Dev-Log #7

Developing/Concepting Setting/Theme of AllNight

Hello everyone, thank you for tuning into another Dev-Log for Codename Allnight’s development. Today’s Dev-Log I’m going to talk about the setting and theme of Allnight. To begin, the setting is supposed to be a historically twisted present day North America called the Neo-Colonies. Where society should be in chaos borderlining nonexistence. In which, their access to technology is a cross between primitive and cutting edge technology. The theme is intended to support the setting by adding a mysterious feeling as an effect of the twisted past that resulted in the creation Neo-Colonies. When development first began for Allnight there was no setting or theme to the game, it was just a platform shooter. The story that goes with the game was created first. As a result the setting was already pretty much mapped out the only task was bringing the setting to life in game. To bring the setting to life first, the background and foreground was added. Next was making all the npcs and gameplay elements support the setting and establish the theme mentioned earlier.

 

Laws that govern the Neo-Colonies/Directly affect game-play

The Neo-Colonies run on laws called “New World Rules”. The New World Rules are not regular laws instead, it defines how the citizens within the Neo-Colonies should act. The rules’ creation  were a direct result from the dangerous factions that inhabit the Neo-Colonies with the citizens. Each faction is either the reason for the Rules’ creation or strictly adhere to some or all the rules.

 

Factions In-game

In game there are 6 factions or groups that make up the Neo-colonies. The first faction is the Sub-Living faction. They consist of two entities, the Human-Nature(Zombie type enemy) and Extreme-Sapiens(Skeleton Enemy). This faction is the sole reason why the chaos in the Neo-Colonies exists however, all regular factions have no idea how they were created or where they came from. The second faction is the Bandits, a violent human faction that has two main types. One bandit type shoots and holds up stores and merchants, the second bandit type takes smaller buildings as “Bandit Strongholds”. They also attack the player but, will only stab also, they will call other bandits if the player is close enough. Their presence inspired some of the New World Rules and the bandits themselves choose to follow none of the rules. The third faction are the Villagers, this faction is more of a neutral faction. The Villagers prefer to stay in groups and settle in houses relatively close in distance. The Villages strongly follow the rule of no communication therefore the only way to interact with them is to use the trade module to show them you will not harm them. They will also go inside at night because of the presence of Human-Nature. Next is the Nomad faction, they will spawn in groups but will eventually separate looking for a place to settle, once found they will “settle” and create a settlement. They technically have no set home and roam the world unarmed. They also believe in the rule regarding communication, meaning the only way to communicate with them is to use the trade module. The fifth faction is the Historians, they are the youngest and 2nd most powerful faction in-game. In addition, the player is apart of this faction. They have the skills to craft and use every console in-game. Their origins and existence are almost a complete mystery to the other factions in-game. The only way to figure out who they are and why they were created is to complete the story. *Spoiler* Their purpose is to get rid of the most powerful faction in-game. Leading to the last faction, called the Secret Society. The Secret Society is the basically the first iteration of the Historians but they were twisted by ill willed leaders, turning them into the main story antagonist. The Secret Society is the most powerful, skilled, and organized faction in-game. They choose to stay a secret from the rest of the Neo-Colonies treating anyone who tries to enter the Society as an enemy and using force to get rid of them. This makes them as dangerous as the Bandits but they are more hidden than the Historians. The goal of the story is to infiltrate the Secret Society and convert it back to its origins.

 

In-game Items support theme

The items in-game support the setting and help establish the theme. Firstly, there are three main materials in-game Wood, Stone or Rocks, and Iron. Since the advancement of the Neo-Colonies was halted there was no time to officially discover or create other materials that are present IRL. Not every faction has access to all skills and technology available in the Neo-Colonies. In fact, the only factions capable of crafting are the Historians and Secret Society. This adds to the feeling of disorganization and chaos by giving some factions more of an advantage and higher chance to survive. This also indirectly leads the Bandits to steal and loot since they are at an disadvantage, Also all technology is derived from the three materials in game, similar to the primary colors and how they make all other colors. An example would be the Uni-Gun(Only gun in-game), the gun is highly editable using barrels that can be made using the three materials to modify it’s firepower while, the upgrades required the same materials but it gives the Uni-Gun more abilities. None of the technology is supposed to be too advanced rather its supposed to exhibit the advancement of a society with barely any resources to advance in ways history IRL tells.

Conclusion

That’s it for today’s Dev-Log. Thank you all for tuning in and reading another installment. The release date trailer is coming soon since Phase 2 is coming to a close. Have a good one and remember to check back for the next dev-log.  

