Grave Days (alpha--)

edited in Projects
Some of you may remember I game I was working on named Grave Days (Waaay back):

This is a remake of this game I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. It's called Grave Days, and I'd categorize it as zombie survival. I'd love to get some feedback on it, so I'd like to show it off to you guys! The idea of the game is to survive as long as possible, but your death is inevitable, hence the name Grave Days (also a pun, grave = zombies). The core mechanic of the game is survival, using sub-mechanics of stealth, combat, run-and-dodge and resource collection. The emotions I wish to invoke in the player are extreme desperation, interrupted by mini-burst of hope and joy (on discovering something like a nice big loot), and followed again by more hopelessness and stress (I just spent that nice big ammo loot in 15 seconds, and there are still zombies everywhere!). I want the game to push the player to do things he knows is most probably a bad idea. Also, it is LAN-able with your friends.

For more info, I have a wiki, which still needs a bit of updating here, and a blog about my progress here.


Latest PC build

ESC to open menu and see the controls

Enjoy it, and let me know if you find any bugs, are have suggestions, or whatever other feedback is possible :)
960 x 575 - 44K


  • edited
    Damnit, I always fail at putting my projects under the Projects tab....

    Edit: I can change it! never mind!
  • edited
    @Denzil Haha that was pretty cool. I like the ambient music. The flashlight works nicely too. Shaders right?

    This game is begging for shadows... nice 2d shadows.

    I got 17 kills on my first play. The health packs need to give more healing I felt also is there a safehouse somewhere I can shack up, build a fire maybe and take stock?

    Nice :)

    Edit: Flares!
  • edited
    Thanks for playing and for the suggestions :)

    I have a new version, I made it a little easier and a little more playable. It's still just a zombie shooter for the moment, but I'm already adding a hint of possible ammo problems. Eventually ammo will be gold, and you will have to search for it, and for food, and shack up somewhere as you say. I also got a package to make arbitrary mesh shapes (polygons), so I can add some terrain features. I quickly added 2 pools of water. I still have to fix that zombies and items don't spawn in them.

    Not sure if I made it too easy now, but I end up dying in the morning hours though, too many zombies :) I spend my night time sneaking around a little.

    I'm not too good with shaders, normally if I use shaders it's pretty much copy and paste work. But I am using Unity as you see, and using a spotlight with a "cookie", but I'm assuming it's all shader work in the background.

    Not sure how I'll do shadows yet, but as you say, shadows will be cool. I'm really excited about adding functionality for building a camp though, and maybe going into town to raid some stores!

    Oh, almost forgot, the new version: Days prealpha

    By the way, the stealth system is a little more useful in this build. I tweaked it a bit too. If you feel like you are attracting too much attention, just do anything you think would make you less exposed. Stand still, definitely don't sprint (running/walking helps a little bit too). Don't shoot, switch off your flash light. If you really want to get their attention thought, flicker your flashlight on and off. Also, being stealthy is easier at night, of course :) -- you will see your "sense bubble" turn blue.

    I got 51 kills with a score of 402 in the new version. It only takes 3 shots to kill a zombie now. 4 was a bit much I think. The jump from 3 to 4 is huge

    - I've found a bug that prevented the zombie AI from running around randomly while idle. I fixed it now. Also zoomed the view out a bit and tweaked the lighting. The larger view area makes it easier to stealth around. I replace the download once it's in my dropbox
  • Nice, the pacing feels a lot better now and it's still hard.

    The pink borders are quite jarring when you get to the edges, maybe a fence with some think bush on the other side will keep the player immersed and provide a reason for the borders.

    Also it would be cool to have some kind of Sun/Moon day/night cycle indicator like in Terraria maybe. And also maybe a goal, like get to the shack before nightfall, get to the helicopter take-off spot before daybreak or the army will leave you behind in the dead zone, or something like that.

    Haha cool, this is very DayZ... I like. You can do a lot with it.
    Thanked by 1Denzil
  • Yeah I'm about to add water around the edges :) The border was a temporary fix. Perhaps it's a little ambitious, but I'll try to implement a rudimentary crafting system down the line, maybe you can make a watch if you have the skill. If not, I'll make it something you can scavenge from somewhere.

    The direction this is going though, is that you will always die in the end. Maybe unlock something new that you can do the next play-through. Like a different character with a special skill, or perhaps a new crafting blueprint, etc. Hence the name Grave Days, it's grave as in dangerous, dire, perilous, or whatever, and grave = zombie. I think you get it :)

    PS. I managed to hold up in a corner for two nights, and half a day. The spawn reached its max (of 500 zombies). During dusk or dawn, I just went on ammo scavenging expeditions, and also had to make a dash during the first midday. I think if I kept going, I could do it forever.

