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How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Release and discuss things you've made, including mods.
Zombie Dude
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby Zombie Dude » Mon May 17, 2021 5:08 am UTC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuxfWevJpSc

A video showing zps and me describing what I want to keep and what I want to ditch from that game.
Zombie Dude
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2021 2:20 am UTC

Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby Zombie Dude » Mon May 17, 2021 9:35 am UTC

Well, to throw an idea out there. How much would somebody want to be paid to make this mod for me?

It’s more that I want this game to exist than I want to learn how to make it myself. I don’t really know if I have the patience for that. Especially now that I realize how much work that would actually be for me.
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freem
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby freem » Mon May 17, 2021 1:57 pm UTC

Zombie Dude wrote:How much would somebody want to be paid to make this mod for me?


At this point, it's a complete game you want.
From what I understand, you need people able to:

  • do 3D graphics
  • do 3D animations (no, that's not the same thing as graphics)
  • do huuuuge maps
  • define a balanced gameplay between 2 very different teams (that's not easy task, unvanquished and before it tremulous exists since decades, and there are still gameplay changes done from time to time, to make it more balanced and funnier). This does not imply any coding, mind you, just, write the rules on paper and try to imagine them. This means defining things like max hp, damages done by attacks, damages done when falling, max speed, maybe stamina, how high should characters jump, gun's magazine's sizes, gun's ranges, do guns impact moves, and how do they....
  • do sounds (noises from zombies and humans, noise from objects and weapons)
  • do musics (this game looks like it have a pretty good athmosphere, and music is definitely an important tool here)
  • implement the actual gameplay (forking unvanquished or another game would be the easier way).

Hiring people to do those tasks won't be exactly cheap (and it's all only about creating the game, not advertising it).

What you can do (without needing to learn anything), on the other hand, is to try to do as many as possible of the gameplay rules (that's not easy, but you seem to have a pretty clear idea of those, so let's start with that), then find as many placeholders or already existing animated models (like this zombie for example) and sounds.
One way to know if you have enough of those models and sounds (I've looked at the video, there's a lot of them there) is basically to take a sheet of paper, draw a map the size you want on it (or use autorealm, it's a good tool to do 2D maps), and put there some squares, circles, whatever taking the space you'd imagine the models to take.

With all those steps done, you will already have done a huge work about creating your game.
The 2 next steps I would see are:

  • find someone to do a demo map that you would be able to use for actual testing
  • integrate changes after changes to, for now, the configuration files (which already define various things about health, stamina, speed, weapons, etc)

The point is not to have something clean and nice from the start, it's to put the basics together, so that you can do incremental improvements, which is how things are really done, open source or not (and open source does not means the dev is always open to community, that's a different topic, so you don't always see what's in dev even with FOSS devs).
Then you would have a start to work on, or to convince people to do work for you, paid or not. Yes, you need to convince people to work on something, even if you intend to pay them (because, when do you intend to pay them? Will you really, for a start? For how long?). Doing some of the actual and easier parts of the work can only help on that.

Of course, I've never built a game from scratch myself, I'm happy enough giving a hand sometimes to games I like, so maybe my view is completely wrong. I still think it's worth thinking about those points.
Zombie Dude
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby Zombie Dude » Mon May 17, 2021 8:20 pm UTC

My Twin Visions

Thank you very much for your reply. This is going to get wordy and long, but I will reply to each point clearly and directly. I am nothing if not maticiously detailoed in these matters. I have a vision. Some elements I'm still deciding on. But, I know what I want overall. I have a short term vision and a long term vision. So, I will constnatly being defining both. My short term vision is the "mod" vision of getting something 'quick and dirty' off the ground that works. A 'bare bones' skeleton of a game that can be tested and has core functionality. My long term vision is the "game" vision of a fully polished game.

freem wrote:At this point, it's a complete game you want.


Yes! Thank you for understanding this. People keep saying "mod" and while perhaps I can achieve all or most of this as a "mod" from a technical point of view, it really is a complete game that I want. People seem to keep fighting me on this point and I don't think that they really understand the entire scope of my project. You, on the other hand, really do. I can tell from reading your entire post. What I want is a Zombie 'sister game' to Unvanquished running on the same Daemon Engine.

