Grave Days Updated Roadmap
Seeing as I have made some progress into the previous roadmap I have shared nearly a week ago (https://denzilb55.itch.io/grave-days/devlog/27200/grave-days-development-roadmap) I feel that it is time to send out an updated roadmap.
Of the 3 updates I have discussed in that roadmap, I have already put out alpha 0.2.0, which was focused on improving input and also some core gameplay elements (how things "feel"). The exact details of the actual release can be found here: https://denzilb55.itch.io/grave-days/devlog/27121/version-012-released
From that list, I have ticked most of the boxes, except for actual boxes! Or rather, the in game chests with random loot. I didn't have time to get it into 0.20 before my planned released date, so initially decided to push it out to the world generation update (0.4.0). I have since started work on the next update, which is the lighting update. The focus of this update is to improve the dynamic lighting & visibility system in a few ways. In short, their stability was improved (they no longer jitter as was the case before), the performance is much better, and they are nice and smooth with blurred edges.
The results look pretty good in my own opinion, so I am happy to let it rest for now. I also think the performance is good enough to allow for local co-op in the future with multiple vision systems running at once.
Seeing as I am quite ahead of schedule with the lighting update, I am going to try and throw in some extras:
- Game pause / unpause
- Experimental mouse + keyboard controls where the player always moves towards the mouse (will be able to switch between this mode and the current WASD mode)
- End game screen saying how many days you have survived
- Full screen effect indicating fever and possibly near death (low health)
- Basic UI elements for health, hunger and possibly stamina (at least temporary place holder components until I have a nice UI design)
Following this update, the plan was to start work on the new world generation update, and also include the chests and loot in this update. However, I have decided to push the world generation update out by one, and squeeze in a much more fuller featured chests and loot update in between. The focus of this update will be to add chests with random items that you can collect will exploring. The contents of which will be the usual collectables like ammo, food and bandages. I will also include guns here - and introduce some new weapon types (shotguns, baseball bats, etc) though I might not make sprites for them just yet, since I am in the works of getting a dedicated artist. So far, this is what I am looking at:
Local Co-Op Update
I think the game can benefit greatly from local co-op. I plan to eventually do both split screen and shared screen modes, but for a start I think I'll just implement one of these. In shared screen mode, there will be a main player and a supporting player. The game is lost only when the main player dies, and the supporting player may be rescued in certain ways.
The next update will include NPC survivors. Depending on how much work this turns out to be, I might need to split this update into parts. The idea will simply be to first add survivors that interact with the zombies (fight & flee), and should be able to do some basic trading with the player, and should be able to be recruited by the player to follow them.
Survivor's World Update
This will just expand on the survivors a bit and make them feel more at home. They will have better trading systems and basic simulated emotions (trust, distrust, fear etc). Some will wander around, some will be hostile, some will be friendly, some will be in need, some will be in their own homes.
Base Building Update
This update will allow players to build very simple bases, perhaps with some fences, tents, camp fires and storage boxes. They will act as a base for recruited survivors and the player will be able to send them out to scavenge.
This update will start adding roguelike elements to the game. Already you have randomly generated worlds, but some persistence will be added in between plays. Dead characters will return as survivors in future play throughs, you might discover an old base again, there will be unlockable items that persist through play-throughs - for instance, after the first time you bought a shotgun, you might get lucky in future play throughs and find one randomly in a loot chest. The game might also persistently get harder, as the zombie virus might mutate and become worse. Different games will be managed from the main menu as different worlds or profiles.
Crafting and Management Update
This update will add some crafting mechanics and allow the player to transform scavenged items into more useful tools or weapons. You might be able to manufacture ammo out of junk, or plant herbs for medicines too. And the survivors you recruit might become a workforce to help establish a manufacturing hub for your gang.
Bosses and Missions
Add boss zombies and survivors that will challenge you and possible missions to face them (or missions to win their loyalty).
Military and Gang bases
Not much though put in here yet but the idea is to have survivor gangs or military bases to visit with some of the above features in place.
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