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Dev-Log #6

Phase 2 ending/ What is the “3 Phase plan”

Welcome back to another Dev-Log for Codename Allnight’s development. As promised in the last Dev-Log, I’m going to explain the current status and progress of Codename Allnight. Firstly, the development of Codename Allnight is 75%-80% done. This includes building the game as well as testing to get the most stable build possible for release. In one of the first Dev-Logs, I touched on the 3-step development process that I follow for the development of Allnight. The first phase was used to flesh out the entire scope of game and the game elements that would create the foundation of the game. To reduce stress and allow more focus phase 1 does not worry to much about the communication of each game function, focusing more on adding each element and making sure they function properly. Phase 2 is about making sure all game elements already added support each other rather than, make other aspects of the game harder to play. Phase 2 was concepted and integrated into Codename Allnight to deal with all the shortcomings of Phase 1. After Phase 2, Phase 3 will begin. Phase 3 is the last phase and can be one of the quickest of all 3 Phases. Phase 3 is all about testing the game for bugs and deciding if Phase 2 was accomplished correctly. If both go well then the game is ready for release. However, if bugs are present obviously they are corrected but, if Phase 2 was not implemented or done correctly then the entire development process goes back to Phase 2.  

 

Current Status of Phase 2/Steps involved

Before the start of Phase 2, there were primary beta tests to observe how well each game element communicated and supported each other. In addition, to observe what needed to be added to ensure that Allnight had reached what the scope of the game was.(See Dev-Log#2 for purpose and scope of game) Phase 2 for Allnight had started in August of 2018. Primarily there was only concepting work going on for what features needed to be adcropped-promo-pic-1-draft-2-copy.pngded and tweaked to get the game ready for release. Following the conceptual work, came integrating it into the game which, started around the first week of September. Currently, Phase 2 is coming to and end with all features being fixed and expanded to facilitate the true scope of the game. With that being said, most Dev-Logs cover phase 2 changes and uses that to explain the core game-play element that the fix is about.

Next Steps

With Phase 2 coming to an end, the final step before I end Phase 2 and start Phase 3 is getting a stable build where all major bugs introduced in Phase 2 are taken care of. Once in Phase 3, there will be a closed beta for game-play testing, story mode testing, and testing for bugs as well. In addition, since development is finally calming down I will have more time to cover content on the game so everyone can get as much information before Codenight Allnight releases. At this point there is a build for Windows that is almost stable for testing. Work on the Mac build started last week however, due to some porting issues the Mac build might not be available until after the release of the Windows build.(Sorry to all the Mac users.) Lastly, with phase 2 ending I will be working on the next trailer to tease most game-play elements of Allnight and announce the release date.

 

Closing

That’s it for Dev-Log#6, once again thank you for tuning into another Dev-Log! Stay tuned for more information on Codename Allnight. Also see you next time for another Dev-Log!

 

Dev-Log #5

Happy Thanksgiving!

Firstly, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading and thank you for tuning in to another installment of CodeName AllNight’s Dev-Log! Let’s get right into it, today I’ll be discussing controls and different aspects of the UI for Allnight.

Menu information/ Shortcomings(Phase 1)

CodeName Allnight’s gameplay is largely centered around the menus that the player accesses both with the keyboard or by clicking different consoles around the world. The player has access to 6 menus through keyboard shortcuts which are the, Bag, Skills Challenges, Crafting Menu, Inventory and Stats. Each menu when first added, had a seperate keyboard shortcut. This was the biggest shortcoming of the menu system when first implemented in Phase 1 of AllNight’s development. Another drawback to this was the keys would confuse the testers and would conflict with other gameplay elements such as, movement and object interaction. The second part to the UI is the menu or HUD as it is called on instagram posts. The UI shows the player’s current health, armor points, item equipped, amount of item equipped, food points, and an option to eat. The HUD was also where the user accessed the inventory. Before Phase 2 changes, the inventory was similar to a mobile run n gun inventory where, the inventory showed every item type and would either display the item picture or locked when the player had none of the item in their inventory. When the inventory was displayed it would conflict with the visuals of the game. In addition, as more items were added the inventory took more space on the game screen. Phase 2 addresses all of the shortcomings and bugs of the UI implemented in Phase 1.

InventoryTut003
HUD and Inventory system first introduced to CodeName Allnight.

Phase 2 changes to Menu/ UI

The first change was memory issues with every menu that could be accessed. Initially every menu was only hidden on the gameplay screen were made visible when accessed. As a result start up of the game was dramatically slower with each menu added. To address this problem every menu was moved and only created when called, so the information wouldn’t be needed at the start of the game. The next change was the “Menu Binder” which, takes every menu the player can access through keyboard shortcuts and displays them with an option to access each one in one menu that only needs one key to access. The menu binder addresses the problem of too many keys for menu shortcuts. Now, it’s optional to use the keyboard shortcuts to access the menus while the Menu Binder gives the easiest way to access all menus. To fix the inventory portion of the UI the inventory was moved to an its own menu. With the option to equip items and move items from the inventory to the bag and vice versa. As a result equipping items is much easier. The first reason is now you can see the amount of the item you have before you equip it. Secondly, The menu allows higher organization so now only items that are currently being used or are really important can be put in the inventory. The final change was to the HUD. The change implements a cleaner HUD that easily shows character information including the type of armor the player has equipped. The main reason the HUD was changed was to facilitate the rest of the UI changes made. Below are screenshots of the Updated HUD and new Menu Binder.

