It’s been a long time since we’ve had the chance to update the main site for ZDay, in truth the game has gone through a very tough time this last year or two with the loss of several of the development team. Our loyal community members have kept us going though and making sure we stay motivated and working hard, for those that haven’t been following the forums then let me just say emphatically;
Z DAY IS NOT DEAD
We’ve gone through a major rebuild and transformation this last few months – we’ve got some great new developers and the game has now been converted to the Unity game engine with some amazing results. This gives us a great platform and a great team to be able to develop and build much much faster than we were able to before, making the release of ZDay not only possible but probable.
The game has never looked so beautiful, it’s been a huge step forward and we’re really pleased with the results we’re getting from Unity. The workflow for developing within Unity is great and allows us to develop much faster than we have been able to before even while we’ve been learning how to use the new engine.
Progress in Unity
We’ve taken some huge steps in getting the game running in Unity; the artwork, sound & music took a long, painful time to convert over item by item but I’m pleased to say that’s all been done now, even the BSP based interiors and buildings are all converted. The map is coming together nicely – real nicely in fact and I would say it’s looking the best it ever has been and we’ve a huge slice of the map placement already complete.
For the first time since it feels like we’re using a game engine that really does make development easy, building prototypes to test out ideas is a pleasure and we quickly had a prototype of an FPS with some AI running around to shoot at and even had that playable in a browser. We’ve since scrapped both the FPS and AI parts of that and have a new FPS system up and running that we’re really happy with. We’re turning into real advocates of Unity and just how much it helps small indie game developments; things just work.
You’ve probably noticed that the website has altered and we’ve got a whole new look and feel to the site but the change is more than cosmetic. It was a pain on the old site to post news as it meant altering the code for the site and therefore it didn’t happen, we’ve moved to a completely new backend that makes posting news and images very simple and will allow us to quickly update the site as needed.
Where to next?
With the conversion to Unity complete and the basics of an FPS in place the focus can shift more into the game play elements. Next on the agenda is the A.I., inventory and torchlight systems as these are key elements to the game. The A.I. system we had running for our prototype got bogged down with around 50 Infected chasing you down so that needs a ground up rewrite so we can have hundreds of infected crawling the city thirsty for the blood of any survivors they come across.
The question we always get asked is when will ZDay be released? It’s a question we usually avoid as working part-time on this as a hobby we just cannot commit to deadlines. This time though it feels much different, we’re hoping that before Christmas we’ll be able to release a single player version to let our community members have a run around, shoot some zombies and test how the map feels, looks and plays. Whilst you guys are playing the single player version we can then develop the multiplayer version in the early part of next year.
If you want to find out more of what’s going on, or to support us, then please check out the forums and come say ‘Hello’. Thanks Everyone.