Devlog 4: Something Wicked This Way Comes

So much for regular updates! It's been almost two months since my last devlog and I apologise about that. However, I've still been working  away on the project. I've just not been keeping up to date with documentation like I perhaps should have.

In some positive news it seems that people really like the look of the game, so that's very encouraging! Though I think a lot of that has to do with the fact I'm not using dev textures on the level geometry anymore. Anyway, onto progress...

Latest progress...

  • Player camera tasks
    • Added turn tilt
    • Added strafe tilt
    • Added viewbob (very hacky - needs work)
  • Weapon feedback tasks
    • Added weapon recoil
    • Added weapon flash
    • Added some sweeteners to shotgun audio
    • Added shiv wall "ping"
  • Started working on level master material
  • Added some basic textures to test master material
  • Added decal planes for bullet holes and spent shells
  • Added ground sprites for blood
  • Added decals for bloody footprints
  • Added player footsteps (audio)
  • Added enemy footsteps (audio)
  • Added light beams to windows

In late December I took a break, but spent a little time refining the scope of the project. Rather than a straight game jam remake I want to roughly double the length of the game to justify the price of entry (this won't be a free game). I've been thinking about Resident Evil and the multiple campaigns/characters, i.e. Resident Evil's Jill/Chris or Resident Evil 2's Leon/Claire A and B campaigns.

However, I think to keep things manageable I'm going to go a fixed route along the lines of Resident Evil 3 (so multiple characters at different points in the story). We'll see how things go as I outline the narrative. The story will remain roughly the same as the jam version, I just want to flesh it out a little.

Another area for expansion is around AI. The original jam version had very basic AI and lacked any form of stealth loop. This is something I would like to change in the new version. An added stealth layer will provide a better pace by delivering pre combat tension as players can attempt to get the jump on enemies. How advanced these AI behaviours will be will likely be down to my personal programming limits and understanding, but rest assured, they will be more interesting to fight than in the jam version.

A rather large production knock-on to more advanced AI behaviour is that I will need to create additional angles for sprites. This is a significant amount of work, so straight out of the gate I decided to only create angles covering the four cardinal directions (i.e. front, back, left, right).

I started on the orderlies as a test as I had already drawn the bulk of sprites and animations. But I very quickly realised that if I wanted to increase the enemy count, the amount of sprite work involved was going to be huge. So I had to decide which animation states I could get away with only building one angle for. Movement had to cover the cardinal angles, so I started working on those first.

It made sense that pain, attack and death animations would all be front facing as pain will always spin the enemy to face the angle of incoming damage, (attacks are only ever towards the player) and deaths are less relevant as there are no AI implications. The grey areas here could be any damage that come from a source other than the player, i.e. area or splash damage, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thoughts so far?

The plan was to use the Orderly as my enemy base. Once I'd figured out moving and idling animations for the four cardinal angles of that sprite, I could then use them as reference for all other character sprites. But even so, drawing and shading all of these sprites with this level of coverage just seemed unrealistic. I really don't want to limit the enemy archetypes to simple reskins, so I decided to go another route...

So what's next?

In the next update I will outline my approach to building characters moving forward. It's a big 'un.

If you'd like to discuss this project, then you can head over to the Noonan Design Discord here:

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