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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsZed's Dead - isometric online shooter [alpha 0.4]
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Author Topic: Zed's Dead - isometric online shooter [alpha 0.4]  (Read 1709 times)
sam_psychic
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« on: January 20, 2015, 05:39:22 AM »

Zed’s Dead is a multiplayer isometric online arena shooter. The focus is on quick, fun competitive multiplayer play: log in, pick your map, and go! The latest version (0.4) now has user accounts, levelling up, character unlocking, gun bunkers and team bases.

More info, and demo version 0.4 download:
Here!





The game also comes with a map-builder component, so the plan is to have a repository for sharing player-designed maps.

Graphics mostly (for now) stock art from graphicriver.com.. I'm seeking collaboration with a good pixel artist to bring this forward.

Here's the game's Facebook page, if you're that way inclined

« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 04:58:39 AM by sam_psychic » Logged

Miziziziz
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 07:03:28 AM »

Looks nice!
commenting to follow Smiley
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bdsowers
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 07:27:58 AM »

This reminds me a lot of Worms Paintball, which was good fun.

One exploit: with isometric maps, it's really easy to just camp behind buildings and wait until opponents waltz past. It looks like your game might have a similar building. It often led us to a standstill where everybody was afraid to move for fear of what was hiding behind the next tree.
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 08:00:39 AM »

Thanks for the comments, and for checking it out!

Regarding the 'hiding behind isometric buildings' issue: indeed, you can hide there - however players have a healthbar and name label which overlays everything, so you can still see them. There may be zombies behind the buildings though (and they are genuinely invisible there).. what we have found so far is that this means hanging out behind buildings is very risky. This does affect map design - especially where there are tall buildings, the top-left of the map is really dangerous (e.g. in the city screenshot above) - I think as long as this is borne in mind with sensible spawn-point locations, it's ok.
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Miziziziz
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 08:03:32 AM »

In isometric games, I typically see that problem dealt with by showing an outline of whatever creature/player is behind the building
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2015, 03:36:33 AM »

I'm honestly thinking that limiting the game to LAN-only play is a bit limiting though.. it means you can't play at all without having a few friends physically there. Online might make better sense?
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 06:40:35 AM »

Just a quick update on progress. Following some trials of the 0.1 alpha, I have refocused the game on full internet multiplayer, rather than LAN-only multiplayer. This involved a lot of refactoring. I have also (for now) removed the use of smartphones as controllers, and I have replaced websockets with UDP networking - this is important if the game is to run well on the public internet.

Features implemented in the past 2 weeks:
- master/lobby server running on a Linux box at psychicsoftware.com
- nodejs-based gameserver, also running on the Linux server, with game instances spawned on request by the master server
- scrolling map which can be up to about 5000x4000 pixels in total size
- login/game startup/choice of options/lobby chat
- gameplay includes players, zombies, bullets, re-spawning and a basic scoring system

I am also planning to have game sessions hostable by players (rather than only on my server) - I'm looking into NAT-punching in order to get that working from behind players' routers. These game sessions will be able to use any maps that the players have designed in the game's map-designer component, or that they have downloaded from the (planned) maps respository.

Dammit, we need a picture. Here's a picture!



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sam_psychic
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 10:54:21 AM »

The first online demo, version 0.2, is now available.

Controls
WASD or Arrow Keys to move; point and click with the mouse to fire.
TAB to open/close in-game chat
Stand by a doorway, car, etc. to search it. The chance of finding stuff depends mostly on your character’s “searching” skill. If you start shooting while searching, your search will be much slower.

Servers
For the moment, all games are hosted on the psychicsoftware server, and there’s just one map (“airport”). You start game instances on request from the lobby. The plan is to have player-hosted games too, and these will be playable on any maps that the host has made.

More info, and game download
Here!
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DwarvenArtisan
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2015, 11:52:15 PM »

Good stuff! The bullet sounds are neat!
The only thing I noticed: My WASD fingers are hurting because I press them harder to try and move faster Wink For my taste the general movement could be faster (even with speed 50). Or you could add a key to sprint a bit inbetween fights?
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2015, 04:55:46 AM »

Thanks for the suggestion.. yeah, other people have said the same thing about movement speed.

I'm also thinking there really needs to be a solo-play mode; making it multiplayer-only means that it's pointless playing if no-one else is online.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 10:49:53 AM »

Sounds like fun. Will the environment be interactive at all, or fairly static? What about different game modes?
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 04:43:06 AM »

Hi Neeko, thanks for the comments :-)

The game is still in fairly early development, so anything is possible.. I had not actually considered environment interaction other than being able to search buildings, cars etc. I guess you're referring to things like constructing barricades, destroying things, etc.?

