With the foundation for Ch.1 - Ascent nearing completion and things coming together quickly for Ch.2 - Caves, I thought what better way to celebrate than to show everyone my progress? So with that I present to you my second major media release, along with some excellent information!
My biggest concern throughout development so far has been the inclusion of Tanks and Witches. If I couldn't build around the way they are supposed to be presented, I couldn't provide a genuine Tank/Witch busting experience.
One of the first things I tried was manually spawning them in. This worked for a while, I had all the binds set up to do it properly, but I just felt that it was missing something... Or there was something that wasn't being done. To this day I still don't know what that something is, but that's fine by me. Perhaps I was just ruining the suspense for myself.
A big breakthrough came when I learned about nav mesh marking, the THREAT mark in particular. This mark allowed Tanks and Witches to spawn in and around the area of the THREAT mark. That alone wasn't enough as I'd found out later on when I'd done more research. Looking at custom maps was an excellent resource and learning experience for me, and eventually I'd put two and two together and finally realize that renaming the map so it's a Versus Mode map allowed for the automatic spawn of Tanks and Witches, provided there were THREAT markers of course! However, this method had one major flaw - its a Versus Mode map now, I had Tanks and Witches but I didn't have the other three bosses. While this might be enough for some, it definitely wasn't enough for me. :) But I as dry out of ideas, it was either Tanks/Witches and no Hunters/Smokers/Boomers, or Hunters/Smokers/Boomers and no Tanks/Witches. I figured it was a long wait until the SDK at this point.
Then just a couple days ago out of nowhere, Felios over at l4dmaps.net posted just the thing I was looking for - a pre-SDK solution to one of my biggest worries. I set to work right away and implemented one of the biggest breakthroughs in the campaign development, fully automated Tank and Witch spawning! A big thanks to Felios, as he's helped me streamline development a whole lot. I no longer have to worry about manually doing anything while enjoying the fight with all five boss infected.
So! While all that was going on, work on Caves has been continuing at an ever steady pace. While its brushwork is still very much rough around the edges at this point, I have mostly decided on a direction to follow with the look and feel of this one as well. Of course, it can't go without some kind of proof right? :) Here's a select three concept art pictures from various parts around Chapter 2 - Caves.
While I'm at it, I'm also throwing in a new video for you! Major milestones are showcased within the vid, and I could make an entire post longer than this one to list them all (but I wont ;>). Most importantly as you'll see from the Tank battle! Oh and don't worry too much about the short panic events, it will all become more difficult as I start adding props and other decorative obstacles.
Recognize the Tank music, anyone? :)
On the playtesting front, I've officialy brought on a guy who's going to manage everything on that side of things for me (he's also doing my videos for media releases) - easily a good thing for me which means I can concentrate more on the campaign while getting feedback from a wide range of players. :) But that wont be for a while, you don't have to worry too much until you hear it here first!
This is about the point where I'd start working on the next chapter in the campaign, and my next media release will definitely show off a lot of stuff from there! So stay sharp, and be on the lookout around here for Chapter 3 - Labs.
As always, you can email me at: grabbinpills [at] hotmail [dot] com