t use their “free” turn. It also means that the survivor is spending a turn not attacking. Moving survivors also run the risk of being attacked, but only by zombies surrounding them at the start of their movement.

  4. Very elegant solution that brings more tactic to the combat, nice. Looking forward to demo.

  5. Do you think it could be possible for you to update this blog more? I swear, everytime I come to this page, I’m scared shitless that you’ve stopped working on it.

  6. @bbad89: That’s a fair comment. I can see how my lack of updates would say that sort of statement.

    Never fear, I’m always working on ZH2 in some capacity, even if it’s just 1%. My sparodic timetable is what pushed me to focus on getting the combat demo done so people will have something to play and provide feedback on. And to convince everyone I’m still coding away.

    I’ll endeavour to post more ZH2-related updates. It’s the least I can do. :)

  7. keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to it!