For game modes, again this is still to be decided. At the moment there is just a simple deathmatch mode where you score points by killing the opposition (and the zombies) with user-definable scoring amounts. There will also be a simple king-of-the-hill mode where you get points for standing beside a centrally-located flag. I'd like to hear other ideas though!
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2015, 03:58:27 AM »

Following feedback from more players, some more ideas are being kicked about..

The game is very much intended to be multiplayer only, so solo play is pretty dull. The problem is what to do when no-one else is playing. I'm thinking I really need to make a viable solo-play campaign of some sort. Maybe as a way to level up your skills for online play?

Another possibility is to run it in a more MMO-style, i.e. a much larger world map with everyone playing in the same game, rather than running separate instances.

..any opinions from people here would be useful! Thanks :-)
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 04:37:19 AM »

A progress update for Zed's Dead..

What I have worked on
I have an efficient multiplayer isometric shooter game in place, with a master-server/lobby and a system for hosting games locally or on a publicly-accessible server. The map maker works pretty well. The game needs a lot more graphics. However, it all runs nicely and is pretty light-weight in terms of server load so it’s feasible to run lots of game instances on a single physical server.

What I have tried and why they weren’t ideal
The first version (0.1) ran exclusively on a player’s local network rather than on the public internet – I had in mind a LAN game with phones as controllers. This limited the mapsize to one screen, and to be honest is too limiting in terms of maximising the audience… the fact is, most people want to play online, and making a game LAN-only is too limiting.

The second version (0.2) incorporated a multiplayer lobby, larger scrolling maps, and hosted games on a Linux server – so this allows online multiplayer games. Game instances started up on request and the requesting player set the various game difficulty settings, zombie amounts, etc. This worked better, but is still focusing on casual, instanced gameplay and if there’s no-one else setting up a game when you hit the lobby, there’s not much of a reason to stick around. You can download version 0.2 here (Windows only).

Directions?
Casual multiplayer games with instanced servers can be great (think King Arthur’s Gold), and so can casual multiplayer games with a more persistent-world/MMO style (e.g. Realm of the Mad God). It’s important that players get some sense of levelling up/unlocking stuff.

What I’m currently leaning towards is:

    a game lobby that gives you a choice of several maps to join – these maps are basically running 24/7 rather than starting on-demand. you’ll get added to whichever team currently has fewest players. Each map will have predetermined difficulty settings. So there’s a mix of maps and settings available to choose from, and it’s very easy to pop in and play with no setting-up decisions.

    You unlock characters over days/weeks based on accumulated score (which is scaled by difficulty of settings on map), but you’ll level up each character from zero in each game you join.. dying+respawning loses some of your level but not all. There can be a persistent per-map high score table.

    There will probably have to be some AI-controlled characters filling out the teams if there aren’t enough human players. This is quite challenging to implement, however there’s probably no way around it.

    there can be a way of uploading maps to run as test zones on-demand, and of requesting that these get added as official maps.

Not an MMO then?
Open-world MMO is cool, although it reduces the ‘just join and play’ appeal. I’m leaning towards *not* adding MMO-like world persistence. I have done quite a bit of work on zone servers etc. so I’d be confident of segmenting a single open-world into zone servers, for everyone to play in one world at once. To take this approach would make the game a larger undertaking, there’d be considerations of equipment, crafting, etc.. it would certainly add a different dimension to the idea. But it would also take away some of the simplicity of play, as well as being a lot more work.

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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2015, 08:43:09 AM »

Actually the game is dimetric not isometric. Only two angles are the same, not three, if I am right.
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sam_psychic
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2015, 05:03:18 AM »

Version 0.4 is now available to try. This version includes a whole bunch of new features:

- user accounts and unlocking of more advanced characters
- continually-running 'Open Access' games which players can drop in and out of
- several types of guns and character skills
- in-game levelling-up of characters
- food, medikits and ammo which you can find by searching buildings, cars, etc.
- team bases. Destroying the opposing team base ends the game. Games also have a fixed time limit of 15 mins.
- gun bunkers which defend the team bases
- all-time high score tables for each 'Open Access' game

Download version 0.4 here (Windows)


« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 05:15:20 AM by sam_psychic » Logged

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