Snorms Alpha 0.0.1 is online

I’ve released snorms first alpha version two weeks before scheduled, everything went fine lately, so development has gone quicker than expected, that’s good news.

Click here to play !

First of all, a little warning : this is an alpha version, sort of gameplay preview / prototype, it’s not a beta, and not at all a final release ! It’s missing a lot of features, and available features are incomplete. That said it’s working quite nicely, I was not sure what a third-view / isometric shooter could be like, but it seems nice :)

Some of the included features in this alpha 0.0.1 (build 112) :

  • 3 monsters
    • Brownie : shoots pellets (rarely fireball), will flee easily when shoot
    • Bluecan : shoots fireballs and homing fireballs, very strong, can follow you quite a lot (it has permission to use pathfinding on long range)
    • Small : shoots bouncing laser beam, it has an high shoot rate
    • Monster infighting is present, but not seen so often in these levels (I should make stronger monsters in order to generate more infighting)
  • 2 levels
    • They have no end yet, the scripting engine should be available in the alpha 0.0.2 version, when dying just reload the game
    • Level 1 is based on doom 2 m01 map, don’t forget the secret area at the very beginning before it’s too late
    • Level 2 is based on doom 2 m12 map, quite a big map, too big in my mind (I could have done the same map using a smaller map size)
  • Sounds, they are all taken from the freedoom project, I think they fit nicely
  • Some sprites, graphics : done very quickly, they are not at all definitive
  • 4 weapons / 3 ammo
    • Pistol : shoots one bullet at a time
    • Shotgun : shoots multiple bullets (10 bullets for 5 ammo)
    • Rocket launcher : launch homing missile (the missile will be homing only if target is in sight when firing, else it is a standard missile), use rockets
    • Laser gun : shoots wall-bouncing laser beams, uses energy cells
  • Various items
    • Ammo : bullets, rockets, and energy cells
    • Life : small and big
    • Armor : absorb damages

The keys are explained in the game page, it’s quite easy, but movements can be confusing at first (I’ve gotten used to them very quickly, but if I think of something more intuitive, I’ll change them). Furthermore debug mode is available by pressing F1 key (then a lot of keys will have some undocumented effects :) )

Some technical info :

  • The game will download all necessary content every time you launch it (sounds, graphics,…), I’ve not signed my jars yet, so I can’t store (cache) items on hard drive to avoid that yet. This should be done later.
  • I still have some sound issue with Java & Ubuntu, none of my Ubuntu computers can open more than one sound line, everything is fine under Windows (Virtualized or not). I’ve done my best to bypass the problem, but you might still experiment some strange sound. I should really give a try to Java OpenAl…
  • The game requirements are not very high, you don’t even need a good video card (3d/2d acceleration is not mandatory), but still it certainly won’t play smoothly on netbooks or old computers.

A lot of work remain, but it’s quite a good start !

From now on I think there will be updates every weeks / 2 weeks…

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