Version 0.3.8 and Jimmy Vegas video

So I released version 0.3.8 last week and I am currently working on 0.3.9, trying to finish the first level and collecting material for the second one.
In the meantime a youtuber called JimmyVegas – he does youtube videos on Unity – covered an earlier version of the game with a playthrough which went pretty well considering the level was pretty empty at the time, here it is:

Bring me to church – alpha v0.3.5

Filling out level 1 with more stuff, making adjustments to enemies and paths. It’s like a construction site here. I’m hoping to be finished in the next 2-3 iterations.

New things to expect in very next build?

  • beer
  • potions
  • NPCs

and more
In the meantime check out the new build and let me know your thoughts!

More let’s plays

Indie Romp said: This gave me a nostalgia blast and I’m really looking forward to what you make from here
Colleague Badsector had some comments as well
And of course GrayDeathSociety had a blast finding bugs and smashing zombies
And a short playthrough by me

Jack I don’t feel so good – Alpha 0.3.0

After version 0.2.8 I wanted to flesh out more of the level, so I started placing rocks, trees and of course enemies.

I also made some changes in order to better accommodate mouse/keyboard play, most notably you now run at full speed when you hold down shift, making the standard speed a bit more manageable for most players.

Now usually I let people know about this in the controls menu, but it seems a lot of people don’t look at those, like ever. So I decided to add a tips interface, at least until I make an actual tutorial for the game, but that’s not for a few months, so:

As I was testing I remembered my notes: make the enemies disappear more ‘gracefully’, I also noticed that enemies weren’t responding as fast as their number increased.

So first I tackled the ‘dissolve’ effect, since I want to do something similar with the weapons and I had already bought an asset to help me out:

Jack I don’t feel so good

So now the enemies dissolve when they die, from top to bottom, which was pretty easy to setup with ‘Advanced Dissolve’:

Then I tackled the enemy performance issues. Initially I was aiming for more compact spaces, but going around the map and exploring is part of the experience, but that means that enemies are in higher numbers. My first attempt focused on the enemy control script, I disabled it when the enemies were not visible in  a way that would keep them working correctly when not.

This worked, but it turns out my script wasn’t the issue,  I am using Unity Navmesh for the enemy navigation, the level is big, the enemies are many and the system has a built in system to defer calculations to reduce slowdowns, which means that the enemies weren’t as responsive once I passed a certain threshold.

So I implemented my first idea: divide them into groups/areas and enable/disable based on distance.  Their paths are pretty much irrelevant unless you are near them, so having them be alive at all is not needed, this works and lightened the load quite a bit. I’m going to explore more options, but for the moment this is enough, now that I have the enemies in clusters I can set their parameters in clusters as well: for example maybe using a lower quality solve for the Navmesh the further away from the player enemies are.

Anyway, some more adjustments to the stats and general values, clean up and of course dissolving barrels.

Death’s Scythe and other tweaks, fixes and changes

Added Death’s Scythe with one attack at the moment, I also made a bunch of other adjustments and fixes to make things more stable.

I tuned the stamina and magic costs and regeneration values. The Scythe is very OP, but drains stamina like fruit juice.
I’m planning on adding an animation and effect for when you pick the Scythe, but at the moment it’s just a transition.
I had to change a few things around in order to support additional weapons, but I always knew that going in, I just made what was useful at the time.

Oh the Pistol will also let you know you ran out of Magic, spamming the attack buttons won’t drain your stamina and magic.
Opening Chests and Gates won’t affect those either.


Anyway check it out and tell me what you think: https://swearsoft.itch.io/jackmclantern

Road to the tower

So during the past few days I have been making a number of improvements to the game according to feedback

First I increased the number of enemies around the map and put in some additional stuff trying to fill in the map, you can see the enemies in circles below. I had to implement a couple of lines of optimizations to avoid doing any calculations for this amount of enemies while out of sight, but it was easy.

Tons of enemies, seen here as circles, which represent their aggro-radious

So now about half the level has a medium to high distribution of enemies.
I also added a tower to the level, which will be your destination. Just an asset from the asset store for now. Added some fires and voila:

A tower I found on the asset store, good enough for now

Then I wanted to add some settings so that people could have at least a bit of control on performance in-game, before I roll out a complete set of controls. Someone mentioned motion blur was too much and I saw someone play with a low frame-rate and it was really bad.
So I added motion blur, bloom and ambient occlusion controls, since those are the heaviest effects.

Quick and dirty on/off switches to make life easier

Finally I created a live cursor, which recognizes enemies and tracks them if you can hit them, at the moment it is just a green particle effect, but the plan is to make her into a fully fledged character. Joan the Pixie will follow Jack around and give him hints, target enemies and have a voice, so that the game isn’t as silent and lonely as it is now.

Next on the agenda?

  • complete the level
  • make a navigation map
  • add more enemies and props
  • add interactive objects and characters

but first the map. You can download and play it now