My Audience

This is a niche game for a niche audience. Essentially, I want a Free as in Freedom replacement game for zps; considering that zps (and people who would like zps if they knew about it) are my audience. I essentially want to migrate the zps player base over to my game. I want to build a better zps. One that has a better future for allowing people to extend it because it will be on a Free as in Freedom engine rather than being stuck on valve's source engine. I guess there is no nice way to say this, but I essentially want to replace zps and pouch its player base by 'building a better mouse trap.' When I have something that works, I want to essentially go to zps and recruit testers from its player base directly. It's for them and me. So, I want them to play it and give me input on how to make it the game they want it to be. I have no idea how the devs would feel about this. But, the game has voice chat and as I play it I want to essentially be building a friends list of people I can recruit as testers 'on the down-low.'

My Ideology

I want to use entirely Free as in Freedom software because I like Free Software as an idea. I donate to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and have gained a lot of computer knowledge and great software from Free Software projects. I have read a lot of works from Richard Stallman and agree with the ideas he puts out there about Free Software. I have for more than a decade. But, I also grew up as a gamer and I want there to be more and better Free Software games.

So, it bugs me greatly that I am a hypocrite and still keep a windows 10 PC around to game on. I shouldn't have to. I keep it around right now for zps. But, even though zps is trying to get a "linux" version; that still doesn't deal with the fact that valve's source engine is still non-free software.

Also, I like playing zps, but I don't like some elements of it that I feel I can improve upon game design wise. (I mention these often in my video that you watched.)

So, my goals in creating this project are both ideologically driven and practical. I mostly assume the zps community won't care about the ideology, at least not at first. But, my hope is that they will enjoy the practical improvements.

Addressing Your Points, Point by Point, and how they fit into my Twin Visions

do 3D graphics

Mod Vision: This I do not see as required for prototyping beyond the barest bones basics of I need a Zombie Unit. The rest of the graphics can stay exactly the way they are for the time being. They are cosmetic, after all.

Game Vision: You make a great many points, that I do greatly agree with, on how graphics and sound create atmosphere. I want my game to replace zps, which means that I want my game to be Horror themed. I don't want it to be Sci-Fi themed. I don't want it to be Horror-Sci-Fi themed. I don't want this to be 'Zombies in Space.'

I can already highlight a kind if start goal and end goal list here. The start goal is not in the Mod Vision. This would start after the Mod Vision when I get into the beginning of the Game Vision. But, the Game Vision is going to be big and so there is kind of an 'Early Game Vision' and a 'Full Game Vision.'

Start Goal 'Early Game Vision.':

1: I want to a decent Zombie Unit. The Mod Vision will be a simply Zombie Unit that will just be a texture swap of the basic Unvanquished Human Unit to make him look like a Zombie for testing. I want to replace this with a well designed, good quality looking Zombie Unit. Ideally, I want several Zombie Units that the game will randomly choose so that all the Zombies don't look identical.

2: I want all buildable Human Structure to have their models replaced with Horror themed models. So, instead of the giant computer to buy items from; I was thinking a metallic supply locker to buy items from. That would keep the upright shape and be Horror themed. I want to keep the shape of things in mind so that we don't have to edit hit boxes. Just slot things into place as asset replacements. That should keep things more simple. I will have to take a look at each structure like this and figure out what can be swapped into place. Some things we might just have to change the texture on. The torrents look cool, maybe rough them up a bit and make them look a little more low-tech with the texture. If this gets going, I will need to do some thinking and make a list.

3: I want to replace the Human Unit model, as well as the Human weapons, tools, and armor with models that make more sense for the Horror theme.

