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A member registered May 03, 2016 · View creator page →

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(2 edits)

this time I did some restructuring ..  thing is I lost track of how many level stubs I got
and realised that starting a new map from scratch can wait for later

here is the current level select  as you can see there are 5 bosses and about 19 levels (in  various stages)
so I decided that it's time to cut things and 15 levels + 5 bosses will be plenty
also 5 levels from these will be small and very linear maps
the four extra maps will be merged into .. wherever I can merge them into
and there will be 10 big levels - and by big I mean these will be the exploratory levels
so these will take about 10-15 mins per map and I predict that the full game will be about 3 hours tops
.. which is still a lot considering that my past games only took about 30 mins max to beat (according to lets plays I found)

ok so the plan is:
10 big maps  5 small maps  5 boss maps

of course these are just plans - and you know how plans are
(I originally wanted 30 large levels after all )

anyway this is one of the maps I reworked to be the new level 2 (so the old level 2 is now level 3 and so on)
this was originally a frankensteinish mish-mash of various ideas put together and they never quite fit
and back then I decided to deal with it later

this is how it looked like before the rework

this is after - as you can see only most of the lower part was kept

the little basketball field and the large room was what I wanted to keep  -
there is a joke with the basketball room that I absolutely insisted on having in the game
and so the whole map was twisted and turned to make it work

an unfriendly game of basketball

to get all secrets on this level you need to throw the ball in the hoop
just to screw with potential 100% speed runners

your reward is a powerup - in this case the Zortch equivalent of Dooms megasphere (extra health and armor)

still redoing this map was not easy - I left myself many notes with the
"just type it into the command line and make a screenshot " trick
which starting to prove itself very useful

sometimes I figured out the solution as I was typing (here I was wondering why some enemies didn't spawn)
many times I would just make a quick note without thinking .. like a reflex

in the end one thing is certain:

.. I'll see myself out

also here is another little gameplay video - this time about puzzle design:

until next time!

Thank you!
I thought it would be funny to have more than one verb but I think I'm trying to hard
oh and 'repossess' is when you take back one that you placed so there is some logic in there
or at least when I added I think I knew what I was doing (like with the chair: if you bump into
it also starts rolling away and might set off the mines but I forgot to demonstrate that)

(3 edits)

yet more optimisations..
- optimised  character shadows (and now they also can be turned off)
- optimised normals (monsters now use precached normals for lighting when they can)

also a major optimisation for collisons:
now my scheme for spatial subdivision  is a bit primitive ..
I use a giant 2D grid and each grid cells store a list of pointers to triangles
(they were originally a big std::vector of pointers but that turned out to be too slow
so now just a regular vector of pointers .. but I digress)
now turns out when testing for collisions what you want is a function
that stops testing as early as possible
what I mean is something that identify empty areas really well and doesn't do much testing
thing is the actual function that checks if a line hits a triangle is used very rarely
and most of the time you go through lists of triangles .. and going through this list is slow by itself
and with many moving characters all around the level  it just adds up

now early on I made a mistake and I only checked if a triangle is within a cell by a simple test
based  on it's minimum and maximum coordinates (aka the box the triangle fits in)

this  worked fine for small test levels  but as the levels grow it became a serious problem
even though the levels are still relatively  low poly (about ~50k tris per level)
anyway as you can see on this image this was a very wasteful approach
especially for large triangles (which are also used quite often due to the low poly
nature of the game)

and here we have the fixed version - adding this optimization nearly doubled the speed of the game
turns out it affects nearly everything: collisions, decals, dynamic lights etc.
all needed checks that used the grid

the fix is simple - there was already closest point to triangle test used by actors to move around
so this function was repurposed and
we check the cells center to the closest point in the triangle
and then we see if this closest point to that overlaps the cell
(in this case the cell is just a  axis aligned rectangle)

I'm in a bit of a rut level design wise .. I want to have a level before the second boss
but despite having many ideas for it everytime I start on it .. well it goes nowhere
and I keep restarting

(the restaurant level will come after the second boss - that part is covered)

anyway for now here is a video about the new tripmine weapon:

until next time!

more optimisations
I did some profiling on the code to see what parts are still slow
turns out checking the  z-buffer (for flares) was as slow as rendering the whole scene
so the flare check was replaced by linetest (the downside that it only works against the geometry
and now you cannot blot out the sun with your guns)

finally fixed a curious error with sounds - on the second level a garage door wouldn't play..
but only if you went through  and finished the first level
turns out in OpenAL  alGetError is also used to clean up any previous errors
and you need to do that before doing anything critical

more optimisations for the first level: I had to remove some parts

unfortunately my occlusion culling is 2D - only the empty areas count as walls

not only that but these large holes are only potentially obstruct ..
I will need to come up with a better scheme in the future -- but for now I just need to
remember that carving out one large room and filling it with stuff is a bad idea to make a level

also I added the movieset to the ever growing restaurant level

it will be in this little silo

I was not too happy with the previous version - the initial idea was that it's a giant camcorder
that is recording the scene

so I decided to make an actual asset for the camera and not rely on the level editor