    It got a bit boring though after a while of sneaking around in my corner, so I just wanted to gather up a lot of ammo, and go on a (gradual) zombie killing spree. I over-fatigued myself during ammo collection, and the horde got to me :( ... 1200 score! I have to add something to do though while you aren't on your expeditions though, like camp making and resource gathering.
  • edited
    Today my goal was to make Grave Days more game like. Well, maybe the correct way of describing it is to add some more narrative. Or a setting perhaps. I divided the level up in 3 areas, sort of. I added 3 buildings, and infirmary (health packs), a (food) shop, and a barracks (ammo). I don't have a map or indication system yet, but roughly speaking, the store is down from where you start, the barracks is up-left, the infirmary is up-right (to the far right of the barracks).

    I also implemented a hunger system, and food of course, which makes your max health go down if you are too hungry. I feel that there is more reason to sneak about now, and something to try and do while you kill zombies (manage your hunger, ammo and health). It's still not quite where I want it to be, and I'm running into all sorts of issues (flashlight going through walls, bullets going through walls - this one is fixed, pathfinding - or lack thereof, etc). I'll probably be asking for advice to some of these things in the near future.

    Here's the latest version, try it out if you have time: Days prealpha

    This is only my 3rd~4th day spent on grave days, so I feel quite proud of my progress so far, considering that my first prototype from long ago took me 3~4 months to develop.

    Here's a screenshot taken from the shop:image
    800 x 556 - 579K
  • @Denzil - Any chance of a web build. I keep getting errors with your dropbox link above
  • edited
    @FanieG Of course!

    It's a slightly newer build now as well. I haven't implemented anything new, nothing major anyway. Mostly balancing and playing around with the variables. This build plays a little better than the current offline build:

    It's still through my dropbox though, but I hope it works. Let me know if the issues persist. It's 20mb in size if that's of concern.

    Edit: The web build seems to be a bit buggy. The controls sometimes don't respond. Also, a retry option is really needed here.
  • edited
    @Denzil Very nice, I like the new textures. It's starting to feel like a game! Maybe a nice target cursor in the next build? The default cursor doesnt quite fit the game - and actually makes it harder to aim?

    if you don't know this, sry if you do...You can add a new sprite/texture and change its type to "cursor". Then in the project build settings\player settings you can change the default cursor by selecting it there. But the texture has to be of cursor type I think. Shows funny blurry lines otherwise. I recently discovered this, so hope I'm not coming across as patronizing if you already knew this... :) Good job - I like the progress and how quickly it is progressing.
    Thanked by 1Denzil
  • edited
    @Denzil - thanks for the web build. The controls become unresponsive because the mouse moves off the screen. You should lock it then it won't happen. In return for the web build I gift you the attached dark headed beauty. I tried to stay true to the sprite sheet you posted earlier, but you are under no obligation to actually use it. I was just taking a break from my own project, Clunky Robot, and this made for a nice change of pace. Again, no pressure.

    Why did you not go for a dual shooter setup, where you could move with arrows/WASD and aim with the mouse? Not that the current control system is bad, but it does take a bit of getting used to. Also, you need a sprint button. Sprinting could increase your hunger rate. Nice work so far.

    [EDIT] - Sorry only saw shift is sprint now - enter faceplant here

    Zombies need to move slower than the player.

    You could add sound to the stealth mechanic. Different actions/areas create different sound levels. like opening a door. or stepping on glass. Also smell. depending on what direction the wind is blowing. Zombies smell brains right...right?
    592 x 300 - 25K
  • This is a script I used in a previous project to lock the cursor. You could use it to fix your web build becoming unresponsive:

    using UnityEngine;
    using System.Collections;
    public class MakeMouseArrowDisappear : MonoBehaviour {
    	// Use this for initialization
    	void Start () 
    	// Update is called once per frame
    	void Update ()
    	void ArrowGone()
            Screen.showCursor = false;
    		Screen.lockCursor = true;
  • and this is a dual stick controller script that I got from a online tutorial a while back. You will most likely have to change it for a Unity 2D project though:

