The second public prototype of Ground Zero has been released!
In this mod, you begin somewhere in the area surrounding Springhill, which is occupied by a hostile force of raiders. Each time the map is loaded, you will find a different city in front of you: the size, appearance, and location of structures; the number, strength, and position of enemy fighters; the composition of barricades and furniture; the possibility and distribution of weapons and ammunition.
Prototype 2's main showcase is a demonstration of our early constructor toolset. Constructors can be placed like brushes in the Doom 3 editor, which at runtime then spawn complex groupings of other entities (such as characters, walls, lights, debris, weapons, other props, and even other constructors). These entities can inherit determinate and randomized attributes from their constructor, but function as discrete objects once spawned. Combined with Doom 3's dynamic capabilities, constructors can be used to generate things as simple as a single wall or randomized items on the floor, to entire cities complete with interactive props and characters.
Also new in this release are a number of combat system improvements. The crosshair has been fixed to always indicate precisely where the character is targeting, and there are now visual indications of projectiles that are deflected or absorbed by armor. Most significantly, target visibility now impacts an attacker's chance to hit; even partial cover or simple angling of the body offers some protection. Luckily nearly every object in the environment is moveable, so look both ways before crossing the street and take some cover with you!
Lastly we are of course showing some of our new architectural models and designs, sound effects, and music. Please be patient until we replace the Doom Guy and zombies with new, highly customizable characters, which should start to make an appearance in our next release.
(There's also an 18-page "instruction manual" included in the archive, in PDF format.) MAJOR KNOWN ISSUES: We must warn users that this iteration is incredibly demanding on virtually any hardware. Our graphic assets and environment designs are completely unoptimized, and we have if anything gone overboard to probe the limits of environmental detail. Even with a targeted final release sometime in 2007, there are numerous avenues we are researching to bring performance up to a more playable level without sacrificing much in visual quality. Stay tuned. There are numerous visual glitches and shortcomings in this release as well. In future releases we will have a greater variety of architectural models to work with, and interiors will enjoy just as great attention to detail. The textures, as well as the surrounding terrain and skydome, are placeholders to demonstrate the engine's capability to render expansive landscapes and high quality materials. We are seeking one or two dedicated texture artists to really bring this world to life. We are also looking for 1-2 environmental/prop modellers to create a library of assets which conform to concept designs and documentation, and at least one more dedicated coder to help develop A.I. and gameworld event systems. Check out our website and forums at www.groundzeromod.net for more detailed information about whats in the pipeline. If you are interested in these positions, please come by our forums or email myself jlambvo AT gmail.com, and/or our lead concept artist jennifer AT pasaii.com with a portfolio available.
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