Progress update #2
As we are gradually crawling out of the silent mode, you'll be seeing more progress updates coming out regularly.
But before I begin, if you haven't played the Mist Hunter Demo yet. Go play it! We need your feedback)
Last month I mostly spent working on the new weapons. Thanks to a new production pipeline that helped increased my productivity, I've manged to design, model and texture 12 more weapons. It's going to take a few more moths to actually implement them all into the game, but I really liked the way they turned out.
We haven't settled on the number of weapons for the game, because, personally, I want them to be different. And I don't mean just the appearance, they must play and feel really differently. Most importantly the strategic rolls they fulfil and the play style must be different. So instead of spreading functionality thin across a gazillion marginally different machine guns, for example. We will be focusing on the 16 weapons that we currently have. If at some point we come across a really cool idea for a weapon we will most certainly add it to the game. Thanks to the previous experience with Life in Bunker, we are making this game more flexible in terms of adding new content and even modes.
Last week we started working on the second mode that we call Maze. To some extent it will be similar to a rogulite, but quicker and less random.
The core formula of roguelites(likes) is fairly simple and has been done in so many shapes and forms that if you throw a stone you'll definitely hit a game with something from Rogue in it. There are also quiet a few FPS roguelites out there, but they never felt that good. Don't get me wrong, I hate criticising games or saying that I can do better than someone else, as I'm a shitty game designer. But I think there are lot of things that can be improved.
Firstly, its the level generation. There are many ways to skin a cat or in our case to generate a dungeon. Most modern roguelites and rogulikes use pre-made rooms or tiles and algorithms that put them together in a certain way defined by the programmer. It works really well, especially for 2D top-down games. 2D rogulites don't generally require very intricate level design and usually they can be made relatively quick. Some FPS roguelites also employ this method. However, with FPS it's a bit trickier. Pre-made tiles must be more complex and intricate, 3D levels take more time to make what reduces variation, therefore you start seeing the same parts of the level much quicker. Most importantly they lack structure and pacing.
Other games, like Binding of Isaac, along with the pre-made tiles, use templates. A template it's layout for the level created by a designer that is being field with pre-made tiles by an algorithm. It gives better control over the level generation and allows to produce dungeons that are more cohesive and interesting. The biggest downside of this is that you need someone to make not only the tiles, but also the templates.
We can't improve on the first part, because MH is a FPS and there is only one person who does graphics and level design. So there variety will be limited. But we can improve pacing and structure and give our dungeons a more authored feel by using templates.
This is some ideas for the future tiles. I always start with a loose sketch to define the main shapes and the flow of the tile. It's hard to make it out from this perspective, but almost all of the tiles have a lot of verticality in them.
Eventually all tiles will be grouped into archetypes (hubs, traps, secrets, portals, corridors, boss rooms etc.)
And this is a prototype for our template editor.
The second thing with FPS rogulites is that they have rather long runs. What I mean, is that sometimes successful runs can take over two hours. Which does feel like a lot of wasted time if you constantly die half way into it. It really discourages to start a new run immediately after death. Even if you do, in a 4-5 hour session you'll have a handful of runs. That's why we want to make our Maze relatively short. A successful run shouldn't take more than an hour to finish and skilled players would be able to complete it even faster.
Of course there are more things that can be improved, but I'll talk about them in the future updates.
Yes, the game will have a single player campaign. We deliberately left the campaign for last, to polish and test every aspect of the game in the first two modes.
Stay tuned for more news
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