    using UnityEngine;
    using System.Collections;
    public class DualStick : MonoBehaviour {
    	public float moveSpeed = 1.0f;
    	public float shootDelay = 0.2f;
    	public GameObject Bullet;
    	public float bulletSpeed = 1.0f;
    	private bool cantShoot = true;
    	// Use this for initialization
    	void Start () {
    	// Update is called once per frame
    	void FixedUpdate () 
    		Vector3 moveDirection = new Vector3(Input.GetAxis("Horizontal"),Input.GetAxis("Vertical"),0);
    		rigidbody.MovePosition(transform.position + moveDirection * moveSpeed * Time.deltaTime);
    		if((Input.GetAxis("FireHorizontal") != 0.0f || Input.GetAxis("FireVertical") != 0.0f)  && cantShoot)
    			Vector3 shootDirection = new Vector3(Input.GetAxis("FireHorizontal"),Input.GetAxis("FireVertical"),0).normalized;
    			GameObject bulletInstance = Instantiate(Bullet,transform.position,Quaternion.LookRotation(shootDirection)) as GameObject;
    			bulletInstance.rigidbody.AddForce(shootDirection * bulletSpeed,ForceMode.VelocityChange);
    			cantShoot = false;
    	void OnCollisionEnter()
    		rigidbody.velocity =;
    	void OnCollisionExit()
    		rigidbody.velocity =;
    	void ShootDelay()
    		cantShoot = true;
  • edited
    @FanieG Haha thanks. I'll put use your zombie as well. No reason I can't have 2 :)

    I decided to go away from the WASD setup, for two reasons. Or maybe 1. It shouldn't really be a shooter. In the final game, ammo will be much more rare, and the focus should be on escaping and evading. With WASD, you essentially have 8 directions to run in. With mouse control, you can finely choose which direction to run in.

    Secondly, I don't want to be able to run backwards or strafe while shooting. The characters aren't meant to be action heroes who can run around while shooting. I like the choice that you have to make, run, or fight, not really both. If you are good enough, you can run and shoot at approaching zombies.

    Sprinting does exactly that, well, sprinting decreases your fatigue meter, and a low fatigue meter increases your hunger.

    And I look your idea of different sound, and smells. I'll get to it eventually. It's somewhere on my mental to-do list!

    konman said:
    @Denzil Very nice, I like the new textures. It's starting to feel like a game! Maybe a nice target cursor in the next build? The default cursor doesnt quite fit the game - and actually makes it harder to aim?

    if you don't know this, sry if you do...You can add a new sprite/texture and change its type to "cursor". Then in the project build settings\player settings you can change the default cursor by selecting it there. But the texture has to be of cursor type I think. Shows funny blurry lines otherwise. I recently discovered this, so hope I'm not coming across as patronizing if you already knew this... :) Good job - I like the progress and how quickly it is progressing.
    I have actually made a custom cursor in Unity before, but I did it the hard way apparently. Didn't know you could do this. Adding a custom cursor is on my to do list, so I'll do it right now. It probably won't look very good. I'll make a simple one, then let me know if you like it, or perhaps if you have a suggestion of how it should look, I'll put that in the game. Thanks for the hints though, less googling for me to do :) I'll never find any sort of help patronizing, even if it is something I already know!
  • Sorry for the bump. Just wanted to let anyone interested know that I fixed the restart game function (F1 key). I've updated the web build.
  • edited
    Hi guys,

    I've worked on the zombie AI today, and I think it works quite well. The best feature is that they get stuck on corners a lot less frequently, and know how to follow a player into a building, based on where it remembers last seeing the player in the event that it lost sight of the player. I don't necessarily want super smart zombies that always know how to track a player down, I just don't want zombies that walk into every obstacle possible.

    I'm also experimenting with different sounds for walking over different surfaces as suggested by @FanieG. It does not affect the zombie AI yet, but will do so in the future.

    Please give me some feedback on the difficulty, pace, and anything else you can think of.
    WEB: Grave Days Web Prealpha v1.4
  • @Denzil - You really need to lock the cursor for the web build. It is ruining the experience. In the web build it is better to use W to move, as right clicking opens a help menu for the web player. So as soon as this happens, or when you move the cursor off the windowed screen, the game becomes unresponsive. The reticle helps a lot (again as long as you stay on the web player's screen). The AI is much improved from yesterday's build. I like how they sometimes go into flight mode when hit. It really sucks when a few of them pick up on your location. Escaping the horde seems a bit impossible. While I understand you want the game not to be too easy, I still want to feel stonger/smarter/faster than the zombies. This is not the case at the moment. A way to slow them down would be cool. Maybe by closing doors/gates behind you or throwing over boxes or something. Also I think ammo should be stronger (at least 2 hit kills), since you plan to make ammo such a scarce commodity in the game. Picking it up should make you feel great.
  • edited
    @FanieG Hi. I don't think I understand the cursor problem. I'm currently doing this in my Manager script,

    void Awake()
    	Screen.fullScreen = true;
    	Screen.lockCursor = true;

    Is there something else I should be doing?

    I don't understand it anyway, the API says "The cursor will automatically be hidden, centered on view and made to never leave the view." Do I really want the cursor to be hidden? How will you aim? I don't think I am understanding it correctly. But It's not working the way I did it.

