So for anyone that was familiar with the older prototype of the game that was released last year to get some initial feedback, there has be a lot of improvements across almost every aspect of the game. The following is a quick summary of some of those changes.
Animation system, allows for any and every aspect of the game to be animated. Each frame is hand drawn frame by frame using traditional effects animating techniques. Results in a plethora of specialised weapon effects and entity animations that add a lot to the visual fidelity. Some of these will be shown on the twitter page over the coming weeks. Redesign of all assets using vector based software to give a clean vibrant aesthetic for the bitmap source assets.
Weapon system over-hall, allows for each weapon to have its own custom sprite both in game and for the various icons in the equipment menu and UI. Each weapon was painstakingly created in high detail in vector based system and then converted into the various required bitmap image sprites. As well as having ammunition based weapons, consumable items are now possible within the inventory allowing for various new forms of items not before implementable (grenades, decoys, health packs, quest items, ect). Each weapon now has its own unique stats that correspond to the weapons actual performance. High-Tech weapons have been implemented that each come packed with various specialised elemental rounds that have their own physical effects on any hit entities.
Redesign of the menus and UI. The new design is cleaner and easier to navigate. And has an overall more thematically correct look. I personally think it is much more aesthetically pleasing as well. The menus now contain some interactive elements with a randomly generated collection of particles that move softly based on mouse movement. It is also now navigate-able using both the mouse and keyboard and has a far more functional options menu.
Rendering refactoring, almost the entire rendering system was rewritten allowing for compatibility with just about any resolution whilst maintain the correct aspect ratio for consistent experiences on different monitors. Some additional changes have allowed for camera zooming and panning to be added even thought the game is entirely 2D, zooming is achieved via scaling and re-positioning of assets to represent the perspective from a virtual camera. Oversampling has been implemented which allows for higher resolution sprites to be used and scaled appropriately resulting in far more detail available when zooming in at no cost during run-time, (does however increase the zooming computation). As well as fullscreen, windowed mode is now also available from the options menu.
Simulation, improve collision resolution to be far more efficient between entities and allows them to move smoothly in large hordes without getting caught up on each other as they previously would. Procedural map generation that both uses the pre-existing segment based system but now also uses a procedural building based process to populate the various segments. With each segment type having a unique generation method to provide the appropriate feel and layout. The new building placement allows for far more map variety as it no longer uses the segment prefabs resulting in more recognisable and therefore more navigate able worlds. All whilst retaining the town based generation that procedurally populated the world with dense industrial and business buildings in the center giving way to residential and then finally the forest and farm land.
If you enjoyed the previous ZFG prototype can happily say that it both looks and feels far better.
If you would like to see the game continue to progress follow me on twitter, and if you know anyone that would like the game please share. Thank you.