I released an early (too early from some of the reviews) version of this game around six months ago. Since then a lot of things have changed – more of the game runs in the VB allowing for much smoother animations and responsiveness. If a mob is hit with a non-lethal attack (happens more in later levels) they will get knocked back in order to provide some visual feedback to the player. The player’s weapon is shown, and in many cases a muzzle flash accompanies each firing of the weapon, the grenade explosion looks better and very importantly the end of level calculations are much improved allowing for a logical progression between levels. From a playability point of view the most important change is likely that the player’s character now automatically aligns itself to the underlying character grid – this means that the weapons now have a much higher chance of hitting the mob you think you’re aiming at.
ZA is a bit of a departure from my usual techniques of having pre-defined maps and offloading as much of the graphics and other data as possible to the disk. Despite having everything onboard in a single executable, I still have a fair bit of memory left over. Procedurally generated playfields are much easier to deal with!
Not sure what else I need to add to the game - I’m considering allowing the flame thrower to start fires in the buildings and have them slowly consumed. Although this would be a cool effect, and fun to code, I’m not sure how much it would add to the game. Perhaps I should save this for some future firefighting game … hmmmmmm
ZA is almost ready for release – many many thanks to Stefan Both for his testing and motivational support!