Now that the game is up on Steam and itch.io and I've had some time off from dev-crunch-mode, I'm adding in a feature that was always on the back burner: a multiplayer arena. The game's controls will (I think) lend themselves to a very engaging multiplayer experience. The dynamics in place (shoot, chop, 'nade, eat, vomit) generally lead to chaos in singleplayer mode, with explosions launching body parts, fire spreading around, and at times emergent gameplay that still makes me laugh. Thus, I feel that creating a local multiplayer mode will lead to an even higher degree of chaos and hilarity.
I've been working on replacing the player's scripts with arena specific scripts, and moving all of the player's data onto the player (the initial Unity tutorials I used hooked up player health, ammo etc., on the HUD elements, strangely...). I've also had to modify some scripts like "edible" and "flammable" to add language to address arena player objects. This way I don't need to create all new enemies, edible items, etc. just for the arena. I keep returning to the singleplayer game to make sure I haven't broken anything!
I've almost finished refactoring the needed code, and the next big step is abstracting out the controls. Ideally, when I am done I'll be able to enter button strings on each character that correspond to whichever controls I wish to assign.
Once the arena character object is complete, I'll be able to duplicate it and start working on a few additional character models. Naturally I'll be using characters from the game, but I'll need to expand their tile sets for all the player's animations. Here are all of Reginald's various animation frames:
On top of all of this, I'll be creating an arena menu screen that will allow players to choose the level, their characters, perhaps game mode (coin hunt, deathmatch, co-op coin hunt, etc.), enemy spawn rate, and item spawn rate. Putting that all together will involve some new concepts structurally that I have not tackled before, so it will be learning process (which for me is a driver, creatively).
As soon as I had death, respawn and basic controls in I couldn't help but create a pile of Reginald corpses!
I'll keep posting updates as the arena comes together! Once I have the overarching menu and settings complete I'll be well on my way and likely update Steam and itch.io with a "beta" arena. The most satisfying process creatively, I think, will be adding levels, new items, characters, etc., so I'm working to get past all of this initial assembly (which is still quite fun!).
And now, Reginald gets proper freaked when he chops his own doppleganger to death: