edited in Projects

A dark, cartoon style action game for 1, 2 or 4 players.
Local couch multiplay (PVP with PVE) on same screen (split).



Inspired by games like Freedom force (art), Spy vs Spy (trap'em up) and Microsoft Decathlon (local multiplay).

@iceblademush did all the lovely character art and cannot be held responsible for the vacuum cleaner (and other) artwork :D
I tried to do animations with the bone feature in Spriter Pro, slicing static art, to much horror...

There is a cover system, crouch behind furniture to avoid incoming fire.
Crouching allows more accurate aiming too...
Some furniture contains traps as loot that can be placed. Kinda.

Known Issues: (many)
No win condition
Bad furniture placement (procedural level layout)
Minimap is currently broken.
Turret trap only shoots at player 1.
Avoidance AI is not avoiding.
Guard (dude in white) is meant to shoot and not do what zombies do.

Download playable build here. PC
It might be a tad too early to post this here, but thought early is better.

I would appreciate any feedback on multiplayer experience, game design ideas, anything really.
This is hard to test as a single person as it requires more than 1 player.
Many gameplay/design features like trap/counter mechanics ares not decided upon yet.
Thanked by 1Asriele


  • I can briefly describe my failed attempt at the game.

    First off Norton flags the installation as suspicious due to some dll (pic below), it's not a big deal, the reputation flag does get raised on a false positive from time to time, it's more of an issue because it removes the file and you have to exclude it from future scans. I don't usually play games without a mouse so I'm a biased bastard, but the control scheme is horrific, I haven't felt this uncomfortable in a while, right hand under the left, required to hit keys that are usually 3rd or 4th priority in any other game while the mouse and the rest of the keyboard are staring at me with a lot of space all around them. It's just unplayable for me with the control scheme. Sorry for the worthless feedback, but it's too much to handle.

    On a more constructive note, I would expect the movement direction of the player to be relative to the direction the player is facing, so for instance if I'm facing right and hit the [S] key the player should move backwards, towards the absolute left, instead of turning right towards absolute down. Another thing, the four way screen split seems like a bit too much, I understand that having 4 controllers and players would make it perfectly fine, but it should scale down to one player if you want a one player mode.

    Thanked by 1Bernard
  • Thanks for the feedback Critic. I appreciate it you downloading and playing it and taking the time to post.

    I don't agree on your movement critique though :D Most games are VIEWPORT relative control scheme. So W always moves to the top of the screen, S down, A left, etc...

    I'm sorry you don't like 4 way split screen. Heh! There IS a one player mode BTW. In menu use arrow keys to select between 1,2 and 4 players.
  • edited
    It's more of a mental construct issue than a viewport issue, it's like the inverted mouse option that is found in most games, mostly subjective to an individual (using [A+D] for changing rotation and [W+S] for movement vs absolute position + automatic rotation). Would you consider using the mouse for orientation in one player mode, maybe that would open up the game for people that are awkward without it and could you allow input mapping for one player mode in the next build, I would like to give it another try, but would prefer my own key mapping?
  • @critic Key mapping would be optimal, even better would maybe be gamepad controls? Single player mouse support would be awesome, but this prototype is a split screen multiplayer test currently. I've even considered dropping single player entirely! I'll look into it though, thank you.

    I think right now the best place to focus for this prototype would be actual gameplay mechanics. It is lacking severely. The whole trap'em up mechanic, win condition and level design (very linear in the current state) :D
  • You already have the input mapping on the loader screen, except that the controls are not defined, no need for a in-game UI at this stage. You wouldn't even consider adding a toggle for [A+D] controlling rotation (anti-clockwise, clockwise) and [W+S] movement (forward, back) at this stage?
  • @critic, not at this stage, no.
  • sounds cool. nice art style.
    Thanked by 2iceblademush konman
  • I have at least played a few top down shooters before and I must say the walking in ENTER feels the most realistic by far, the walking and then running is great!
    I personally favor viewport, especially in this case, no reason not to go viewport here, you want quick reactionary movements here,
    The decision to have comic like words as sound effects are great!
    Dropping single player is a decision I can stand behind.
    Art style is really comic like so my suggestion would be to utilize this, look at comics that actually deal with these kinds of scenarios and settings and then incorporate that kind of narrative style into the game.

    Remember that narrative is everything in your game that lends it self to some kind of story. The characters drawn by @iceblademush is already telling a story as is the flooring and furniture,

    Looking forward to seeing where this project goes!
    Thanked by 2iceblademush konman
  • A few weeks ago I experimented with adding a larger world for ENTER. The mansion alone seemed fairly limited as a playground.


    The idea is there is a safe house (has a sniper on the roof for protection and a vendor perhaps) for each agent and then events would cause them to travel and converge on specific locations by driving there or on foot for the brave.

    Here is a playable build of that idea. There's some traffic on the roads too and hop in and out of vehicles. Vehicle artwork courtesy of MS Visio :) This will need to translate somehow into the 4 player split screen gameplay of ENTER too somehow.

    Playable build (very rough).
    Thanked by 1iceblademush
  • edited

    Just testing a new inventory system with random loot drops from a weighted loot table. Maybe for a squad based solo play for this prototype?

    Features stack-able, split-able consumables. Rares and unique items. Some slots are designated for specific items (clothing). Quick access hotbar with hotkeys, different sized crates etc...

    its not just random as specific items can be specified to drop after x times of not dropping. Also crates can be assigned specific items along with random ones. e.g. if a key is needed to open a door to progress to the next room etc, it can be placed inside the crate next to the door or flagged to drop during the players run of the level up to the door.
    Thanked by 1iceblademush
  • Inventory system for a 4 member squad:

    Playable build (PC, 12.4MB download)

    Any feedback is very welcome :)
  • Very nice inventory, got some suggestions...

    [-]A "Pick up all" functionality would be nice.
    [-]I would close the interface when the chest has been emptied.
    [-]I wouldn't open the interface when a chest is empty.
    [-]Right click should ideally drop the item back to a slot it was selected from.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    Thanks @critic, kind of you to take the time to post feedback. Your suggestions are useful.
    [-]Right click should ideally drop the item back to a slot it was selected from.
    Mmmmh, that is great, haven't considered that. One wants to make it as efficient as possible.

    I've been playing Darkwood this weekend and it's amazing how critical one becomes of mechanics if you're in the process of making something similar. It's a great game art and mood wise, but the inventory system, not a fan... :D

    Thanked by 1critic
  • edited

    Just a little update... Inventory system (version 2).

    I've added modifications based on feedback from @critic (thanks so much!). Also added some new sounds, new weapons: shotgun, knife, uzi etc. There's some passive items that require batteries (motion detector, flashlight). Keys can now be used to unlock world objects (doors). Pretty much just experimenting with what works and what doesn't.

    I do have some plans for how the inventory system will interact eventually in a game world, but so far it has been fun building this and very educational.

    Playable build (PC, +-13MB download)

    Next up I want to allow reloading of weapons when the player hits the 'R' key. The algorithm needs to check the active player's hotbar and inventory for ammo items relevant and apply it to active player's primary weapon slot item. Also currently when you cycle between players, the passive modules stop. Need to fix that...

    Thanks for watching and as always feedback is much needed and welcome.

    EDIT: I managed to get the weapon reloading to work as mentioned above and also the passive modules now persist across player swaps...phew! That one burned some brain cells I tell ya!
  • edited
    I made a little more progress and the time for using these lovely items to perform some sleek zombie executions is just around the corner. Next up I want to see if I can add effects to the inventory system... Fear, poisoned, bleeding, fire, cold, morale etc). Also some player skills that can be leveled up perhaps (athletics (speed)/gunnery (accuracy)? etc). The idea is that there will be good and bad effects. Maybe popping a pill will create a good effect temporarily with cool-down while standing in fire will cause a negative effect. Maybe when squad members are in close proximity/can see each other there could be a morale + boost. There's already some placeholder book items I might use to test how one could add some level up elements to see how that all could work.

    I also want to be able to place certain items from the inventory in the game world... (traps, turrets etc)

    Have a lekka gamedev weekend! :)

    Playable build (PC)
  • edited
    Hiya, another quick update.

    Testing squad combat and level layout. The goal is to get the game world ready for the inventory system...

    I am no level designer, so I grabbed some random house floor plan online and tweaked it to be a level.
    Hopefully it could allow an artist to apply some luscious art and decor.


    Here is a playable build if you want to check it out (PC)

    As always I appreciate the feedback. :D
    Next up, add some loot to the world and allow the squad to customize their kit...
    Thanked by 1Moga
  • edited
    Gotta admit, using a real floorplan for this is a stroke of genius - makes the level feel grounded and natural. Perhaps you want to consider what Monaco did in terms of visibility, which was overlay visible areas on a blueprint. It was quite a cool effect and helped you keep track of the level layout without giving you ALL the details.

    Your gameplay's a little sparse right now, but I can see the seeds of the game taking root. Barring some local avoidance issues (they keep getting in my way!) the ally AIs are pretty helpful and decent at navigating the level, and shooting and movement feel pretty good. Once looting and inventory stuff is properly integrated and you have some solid level goals and fail states in place, I think this could be pretty tense and cool. Keep it up!
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Update: The inventory system has been integrated. Added larger level (4 houses) to explore. There's also some new weapon and targeting mechanics. A few other nips and tucks. (basic animations and lighting)

    5 min gameplay Video:

    Here's a playable build too:

    The team AI currently (as a test) uses a Medusa like death stare (like my g/f after a selfish dev weekend) to make it easy when exploring the level if you place the team correctly.

    Weapons consider range, accuracy, clip size, damage and target penetration.

    I would like to add doors, objectives etc and at some point will need to start thinking about what this little prototype actually wants to be in the bigger scheme of things when adding meaningful actions a player can master.

    The AI currently bee-lines toward the squad, but eventually more timid, patrolling AI would be ideal and more organic.

    Feedback is much appreciated :D
  • Here is 5 minutes of first time game play
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    I played for a bit but I was wandering around aimlessly. I think you need to put in a goal and win condition ASAP so that you can call this a game instead of just an interesting toy.

    A game must have a game loop. A start, a middle and one or more endings (i.e. winning or losing). I recommend focusing on the minimal features so a player can complete the loop before you go back and add more features.

    This allows players to better comment on your game such as whether the game loop is enjoyable and, when new features are added, say whether they add to the loop or distract from it.
    Thanked by 2konman Moga
  • @Fengol That's good advice thank you. I was sharing progress early as there are already some mechanics in that can be commented on (inventory usage / movement / aiming etc). That helps thanks as I know better where to focus next... win/loose and objective.

    Thanks! :)
    Thanked by 1Moga
  • In honesty, I tried making a video but just wandering around was underwhelming. I hope you will put in the game loop soon so I can make a more exciting video :)
    Thanked by 2konman Gazza_N
  • FYI, you should give your uploads on itch a version number and add a developer log for people following your game so that you can explain what's new in the update and why I should check it out.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Hi, yeah sorry I was just being lazy. Will add version numbers going forward. I fixed the ugly overlap of zombies when they bunch together and started on a basic objective system, plundering older prototypes where I can. It is coming along in leaps and bounds. I have a nice long break coming up tomorrow, so hope to spend some more time hobbying away on this when not lying on the beach over the next few weeks :D
  • edited
    A quick question, why zombies? They have now been a staple of survival for a decade, even aliens have more flavor than zombies these days, is it too late to consider an antagonist switch?
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    @critic Good question.

    Zombies - Why Are Zombie Games So Popular? - Extra Credits.

    This early in it is not too late to consider an antagonist switch... do you have any recommendations? :)
  • Why not henchmen and assassins? In your story you say the rivals sent their dogs... how much they have "zombie technology". Just use humans in overalls or blacksuits
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    Mmmh, that could work. The current version of the prototype moved away from the original prototype info posted in the OP (Agents versus Zombies/Henchmen). It is currently about 4 college students who experience the start of the zombie apocalypse and serves as a tutorial for some new mechanics. I'll wrap that shortly and post it here so you can decide. I am always happy to consider other themes going forward.
  • Traditionally, zombies have been in games because of many good reasons:
    1. Zombies are supposed to be dumb and beeline for the player. So that saves on AI programming.
    2. People are comfortable with the thematic thing of killing people that are already dead.
    3. It's a tired trope that demands less exposition and plot (so again, saves time).
    4. People like the zombies trope (apparently)

    That said, I totally don't like zombies in games. That's me personally :)

    But if you have any reason to not use zombies convincingly, I'm completely all for it! :)
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    @Tuism. All points are valid and the reason for sticking to the current theme to explore mechanics in the current prototype. (As per Extra Credits YouTube article)

    "But if you have any reason to not use zombies convincingly". *Sigh*

    This is a prototype and currently I feel comfortable using zombies to test mechanics for now, no matter how tried and tested. (After all this zombie hate, I think everyone is ready to kill some zombies - hahaha)

    BTW: New build up. Initial tutorial play... ENTER v0.01. (PC, sorry no Mac)

    Next up: Player death, some branching conversations and maybe a boss. :D

    Edit: There is some level wall collision issues I am aware of and hope to fix soon.
  • edited
    Got a basic mechanics thought.
    When running from the enemy and trying to shoot back at them it becomes difficult to click far enough ahead on the map for a move that will allow ample time to turn around and shoot without being mauled. Maybe when 'on the run outside' the camera could pan out a little more to give a bigger range of select-able moves...

    and a zombie should come out from under the bed,,,,=)
    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    @Moga That sounds interesting. I am using a basic camera track script, but it could maybe be achieved using Unity's Cinemachine engine? I'll check it out. Thank you.