4: I want to try to repurpose as many maps from Unvanquished as I can in a 'quick and dirty' way. Meaning, with as little effort as possible. This is so that we have something that better fits the theme. I looked through each of them and most if not all will work with some basic sky-box texture swap outs. If we can keep things in the snow, desert, or city; we can repurpose all or most of them. For instance, the space station one can have a city sky-line and be thought of as a monorail station. Delete the 3D models out of the background that look like satellites and that big space station you can't walk to and it's good. The rest of the maps largely just need the sky box texture changed. A metal facility is a metal facility, it can be a 'military testing base or science lab' out in the middle of a desert or in the basement of a corporation. If you rip out the sky box, a metal facility is a metal facility. There is really nothing in these maps that particularly scream 'Sci-Fi only' if you change out the space views outside the windows. This is, admittedly, not ideal. But, it will get us something to work with that at least technically stays in the theme without requiring a lot of map makers in the early days. I can honestly probably figure out how to do this myself in NetRadient. How hard can replacing sky-boxes and deleting some outside geometry structures that the players can't interact with be anyway?

End Goal 'Full Game Vision':

1: I want to create a User Interface with its own Horror graphics, music, and help text.

2: I want to create new maps from scratch based on concepts I liked from zps. Not that exact map layouts. But, rather, general ideas.

A: Movie Theater.

B: Urban Street.

C: Suburban Houses.

D: Barn and Farm.

E: Mental Ward And Or Hospital.

E: Grave Yard (maybe do one without a church and one with a church)

F: Abandoned Desert Shack.

G: Industrial Instalation (We can keep some Unvanquished Maps from the Early Game Vision for this.)

do 3D animations (no, that's not the same thing as graphics)

I know that 3D animation is not the same as 3D graphics. That said, this should be pretty easy honestly. Easy in the sense that we don't need a lot that's not already done for us already in Unvanquished. Basically Zombie Slash Attack from both the point of view of the Zombie in FPS view and for the 3D models when other people are looking at it. I suppose Zombie shuffle walk. But, we have the walk cycle from the Human Unit to toy with. Stick the arms out front like a Zombie and make the walk animation a little more like a Zombie shuffle.

Everything else is perfect the way that it is, at least for the Early Game Vision. The Fully Game Vision might need to toy with stuff like weapons animation and maybe item usage (like a Human sicking himself with an antidote or using a health pack) but these can be simple and quick animation that get the point across. I don't want to reinvent the wheel here so I think this will be a quick and easy step for us.

do huuuuge maps

No. Not really. At least, I don't think so. The maps in zps are surprisingly small to mid size usually. They do have some huge ones, but these are only ever for linear maps that are about escaping from point A to point B. Regular maps that are not for scripted escape missions are honestly not that much bigger than Unvanquished maps. If anything, they add some tunnel systems to themselves. Such as a grave yard church map having a tunnel system to an underground bunker. But, otherwise, everything is pretty small and tight. The small suburban house map has two houses and I think a boat garage.

I might have to make bigger maps if I reduce barricade numbers and strength; or straight up removing barricades entirely. I make a great point in my video about how annoying the barricades are. Yet, I am also honestly concerned about game balance and wondering if the strength and time it takes to break through the barricades contributes more to game balance than I think it does. This is where play testing on these regular sized maps sizes will tell me if I can get away with not making huge maps or not.

define a balanced gameplay between 2 very different teams (that's not easy task, unvanquished and before it tremulous exists since decades, and there are still gameplay changes done from time to time, to make it more balanced and funnier). This does not imply any coding, mind you, just, write the rules on paper and try to imagine them. This means defining things like max hp, damages done by attacks, damages done when falling, max speed, maybe stamina, how high should characters jump, gun's magazine's sizes, gun's ranges, do guns impact moves, and how do they....


I have been thinking a lot about this. A lot more thought will need to happen.

1: To start off with, I basically plan to create the Zombie Unit and stick it in there and hope for the best. That sounds horrible, doesn't it?

So, as time moves on, I do have same ideas to test. This actually goes back to the last point a lot as well.

2: My two main concerns right now concerning game balance is Human Defensive structures.

A: I think I do need a barricade that humans can construct, as much as I hate the idea. I think the Zombies will just overrun the humans too easily without it. Maybe have the two by four wood planks like zps. That, or a giant slab of wood.