    I think I should perhaps work on the difficulty a bit. I've been playing a lot, and I manage to survive about two days. Always not always. Sometimes I die sooner. Perhaps I need an intro of some kind. By the looks of it, a lot of people assume it's a shooter, and immediately go for killing zombies. What you should actually do primarily is avoid zombies, and only clean an area when it is completely necessary, and you have ammo to spare. Furthermore, fatigue is a vital stat, and you could sprint away from hordes to a mostly cleared out area and survive.

    But this is just bare bones. There's still a lot to be added, perhaps traps or something to slow them down like you say. The feedback is useful too. I think I'll make the sprinting a bit better. Either slow down normal walk speed of the player and the zombies, and increase the sprinting speed. I'll also slightly increase the ratio between player walk speed to zombie walk speed. Since avoiding and escaping is my primary mechanic, it should definitely not feel frustrating. Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

    PS I'll maybe tweak zombie health a bit as well. Maybe some of them 2 shots, and some of them 3. I plan to add stronger guns later by the way. Maybe I should've started by giving the player a stronger weapon though while the game is mostly unfinished.
  • edited

    This is an update for grave days. I'm not supporting the web version for the moment, due to annoying focus issues when its not in full screen mode.

    prealpha v1.5 Features:
    - Even better zombie AI (target follow & collision avoidance)
    - First hints of a level design (island with random lootable buildings, beach houses and a forest with a lodge)
    - Food and medikits no longer instantly consumed on pickup, now added to a makeshift "inventory" with a maximum carry limit each (see temporary GUI). You can consume food by pressing 3, and medikits by pressing 4.
    - Added chests (to certain houses), in which you can store excess goods. Now you have a reason to go on scavenging expeditions.
    - Added ability to punch (melee attack) zombies. 1 - switch to melee mode. 2 - switch to gun.
    - Press ESC to pause game and open menu
    - Killing many zombies in an area decreases the overall amount of zombies you will encounter in that area. If you do not kill zombies in a certain area often, the zombies in that area will increase, sometimes to quite drastic levels. Still needs some balancing, but the overall mechanic is in place. It is not possible for you to contain the zombie-plague on the entire island. You can however, contain it pretty well in your "safe zone", wherever you choose this to be.

    * Hint: This is not a zombie shooter, so do not feel that you are failing if you are not managing to kill all the zombies, and keeping their numbers low. You are however successful if you manage to survive a couple of nights, and manage to go on scavenging expeditions that have a net resource surplus (i.e, if you come back with more resources than you set off with). Sometimes the best move is to avoid the zombies, other times to engage them. It is up to you to decide when to do what.

    Near future to-do list:
    - Add GUI
    - Add rare items that give you a boost for your current play-through, and unlock things for a next play-through (new characters with different skills, new weapons or craftable items)
    - Add survivors, which you can rescue and order to stay/defend a designated zone.
    - Saving/loading

    PC - Download: Grave Days prealpha v1.5 (~30mb)

    PS- I've updated my first post to better reflect my current understanding of this game!
  • @Denzil - Very interesting game, played through and here are my thoughts.

    - The current build doesn't work unless you change the folder name to "GraveDays prealpha v1.5_Data"
    - I like the movement, but I think you should stick the WASD movement keys and MOUSE to AIM. (or maybe just a move backwards key)
    - UI needs to be more in your face, like I had no idea I was out of ammo till I looked in the corner of the screen. So maybe a little Ammo counter or just move the UI to the bottom right so a quick glance down and the player can see his stats. Most people have the screen a little lower, so they are always looking down.
    - Tried to select Windowed Mode, but it still came up Full Screen.
    - Walking up to creates should pop up with the Key to press, ie. (E) Open
    - Maybe a sneak mode to get past the Zombies as ammo is limited.
    - Mini Map?

    Very much love the Zombie Survival kind of vibe and scavenging, will you have crafting and building? (Maybe a prison with an Ex-Sheriff :P )

    I'll play lots more and give more thoughts :)

    Looking forward to more builds!
  • @PowerCat Thanks a lot for playing and the nice feedback!
    The current build doesn't work unless you change the folder name to "GraveDays prealpha v1.5_Data"
    That's pretty awkward. I didn't even think of testing it after I renamed it. I'm uploading a fix immediately.
    I like the movement, but I think you should stick the WASD movement keys and MOUSE to AIM. (or maybe just a move backwards key)
    Let me know if you still disagree with me on this one, but I'll try to explain my reasoning on this. Since this is survival oriented and not a shooter, the character should only really be able to shoot forward, and run forward. I visualize the character as a random survivor, not an action hero who can run all over the place while landing headshots. Secondly, WASD limits you to 8-directions of movement, where here you are free to run and weave through tiny gaps in your attempt to escape the zombies. This is a really big deal for me, but I understand that confusing controls will kill the game. The current graphics is just temporary though, and I might go all out top-down view, and rotate the sprite. I think the 4 facing directions make you think it is a WASD control (also the fact that you can walk forward with W).

