I didn’t get a lot of feedback for The Dead Miles, but what I did get says it all. The game isn’t fun. It was too statistical and not many people really enjoy interpreting data.
So, after taking a break to look at the game from a fresher perspective, I’ve decided to redesign it. Since the game is all about travel, I think the Travel stage requires the most attention. I have decided to add a few things to travel:
-The travel map will be randomly generated at the start of each game.
-Map locations will be hidden if you can’t see them, and in shadow until they have been explored.
-It will be more difficult to travel through forest, beach and crops.
-Safe havens will be randomly added at the start of each game.
-You score points when you discover a safe haven. You end the game when you discover all of them.
-Groups of zombies will be wandering the map. Collide with a group, and you will fight in the environment that you’re in. The proximity of zombies on the map increases your Fear when doing other actions in the game.
-The player’s line of sight will be limited to 3-5 miles, and will be blocked by forests, cities and crops. Unlike the combat screen, players will have 360 degree vision. If you can see a zombie group, they can see you, and will move towards you. Darkness will reduce how far the player can see.
-Factors like lack of sleep, calorie consumption/starvation, carrying too much gear, and sprinting fatigue will be reflected in travel speed.
-The control system will be simple. Left click to walk to a destination. Right click to sprint to a destination.
-There will be one menu button which leads back to the Planning screen. From there you can access the other game functions like inventory, searching, eating, napping, sleeping and rampage.
I was happy with the combat portion of the game. It looked okay, and was appropriately tense. I intend to change two things in combat:
-Two zombie death animations look horrible and need to be re-done.
-When a zombie dies on a fence, it shoots away at a fast speed.
Other than that, I have to look at the inventory system which, all of a sudden, doesn’t work.
That’s it. As always, your thoughts are appreciated.