I think the key thing here is to change the values often in testing for the strength of the barricade. It should be useful enough to hold the Zombies back a little a buy some time for the Humans so that it is worth putting up; but also not so strong that the Zombies just stand there slapping it forever like in zps. I think the real problem in zps is that these values are not tested and changed enough and lean way too much on being Human sided in zps. I mean, the Humans do have guns after all and can shoot Zombies at a distance. They don't need a wood blank with the strength of a slab of titanium like in zps. Also, we must take into consideration that in my game I won't be having ammo pick ups. Instead, Humans will earn cash by killing the Zombies like they do in Unvanquished for killing the Aliens and so the Humans will simply buy ammo at the locker where they buy their guns. So, skilled FPS players are really never going to be in any real shortage of ammo in my game; as long as they can easily make it back to the supply locker to buy more supplies. Because of this, barricade don't need to be nearly as strong as in zps because my game will drive my balance through the skill of shooting in an FPS game over hiding behind a barricade. This is why I hope to delete the barricade entirely. But, if push comes to shove in play testing; we can make a Human Constructable barricade and keep it pretty weak.

B: Torrents are a fun idea. However, they are way too powerful in Unvanquished for what I want in my game. They would shred the poor Zombies. I need to weaken them somehow. I hope to keep them so we don't have to delete them. There is always the classics, slow rate of fire and or make the damage of their bullets less. But, I have an inventive idea that might be even better. Play testing will tell. Story line wise, make them 'sound sensitive' instead of motion sensitive. Then, make it so the torrents only fire at Zombies that are not crouched.

This way, the Humans will need to baby sit the torrents so they can't just place torrents as a 'set it and forget it' solution to corridors and other openings. That would be way too easy for the Humans. So, make it so that crouch walking Zombies can just walk right by them. This will force the Humans to have to defend the torrents and patrol the line. If the Humans start shooting at the Zombies, the Zombies will try to run either towards the Humans to get past the torrent line or away from the Humans to get away. Either way, but standing up and moving (walk or run) the torrents will kick in and start firing a the Zombies. Also, to make it more fair, the torrents will also fire on Humans not crouch walking as well. This way torrents will not only be helpful to Humans, but also a liability. So, placing them and staying behind the line to patrol them will require the Humans to not be stupid enough to walk out in front of them. This could also be used by the Zombies who could try to sneak in another way and drive the patrolling humans into their own torrents. We can also raise the cost of building torrents to make sure Humans don't build too many of them. Again, play testing will produce balance when the feed back and listened to.

3: As far as actual, literal sound; Zombies should only make movement sound effects when running. Walking and crouch walking should be completely silent to let them sneak up on the Humans. Zombies are slow moving and melee only; so they need all the help they can get to actually get close to the Humans for an attack. I know this doesn't make exact sense that the Zombies walking regularly make no sound but still set off the torrents. But, I don't know how else to balance this. Maybe make Zombies make a really faint sound while walking that Humans could almost never really hear during regular game play that would satisfy the story line point that this sets off torrents too? I don't know.

4: I actually want to delete health pads. I'd much rather have health packs. But, I don't want health packs that can just be picked up. I want health packs that Humans can buy at the locker, carry with them, then use when they want to use them. I also want to implement the mechanic from zps where a couple Zombie Swipes have a chance to infect a Human and kill the Human and make the Human a Zombie if the Human doesn't administer an antidote in a short amount of time. It's a fun game play mechanic that gives the Zombies a little more help killing the Humans and adds some more tension for the Humans. The antidote will also be able to be purchased at the locker and carried with the Human.

So, I'm thinking two carry slots for each Human. One for a health pack and one for an antidote. They simply can't carry more than one each to keep game balance.

We can also achieve game balance by making an assortment of health packs and antidotes of varying qualities for varying prices. Heal 25% health, 50%, 75%, 100%. Each one grows in price to make them more out of reach. So, you have to manage your money between health and gear so that Humans are not just healing all of the time. That's what makes health pads too easy for my game and is why they have to go. Antidotes will be similar, but harsher. They will vary in chances of effectiveness. So, maybe something like 15% chance to cure, 30%, 45%, and 60%. Each will also go up in price. In this way, not even buying the strongest antidote for a huge amount of money is a guarantee. It's always a roll of the dice, but a higher costing antidote will give you a better roll.