    I personally like having to chose between running away and turning to fight. Sometimes I try to turn around quickly and get off a single shot, which is challenging. But please let me know if you still disagree with this, or perhaps have suggestions how I can avoid using WASD while still letting it feel natural.

    At the moment I am forcing fullscreen. If I play in windowed mode, the cursor sometimes accidentally leaves the window, then when you click off the window, it loses focus. Not sure how I can fix this.

    I'll possibly add a sneak mode which makes it even harder for the zombies to detect you, and maybe even something to hide your scent with, or something of the like. And a mini-map is a something I'll possibly add in the future. For now, there are higher priorities. Though I'll soon add the ability to mark your home, and perhaps 1 or 2 other important places, with off screen navigators so that you know in which direction to go at least.

    And yes, I'll eventually have some form of rudimentary crafting and building, also basic character classes to unlock, so there's more replay value.
  • Look at Transistor for how the combat controls are handled - you can cardinal direction it with wasd AND move by clicking. Right click to attack. There's also a pause during combat, of course.

    But that sounds like a combination of what you're looking for?
  • @Tuism Sounds interesting. I haven't tried transistor yet personally. Do you know of a free alpha or beta? I don't have money to dish out at the moment (poor Stellenbosch student here!).

    I do feel though that WASD/cardinal directions will over-emphasize combat though. The primary response should be one of avoiding and escaping, with fighting mostly when you have no other choice, or when you are trying to clear out a safe-zone. WASD will give the player too much combat dexterity (i.e strafe while shooting), which I'm afraid will make the game "just another zombie-shooter".

    I like the idea of pausing though, though I feel it should be limited in Grave Days if implemented. I'm not sure that this was the point of your feedback, but thanks nevertheless. I'll perhaps upload a version as you suggested soon, so that we can draw some comparisons between cardinal movement, and towards-cursor movement.
  • Well if you want to hamper the player to make want to run away, it should be in the form of balance - like make it almost one-hit kill or something. Make the zombies hard to kill.

    Making controls crap to make you run away will make me not want to play the game. Giving me intuitive and fluid controls but making the enemies hard will make me realise I CAN'T KILL THEM instead of GAH THESE CONTROLS MAYBE I CAN DO BETTER IF I DO THIS AND SQUEEZE OFF A SHOT OK I KILLED IT THIS IS HOW I'M SUPPOSED TO PLAHHHHHHHHH DEAD :)
    Thanked by 1Denzil
  • @Denzil You know what, I understand what you are looking for in terms of game play. I've done the same thing in my game as in push forward or die. Maybe instead of putting in WASD keys, lets leave those out now, rather just put in W to move forward and maybe a another key like S or something to move backward but at a MUCH slower rate, like even a 1/3rd of the Forward momentum. So you can still swing around and shoot plus a little back at the same time. Cause if a Zombie is lurching after you, you not going to stop turn around and shoot it standing still :P

    If you wanna go for a non-hero character, maybe have him trip and fall on his back if he walks backwards to much ;)
    Thanked by 1Denzil
  • edited
    @Tuism I get what you are saying. I will definitely experiment some more with the movement and controls. I don't think towards cursor movement is necessarily crap though. I think my directional sprites are the problem though. Do you think going full top-down with my sprites would cure this problem?

    @PowerCat I think I'll have this in my next build, thanks (well the slow backing off). I feel that there is a way to implement what I am aiming for without being confusing. I just need to find out how. Like I said, I think it's my art.
  • @Denzil Yea, it can be hard expressing your Art in game. You could always leave the Keys out completely and have RMB to move and LMB to shoot, you will still have that move towards cursor effect, but it gives the player complete control with 1 hand.

    So freeing up your other hand to select Med Packs and stuff.
  • Crap is too harsh, I just mean if I don't intuitively understand it or it doesn't do what I want it to do - then it's not "correct". What I mean by correct is transparent, invisible. Gets out the way. As invisible as using my arm is to me - I don't think about using my arm, I think about drinking tea, or typing. In fact, I don't think about typing, I think about the words and they come out on the screen.

