Getting back on track…

Posted in Characters, Zombox on November 26th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

My life has settled down a bit so I’m able to work on Zombox again!

Here’s a taste of things to come…

Passive items…

Posted in Characters, GUI, Items, Zombox on September 15th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

As mentioned in the last update, I’ve been working on the new passive item system and now it’s fully implemented.

As a reminder, passive items are stat boosters that can be swapped in and out of the main passive item slot at the top of the screen.

There are 39 passive items in total right now, which fit into the following categories:

Shields: These block or dampen attacks that hit them. Each shield has different properties…some shields just block attacks, some block and deflect damage onto the attacker, some can be used to shove attackers onto the ground, etc.

When using a 1-handed weapon, the shield is held by your left arm in front of you. When using a 2-handed weapon, the shield is carried on your back. Since the shield only protects the area that it covers, how you carry it affects what part of your body it protects.

Watches: These affect the speed at which different things occur in the game. For example, some watches speed up your ability to pick locks, others extend the length of time special attacks remain activated before requiring a recharge, etc.

Music Players: The adrenaline rush from listening to awesome tunes with these players while fighting the undead hordes gives you damage/defense boosts, at the cost of electricity.

Health Monitors: Breathing monitors, heart rate monitors, step counters….these various monitors measure your vitals as you move throughout the environment. The more steps you take, the more bonuses these monitors will provide for you. Depending on which one you’re using, they can earn you HP, XP or both based on the distances you walk.

Bracelets: These bracelets of various shapes and sizes give you a health boost each time you successfully land a critical hit on a zombie.

Necklaces: Necklaces offer a variety of stat boosts. Some increase critical hit strength, some boost defense, and some allow firearms to shoot through multiple targets. Necklaces are sort of a ‘catch-all’ for cool passive bonuses that don’t fit into other categories.

Armor: From wrist guards to historical pauldrons, these armor pieces offer the player various defense boosts.

I also created a lock pick item that can be used to open any locked items in the game. Pete is the only character that can pick locks without using it. A backpack item has been added as well, which allows you to increase the size of your inventory when you start the game, you only have 4 available inventory slots, and must purchase the backpack upgrade to unlock all 12 slots).

I also implemented some of the other upgrades from the upgrade menu….for example, the upgrades which allow zombies to drop HP boosts when killed instead of just dropping coins.

Here are some images and .gifs which demonstrate some of these new features.

Special attacks…

Posted in Characters, Items, Zombox on August 25th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

So as I implement all the character upgrades, I’ve been re-thinking a few of them.

One of the changes I made this week was having the special attacks occur after you charge your weapon with zombie hits, rather than at random intervals. This has the benefit of making special attacks a reward for fighting skill, while also allowing the player to strategically decide when to use them (because after you charge your weapon, you won’t go into special-attack mode until you tap the weapon icon).

Here’s an animated .gif showing how this works (the overlay text is for illustration only):

Upgrade integration…

Posted in Characters, GUI, Items, Zombox on August 17th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

So I’ve been working on getting the upgrade system actually implemented into the game.

The upgrade menu can now be opened by clicking your character in the inventory panel. The various categories in the upgrade menu can be examined by clicking the arrows to the right and left of the category name at the bottom. The actual upgrades for each category can be examined by clicking the arrows under each upgrade animation.

The main guy in the upgrade animations is no longer nude, and instead he adopts whatever clothing your character is wearing.

Also, I’m about half-way done implementing all of the actual upgrades into the game. There are now special attacks you can perform, all kinds of stat bonuses, special items to get, etc…all purchasable with upgrade points within the upgrade menu. And in case it wasn’t clear, every time you gain a level from earning XP (by killing zombies, performing quests, etc), you get a new upgrade point you can spend in the Upgrade Depot.

The following animated .gifs demonstrate how the animated menu looks, and a few of the special attacks (special hand attacks, special 1-handed melee weapon attacks and special 2-handed melee weapon attacks)



Posted in Characters, Zombox on June 9th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since the last update….so here it is!

There are 5 playable characters now….each one with unique stats and abilities. (Click each of the names below to view the characters)





Mary Beth.

There is also an on-screen map that has been added, and each character’s special ability has an icon that appears in the GUI to activate it.

There are many more things I still have to take care of, when it comes to the core gameplay, but I should be able to get those done in the coming weeks….which means then I can move onto the quests/storyline and eventually get this thing released!

Still kicking!…

Posted in Characters, Zombox on April 14th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

It’s been a while since the last update, but never fear! Zombox is still alive and well.

Here’s a rundown of the features that have been added!

  • All NPC dialog trees have been finished.

Also, here’s an image outlining how the node system works:

  • The main sewers are now filled with NPCs
  • You can buy/sell from NPCs
  • You can loot items off dead NPCs
  • You can heal NPCs who are injured for an XP bonus.
  • There are now 15 mini-sewers packed with secret areas, items, and zombies.

Here are animated examples of each of those, in order:


Groupies, Guns and Gratuities…

Posted in Characters, Items, Zombox on March 17th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

More updates to Zombox this week!

NPCs can be convinced to join forces with you. They will do their best to follow you around and attack nearby zombies.

NPCs can also use guns now. However, if they’re standing too close to their target to use a ranged weapon, they will switch to a melee weapon.

You can rob NPCs by shooting at them and then holding them up with your gun. When scared, NPCs will throw their hands in the air and give you their money (be careful though, because nearby NPCs will come to your victim’s defense, and/or your victim will attack once you take what they have).

Here are some .gif animations to show the new features!

More NPC stuff…

Posted in Characters, Zombox on March 10th, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

This week I’ve been working on getting a wider variety of NPCs into the game world. The main type players will come across are “generic” NPCs (shown in the last post). Those are the ones that can offer general information/help/etc.

Other types will be hostile NPCs, NPCs who only want to trade (and who will carry special goods), depressed NPCs, crazy NPCs, etc.

Here’s an example of an encounter with a depressed NPC:


Posted in Characters, Zombox on March 3rd, 2012 by Tyson Ibele

This week I worked on NPCs (non-playable characters). They are basically the other survivors in the city.

NPC AI is based on zombie AI. It runs in a modular behavioral hierarchy. Right now NPCs can perform many different actions. They can wander, give the player attention, attack the player, attack zombies, flee, talk, etc.

If they’re near the player, they can shout phrases in small, floating speech bubbles. These phrases can be greetings, cries for help, taunts, etc.

You can initiate a full chat with an NPC, by walking close to it and pressing the chat icon that pops up in the top right of the screen. In these full chats you can respond to what the NPC says and essentially have a little conversation with them. Certain responses you give will trigger a positive reaction in the NPC, other responses will trigger a negative one. You can also ask the NPC to follow you, or trade with you. If you anger the NPC too much while talking to him, he will attack you.

NPCs will also attack you if you purposely attack them, and if nearby NPCs see this altercation, they will gang up attack you as well.

The full NPC chat system is based on a dialog tree editor that I wrote, which uses Helium for its schematic view. Here is a scaled-down image of a complex dialog tree created for generic NPCs found outside of the sewers:

The blue boxes are branch nodes that are seed-locked to each NPC, so NPCs will “respond” to a player’s dialog choice predictable at that point in the tree. The rest of the branches are chosen at random to keep conversations unique. Green lines represent conversational choices that trigger a positive reaction in the NPC. Red lines represent negative reactions. If you insult/threaten an NPC too much during a conversation, he will attack you.