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Development Video #11

April 29th, 2011 by Christian Knudsen

Time for another development video with the latest updates to the Hostile Takeover engine:

Watch it in HD!

Here’s a quick list of the new stuff in the above video:

  • Guns and rifles can be fired at characters.
  • Characters can be killed by shooting at them.
  • Dead characters will drop carried items to the ground.
  • Dropped items can be picked up.

I’ve finally finished doing the most essential animations and sprites required for shooting and killing characters. I haven’t done any of the animations for female characters yet, which is why I’m only shooting guys in the video. Also, as talked about in a previous blog entry, I’ll have to double the number of directions for the shooting animations, as it very often seems like your character isn’t aiming at the target at all. So that’ll be increased from 8 to 16 directions. I also need to do animations for when characters get hit from behind and fall over forwards. And then of course all the shooting and getting hit and killed animations for the female characters. I might also redo the pools of blood — I’m not quite sure I like them. And I’ll definitely be adding a spray of blood to indicate hits and small splatters of blood on the floor around the hit character.

As you can see in the video, items are picked up from the ground by holding down Shift and then clicking on the appropriate item label. Why not just be able to click on the item sprite itself, you might ask? Well, sometimes the item sprites are pretty small (like the 9mm Pistol) and I don’t want players having a hard time picking stuff up. Also, when holding down Shift, only items that are within your range get the label, so you immediately know what you can and can’t pick up. And, also also, if there’s a stack of items or it’s very dark, seeing the actual item sprites on the ground can be difficult. I believe Diablo 2 had a similar system — at least, that’s where I think I got the idea.

I’m also starting to think about the inventory system. I want to keep it as simple as possible and I’m currently not too fond of having a separate screen for handling your inventory, as I want to keep as much of the game as possible focused on the world map. So, my current idea is to move the icons for the items in your hands to the bottom corners of the screen and have a ‘ribbon’ between these with the items in your inventory. You’ll be able to scroll through the items on this ribbon and drag and drop between your inventory and hands/ground.

And, finally, I’m working on first-person aiming. When you’ve selected a weapon in your hand, right-clicking on a character will have you automatically fire the weapon. Whether or not you hit is then calculated based on distance and the visibility of the tile the target is standing on (so characters in shadow will be harder to hit). But if you hold down the right mouse button instead of simply clicking, a meter will fill up on the mouse cursor. If you manage to keep the cursor over the target until the meter is full, a first-person targeting screen will pop up. This shows the silhouette of the target (in real-time, so it’ll move if the target is moving, and the size of the silhouette is based on your distance to the target) and you can then aim and fire your weapon manually. I’ve got the basics already implemented, but it’s not quite in a state to show yet. Look for it in upcoming videos!

That’s all for now. I’m very pleased with the results so far, everything is just taking a bit longer to implement than I had originally anticipated. But I’m moving steadily towards my first milestone: Releasing a version for download with the most basic gameplay elements in place (you can shoot at NPCs and they can shoot back at you).

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