    The point is that you have an environment which people expect to work by using certain keys. You use those keys but you use them in an alien way, a way that's not that makes people go "eh?". You give people guns but you give them controls that can't use guns in an intuitive way (walking this way while shooting that way is quite normal - sure you want to avoid that, maybe you need to do that in some other way - like giving the character an arc in front of him where he's not allowed to shoot outside of. If you want the character to run and move like a real person, then you need to give him realistic movement with momentum, maybe even consider driving movement controls (See Teleglitch) with more inertia in the movement where you kind of have weight and momentum.

    But those are all full packages of gameplay choices, I feel. The current control scheme doesn't seem fun to me :/ if I were a fighter plane that might make sense. But I'm a human and I have a torso and legs that can point in different directions :/

    What if you made the character walk when you click and then you can freely move the mouse and aim while he's walking? Classic Syndicate controls.

    Top down or not is an aesthetic call. Having 8 directions sprites but letting the movement go in full 360 degree freedom is absolutely ok, MANY games in the past have used that - Syndicate, Bedlam, a couple more I can't remember.
    Thanked by 1Denzil
  • What if you made the character walk when you click and then you can freely move the mouse and aim while he's walking? Classic Syndicate controls.
    Haha, great minds ;)
  • @Tuism thanks, that was pretty insightful. Really makes me think hard about where I want to take this, and made a lot of sense. Also
    The current control scheme doesn't seem fun to me :/ if I were a fighter plane that might make sense. But I'm a human and I have a torso and legs that can point in different directions :/
    very true, and funny.

    I'm considering doing a combination of controls sort of like you suggested in a previous post. I'm going to keep towards mouse movement, in at least some way, since I feel that it feel more natural when you are trying to run away (than WASD).
    I agree though that this makes the combat feel stupid, and that you need a greater freedom at aiming your weapon. I'll experiment with your suggestions a bit!

    It may take a while though before I have something good in a build again.

    @PowerCat I think I might actually do this until I have a better solution implemented.
  • Maybe.... Give wasd controls nuance and momentum - so that if you're running up and you hit right, instead of going straight right, you "turn" right. That way it feels much more "alive" and real. Although it'll be less precise and could frustrate.

    Not sure if you want "precision" or "natural". Mouse clicking when running away doesn't really feel "accurate" to me, when I'm running away I'm much more likely to get stuck with mouse controls, I feel. Have you tried to quickly click on 5 things on your desktop in a row? It's much easier to do it with keyboard, for example.
  • @Tuism and @PowerCat

    With the great advice you guys gave me, I've tried to devise a new control scheme. It's a pretty minor change, and I'm afraid it's not there yet, and perhaps a little complicated. But I think I kind of like this new addition. You can now hold down spacebar, and it will keep you moving in the last direction you were heading in. What this means is that you can move with right click, and then when you want to aim, hold spacebar and let go of right click, leaving you free to aim while running. It's still a bit rough, and I want to limit movement speed when strafing or walking backwards. I feel that this keeps all the challenge I want (combat is not action-hero style), and will allow the players who master the controls to play action-hero style (hopefully without alienating new players). Days prealpha v1.5b (new controls).zip
  • edited
    I hope you understand what I was trying to say about balance - you can easily incentivise players to not be gung-ho by making enemies hard instead of trying to introduce artificial "movement difficultfiers" to the controls. Give that some thought :)

    For example inserting a type of enemy that doesn't die easily and comes at you quickly. You can try to shoot them but then you'll quickly realise you need to run away from them. Thein introduce a solution to them in the environment so you have to run away from those particular enemies - but yes you may shoot them if you're really good (let's say you only ever can squeeze off 3 shots before they're on top of you because of the speed, but because they move so fast landing those shots are hard, so if you land 2 of those 3 shots you can kill them, but more often than not they'll just chomp you)
  • @Tuism I understand what you are saying about balance. And I agree. I feel though that making enemies more difficult, by for instance adding speed, is more artificial than introducing a new type of movement mechanic. That said, I really appreciate the feedback you have given me, and will keep on playing around until I find something that feels right and that I'm happy with. I'm not massively against introducing controls that are foreign to a player, as long as they can get the hang of it quickly. In fact, I'm actually for it, since I want it to stand out in terms of its enemy dodging mechanics. I've tried out the WASD scheme again, and I'm just really against it. It feels too action-shootery and too easy. Of course I can make it harder by making harder zombies, but that feels like a patch job to me.

    Luckily I don't have a strict deadline on this, and there's lots of room to experiment. Thanks again though. If I consistently get more pro-WASD feedback I might go for it.
  • For reference, the easiest way to make it so that players want to run from enemies is to reduce player firing speed.