I'm trying to decide if these items should be able to be dropped to given to other Humans. As well as if these items should be dropped by a dead Human. Part of me thinks they should just be locked to the Human buying them and disappear upon Human death. But, part of me also wonders if they should be transferable and dropped on the ground if a Human dies. The first idea will likely bring better game balance, but the second idea seems more realistic and team oriented; and might still be balanced enough to allow it to happen. I don't know.

5: I want to delete some Human weapons that I can't think of a Horror themed way of swapping assets for. Like, there really isn't anything Horror themed without getting into Sci-Fi that can replace a laser weapon. So, it will just need to be deleted.

I would need to keep thinking of more things. But, these are what I'm thinking about so far.

do sounds (noises from zombies and humans, noise from objects and weapons)

I intend to keep the sounds from Unvanquished at the start. Obviously there will need to be Zombie sounds. I will do these myself. Some sounds will need to be created from scratched or found and licensed. Like regular chainsaw instead of laser chainsaw.

do musics (this game looks like it have a pretty good athmosphere, and music is definitely an important tool here)

Agreed. But, I don't do music. So, what I have been doing these last several days is looking for Creative Commons music on Jamendo. I've found some interesting tracks. I think I can find more. I think they have the ability on the site to contact the authors to arrange licensing. This seems to me the only realistic way to get music. I don't know how they'd feel about licensing for a Free Software game with Free Software Assets. I'd essentially be asking them to open up their licensing for the track in a broader sense than they'd likely want. But, who knows, there are a lot of people trying to make money on Jamendo and if I explain the type of project this is and the goals of the project; maybe they'd be willing to make a deal and I could buy the rights for something reasonable. This would be something to do near the very tail end of development when basically everything else is done. I'm not buying a music license for a game that doesn't exist. But, if everything else comes together and I can get a reasonable price; I think this is how I'll get music.

implement the actual gameplay (forking unvanquished or another game would be the easier way).

Agreed, which is why I want to use the Daemon Engine and Unvanquished Assets and pair my mod with it to auto-load. (As well as do any engine side modifications if I technically need to. I'd ideally like to keep the functionality as mod-based as possible in hopes that [and this might not even be the case] it will be easier to transfer to newer versions of the Daemon Engine as they come out.) I chose the Daemon Engine and Unvanquished Assets because they are Free as in Freedom, they are already set up for Team Death Match, the Human Team already has RTS Elements, the graphic abilities of the Daemon Engine are capable.

Hiring people to do those tasks won't be exactly cheap (and it's all only about creating the game, not advertising it).

Honestly, I am only considering hiring someone for the coding (and as stated previously buying music rights.) I don't have a lot of money and the game will be released gratis. I don't think it can compete with zps if it isn't gratis because zps is also a download for no financial charge.

As to the point of advertising, word of mouth to zps players. That's really the audience and player base I'm making this for. At least initially. I might take out an online add somewhere if the prices aren't too bad and I can't get enough of a player base to find games in just by telling zps people about the game myself.

Just tag it Zombie, Free Zombie Game, Free Multiplayer, Zombie Survival, stuff like that.

What you [b]can do (without needing to learn anything), on the other hand, is to try to do as many as possible of the gameplay rules (that's not easy, but you seem to have a pretty clear idea of those, so let's start with that), then find as many placeholders or already existing animated models (like this zombie for example) and sounds.
One way to know if you have enough of those models and sounds (I've looked at the video, there's a lot of them there) is basically to take a sheet of paper, draw a map the size you want on it (or use autorealm, it's a good tool to do 2D maps), and put there some squares, circles, whatever taking the space you'd imagine the models to take.[/b]

I'm doing that here with game design ideas. But, I could likely do more if you wanted me to.

With all those steps done, you will already have done a huge work about creating your game.
The 2 next steps I would see are:

  • find someone to do a demo map that you would be able to use for actual testing
  • integrate changes after changes to, for now, the configuration files (which already define various things about health, stamina, speed, weapons, etc)

The point is not to have something clean and nice from the start, it's to put the basics together, so that you can do incremental improvements, which is how things are really done, open source or not (and open source does not means the dev is always open to community, that's a different topic, so you don't always see what's in dev even with FOSS devs).


