Sunday, June 1, 2014

End of May Progress Report: Core Features

Earlier in the month, I made a decision to really challenge myself and make my Ludum Dare 29 entry ready for a full release on PC and/or Android by the end of June. I also posted a list of things I wanted to do to the game before I released it. I've reorganized my list into several categories of descending importance: Essential, Secondary, Polish and Dead Last items.

What's done

I don't have as much done this month as I'd like because of things at my day job cropping up and causing a ton of stress. However, here's what I do have done (and keep in mind that I've omitted a lot of technical detail and additional notes under each of these items):


  • Make rooms you can go into from the hallway
  • Add suspicion for the NPCs when you are in an infected host
  • Add voice mimicing mechanics
Adding rooms (and a method of travelling between rooms) is a big upgrade for my game since the ludum dare version is nothing but a series of hallways. Now I can make much more interesting mazes that can be more convincing as a science facility.
NPCs will now act with suspicion when they see you. If you're outside of a human host, you get recognized as an escaped alien parasite instantly and they will react appropriately (Scientists will attempt to run away and call guards and guards will attempt to murder you on sight). However, if you're inside a human host when you're spotted by an NPC they'll stop and consider you. Perhaps your eyes aren't aligned quite right, or perhaps your human host is twitching oddly, but eventually any NPC looking at you will notice something is wrong, assume you're an alien, and react appropriately.
The coolest feature, in my opinion, that I've added is the ability for the player to hear certain phrases spoken by NPCs and then, when inside a human host, parrot those phrases back. So, for example, early on you can learn to say "Hello." This comes in handy when a guard or scientist is suspicious of you but has not yet decided you are an alien in disguise, you can say "Hello" to them and they will respond back with something like "Oh, hey Jim." and their suspicion is eased.

What's left to do

There's plenty left to do from my list, but near the top of the list is creating a method of deciding what thing the player wants to say when they're inside a human. I've been working on this, but Unity's GUI tools have a long history of not being great. Recently, however, there was an announcement about new GUI tools that are coming out some time this summer. In light of that, I'm going to write a quick hack to get around not having a UI and then try to put it off for as long as possible in the hope that I can use the new GUI system.

Here's the rest of the to do list (again, abridged):


  • Make a menu or something to set the voice clips
  • Add switches that toggle doors on and off
  • Remake the first two levels with the new stuff (e.g. rooms)
  • Add at least three new levels


  • Clean up my code base
  • Make new art for all the new levels
  • Fix the resolution on the windows build
  • Add touch screen controls
  • Make an animation for background doors opening and closing
  • Make an animation for hall doors opening and closing
  • Make animations for characters walking into and out of doors in the background and make them play


  • Add music
  • Add sound effects
  • Add a menu
  • Add an ending
  • Fix movement bugs
  • Fix guard animations
  • Tighten up the elevator script
  • Make new art to make the levels feel lived in
  • Add more voice work
  • Maybe add a sound effect and a start-up time to bursting so that you can't do it on accident?
  • Fix Bugs

Dead Last

  • Test all my new levels and mechanics
  • Release the game for $1 on PC
  • Release the game for $1 on Android and iOS

Goals for June

I'm going to stick to my guns for now and try to knock out all of these things by the end of June. I am, however, very doubtful that this will happen. I may miss my deadline and this will take until sometime in July. Releasing this game is an important step in my quest to get a job in game development.

Next month should also have screenshots since, as soon as I'm done with this post, I'm starting on reworking levels. The changes this past month weren't very visual.