 

MenuBinderShowcaseHudAfterPic

Thanks For Reading!

That’s it for this entry of Allnight’s Dev-Log. Thank you for reading and supporting CodeName AllNight’s development. Major information of the status of Development in the next Dev-Log so stay tuned. Happy Thanksgiving! =)

Dev-Log #4

Introduction to Resources

Welcome back to another Codename Allnight Dev-Log! Today I’m  going to talk about resources in Allnight. Resources are essential to the player’s progression and survival in Allnight. They are used to make all the housecubes, most weapons, armor and other items in- game. There are three primary resources found in Allnight which are wood, stone, and iron. The most common way to obtain the resources or materials as they are called in-game is to collect them from trees and rocks. With looting, you can find boxes of materials in some houses. Be careful, when you die you lose all materials and possessions in your bag.

Resources and their Shortcomings

Before Phase 2, resources were pretty finite only getting most from trees and rocks found in game. The biggest factor to the resources being finite is that the unless new generation is attempted the trees and rocks will not spawn or grow back from where they were cut. The only environment that constantly re-spawns rocks for the player is the cave. However, there was still no way for trees to regenerate. In addition, the only way to prosper was to settle next to the cave environment and hope for the best or just keep exploring. However, that conflicts with the flexibility that Allnight’s play-ability is supposed to have.  

Phase 2 Changes to Resources

With Phase 2, two items were introduced to deal with the shortcomings of the generation logic that runs Allnight. The first is a new item called “Growboxes”. Growboxes allow for the player to plant seeds that can grow into fruit trees or trees that produce wood. This adds the possibility of unlimited trees in-game which results in unlimited wood if farmed well enough. The second is apart of the NPC change but focuses on adding more renew-ability to stone and iron. The item is called a “Material Gatherer”, using wood for fuel it “extracts ” stone and iron from the ground. Thus creating a passive way to gather all three primary resources while, being able to play any way you want. Below there is a quick screenshot of the Material Gatherer sprite.

MaterialGathererTeaserPic

Conclusion

Thank you for joining me for another Dev-Log. Your continued support is what makes Allnight’s Development possible. Lastly, stay tuned in a few Dev-logs I will be announcing the official release date for Allnight.

Dev-Log #3

Goal for World of AllNight(Start of development)

When Allnight was initially started it was supposed to only be a run-n-gun. More specifically, it was only supposed to be capable of killing enemies and upgrading firepower. After the decision was made to develop Allnight for release it was obvious that the game-play and the world needed to be expanded. The new goal for the world of AllNight was an immersive 2d world with a history that impacted the world the user plays in. One of the initial changes was the story. The story was made with the intent to explain the state of AllNight, and provide organization to developing AllNight’s world. The story mode explains the skeleton entities called, Extreme-Sapiens, and the zombie type entity called, “Human-Nature”. Also, the story was used to create the hidden faction, the Secret Society. After the first round of testing, it was decided that AllNight wasn’t ready because it failed to meet the scope of how it was envisioned.

World Expansion for Phase 2

Rather than trash the project, which was completely out of the question we pushed back development of AllNight. Which, led to the implementation of the 3 phase plan. Phase 2, includes running through the world and how the player interacts with the world with a fine-tooth comb.(See previous Dev-log for Phase 2 information) The first problem with interacting with the world was access to items. The challenge with this was allowing more access to items without defying the logic set in-game. Leading to more in-game events such as, secrets and boss events. Secrets introduces hidden challenges that upon completion give the player higher tier items for material gathering and survival.

The next main focus for world expansion in phase 2 was expanding the current world, giving the player more to do if the story mode isn’t followed. The boss events was the function to help fill this void. With boss events, it introduces powerful enemies and good drops that fit in with the story but, don’t need the story missions to be accessed. A screenshot of the event’s enemies is below. 

ElderLivingPromoPic

The final major focal point of world expansion in Phase 2 is deeper NPC interaction. NPCs were present prior to Phase 2 but they’re interaction was very limited. Also, the player’s faction the Historians had almost no NPCs. In addition, there was no way to really know what the “mission” was or how far the “mission” goes back.. With Phase 2, NPCs were split up into three general groups, commoners, specials, and enemies. Each group has a clear way to identify their class. With the commoners barely having any functions other than trade. The Special NPCs will provide information or further the player’s progress. While enemies, aim to take out the player. These three major focal points is what helps bring CodeName AllNight to life.

Conclusion

As always, thank you for reading the Dev-log for CodeName AllNight. We hope you tune back in for later posts and more exclusive insights to the development, and world of CodeName AllNight. In the meantime make sure to check out the social media accounts for more content and coverage on AllNight. Once again, thank you for the support it is deeply appreciated.