I’ve been wanting to blog more about Hardline Gunner development and am going to try to commit to monthly updates. July has probably been one of the most productive months for HLG development. Here’s a recap of what went down.
On a whim I started playing around with a new 3D wall look for Hardline Gunner. I guess I got sick of looking at the same old 2D squares and wanted to see what I could come up with. The wire frame version was the ones that really stuck. It looked nice a clean, still maintained the, “everything is lines” style and made the game a little more interesting.
About 2 weeks ago I saw two amazing videos on game feel:
I’ve seen these videos before, years ago, but never took them to heart like I did this time. Hardline Gunner needed this. It has simple art and could really benefit from the small visual queues and game feel techniques mentioned. Also, most of these features didn’t require a lot of development. Immediately I could notice the difference in how the game felt. Everything that was happening in the game was being confirmed to the player by a flash, shake or pause. It all still needs a proper polish but the difference in game feel already proves that I’m on the right track.
Since all walls on the screen are visible, it becomes hard to hide a secret room or item from the player. To give me more non-linear options in level design and to facilitate a feeling of exploration and discovery, I’ve been experimenting with a few new types of walls.
Hidden Walls only show up when the player is close enough. Perfect for secret rooms or hidden passageways. The player can shoot them from far away and witness them temporarily show up but unless the player specifically searches them out, they won’t even know they exist.
Trick Walls exist only if they are not in the players direct line of sight. It may look like a room around a bend is a dead end but upon exploration it is revealed that the once existing walls no longer exists. These walls work well as doors to hidden rooms.
I’ve always loved how Teleglitch uses infinite height walls to block the player’s vision and create a cool shadowing effect. Since the change from 2D to 3D walls, this was something very easy to try out in Hardline Gunner. After implementation I could see how lost I could get in my own levels. Not being able to see past a wall really gave the game a sense of mystery and fear. Now I have something to use for the rare occurrences where I’m trying to get the player lost.
Screenshot saturday is my best source for motivation. Sometimes all it takes when I’m feeling burnt out is a break from coding and some show and tell. I’ve been trying to not miss a week. The motivation from the Reddit Gamedev community makes a solid difference on how much work gets done. Below is a link Hardline Gunner’s Screenshot Saturday posts for this month.
The new alpha demo should be ready by next week. Everything is finished except for some minor bugs, found in a private play test I held last weekend, that need to be fixed. A lot has changed since the last alpha demo was uploaded and I can’t wait to get this new one in your hands and hear what you think about it.