Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Quick Update!

Just a quick update!

Things are moving along quite well at the moment. I've been spending as much time as I can in between moving house, city & jobs to try and get the next incremental prototype done. At this stage i've been sorting out the rendering engine, collision systems and squad mechanics which hopefully should put us in a good position to start seeing the seeds of gameplay bear fruit..

Other than that I've been doing some thinking about the Xbox360 version of the game & regarding some additions and alterations i'd like to make. Predominantly regarding the prospects of multiplayer since I feel the structure of the game would really be suited to supporting simultaneous 4 player action. However this would consequently provoke further design changes which could be made in accordance (to balance out the restriction of locking a single player to a single merc by adding another layer to the squad system which enhances the experience in another way...) This is all speculative however and may or maynot happen depending on what's resolved once I discuss it with rooster properly, but I do think it could be really cool to play coop (and maybe add online coop support depending on whether MS get their act together and add network support to GSE.. /pipedream..)

Anyways I'll be pushing hard on development in the next few months so hopefully we'll have some new media to showcase soon..

Friday, 13 July 2007

SmashCrew - What's It All About?

The best way to describe SMC would be a cross between "the chaos engine", "syndicate wars" & "cannon fodder"..

You take control of the smash crew; an elite mercenary group tasked with exploring abandoned space stations/ships, battling hostile inhabitants and ultimately scavenging resources to be used as a source of currency (can be used to purcahse weapons, upgrades and equipment). We have a pretty neat story which ties into the game too but this will be revealed in detail at a later date..

Some of the game features are as follows:-

[ Game ]
  • Control a squad of elite mercenaries and wield some of the most sohpisticated weapons in the galaxy
  • Use squad based tactics to separate your unit into upto 3 mini-squads, leveraging a strategic advantage to take down the meanest foes
  • Incorperates a recruit system allowing lost men in the field to be replaced back at the base with new units
  • Customise each recruit, giving each a unique dogtag (alias), equipment and weaponary
  • Character development system allows your mercs to advance in rank as they progress through more and more battles (improving their stats such as accuracy, health etc)
  • Recover salvage from expeditions to be used to purchase equipment, weapons and upgrades for your team
  • Explore a wide range of locations such as military, scientific and civilian spacestations/ships which play host to a wide variety of enemies (from space mutants, to robotic sentinels and even other mercs)
  • Randomisation system to allow levels to be generated so that no two levels will ever be the same (Provides High Level Replayability)
  • Document system tells the story through documents and notes recovered throughout the levels (replaying the game will reveal more and more of the plot)

[ Tech]

  • Supports both K/B & Mouse and Xbox360 GamePad in ether Windows or Xbox360 (No m/b + mouse) mode
  • Non-realistic, stylised rendering with post-processing
  • Supports rigid body dynamics on selective objects
  • Procedural level generation framework incorperating support for xml based heuristic definitions

That's all the information we're revealing for now. Stay tuned for more details in the near future!

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Progress: First Prototype!

Well things have been moving quite slowly so far on the smash front. Had a few minor delays here and there (got alot going on at the moment...) but luckily things have settled down a bit and as a result we've been cracking on hard to try and get back up to speed.
At the moment i'm almost done fleshing out the basic systems (for control, setup and rendering) and pretty soon we should be in a state where we can start testing mechanics and working through the flow of gameplay.
Overall I'm really impressed with how fast XNA actually is in terms of productivity. Coming from a C/C++ & DirectX background, its just bewildering to see that what would have usually taken me around a week to write, I can do in a matter of an hour or so and get everything up and running as intended. Although we still have a ways to go before the game is at a position where we can start showing it off in motion, things are moving along very well and with a bit of luck (and alot of unpaid man-hours stolen from our personal lives) we should hopefully be able to come up with something really impressive..

Lastly I'd just like to leave you with a quick screendump rooster did as a style test...:-

Don't forget to check back soon for more updates!