It would be a wonderful world if I had all that stuff at the start. But, I really do think getting the code running first for a bare bones mod of the game is the first thing that needs to be done. Code, basic Zombie Unit. My Mod Vision as I said earlier. I will likely be trying to learn Blender to do the 3D models and animations myself as I have little money and feel more comfortable with working on that over time than learning to code.

What I need is a mod that at the barest basics.

Bare Bone Basics Code For My Game

Server Match Loop

1: Opens with the server automatically.
2: Greets players with a menu. (Showing them the number of players and the minimum number of players they're waiting for. Ideally lets them input a team preference.)
3: Waits for a minimum number of players to be reached and then starts the match.
4: Assigns the players to their teams (ideally letting players have a preference and trying to work with that preference while overriding that preference if necessary to create game balance.)
5: Locks players into their correct teams for the entire match.
6: Forces all joins during an in progress match into spectate mode for the duration of the match.
7: Transfers dead Human Players to the Zombie Team to be Zombie Unit Players for the duration of the match.
8: Displays for a short time, but long enough to read, which team won the match once an End of Match Event has been triggered.
9: Restarts the match at point # 2 where it greets the player with a menu. (At this point, everyone who joined the in-progress match will be taken to this menu also and allowed to play in this new match.)

End Of Match Events (Game Play Modes)

Implement the Fallowing End of Match Events to create the Game Play Modes and have them and their variables be changeable. (At least in a config file to start out with. Ideally, in the full game, I'd like a voting system where players can vote on the next game play mode and set it's variables themselves through votes. Then, they can also vote to do 'next map' and trigger the next game play mode if they don't feel like finishing the current game. Say, someone votes on something huge like a 10 hour time match. Then people get on the server and realize they want a 10 minute match and so they can fix it and move to the next map and play.)

For Time Mode, the two end of match events are time running out or Human Team being populated by 0 Players.
[If Time Counter Value = 0, then display message to everyone that 'Human Team Wins' and restart the server actions back to Step 1.]
[If Human Team Population = 0, then display message to everyone that 'Zombie Team Wins' and restart the server actions back to Step 1.]

For Communal Zombie Lives Mode, the two end of match events are Zombie Team's Communal Zombie Lives running out or Human Team being populated by 0 Players.
[If Communal Zombie Lives Value = 0, then display message to everyone that 'Human Team Wins' and restart the server actions back to Step 1.]
[If Human Team Population = 0, then display message to everyone that 'Zombie Team Wins' and restart the server actions back to Step 1.]

For Script Mode, the two end of match events are script being activated or Human Team being populated by 0 Players.
[If Human Team triggers script, then display message to everyone that 'Human Team Wins' and restart the server actions back to Step 1.]
[If Human Team Population = 0, then display message to everyone that 'Zombie Team Wins' and restart the server actions back to Step 1.]

(I've been calling it Script Mode, maybe just call it code sense there is no scripting language? A way to allow for maps to be created for the game and played that aren't Time Mode or Communal Zombie Lives Mode.)

Zombie Unit

A Zombie that can Swipe Attack.

The ability to either manually add their spawn points into the maps. Or, code to make their spawn points spawn in place of where Alien Eggs would default spawn on the maps.

Remove All Alien Structures

This will either need to be done manually for each map or as code to clear them out. Whatever is easier.

These are the first things I need to start this game before new asset creation or anything else. There is no game without it and this is the code that I have no idea how to write. More code will be needed written later (especially if I am adding health packs, infection, antidotes, and things like that) but this is the absolute basics that I need day one to be able to work on anything else because without this code there is no game. That is why I see creating this code as absolutely being priority one and why I am asking if anyone will write it for me and how much they would charge me to write it.

If I have this code, then I can work on asset replacement in my own time and at my own pace. Without this code, I'd be working on asset replacement for a non-existing game that I can't even play test.

Then you would have a start to work on, or to convince people to do work for you, paid or not. Yes, you need to convince people to work on something, even if you intend to pay them (because, [b]when do you intend to pay them? Will you really, for a start? For how long?). Doing some of the actual and easier parts of the work can only help on that.[/b]

What I would like to do, as I just said, is find someone willing to write this code for me within a reasonable time and for a reasonable cost. Again, I don't have a lot of money. But, also, everyone keeps telling me that all this stuff I keep saying are the basics should be easy to do.

