RUSH: My 7DFPS 2014 Entry

This year I participated in 7DFPS (7 day first-person shooter), a relatively new game jam where you’re tasked with creating a first-person shooter concept in a week.  I created a game called RUSH, a fast-paced first-person stealth game.  On the official site, users are encouraged to write posts on their progress.  The link to my profile can be found here, but I’m also going to post my posts below, as well as a partial playthrough of the finished game.

Hello World

Hi! My name is Donald, and this is my first time trying 7DFPS. I do have a development background, though I’m primarily a level designer. My aim this week is to better my scripting skills and create something that’s very different from the project I’m currently working on.

My plan is to create a fast-paced first-person stealth-ish game. Players will infiltrate a facility filled with patrolling bots that will kill on sight. These bots can’t hear you, so the goal is simply to not get spotted, which means a lot of running, jumping, and sliding to stay out of sight. I have a few side mechanics planned as well, but my goal for the week is to nail the character movement, create interesting behavior for the bots, and set up a few scenarios that explore if fast-paced stealth is even a good idea, haha.

Good luck everyone!

Day 1

I got a ton of stuff done today, more than expected actually. The character is pretty much feature complete. It does have to be balanced still. It’s kinda crazy actually. He’s sliding and jumping all the over place right now, but no major bugs from what I can tell.

I also got the base class for the enemies done. I’ll use it to create 3-4 enemy types. Right now they can detect the player, shoot at him, turn their heads. Moving them around will be easy, as they’re going to move along tracks in the levels. So it’s going to be a pretty rigid experience, I think. I’m taking a lot of inspiration from Mark of the Ninja, so (insert game name here) is going to be almost a puzzle game as opposed to something like Thief.

That’s the other thing. I still haven’t come up with a name yet. I’ve been trying to come up with a name related to 7DFPS, just because I kinda like FPS being an abbreviation for Fast Paced Stealth, but I’m not too keen on the idea. I also came up with Run N Hide, but it sounds too dis-empowering for the gameplay.

Anyways, I want to finish up feature stuff for the enemies tomorrow so I can start designing and building the spaces, as there will be a decent amount of scripting in those as well. I also want to get a good start on the HUD stuff tomorrow. It’s all debug messages at the moment, but I want to do some cool stuff there. We’ll see.

That’s it from me today. Good luck everyone! Tonight!

Day 2

Another productive day. I didn’t have quite as much time as I did yesterday to work, but I feel like I got a lot done with the time I had. I spent about an hour trying to balance the character attributes, trying to tighten things up and make it feel good. And it feels a lot better, and I think it’s as good as it’s going to be until I get some of the levels roughed out and can really play (insert game title here).

The rest of the day was spent on the enemies. I built the three tough to script enemy types and cleaned up the base class, so the behavior they have when they detect you, when you shoot them, is all a lot smoother. I’ve got a few more enemy types planned for 7 in total that I’ll get wrapped up tomorrow. The others are small variations on the three main ones. I really like the way they turned out, and am anxious to get building the levels.

And that is the idea for tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll get the rest of the enemy stuff knocked out in the morning and can spend the afternoon designing and roughing out the levels. That’s the plan anyways 🙂

Later y’all

Day 3

Pretty good day today, though I wish I had gotten a little more done. Part of that was sleeping in this morning, but most of it came from unexpected iterations. It was nothing too major, just a handful of edge case scenarios with the enemy types I missed yesterday. But even with those minor setbacks, I did get a lot of stuff done today. I got all of the enemy types done, and even added a few extra options to help make their instances more unique, and about half of the levels roughly designed. I also started on some of the ancillary things games need, like doors and switches and things.

The plan for tomorrow is all level design stuff. I need to finish designing the rest of the rooms and try to get as many built as I can tomorrow. And I hope to have them all built by the end of Wednesday. There’s going to be 10 rooms in total, I think. I will cut some if I feel I don’t have the time, or if they’re not good. It just depends on how some of the initial levels go.

I feel like I’m in a pretty good place right now, especially if I can get all the content built by the end of Wednesday. That will mean I’ll have Thursday for menu and HUD stuff and Friday for polish of the gameplay and art.

