Well that was fast

And… I’m done.

Zombie Top-Down Shooter is complete (enough.)

I’ve coded all the elements of the game, developed all the levels, added all the sprites, included some cool audio, etc. The game is (mostly) fully functional and I’m itching to release it to players to let me know what you all think.

That said, here’s the deal:

  1. I promised my son he’d be the first to play the game. So until he has a chance, I’m not posting it here to play.
  2. Since I don’t have a Mac, the game is only ready for PC. (I’m not going to send out a blind install without at least testing it myself.)
  3. There’s polish missing. The game’s in a minimum state.
  4. I need to put together an attribution page for some of the audio and visual assets. I’m not an artist, and didn’t want to spend money on this, so I’ve kludged items from Google searches and now need to put together a list of those that require attribution and put it in the game.

So what’s missing? What’s still to be done? Well, in no particular order…

  • Polish. Already identified, but the game needs some flash and bling and elements to engage the player on a more visual level. Arcade-style games are full of evocative elements. The game has some, but needs more.
  • More elements. The game has zombies, walls, and walls you can break. It needs more. I’m thinking of things like radioactive toxic “zombie making” barrels that are spilled and do damage to players as they are in the glowing green sludge. Maybe adding additional visuals to some elements like visuals on the breaking walls. Maybe some “traps” like walls that break and release a horde of zombies. Things like that.
  • Again, already stated above, attribution of assets that aren’t mine.
  • There’s no high score system yet.
  • There’s no time counter in the game yet.

Things I won’t be adding to the game. Don’t ask. It’s not going to happen:

  • Story. The game doesn’t need one. Or if it does, it doesn’t need me to impose one.
  • Related, depth beyond, “3 lives and a gun. Kill the zombies and survive.”

Stay tuned. I’ll post a download link when the game gets out of alpha testing.

Posted in Computer and Online Games, Game Design
by Kevin Oedekoven
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Considering High Scores in a closed-loop game

Short post while I spend some time thinking about games.

Given the the zombie top-down shooter I’m working on is in a closed, looping world, and I want it to have a very arcade-style feel, I have been wondering how to give the player some additional drive to do more than just score the most points.

Arcade games were really just quarter sinks but they were also about challenging yourself to do better in each subsequent playing.

In that vein, here’s an idea I’m mulling…

Time each loop. Then compare each loop against a best since the game was started as well as against the fastest ever time.

That way, players can compete against themselves on a couple of metrics: score and time.

Posted in Computer and Online Games, Game Design
by Kevin Oedekoven
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No coding! Yet.

One of the first things I like to do when designing any type of game is to just start with a text document and get a feel for what it is I’m wanting to make. It usually isn’t pretty. It’s almost never really organized. But it does the trick to have something to go back to and reference from time to time. Believe me, if you’re a lot like me and you don’t do something like write them down, all your great ideas will just be forgotten memories in short order.

So, here’s an example of what that looks like for my new top-down zombie shooter:

top down shooter
think “guantlet” zombie killing
smaller number of zombies

4 maps

Each loop the zombies get faster and spawn at more points and the timer lasts longer in the wave
loop n
n = zombies per wave
n/5 = zombies that spawn per map from a randomly selected spawn point
n = % chance for power-up on map
yep, if you make it 100 levels, these appear every time
n = 10 second waves
at 100 levels this is almost a 17 minute wave with 100 zombies

zombie spawn points are placed
prizes are placed

wasd / arrow movement
space shoot

begin the game at
100% health
health = 100
100% ammo
ammo = 25

+10 ammo
warehouse level
buildings level

+10 health
warehouse level
buildings level

+1 score
all levels scattered


more max ammo
+5 max ammo
located in buildings map on a blind alley

more max health
+10 max health
located in buildings map on a blind alley

random based on loop
x = choose(1,2,3,4,5,6)
switch choose(x)

unlimited ammo (short time)
shooting doesn’t lower the ammo bar

unlimited health (short time)
getting hurt doesn’t lower health

better gun damage (short time)
x2 damage

infinite gun damage (short time)
every shot kills a zombie

faster move speed (short time)
x2 move speed

radar (short time)
shows an outline of all zombies on the map

player types
normal damage
single shot (-1 ammo per)
normal max health
normal move speed

double shooter:
double damage
double shot (-2 ammo per)
lower max health
faster move speed

machine gun shooter:
3x damage
3 shot burst (-3 ammo per)
normal health
slower move speed