So, my hope is that someone will write it for me in like a week or two and not charge too much for it. Maybe that's naive and unrealistic. I have no clue. But, I'm also not going to spend a huge amount of money on it because even I understand that what I'm asking for isn't too difficult for someone who knows what they're doing.

I've never commissioned code writing before. I suppose we'd bargain. I guess I'd pay when they're done. Though, I can see why that might not be cool with them. Maybe I pay as they go? Like, implement one feature and send it to me to prove that it works and then get paid X amount for having done so.

Or, show me a video of it that shows it works and then release the code to me once you receive my payment one feature at a time?

I don't think there is any good way to do a formal contract or anything and I have no lawyers on hand to read over such a thing anyway and that would cost even more money. So, I have no idea what a fair way would be to do this.

Also, and obviously, all project parts; the code, the assets, everything will be Licensed as Free as in Freedom. So, the code will be the GNU GPL and I suppose the art will be the same type of art license (I think Creative Commons) that Unvarnished uses.

Would I need the author to sign over the rights to me? If I understand correctly, the creator would be the rights holder unless otherwise formally agreed upon (is a contract needed here for this?) Or, am I just overthinking it and they can still be the rights holder and just release the code licensed under the GNU GPL and the art work licensed under Creative Commons and everyone is good? My main reason for asking this is ideally I'd like to set up a web site to offer the game as a download as well as try to put the game on steam for gratis. But, I'm afraid steam will throw a hissy fit if I'm not the "rights holder" even with the code and art licensed the way it its. Does that make any sense?

Of course, I've never built a game from scratch myself, I'm happy enough giving a hand sometimes to games I like, so maybe my view is completely wrong. I still think it's worth thinking about those points.[/quote]

I have never built a full size modern game from scratch either. I have made small "demo" sized games with game maker.

But, also, my project idea here is not totally from scratch. At least not in the early stages. The early stages is just to get the match and game play mode code working and slap in the Zombie Unit. That's just a mod to server match logic and adding one unit made from already existing unit parts with a texture change. (Human unit copied, with a Zombie texture, and having a swipe attack who's code could be taken and modified from the Alien swipe attack so its hit box fits the Zombie shape.) Also, of course, removing the Alien Team from the game. Again, not sure if I do this from the maps manually or with code.

That's not a full game from scratch. That's a mod. I could then try to build a full game from scratch around that mod with asset replacement that I could try to work on with Blender in my own time and at my own pace.
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby illwieckz » Tue May 18, 2021 10:40 pm UTC

Zombie Dude wrote:
freem wrote:At this point, it's a complete game you want.


Yes! Thank you for understanding this. People keep saying "mod" and while perhaps I can achieve all or most of this as a "mod" from a technical point of view, it really is a complete game that I want.


We talk about mod because that's the best (and only reasonable) way to start and achieve something, doing minor changes one after one without needing the whole to be finished to be usable, even Counter Strike was a mod at some point. I guess no one missed the fact you're looking for a complete game in the end.

What is important is not what you want but what you can afford, otherwise this would be a path to deception. :grin:

Doing a complete game would require to hire an high skilled developer to work full time for months if not years. That would be the equivalent of 100 000$ / year, even if benevolent, that would be the value of the work.

A project like Unvanquished is only possible because:

  1. we have another job or any kind of revenue
  2. we are doing it on spare time
  3. we are not alone
  4. we do what we want to do
  5. we do when we want to do
  6. we are free to stop anytime
  7. we are passionate
  8. we don't count our time
  9. we sometime prioritize it over other things
  10. Unvanquished is the game we want
  11. we are on it since almost 10 years and just switched from alpha to beta

For your game, you better want to be sure to tick all the cases or to be able to, though at some point every project started with a guy being alone so this one can be temporarily unticked, but that must be temporary, and also every project started on day one before going for a multiple year adventure.

As others said, the best thing you can do is to start looking at the code to try to implement your gameplay ideas, even if all the data including maps, weapons and characters are the Unvanquished ones. At the beginning of Tremulous, the human player was the Quake 3 default player, but the gameplay was already partly implemented.

