Alpha soon?

Since I’ve published my last post, I’ve been trying to polish some stuff. More importantly, I’ve been making the game a lot more stable, and optimizing whatever I could find.

Now, I’ve reached a point where I can’t go on without getting stuff off my chest. And allow me to be blunt for once.

I have ideas for how to expand the game, I really do. It’s just, I feel like I’m doing a lot of stuff for nothing. I’m reaching a point where I need some feedback in order to keep going. Whether it’s good or bad.

I look at the game as a whole and I think: this, compared with a lot of games out there, is pretty slim. Of course, I’ve been focusing a lot on gameplay aspects and stuff, and I know there are a lot of people with much more knowledge than me in programming that can do the stuff I did in 1/6th of the time I took. But still, no matter how long I take, I want to make this game better, to have some appeal.

Why do I want to make this game more appealing? For one, I’m not good at coercing. I talk to my friends on TeamSpeak about testing the game with more people, but even they seem somewhat uninterested. Which makes me think: is it because they don’t like it? Is it because I’m being boring, talking about the game all the time? What is it?

Yes, I’ve been somewhat vocal (on TeamSpeak) about testing this game with more people. Mostly because I want them to experience what I feel when playing the game with more people: fun.

I actually have fun, even if it’s only playing with one person all the time. Of course, after a while it bores somewhat, but I’m still having fun. And that’s what I want for people to notice in this game: the fun element. So, how do I do it? How do I make this game more appealing, how do I make the game more fun to play?

That’s where the alpha comes.

I’m thinking of releasing a build this weekend. I’m going to try and make the Server list, in order for you to host your own servers and for people to actually be able to see it. There’s still a lot of work to be done in that regard, but I’m confident I’ll be done by this weekend. It’s a four step process in terms of development, but I’ll detail that in a later post.

I’m going to also try to coerce my fellow gamers to have a big testing session, in order to stress the server, and to get some feedback about weapon balancing, the new Domination mode, and so on. It’s pretty much a necessity for me at this particular time and juncture.

If you want to start laying the groundwork and preparing your PC to be ready for the alpha, here’s some specs I have in hand (these are the recommended, not the minimal, I have yet to define a threshold).

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
GFX: NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT or AMD equivalent (the game is a bit heavy on lighting effects)
RAM: 1GB (the game isn’t that heavy, but again, we want MOAR FPS!)
HDD: This game fits on a pen drive.
SOUND: DirectX 9-compatible.
OS: Windows Vista/7 (I don’t know if XP can handle it, but I think so, I just don’t recommend it)

Other stuff required:
.NET Framework 4
XNA Redistributable 4.0

So yeah, that’s pretty much the gist of it.

If you have questions, PLEASE leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer.

An update.

I haven’t abandoned this, I’m just having other priorities at the moment that keep me from updating this corner of my life.

Killplex developments have fallen in the realm of bug fixing lately, but I haven’t written about the new game mode yet… I suppose I shall fix that soon. How about now? Is that ok for you?

DOMINATION is a new game mode, the idea taken from several other games, including the recent Conquest Domination from Battlefield 3, and the Domination mode from the Modern Warfare series. In this mode, you have two teams pitted against each other in a map built for the mode, map which has flag points. You have to capture those points in order to gain advantage against the enemy team. If your team has more flags captured than the enemy team, you start building up points over time, how many points you get depends on the number of flags both teams have.

For example, if the map has 3 flags, and your team has two of them, but the enemy team has one, your team scores 1 point over time. If your team has all three flags, your team wins 3 points over time. If your team has one flag, the enemy team has one flag, but there’s one flag that is neutral, the game is in a stalemate, and no one gets points.

Capping flags is not the only way to get points, though. If you kill an enemy, you will receive a point as well. Still, it’s not an ideal way to win, since capturing those points is much faster than relying on a standard Team Deathmatch gameplay.

That’s DOMINATION in a nutshell.

As for a new Pre-alpha, I’m waiting for an opportunity to gather some players and test the game with more than 2 players. Who knows, actually testing the game with 16 players would be kind of cool.

Here’s a new video until then.

I’m back!

After a bit of a (really big) resting period, here I am… updating my blog… again. Weeee. What have I been doing while I’ve been gone, you ask? On the Killplex front… nothing.

To be honest, I haven’t worked on Killplex since the end of January. I pretty much exhausted myself working on it… but today I resumed production, and did some changes to the gameplay front, as well as a couple of optimizations (too much time thinking in Javascript can really do wonders, huh).

First of all, I made a new Mapper. It’s a lot more user-friendly than the old one, and it’s much easier for me to add new stuff later. It doesn’t need mentioning (but I’ll do it anyway) that doing it brought on a lot of new ideas, code-wise. So those ideas and optimizations have since been implemented in the game engine (and server).

Today, I’ve made some improvements on the client side of the ecosystem (which is basically the Launcher, Game Client, Server and Mapper). First of all, custom key-binds. You can bind different keys to various actions (walking, sprinting, melee…). The only “but” is that you can’t bind anything to mouse buttons (XNA doesn’t make it easy on that end, I will work on it post-launch), and you can’t remap the “shoot” function… but for now I won’t worry about that.

Second, I made finite ammo. What does this mean? Basically, you don’t have infinite ammo anymore. If you run out of ammo during a firefight, you’re pretty much screwed… (aww shucks!)

BUT! But… two points to balance this.

One: you now have a secondary weapon. It’s a standard single-fire pistol, which is not changeable (primary weapon is changeable, though…);

Two: there will be “stations” spread around the maps. These can be either “health stations” or “ammo stations” When you step on these, you will instantly regain either health or ammo, and you can continue the fight. (I haven’t implemented these yet, but will do it soon.)

So… plans?

I’m going to release another pre-alpha in June, with all of these changes and more. The pre-alpha will be public (unless I change my mind), and the game will have a Launcher and (hopefully) very simple server-browser. I don’t know if I’ll include the Mapper, the most likely answer is “no”.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s happening in the Killplex front. I’ll make a new video soon showing all the new goodness.

Until then, don’t hesitate to give feedback and ask questions! ;-D

No more pre-alpha updates

I will not be updating this pre-alpha stage anymore.

This may sound bad, but I’m redoing the whole engine, bit by bit. The reason being, I’ve started doing a new tile engine. And it will be a lot more awesome than the current (and limited) model. This new is also opening everything up to new gameplay ideas, and will make the game a lot better in both short and long runs.

I’ll be doing a new Mapper as well. One that’s 100x user-friendlier, and with a lot more functions. And, in general, better.

I won’t be taking down the current pre-alpha though. You can still play it if you want. I just won’t be updating it anymore (even though it had like, what, one patch?!).