Tagged With zafehouse

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As some readers know, I also moonlight as an independent games developer, based out of Melbourne. At the start of this year, I began working on our studio's third game, Fear Equation, which we officially announced yesterday. The response has been positive so far, particularly on how sweet the visuals look. Sure, it can't compete with the latest AAA games, but we've spent a lot of time getting as close as we can... and here's how.

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It's been almost a month since we unveiled Zafehouse: Diaries to the world. It was one of the most important moments in my life, the foundations of which, measured in skills, experience and courage, were built over several years -- despite actual development measuring just 12 months. Now, three weeks on, the game hasn't taken the world by storm. In fact, a search of any major gaming site would suggest Zafehouse: Diaries doesn't exist at all.

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It's pretty much do or die for my fledging studio and its first game, Zafehouse: Diaries. Earlier this week we took a massive step -- posting Diaries to Greenlight and letting a short demo out into the wild. At this point, emotions are rampant, more than I can describe in a sentence. All I know is that my life is at a crossroads. If we bomb, it'll be hard to recover from. If we succeed, well, that's the dream, isn't it?

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Classification. Unless you're Bethesda, in the professional game-making business, it's something you just don't worry about. It's the publisher's job to send the right materials to the correct organisations, pay the fees and deal with any fallout. Of course, when you don't have a publisher, the burden sits on your shoulders and, while we were expecting some sort of expense to get Zafehouse: Diaries classified in Australia, $110 short of a grand came as a shock.

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For the past nine months, myself and one other have been working on an indie PC-only game called Zafehouse: Diaries. We announced it, quietly, at the start of last week and the plan to release it in the next few months. We have a website, a forum, a Twitter account. The online basics, as it were. Most importantly, we have a game-thing. Why, then, am I so completely terrified?

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Five weeks ago, I quit my job at Firemint, one of the world's top mobile game developers, to pursue a career in independent games development. Whether or not this rather insane decision proves to be my undoing... well, you'll be the first to know.

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Update: Zafehouse now has its very own website, zafehouse.com.

Everyone remembers Zafehouse, don't they? The free zombie survival horror simulator I coded in seven days? Well, turns out it was by far the most popular of the three titles that came out of the Game A Week feature, and there were plenty of people who submitted fixes and tweaks. I found myself with some spare time on the weekend, and decided to put together a version 1.5, incorporating the feedback I'd had on the game.

Originally, I just wanted to streamline encounters by removing the "next round" button and having things tick over automatically. But then I got another idea, and then another, and soon I found myself with a big list of changes, improvements and bug fixes.

I've included a complete rundown after the jump, but here's a summary if you can't wait:
* Buildings produce more resources, while raiding brings in less.
* Encounters streamlined, instant resolution button
* Zombie numbers increased.
* More shortcut keys.
* New scoring formula.
* New perk, and original perks improved.
* New building, the Church, which produces survivors.
* GUI improvements
* Numerous bug fixes (no more whipping from inside buildings)Download and enjoy!

Download Zafehouse v1.5 binaries.
Download Zafehouse v1.5 VB .NET source code.

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Update: Zafehouse now has its very own website, zafehouse.com.

Game A Week 2 is done. Done I say! Zafehouse is ready to be played by all.

As I said earlier in the week, this thing almost killed me. I had an idea that just exploded. I think the end result is quite awesome. Zafehouse has strategy, survival horror and, best of all, zombies. I love shufflers, I just love them to death, and I'm glad I got to put them into a completed game.

I have yet more plans for a version 2, which I'll release when it's done. For now, I have to get started on Game A Week 3. If you'd like to check out Game A Week 1, Wizkill, hit up this post.

Hit the jump for a development breakdown, hints and tips and unimplemented features, or download the game and give it a spin.

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This one's going to kill me, I think. May have been too ambitious. The mental image I had of Zafehouse, the next title for Kotaku AU's Game A Week feature, went fuzzy at about, oh, 3AM this morning. I almost freaked out believing I'd made some unplayable monstrosity. But, through the late nights debugging my arse off, I've managed to forge something I'd call "feature complete". Now I just have to playtest like mad.

Don't forget to check out Wizkill, the game from week 1, and make suggestions for other games I can make.

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Here's the second title I'm working on for Game A Week. It's called Zafehouse, and demands the player keep a bunch of survivors alive for 120 hours (five days) from zombie attacks, while hunting for weapons, ammo, food and other people. It will be primarily event driven, requiring the player to deal with infections, supply shortages and freak accidents. Securing buildings will be an important part of play, as not everyone can fit in the starting house!

I'd say I'm about 15% done at this point, so a lot of work to do before Friday.

Start thinking of game ideas guys! I still have a few ones I'd like to try, but I'm keen to see what you can come up with. Remember - seven days of development time only!

Update: I didn't even notice the game's random name generator had spat out "John Romero" for this particular run-through. To put this in perspective, there's a 1 in 4418 chance of this happening.