January 2017 Progress Update

Alex here with a Derelict Zones development update. That’s right, Derelict Zones is alive and doing well!

Apologies for the radio silence since our last update, but we wanted to focus all our efforts on the design and development of Derelict Zones. We’ve reached a point where we’re ready to start showing some fresh glimpses of the game, and most importantly, getting the game into the hands of players.

We’ve had a couple of major developments in the game since our last public showing. The biggest change in terms of gameplay is the core player turn. Cards are now used to represent actions on each character’s turn – Move, Attack, Defend, etc. – and a player can play up to two cards on their turn. There’s also one-time use special cards that players have to carefully choose when to play. Turn order is based on each crew member’s and enemy’s speed scores, and this is displayed on screen for the player to take into consideration.

The second major development since our last public outing was developing proper 3D models for all game characters and objects in the main combat stages, which has led to vast improvements in the visual department. The 3D models are essentially the flat 2D game pieces we had in our original design, but extruded into 3D space to make them feel like proper cardboard cutouts. The lighting and shadows achieved by having the models in 3D makes a dramatic difference in making them feel like part of the scene, rather than sprites juxtaposed in 3D space.

Since May of last year, we’ve focused all our efforts into making a proper demo of the game, which takes its form as a chapter from early on in the game. We felt this made a good choice because it teaches the player core gameplay mechanics as well as introduce them to the story and characters. In other words, it’s a solid vertical slice we could present players that gives a complete experience of the game: from the intro cutscenes to stage combat to weapon upgrades.

While we continue to fine tune the demo, we’ve also been carving out some of the other levels of the game, applying techniques and lessons learned and from building out the demo. This in turn has helped further refine some of the games systems, which is a really nice side effect!

We’ll be announcing more information about some upcoming opportunities to play the game, so as they say, “Please be excited.”