    Edit: "come out from under the bed"... now you're talkin...
    Thanked by 1Moga
  • edited
    Hi all... the new Xmas Update v0.02 is here!

    -New objective system
    -Story elements with branching conversations
    -Player mortality
    -Recruit party members
    -Improved Team AI

    Wishing you all a new year full of peace, joy and wonderful new creations.
    As always feedback is appreciated. :)

    Edit: Please note that none of the player characters in this video actually died from zombie inflicted wounds. They died from ruptured eardrums after hearing that same dreadful cinematic whoosh SFX for the billionth time. I shall remove it from my recycle bin with contempt...
  • I haven't played yet but just from watching the new video I can see that your font is too small. It should be closer to the subtitle font that you use on the video. I'd suggest bumping it up as soon as possible to see how it affects the UI and visible game space so that you don't get too far in development and then realise you have a screen real estate problem.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @watman You are right! I knew something didn't feel right. Just needed someone to point it out. Thanks so much.
  • edited
    Hi! A new update v0.02e is available.

    -Larger font for story
    -Cannot consume items while story is displayed (bug fix)
    -Better footsteps
    -Faster text type
    -Better indication (text float) of who was hit and what the damage was
    -Improved squad movement (move to and follow me)
    -Improved squad awareness (randomly scans surroundings when idle)
    -Add Unity Cinemachine camera (prevents camera from going out of bounds and better control)
    -Correctly highlight UI buttons to indicate currently selected player
    -Add new toggle-able alternate control scheme : Character facing (default is viewport centric)
    -Other minor tweaks
  • Hey I played the latest one a bit. It's obvious that's it's still early days, with the placeholder art, etc. So, I will try not to give critical feecback like "add art" :)

    I find that using the WASD controls, the character is extremely floaty, as if walking on ice. It should be a lot more responsive and immediate IMO. Related to this is the rotation rate - it feels like it takes forever for the character to turn in relation to where I'm pointing.

    Going through doors is problematic. I keep getting stuck behind doors that push open in my direction. Maybe ditch the physics and just let the doors animate in a bi-directional way.

    At the moment, the main torch is shining through walls. Is this intended? I would be cool if walls blocks this light. I don't think the dim secondary light is really needed. You could just have have a low ambient light or something.

    Sound effects - the whip is over the top, while the pistol is a bit underwhelming. The sound effects of items where you exert power, like firing a pistol, should have a real kick to them. I also find that with a full party of 4 running around, the footstep sounds are totally overwhelming, sounds like a herd of wildebeest.

    Yeah so overall, it needs some work on the feel of the mechanics, the movement, etc. That's the main thing, the core feeling of polish in how things handle.

    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited
    @mgeorgedeveloper :) Wow, thanks so much for this valuable feedback. It is very detailed and I think all of it is spot on. I'll look at the items mentioned and see if it can be corrected.
    sounds like a herd of wildebeest
    Hahaha, it does indeed. Since I implemented the cinemachine camera the sound that was 3D previously no longer is.

    The doors are easy to fix. I'll make the collider a trigger when the door is in motion to prevent being slapped by the door and generally feeling like one is battling the level.

    The torch shining through the walls...That is also a personal gripe. Technically it will be interesting to find a solution to that :)

    Mmmh, you've given me a lot to think about. Thanks so much. K
  • Did you consider implementing this as top-down 3D, instead of 2D? It would solve a lot of problems naturally, like torch shining through walls.
  • Also - you mention 2D Sound and Cinemachine. That should have no impact on your sound setup. I also use Cinemachine in my game. Since the vcams just ultimately control your main camera, you can just attach your Audio Listener on the main cam and set it all up for 3D audio sources.
  • edited
    Did you consider implementing this as top-down 3D
    I have, though I lack the skills to create blender models. I know there's many free 3D assets out there one can test with.
    2D is easier as a start, but has its limits, but aesthetically 3D would look very cool.
    Also - you mention 2D Sound and Cinemachine. That should have no impact on your sound setup.
    Mmmh, that is strange. I must have broken something then. I'll check it out. I'll tone down the volume on the stampeding footsteps as a start.

    Thanks again :)

    Edit: Oh, wow, I see someone did a let's play, so cool!

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