Seasick Games Development Blog


Long time no see

Sadly I wasn't able to work on my stuff lately. Instead of figuring out how to move those brain thirsty zombies around, I was playing around with node.js (more on that another time).

I was thinking about writing something here, but what would it look like, if I came with empty hands? So I decided to push my first zombie game onto GitHub. I even found a name for the project ... "Zombie Zero". Now I am thinking about working again on those zombies. Maybe adding the possibility to save your highest score and even an cooperative multiplayer mode. I also thought about adding a kind of "calling home" feature. Not in a bad way! I just want to know about the users who are playing this game, to answer a few questions of mine:

  • How long do they play?
  • How often do they play?
  • What scores are they reaching?
  • Maybe even tracking the accuracy

Tracking is kinda "a bad thing" ... at least when you don't know about being tracked. So that should be an option to enable or disable as one likes.


The first zombies

Did I mention, that I love zombies?! So the first game I wrote was a "kill zombies or be killed" game. Could it be, that 83 percent of all first games have zombies within? It had no textures (not counting the blood splatters I used in the menu) and no sound. The "ground" was light grey, the zombies dark grey, the player white and the bullets were yellow.

Drawing some circles onto the screen - yeah, what a challenge ... It got interesting when it came down to calculations on how the zombies should move. Probably any middle school kid would had laughed at me. But having to remember Pythagoras and his guys was serious business. But I managed to get along and get the zombies moving :)

My next challenge was collision detection. Without detection collisions the zombies wouldn't be able to catch me, neither would i be able to shoot them. In addition, the zombies would stack over each other. So whenever a zombie or any other entity changes its position, you need to check against every other existing entity if their outlines are overlaping. This easy aproach has also its disadvantages - the more entities you have, the slower it gets. There are ways to get around that - but more on that an other time.

To sum it up for you:

  • Kill zombies
  • Every round they are getting faster
  • Did I mention bullet time?

Executable package for Windows: Download
Source code: Download

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(Me) Getting started

Making games was always a dream for me. A desire for which I was to lazy to make it real. First thought - Me making the next generation FPS - or even better - I'm making an MMORPG like World of Warcraft. After some thinking and reading, more thinking and more reading I realized that I have to establish knowledge and experience.

But how do I got started?
Location, loca ... erm ... Information, Information, Information. I kept googling many nights on different topics, made my way through different indie blogs, got distracted for hours at 9gag :) . I read about Game patterns, searched for inspiration on deviantart and googled for free art - and by free I mean like "Creative Common"-free (there's plenty of good stuff out there). But mostly I was searching for an engine with which I could try out some things. And there are also an ass full of game engines/frameworks out there. Some for money, some for free.

Of course - if I'm making a game it has to be three dimensional! So the first engine with which I played around was "Ogre3D". That meant I had to refresh my C++ skills. After playing around for a few days I had to admit that neither my coding skills, my ass kicking 3d modeling skills or the understanding of what I'm getting into was at an satisfying level. So I dropped the whole idea of making a 3D game, and stopped thinking about it.

Many months later I found myself again browsing some engines and I decided to give a two dimensional engine a shot. The engine which got my attention was "Löve2d". Taken from the website - "This is an *awesome* framework you can use to make 2D games in Lua. It's free, open-source, and works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux". I played around with it and with the language - a lot of fun :) I even ordered two books for Lua, which I was reading before going to bed ^^

Since I love zombies, I decided to do something in that direction.
I will post the game with my next post - don't expect too much :)

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