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News & Dev
November 5, 2012

How to hurt a zombie when it's down...

Good afternoon, good evening or good night to you, hearty and healthy Muldraugh Survivor! We’re here with a few slices of development news. Huzzah!

There’s still some NPC work to be done, dialogue to be bound into the game and some front-end work that’ll be needed before we can release RC3, but this week we’re really chuffed to be able to show you a video of what’s been worked on over the past few days from the cumulative efforts of Lemmy and Binky. We’ll let the video do the talking – which also showcases some of the new map (still WIP), as well as some of Romain’s fine weather work.


This gameplay vid shows some of the various changes we’ve decided to make to combat and zombie-kind in RC3 so that fighting is more fluid and danger is rebalanced. Here’s a grab-bag of what’s been done:

  • There’s a new downward floor swing/stab and shoot. Your chosen weapons and skills will now combine for a critical hit chance (a solid head shot, essentially) – this will be doubled when a zombie is down on the floor as they won’t be moving and melee attacks can be given some extra gravitational welly.
  • Without a chopping weapon like an axe it’s now very difficult as a starting non-combat character to flat out kill a zombie that’s still on its feet. The focus for survival will be to get them on the floor to deliver some ‘fatal’ blows to the head. Getting one zombie down and gifted with a leaky brain will be relatively easy (though not without risk) but multiple zombies will cause issues.
    These new mechanisms would probably prove frustrating in the current test build, with its massively mobile and unpredictable hordes, but should work absolutely fine in RC3. Zombie populations now make more sense depending on where they’re located – in this video the character is travelling deeper and deeper into town, which is a better area for loot but simultaneously more densely populated with deadheads. As such, with the new combat we’re driving up the danger of looting missions, while keeping lone straggler confrontations as more of an inconvenience – as long as if you’re careful. (And, in case you’re wondering, there will still be occasional Sadistic AI driven migrations to keep you on your toes!)
  • We’ve changed ‘aim’ so that it triggers when you’re holding the left mouse button (we’ve made sure that it won’t detect clicks on the UI, or swing your weapon when opening doors) and it already feels a lot better. It essentially means that you’ll have far better strafe mobility, and that you’ll only needing to worry about the mouse and WASD.
  • If people are still in love with the old ‘hold shift’ routine, however, then they’ll be able to toggle it in the options menu. While we’re on that subject, we’ve also made ‘mouse only’ play possible once again, and it’s now much easier. Clearly, however, implementing strafing when people play with the mouse alone will be a difficult design challenge for us in future – if, indeed, it’s possible at all.
  • Zombies are now far more likely to spread out when they approach you, meaning that they’ll be less of a shuffling death-train and more of an all-encompassing circle of soon-to-be screwed-ness.
  • You can now step over zombies, so if you’ve knocked them onto their back then your chances of escape aren’t quite as slim. Then again, zombies can step over those self-same downed zombies – so they’ve simultaneously become a little more dangerous when they’re in crowds.
  • In earlier versions of the game you could only shove when were holding a weapon. This wasn’t ideal, so now you can shove away with your raw bleeding arms to your heart’s content.

That’s the meat of the Monday update then, but be assured that dialogue, map-work, RingoD’s scripting, tile creation and whatnot are also ongoing. We’ll be back very soon with a chat with the amazing Mash ‘Marina’ Potato to talk Sea-Lion bites, trait icons, inappropriately placed riding stables and sombrero-wearing Guinea Pigs. There’ll also be a Community of the Dead post to reveal the winners of our Halloween costume competition.

Exciting times! We can’t wait for you to (finally) sink your teeth into what we’re working on. Sorry, as ever, for being coy – but as you can see in the video things are really coming together at the moment.

Love you lots x The Indie Stone x

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