    Although you don't want to go too far - otherwise you end up in "constantly running backwards to kite everything" territory.
  • Have you tried momentum in regular wasd movement?
    Have you tried driving controls (up to forward, left right turns movement dir)
    Have you tried... double tap to dodge? (you wanted to focus on dodge mechanics)
    Have you tried to give enemy movements a straight line driving movements so that when they come at you they build up momentum and you can dodge that making it feel like dodging is satisfying?

    Spitballing :)
  • edited
    @dislekcia Yeah, I was experimenting with that. It's much lower than I started with, though I might push it a bit more. That will just make the eventual machine gun so much more rewarding!


    1- I tried momentum and WASD. I still have a little bit of momentum without WASD. Too much momentum feels like you are running on ice. Though I believe this is mostly due to lack of angular momentum, and animations that are too fast. I'll work on it some more eventually.

    2- I'm going to stay away from driving controls. I've played 2d top-down games with driving controls and it makes me want to gauge my eyes out. You get stuck on corners and its hard to enter buildings, etc. Or maybe that's just me.

    3- Double tap to dodge, interesting. Something worth giving a try.

    4- And I'll also try more enemy momentum, along with angular momentum to avoid the problem I mentioned at 1. I think this can work well with 3, if done right.

    * Though I have to add, earlier when I said dodging, I really meant tight maneuvering through gaps in enemies and terrain.
  • edited
    @Tuism Ok so I've implemented WASD, and made a little change to how they were previously, and I like the feel A LOT more. I think the issue I had with it last time was that I was not limiting movement in backwards/strafing directions, making it feel action-oriented (think Alien Swarm). Now that I am limiting non-forward movement, it avoids kiting situations, and the player does not feel too powerful. I think it can further be improved by momentum tweaks. It's kind of a WASD/mouse hybrid. What I mean by this is, it's normal WASD movement, but you must keep the player facing towards the mouse for maximum speed benefit. If you start facing away too much (ie running backwards), you go slower. Let me know you think about it. Sorry for the constant 30mb downloads! I hope you have a decent connection! But please try it.

    I've also kept the old controls in for now, since I still like them better. Admittedly, I switch to the new WASD scheme when it suits the situation. Do you think leaving both control schemes in will confuse players?

    Thanks again for all the help. I hope I haven't been sounding like I'm just disregarding your advice (and following my own). I tend to seek out every argument for every case, every time.

    Download: Days v1.5c (now with WASD controls).zip

    PS. I'm actually loving the fact that I can WASD when I want, and mouse when I want. Doesn't WOW do something like this? Haven't played in ages. And neither should I. Or anyone.
    Thanked by 1Tuism
  • @Denzil - That is much better!
    Really like that game play now, got to run around a bit more ;)

    Some more thoughts, not sure if you are already implementing them.

    The GUI at the top left, could you maybe show which Keys to press there? (I kept on having to press escape to remind myself of each key :P ) Just next to each one.

    Rather than having the Zombie just stop and die, having him spin around in circles?

    I notice when my character dies he just stops and doesn't disappear or anything just continues to run in spot, you could have the same blood pool as you do for the zombies, or even a little grave stone to indicate where you died. Better yet save each location you die(with a grave stone or cross), so every time you play you can see where you got up to :P

    Unless the levels are randomly generated, then never mind, hehe :)

  • @PowerCat Thanks man, glad to hear you like it.

    I still want to work on death animations or something. And I haven't done much toward implementing anything for the player's death (besides the death sound), it's on my list though, maybe I'll bump it up a little higher priority-wise.

    I'll add the keys as you suggested, but I'll also make a "nice" GUI eventually, and somehow indicate what you can press there.

    The levels are not randomly generated. Would be cool though if it could be eventually. Just not sure how I'd do it yet. If I do it eventually, I'll probably have generated parts, and pre-designed parts.

    It could be cool though to show where you have died before. Eventually when I get to designing a save/load structure, I might save the last couple of places you died and show those. Maybe with a little grave stone or something as you suggested.
  • edited
    It's that time again! I am at a stage where I really need some feedback on a new feature I have been working on. 2d lighting + shadows. You can find the build here:
    Grave Days PC prealpha v1.6

    I bought a package on unity, and had to tweak some of the code a bit and change some structures to work with Grave Days. It's pretty awesome I think, as I can use it as a vision system, so you can't see behind certain obstacles. So if you are in a room, you can't see what's going on outside, which I think is a good addition to the stealth part of the game.

    However, it is quite processor intensive, as it using raycasting. I've looked through the code and I see that it pretty much just raycasts hundereds to thousands of rays about a source. The package allows you to reduce the resolution, but this produces artifacts (flickering shadows as you move, etc). I've added an option in the menu with 6 resolution presets. I also reduced the normal framerate to 45 (I assume this is with vsync off, haven't done testing yet). Anyway, I'm sure some people's machines would be able to handle it, but I want this to be generally accessible. The lag it produces isn't too horrible on my machine (if any), but if I put the resolution to the highest setting, there is a fair bit of lag on some parts of the map or if there are many zombies.

