Sunday, August 31, 2014

Let's Try A Sidescroller

I've been struggling with combat for quite some time now. And after some serious thought I think that maybe the problem is just the game 2D perspective. From day one, Bloodhunt is rendered using a 2.5 D perspective, which is typically used in JRPG exploration. However, this 2.5 D perspective has some inherited problems (8 directions of movement and attack, back-walls bein invisible, side-doors being 1 dimensional) which complicate real-time combat. Of course, these problems can be tackled (let's take Shock Troopers as a reference)

So instead of a 2.5D I tried a simpler 2D perspective, a side-scrolling view just like in Zelda 2.

Here's a first mockup of the 2D side-scroll Bloohunt. Now, the Santa Monica streets are much simpler to explore since I've removed all volume and tridimensionality (now you go left and that's all). Some platforms in the form of trash containers, barrels, and fire escape stairs allow the player to climb up buildings to avoid security cams or enemies (these punks around the fire). In the background, the moon and the night sky indicate how close we are to the dusk (when the sun rises, all vampires including the player character start to burn like a cigarrete). In the mockup, I've portrayed two players (the female Brujah and the female Toreador) just as a test of a 2-player cooperative layout (now there's plenty of room for both players).

The side-scrolling mockup seem promising, so I've jumped to Unity and managed to assemble a platformer test level to see how these assets work together. Here's a quick test of collisions, movement and crouching (which will used to avoid bullets or sneak pass enemies).

Also, I've implemented a small camera detection mechanic. The security cameras show a green light in the zone they are recording. If a vampire (except Lasombra) steps in the camera view angle the green light of the camera starts blinking in red. After a brief time, the security cam alerts the security guards, bringing more enemies to your current location.

 Also, I took some time to take advantage of the wonderful lighting effects of Unity. Here's a GIF showing how the fire of the barrel tints the player when she is close enough.

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