Also, do not underestimate the amount of work required to gather, create, adapt, all the data for your game. You asked recently why we did not have replaced all Tremulous assets, that's because even scrolling free open sound websites in search of replacement sounds would require that one of us dedicates his time to that task while we are already all busy on other tasks. Just gathering data from existing free open sharing websites can turn into a full time job.

So, better focus on what you can do and what you can afford before what you want. The purpose of what you want is to be kept on a document you store somewhere and only have to open in order to fix the next smaller goal once you have achieved the previous smaller goal.
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby afontain » Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:38 pm UTC

Hi Zombie Dude,
I'm that other guy who started a zombie mod. Though I remember freem asked me if I needed some help. I've been really busy these days because I had projects due date approaching, but I've read this thread with attention.

What I liked with the idea of a zombie mod was essentially for two reason. First, because I thought it would allow for low-player count games (bots don't need to be smart, they need to be braindead :smile: ); and second because it would suit a more casual gameplay (I find unvanquished games to be exhausting if long-lasting). Beside those points, it can be a pretty fun game mode, and I liked the idea of turning into a strong zombie on death and preying onto your former teammates.

So I've made a very very early first version of a zombie mod, where I essentially just did replace the aliens by a new one that used the human model. I made them jump a little from time to time. The zombies were weaker than humans and moved at a slower pace. In the end, I found it was like fighting dumber dretch, that are not even fast or hard to hit. It was boring.

Before making a polished game or one with stylish, zombie-themed gear, we need a fun game. The rest don't matter so much. We need to come up with a minimal viable product. At this early stage of development, things like "make a new map" are simply out of scope because we can simply reuse an existing map and see how well it works.

Here is quick list of things I think are needed to make it fun:
  1. We need bots to be less like in Unvanquished. My plan was to have some zombies be promoted to "pack leader" at start, and have the dumber zombies follow the closest leader. Let's have zombie hordes!
  2. We need bots to be less bland. Maybe have them run from time to time, stumble, have them make noise or anything. Maybe give them a secondary attack (spit? a longer range hit?).
  3. We need to prevent camping. Right now, we still have a damn strong human base, which makes it totally not fun. We need humans to be baseless and the zombie to come out from anywhere. We also need to find a way to force humans to move, because it is still easier to hide in a corner than it is to explore. That makes the game less interesting

We can have faster discussion and maybe more instant debugging if you join some instant messaging. We have IRC channels like (#unvanquished on Libera.Chat), Matrix rooms (#unvanquished:libera.chat), some discord channel (but discord's proprietary). All are bridged. It would be nice to see you there.

I can do some or most of the coding if I find time, but I'll definitely need help on the other aspects, notably animations, graphic designs, gameplay feedback, etc. I liked the idea of an invisible spawn building, that's probably a good way to handle zombies (and humans!) appearing at random places. One good first thing you could do is to take your latest release of Unvanquished, from the main menu open the console (Shift-Escape),

Code: Select all

/devmap chasm
(or any map you would like, I think chasm and thunder are good candidates). Once the map is loaded, use

Code: Select all

/devteam h
to join the humans, deconstruct everything but the reactor and put some telenodes here and there on the map, about 10 of them. Then use

Code: Select all

/devteam a
to and likewise, deconstruct the base and put eggs in every corner you can find. Once you are done, use

Code: Select all

/layoutSave
to save your work and send us the file :bsuit:.

If you need more build points, don't build a drill/leech, use

Code: Select all

/give bp 100
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby illwieckz » Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:41 am UTC

Better way to save your zombie layout by giving it a proper name ( why not zombie?):

Code: Select all

/layoutSave zombie

Then you can load your map with the zombie custom layout this way:

Code: Select all

/devmap chasm zombie
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Re: How Difficult Would This Zombie Game Be To Re-Make On This Engine?

Postby Gireen » Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:51 am UTC

There are already a few zombie maps in tremulous that could be ported
https://betaserv.tk/pk3/map?t=map&q=zombie

https://betaserv.tk/pk3/map/934
fear ma engrish :granger:

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