I believe this is what kids today call as jank

until next time!

did some optimisations:
- the first level (prison) was running a bit slow -- turns out the root cause was the energy doors everywhere
and they slowed things down because their bounding box was way too big
- everyone was thinking too hard - when a monster stays put it tries to do a linetest every now and then
to check if the player is  seen - and I just placed way too many of them 
- frame skipping transition was way too visible 

also added a soccer field to the restaurant map:

in general development is plagued by feature creep
I thought this fancy isometric view would be useful for making maps ..
but it's only useful for making fancy screenshots

also added a soccer ball model

because that's important..

check  it out in action:

until next time!

- updated the console to have proper typing (and I'm ashamed to say that I have never heard of WM_CHAR before ..
one of the downsides of making your own engine I suppose)
- spent most of the time fixing bugs
- added a new weapon (kind of - you can now place the tripmines on the walls)
- updated breaking glass  effect

also the saving system is under testing .. had some major bugs with restoring the textures after a savegame is loaded

I'm not sure if I should be worried more about  that this cadaver managed to steal an items texture or the fact that he is rocking it

some update on the restaurant map as well:

still need to replace most of the textures but already looks ok lightmapped

and it somewhat looks like a restaurant

it kind of outgrew itself .. I wanted it to be a small part of a larger level
but now it's big enough to be it's own level

as you can see there are a lot of glass windows -
you will have a lot of fun on this map if you like breaking glass

I know I do

until next time!

(1 edit)

thank you!  the workflow is  very very simple: box modelling and simple skeleton animation (I don' t even bother to rig and just use raw bones)
I have the advantage that there are no normal or specular maps to worry about  - so the textures are just painted by hand
the guns have the additional trick that I set up a camera with the ingame fov to see how it will look like..  nothing fancy really
and the rest is just endless iteration: I just keep changing things until I'm happy with the result

I tried to make guns that are useful gameplay wise rather than what looks or sounds cool - alas they mostly ended up grey and boring - the idea is that instead of getting better and better guns they are just tools and all equal (so the machine gun doesn't replaces the pistol - but this meant that the pistol has to be unique in some way and they kind of evolved on their own
and also there is lazyness: many weapons are combined into one e.g. the machine gun doubles as the sniper rifle  (but I guess that is also a convenience)

another small update (with small screenshots)

progress on the third map is going fine - in fact it's almost ready
(gameplay wise it's ready but I still want to place more decoration)

in case if you are wondering: those boxes are meant to be a maze
at first I worried that it will be too easy  to solve - naturally I keep getting lost in it during testing

here is an earlier version in wireframe view

also I started on making a restaurant based area for a later level ..
 I want to have some cheap burger joint in the game .. this is about its fifth restart

 thing is designing buildings is not my forte

and indeed the toilet has a fatal flaw

until next time!

just a small progress report this time

map 2 is more or less finished  there are some small errors still
(e.g. you can pick up the key through the forcefield without disabling it)
but the map structure is all there

for now here is a little collage of the progress:

last image also shows the baked lightmap

started on map3 - so far its a little green

also the red door has been redrawn .. it's hard to make photos with these dudes around
(of course I could disable them witch cheats but .. well it just  doesn't feel right)

hmm.. I guess I'm slowly losing my head

until next time!

just a small update .. with small screenshots!

I  created a new skybox for the second level:
I realised I can combine a (seemingly) infinite plane with a regular skybox
if the skybox  has an alpha channel

also added a lens flare effect to the sun

there were of course a few bumps in the road:


and I had to rewrite the sky rendering again:

also I found out I can use the console and screenshots to leave messages for myself to correct later on the maps:

until next time!

still working on the second level

it got a bit bigger since last time  (maybe a little too big )

now it feels more like a vacation

I found that CSG and caves don't match: now I just use raw meshing to mold them to shape -- it feels like working with digital silly putty
another secret is that lowpoly caves are all about the texture

oh dear oh dear oh dear

upgraded the spider mines

they sure came a long way since their first draft

and finally here is a little video about them:

until next time!
(1 edit)

- had some performance problems and decided to add fogging to the first level
- it's a prison level so I thought it would kill two birds with one stone: improve performance by not rendering far things and make it more moody
- problem is the walls got invisible if they got out of the camera frustum and the skybox got visible behind them
- I experimented and changed the sky to use stencil textures
- but the stencil caused problems with the framebuffer (off screen) rendering and I had to rewrite the whole thing
- but this has the added advantage that I can create weird rooms now:

also some screenshots:

I found out that if I use the same textures for the skybox as the level it gives the impression that the level is much  much bigger than it is

now its more like a city than a prison

also started the second level ..  here is a shot from the editor. I just wanted a small introductory section but then things got out of hand (maybe I'm getting better at this?)

until next time!