5x damage
5x ammo per
normal health
slow move

all zombies randomly wander unless they’ve “seen” the player

green shirt and yellow hair
normal move (75% of player speed)
pursuit by sight
normal damage
-1 health per collision
1 shot kill
+10 points per kill

blue mowhawk
normal move
pursuit by sound (proximity)
normal damage
-1 health per collision
2 shot kill
+25 points per kill

move speed variable
pursuit by sight = 100% move speed
pursuit by sound = 50% move speed
greater damage
-2 health per collision
4 shot kill
+50 points per kill

bloater (boss)
move speed slow (50% of player speed)
pursuit permanent
most damage
-5 health per collision
6 shot kill
+100 points per kill
sometimes EXPLODES on kill
damaging both players and zombies

zombie health by shading color
no shading = no damage
yellow = damaged
orange = 50% damage
red = 25% damage

consider damaged zombies leaving pools of blood that degrades
red – all normal zombies
green – bloater

Maps are complete run-throughs from a start to a finish
with scoring based on number of prizes gathered
with blind alleys and loops
fog of war centered around player
beginning of map show the map and locations of prizes and zombies

some maps are “survive the horde” style timed with zombies spawning in and rushing the player

some maps should have zombie spawners

player death
game over
high scores

And from all that I begin to build a game. During the creation process I’ll begin to group like themes and information together into more of a design document of sorts, but in all honesty I’ve never built anything myself that was complex enough to need more than a few text files and maybe a spreadsheet to manage.

Sometimes I change things along the way, sometimes limitations require me to alter a plan. But in the beginning I try to just jot it all down so I have a reference to look back and remind myself what my original vision was.

Posted in Computer and Online Games, Game Design
by Kevin Oedekoven
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Back to making games… sort of

So if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll note that I haven’t been posting here about ideas or products or developments in game designs and game creations for quite some time.

Truth be told, I’ve lost the passion for a lot of rpgs. So I’ve taken some time off from games and game development to just be a dad and focus on other, more lucrative endeavors (read: my actual job.)

But fear not, as the title of this post will demonstrate, I’m back to making games… sort of.

I can hear you all now, “What’s that mean Kevin?”

Well, here’s the skinny:

I’m making games. In fact, I’m making games fairly quickly. I’ve downloaded a copy of Game Maker from YoYo Games and am currently enjoying learning how to make a couple of light, indie games for my kids, their friends, and also for myself. If you have the itch to make games without having to take a deep dive into something more complex, or don’t really want to spend a lot of money buying a development platform that might not suit you, I highly recommend you scratch that itch with Game Maker.

So what’s on the horizon?

Well, I’m currently working on an arcade-style zombie shooter and a survival horror game that may or may not see it into the public square. My work is just a labor of passion and enjoyment that I’m not sure is suited to be shared just yet, so I haven’t. However, things are progressing, and as my skill improves, I might just be tempted to show the fruits of my labor to you all.

In fact, my son is interested in perhaps getting involved in helping me build a platformer game, so we might also see where that takes us.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting to revamp the blog to be a bit of a diary on how and what and why I’m choosing to do what I do. So be prepared to delve into some indie computer game development with me as we explore that side of the fence.

Posted in Computer and Online Games, Game Design
by Kevin Oedekoven
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Halloween is a mere three weeks away

And the next Friday the 13th isn't until February

The clock is ticking…

Like the timeless and unstoppable march of death, with the passing of each moment, Halloween looms closer and closer… and try though you might, you are powerless to stop it.

It's Alive!

They called me mad….

Instead of cowering in fear, I propose we embrace the terror, accept the role of mad scientist, and once again pull back the veil on the horrors that lurk in the corners of our minds. Let us revel and do as is want this time of year by holding a Trilogy of Terror with a trio of new and terrible posts.

Trilogy of Terror Part 1

Starting with a look at how to improve the mystery and horror in your role playing games. We’ll delve deep into the topic as we discuss appropriate mood, language, and pacing for the genre. We’ll also look at how you withhold information but leave players empowered. Lastly, we’ll discuss putting characters on a clock and why doing so is of crucial importance to the theme.

Zombie d6-lite

Zombie d6-lite

Trilogy of Terror Part 2

Then, so you’ll be able to play it with your friends on that fateful night  -should you be so bod as to desire, I will release a d6-lite mystery/horror adventure in the Zombie d6-lite framework. I’ll be dovetailing in our previous Trilogy post by using as many of the tools we’ve discussed and drawing from some older Trilogy of Terror content such as How to Stat a Ghost in Zombie d6-lite.

Trilogy of Terror Part 3

Finally, let’s plan to wrap up the Trilogy with a special video treat… so stay tuned.

… I hope you all survive the month.

Happy Halloween from KORP

Happy Halloween from KORPG™

Posted in Holidays & Happenings, Roleplaying game (RPG)
by Kevin Oedekoven
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