The only thing I’m worried about at the moment is the menu and HUD stuff. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but I’m building the game in UE4, which is what I normally work in but I haven’t messed with the UMG tools yet. It’s pretty simple from what I understand, but I don’t want to get sucked into a rabbit hole, which is why I’m giving myself all day Thursday, and some of Friday if needed, to tackle it. It’s coming along well, though. Still no name for it, haha, but I’ll think of something.

Later everybody!

Day 4

I finished up a bunch of small technical details today, and got three levels built. I’m definitely going to cut down on the number of levels. I’m thinking 6 instead of 10. I may be able to squeeze in 7, but I think I’d rather polish the 6 and the mechanics than try to push how much content I can build. But the game is becoming fun to play. It’s pretty simple, haha, but I’m pleased with it. I’m satisfied with how close it is to what was in my head. That doesn’t always happen.

I’ll try to record a playthrough tomorrow. So many people have been putting up media for their projects, and I could, but it looks so rough at the moment. It’s all work lighting and nothing has materials, so I figured I’d just wait until the game looks a little better.

Anyways, tomorrow is just building stuff. I’m going to try to build and polish as much as I can, with the goal being finishing all of the content that’s going to be in the game. And what I don’t finish I’ll just cut, because I want time for the HUD and menus and polish. I’m ok with not having a bunch of content because I feel even what I have now is a good representation of my concept.

So, yeah, I’m excited about tomorrow. Level building is my favorite part, as I am a level designer by trade, haha. I should also have more time tomorrow too, because I had a couple work things to take care of today. So I’m looking for more progress than today. That’s it for me.

Later y’all.

Day 5

Quick post today because I’m getting back to work after I write this, haha. All of the content is built, and fairly balanced. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I hope others don’t think it’s too hard. I’m debating doing an easy mode and hard mode, where your number of charges for the gun will change, the detection fields will get larger, and the bots will speed up. I’d love to do it, and I may after 7dfps is over, but I don’ t think I have the time this week. Maybe if all the HUD and menus go super fast tomorrow I can, but that’s a big if.

I did get some help from an artist friend of mine today. I still haven’t gotten the assets in the project yet, but they will make the bots and player look a lot better when I do. That’s on tonight’s schedule…but may get pushed till tomorrow. The big thing left tonight is materials and lighting for most of the 6 rooms. It’s all going to be very simple; it should only take me an hour or so. But it’s getting late so I better get on it.

Tomorrow is UI stuff, Friday is polish and build, and then I’ll be done with this thing :D!

Day 6

I finally came up with a name. RUSH. It mostly came from just playing and iterating on the game, and trying to feel out what it should be. It’s really become like a speedrun type of game. I wanted it to be fast-paced (and it is), but I thought there would be more hiding and tactics. But it’s become more about skill and timing, which is fine with me. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Man was this a long day, but I got so much done. So much. The game is pretty much done. I have three small things I want to do tomorrow morning, then I have about 1-2 hours set aside for playing and polishing the experience. It’ll only be small tweaks, of course, but I think ever little bit will help. But it’s pretty solid right now. There’s only one issue that I know of. It’s a collision issue when you go from crouched back to walking. Sometimes, very rarely, you’ll get stuck in the crouched position, and you have to hit the crouch button again or jump to get back to normal. I don’t really have any ideas for what it could be but my gut says it’s something deeper in the engine code I don’t want to mess with.

I thought about recording a playthrough, but it’s so late now, haha. I’ll record one tomorrow, for my portfolio and here as well. But, of course, you’ll also be able to play it tomorrow! I’m looking forward to getting it out there, and to playing some of these other games I’ve been seeing. Some really impressive stuff for just a week.

Anyways, tomorrow is it, the last day. I hope everyone is happy with what they created this week, and I look forward to playing the games! Later!

Day 7

I had a really good week. There was certainly some stressful times, and a few things I wanted to get into the game I couldn’t, but I’m really pleased with how RUSH turned out. I don’t think I’m going to go any further with the concept, however, because I enjoy it for what it is. I think it’s simple fun, and I hope others feel the same.

It just feels great to finish something. I’m in the middle of a long project now, and I needed this distraction to get me going again, to get me excited about game dev again, which I am. I’m ready to get back to the grind, with some new ideas and a fresh approach to things.


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