(1 edit)

addendum to the previous update -- I forgot to add screenshots of the so called first level (it evolved a bit since then of course)

Edit: reading back I realised I forgot to talk about the first level at all..

anyway: long story short is that I'm convinced that after the first part of the game is done
like the first 1-2 levels and first boss  the rest of the game will be easier to make
the idea is that the first levels are both and introduction to the player
and introduces the main mechanics but does not get too rough
of course it  all sounds very obvious -- the tricky part is how to think like a new player
from experience I found that new players are very creative when it comes to ignoring the obvious
and I need to think about every single possibility to make things airtight
.. so this is my biggest worry -- the first ~10 minutes of a game is everything and needs the most attention
and I lost count how many times I restarted this level

some of the prison cells

on our way to the reactor without any bad intentions

just looking around

there is a jailbreak in progress

"Rarr! Stop posting devlogs and finish this game already you slacker!" - yells the raptor

Finally figured out what the first boss should be..
you would thing that is something that would have been figured out earlier of course
but thing is making the start of a game is such a hard thing:
it needs something to introduce people to the mechanics and still be entertaining
e.g. there is always a chance that this might be someones first fps game (fat chance but still)

then the later levels can go out of their way being crazy
and that is something much easier to plan out

of course it's obvious now but the first boss is one of the brainsuckers
for a while I was not sure if they should be the final boss or just a medium boss who show up
now and then and their leader to be the final boss

anyway some screenshots:

the first boss hard at work at this little terminal - some brainsuckers are invisible to be able to sneak up on their victims (we can add Predator to the ripped off franchises list .. of course in this game's lore they are coated in a special paint)

you can spot some snacks  at the desk..

afters some damage the boss becomes visible and more pissed at us

also the game sports a non-violent mode and this seem to be the right date to show it off

see you next time!

Thank you! Guess it was an easy question (still: good job :)

it's a custom engine (written in c++  and uses these libs: opengl, openal, stb_image, miniz, pugixml)

added yet another new enemy -- not partially true: I reworked an old one that was cut initially
the original idea for these metallic skulls was to shoot lasers at you from their eyes
but it was changed so they charge at you and explode on contact..
and to make them more visible they are on fire doing so
sounded good on paper but in practice they mostly end up attacking walls and going *clank*

on screenshots they look somewhat threatening (not to mention I'm ripping off at least 3 franchises with this! can you guess all three?)

the illusion unfortunately falls all apart in action:

(3 edits)

a small update:
as you know one of the problems with making maps for an FPS is that sometimes you just don't know what sort of enemy to place
especially if there are many to choose from
for some reason I decided that one of the problems is that I don't have enough types
and the one that is missing is an enemy that can jump and also run and fire at the same time
(naturally I immediately added 5 variants for this enemy .. but I digress)
now turns out giving such an enemy a grenade launcher is not that hot of an idea..
especially with monster infighting implemented..

"not sure if I'm still needed here"

on one hand and I want to leave it in as is .. because it's hilarious
on the other hand this kind of eliminates difficulty: you just need to
find a good  hiding spot and wait for your enemies to deal with eachother
(I figure the joke will get old quick)

such are the problems with the development of this game

(please note: they actually check before shooting to not shoot the other ones in the back
.. but with grenades this check doesn't do us any good)

a small update -- I intent this devlog as a  semi-post-mortem as well -- and indeed it was started long long after I started making this game
so I would like to talk about some history so far:

- I started working on this right after Nekkrobox
- one of the goals was to improve upon things: have more guns, more enemies, improve content overall
- the project originally started as reasearch and practice and ended up in quite a feature creep
- there were about 30 enemies made until I realised I don't exactly have a plan with them

- development was more driven on what would be cool and what can work instead of concentrating a theme or idea
- this is still a problem right now - instead of focusing on finishing content my main concern is how to put existing content together

some problems I encountered and solved so far
- originally there was running and you would walk holding Shift - this was replaced by changing Shift to be sprinting - you are very fast and cannot shoot
- crouching turned into a replacement of sneaking - it not used much during the game but it gives a better immersion to have it
- a portable health kit was added - right now it counts as one of the weapons - as it was not a staple for FPS games a while I figured players might not notice it (we will see)
- many of the guns are a combination of multiple guns (the shotgun is both the single and double barreled one, the grenade launcher doubles as the rocket launcher)
- I also found out that a second reload makes guns feel better and the combat more intense - so for example for the shotgun originally you only had to pump it after every two shots - but a limit was added so it only can hold 12 shots
- still to make it less impactful - this update is only there to make the game feel better - Zortch reloads the gun 2 shells at a time

anyway please excuse my rambling, I realise it doesn't make much sense to anyone but for me yet
here is another vid with earlier versions of the characters:

recovering from health issues (there goes the plan for an update every week)

still managed to do some small updates:

