This year is my 5th time participating in 7drl. I wanted to make a zombie survival game inspired by The Walking Dead. The thing I like about TWD is the interesting characters, especially villains. The most important choice the characters have to make is often to who to let into their group.
So the primary goal was to make a party roguelike with interesting procedural characters (not all of who you necessarily want in your group).
In Zurvivors, you start as a parent and their child. Your goal is to get the child to safety, even if the parent doesn’t make it along for the ride. As you wander the wilderness, you encounter pack of zombies, roving gangs who want to kill you, and desperate survivors who want into your group. Taking in the wrong people could be disastrous.
Over the previous 4 challenges, I’ve done pixel art, simple shapes, and ASCII. Instead I decided to try out an interesting quasi-3d technique I had read about last year. Zurvivors has NO 3d models, at least not in the traditional sense. Rather each tile is composed of up to 100 distinct 2D layers that can be rotated and shifted independently. For Procjam I made a tool that generates trees out of layers and I reused the code to generate trees and buildings for Zurvivors.
Performance wise, it’s not spectacular… at least with each tile being composed of one hundred 256×256 pixel textures. But it seemed to work well enough for a turn based game. The benefits are pretty nice though. No 3D modeling and yet I get a reasonable 3D effect, plus shadows come along for free.
One other graphics win: I drew the ground tiles using GIMP. It turns out the “Make Seamless” feature is awesome for making tiles.
Some cool features this year:
- A day/night cycle with increased zombie activity at night.
- Road system. Driving is great if you have the gas.
- Individually modeled appendages that can get broken, bitten, or amputated.
- Complex emotion system. Do something bad to one of your group members may result in people who like them hating you.
Things that didn’t work out great:
- The combat is a little hard to understand and, well, way hard right now.
- As usual, the scope was way too big. There were several features I didn’t get implemented. A bunch of traits have been left unimplemented, but they sort of work as flavor.
You can play Zurvivors here.