    Now, if this feature happens to be annoying (due to lag or shadow artifacts/flickering), then I'll scrap it. Though I like it, and can spitball a few ways to optimise in the future, but it will take some time. If it seems to be generally liked (even though the shadows flickering a bit), then I'll keep it, with the option of trying to optimise it way down the line (though possibly never being AAA quality of course).

    One final thing, the shadows completely engulf some of the walls and you can't see the wall textures, but this is something that I will easily fix by tweaking my shadow layers (just requires an hour or so of my time).


    tldr; Let me know if you like the new shadow system, or does the flickering vs lag trade-off (see menu setting) annoy you?

    Grave Days PC prealpha v1.6

    EDIT: I managed to implement a slight optimization that gives about 5 extra fps when the processing load is the most, but with potentially much more (I think) if I split up some of my large colliders. I've thought of a second optimization as well that should work fairly well.
    1251 x 794 - 195K
  • edited
    Hi guys!!

    I'll keep this short!

    In celebration of a lot of implemented mechanics (saving, items, rate items), and in anticipation for a nice content update, I've compiled this version of Grave Days that is full-on zombie shooter (high zombie spawn rate, practically infinite ammo)! I was messing around with a machine gun I added, so I decided to share:
    Grave Days AK47

    Note, the next update will once again have limited ammo, and survival focus. This is just for some zombie killing fun (and there are LOTS of them)! I don't really require too much feedback on this, this is just for fun. Though general mechanics annoyances or ideas feedback are still welcome :)

    PS. I'll probably start supporting web builds again starting next update.

    Thanked by 1konman
  • I'll just leave this here:

    It's my first video, hopefully the next one will be cooler :)

    Cool new survivors buddies at 1:36 to end.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • I think it's time for a new update. The single player has been slightly expanded. The biggest feature here though is multiplayer over LAN. Full testing with more than 2 people is still required (also some balancing issues, the game might be a little on the hard side, but definitely playable with 2 people who are used to the game). So for anyone trying the LAN, if it seems to go out of sync, please send me the log files in the data folder. Also I'm looking for feedback on the feel of the multiplayer. So far it seems well received among my peers at least.

    Just some issues to watch out for, if you host, your firewall might block the game. Also, disconnects, and a player leaving the game is not yet successfully handled (session will break), though a single LAN game should work fine over a stable connection.

    If you are going to try out single player, please give me feedback on the survivors. They might do weird things now and then, like get stuck in corners.

    PC Download - prealpha v1.10.6

    Short term to-do list (fixes):
    - Sync up items for LAN players (currently each has their own loot)
    - Add survivors to multiplayer games
    - Fix/complete save functionality for single player games

  • Hi all

    An artist (@princeXD) has joined the team! I suppose it wasn't a team before, but is now :P . He said he will introduce himself soon, but I'm jumping the gun and showing off his concept characters. These are some of the characters he has drawn:

    He will be trying his hand at producing some spritesheets next, but I'm fairly confident he will manage it, seeing he has surpassed my expectations :D
    Main character.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 313K
    Thanked by 1Boysano
  • Here's an update containing mostly LAN multiplayer fixes and implementation. The game states should not be entirely synced up (players now share items, also AI-survivors have been added to multiplayer). I've play tested it quite a lot, and this build should run just fine, for at least 2 LAN player (possibly more, haven't tested).

    I'll probably be asking some really big questions in the near future, which I would like feedback on.

    Download: Grave Days PC prealpha v1.10.10
  • edited
    It's been long since I last updated this. Life got in the way of development for quite a while, but quite a lot has changed since the last update regardless (not like a super lot, but some vital things). For one, the control scheme and view has been changed, you can see the new look in the video:

    We are in the process of pushing for our first alpha release, with a slightly more polished demo, including:
    - A cool main menu and better GUI overall
    - Refinements of the current sprites and sprites for all the character classes
    - A handful of quests + very basic tutorial quest

    Also I'll undoubtedly implement some bug fixes, including the LAN and saving/loading not working anymore. Many of the bugs were due to me accidentally removing a commit (hard reset) from my git (Yay for git noobness).

    If you feel like giving it a try for feedback on the new view/control scheme, and whatever else that comes to mind, feel free to download it here :

    Finally, here's some eye candy:
    2000 x 1200 - 2M
    Thanked by 1Kobusvdwalt9
Sign In or Register to comment.