- finally got the framerate to be stable: there was a very silly error where the flares were projected and calculated even if no flare sprite was set and brought the frame rate down - now its a consistent 60fps as it should be

- optimisations for the level editor  - a seemingly never ending task
 I  still have trouble balancing maps as they get larger - turns out no matter how much you plan ahead or no many tricks one comes up with - the sheer amount of content will always be a problem e.g.: this is a supposed to be a small game and maps still got about 300-500 actors on them

some screenshots - of the editor this time - a look behind the scenes:

one of the more complicated rooms

a top down view (the tiny blue dots are actors - about the size of a human ingame)

setting up an ambush

a little status update (I hope I can manage to make these weekly)

right now I'm busy combining various level stubs into full blown levels

hmm.. not much of an update I suppose and this page looks kind of empty
so here are a few more screenshots:

Swimming in the pool - pictured: indifferent jellyfish - and a giant eye is firing a homing missile

A pissed Bloop Tank is shooting electric charges at us, meanwhile a smaller one on the background is on fire

Shooting at some pipes for some reason - that weird looking thing is your shotgun

Not only the planet has no beaches - it doesn't even have a sea!

"The brochure was a lie - the sun was simply a spotlight"

(4 edits)

Alien meets Hostel in yet another low-poly sci-fi themed horror-comedy fps


Let me get straight to the point:

This is Zortch Maximum

a young adult girl (professional slacker) whose vacation took a turn for the worse

This is a Brainsucker:

highly intelligent being with a taste for human brains

 with the help of their cronies they have been capturing humans for centuries in whatever way they could
their latest scheme was to pretend their planet is a giant beach resort
fortunately only someone really dumb would fall for that ..

here are some screenshots:

also some teaser videos:

Progress so far:
Characters (models and animation), world textures, guns, gameplay code, bosses are mostly finished
There are still plenty of work to do and  so the planned release date is unknown

Fun facts:
- uses it's own custom engine
- started as LAB 2  but things got out of hand

that's all for now, see you at the next update!

the idea was to have a gun that is alive so it's a creature spawning and spitting exploding flies
so like you hold it mouth first toward your foes, the three red things on top are the eyes -
but I missed an opportunity with not animating them
(it's not an original idea though - it's an almost direct ripoff of the aliens fly gun from half life 1)

well.. unless you get stuck in the wall somehow and cannot move there is nothing to fix really (I don't mind exploits)

thats ok, I uploaded the updated one
unfortunately the nuke (rocket launcher) stores the delay in the player class (the memory location keeps changing)
but I think the current setup is good enough (if you no longer hold mouse button it seem to fire normally)

I didn't realise you are so young (and you are already hacking stuff that's cool)

ok, I added this one as well

haha, there is not much to it (also I'm pretty sure your channel has more daily views than this page already)

noclip is a bit tricky, it's hidden behind  debug mode:
to enable debug mode have a file called:
in the same folder with the LAB.exe (contents don't matter, only the filename)
and then during play hold down V
while moving to go through walls

(you can also hold G and H for debug rendering in this mode)

I tried it out it seems to work great (and you even found the unused gun)
I guess I should add this file to the page .. how do you want to be credited? (also do you have a YT channel or site etc. I should link to?)

Sorry, I don't use discord
if you found some bugs I'll fix them of course but otherwise I consider this game finished for now (I'm not sure what could I update)

oh well, good job everyone, I'd  like to apologise as well:
I originally  planned to include the cheats in the readme and forgot all about it
(but I guess it's more fun this way)

good job! ( you found them on your own?)

(2 edits)

i'm not sure how this got into to the #madewithfusion collection
as it uses its own custom made flash based engine

unfortunately no  :(

the only options are:
- downloading the standalone version ( above)
- downloading the remake
- finding and using an older browser that supports flash
(tricky because adobe disabled flash itself in their latest update)

I'm glad you like the game, but i'm afraid v3 is the final version:
(for now I only have spiritual sequels planned)

Cool vid!
and you actually took the time to defeat the spider too.. I greatly underestimated players

no, sorry, but they were pretty much the same (only bugfixes were added)

yes it has been mentioned by others too  .. they are there just very quiet
(I just seem to have trouble with sounds in  all my games
and have not figured out why yet: for now sorry about the inconvenience)

I'm afraid so (flash is now disabled in most browsers I know of)