ABOUT

XAI is a cyberpunk roguelite platform game in very early development. Here you will find articles about its progress, design, the art and tech of game making, and relevant topics.

LOG

PROCGEN UPDATE   (2018-05-08)
UPDATE   (2018-04-13)
VIDEOS   (2018-02-21)
INTRO   (2018-02-20)
HELLO WORLD   (2018-02-20)

PROCGEN UPDATE (2018-05-08)

The top level algorithm for the procedural generation of maps has been designed and implemented. Currently the chunk generation it relies on is very basic, and will require more in-game content to be truly diverse and interesting.

I'm planning to write a series of articles about some of my ideas (good and bad, so be warned) I've had for platform game level generation. Until then, here are some screenshots.

kiilas (2018-05-08)

UPDATE (2018-04-13)

Sorry for the lack of updates for some time. The development of XAI has slowed down because of some distractions, but that won't be the case much longer.

Nevertheless, some work has been done and there are many work-in-progress features which will be demonstrated soon!

Progress log

- menu/ui system is fully working and looks acceptable

- proper controls setup (for up to 4 local players); still missing game controller support and saving/loading settings

- animation logic and rendering for entities

- added more sprites and animation, including for things which aren't implemented yet but will be soon

- some experimentation and design for map generation algorithms; implementation in progress

- many small tweaks

Next

Currently, there are a few toy map generators implemented, but they were meant for testing the game logic rather than for demonstrating desired gameplay. Finishing the proper generator will be a significant milestone.

Make proper sprites and animation for all the entities currently implemented in the game.

Implement more enemy types.

Game controller support. I need to research what control scheme would be most intuitive for players, to use as default.

Multiplayer via split-screen, with both cooperative and competitive play. (Network multiplayer is also planned but will come later).

And beyond...

The next milestone afterwards will be when basic mission generation (with clear objectives) is done. At that point, XAI will become a game in its own right and will be released as alpha (or "early access" in modern parlance).

For now, some screenshots

About to be attacked by a drone...

This tiny level isn't very playable but there are still things to shoot!

Controls setup menu

One of the building generation experiments

Nothing to be found over here

Testing tiny base generation

Current main menu

kiilas (2018-04-13)

VIDEOS (2018-02-21)

XAI has been in development for only a few weeks, but that's no reason to withhold how it currently looks!

Please excuse the recording quality as I don't have any experience with that yet.

This video is from a recent build. Demonstrated is the game physics, a few weapons, and enemy AI. Most sprites are missing and rendered as purple rectangles instead:

This video was made while testing an older build:

kiilas (2018-02-21)

INTRO (2018-02-20)

Here are some of the ideas and planned features for XAI:

Graphics

Futuristic 640x480 resolution with 40 colours. Use of fragment shaders to simulate up to 640 colours using advanced technique called dithering.

Pixel art instead of 3d rendered graphics, so your cryptocurrency mining is only minimally affected!

Low System Requirements

The game runs smoothly even on low-end computers. It loads almost instantly so you can jump straight into action.

Take that, AAA game producers!

Replayability

Each zone, mission and game is procedurally generated. Fun and unexpected things may happen. There are no cookie cutter strategies.

Clarity of Presentation

Your goals are always clear and explicit, game mechanics is easy to understand and not obstructed by visual noise.

Graphics designed to minimise cognitive load.

Variety of Missions

Your job may involve infiltrating a military complex, stealing important research data stored on a floppy disk, killing everyone or even blowing up the whole place with explosives.

Emergent Gameplay

Replayability and variety comes from reusing familiar gameplay elements in different ways, not from an overwhelming mass of content.

Variety of Items

From pistols, rocket launchers, grenades, and grappling hooks, to laser weapons, force field generators, invisibility cloaks, and anything else you might have seen in good and bad sci-fi alike (except for time travel).

Cyberpunk

Find many of your favourite technologies from the visions of a dystopic future, such as floppy disks, body augmentation, drones, and CRT monitors.

Hack into your enemy's defense system to disable their turrets.

Or, for extra fun, make them shoot their own troops!

Unfriendly Environments

Enemies won't be your only concern. Moving platforms, pools of acid, traps, or imprecise use of a grappling hook are just as likely to kill you.

Tactics

Adapt to each unique scenario or suffer the consequences.

Choose the right weapons and equipment for the task - you can't carry everything with you!

Plenty of strategies to figure out. Plenty of ways they can go wrong.

Physics

Newtonian physics simulation for extra realism (at least at macro scale and nonrelativistic speeds).

You can die by hitting anything too fast - not just the ground!

Conservation of momentum - jump higher by shooting downwards!

Fluid, gas and temperature simulation.

Single Player

Play a quick random mission, a custom scenario, or start a career that lasts as long as you.

Multiplayer

Create a team with your friends. Work for your favourite megacorporation together, or fight against other teams in a Capture The Flag style competition.

If you're not a team player, kill your friends in a Free For All instead!

Both online and split-screen multiplayer are supported.

Controls

Designed with both keyboards and game controllers in mind. Neither has an unfair advantage over the other.

Difficulty Levels

No matter what your ability or experience is, you should be able to enjoy computer games, including this one.

Set the difficulty level as easy or as hard as you wish. Set handicap in competitive modes so that unevenly matched players or teams can still enjoy playing together.

Hardcore mode where once you die, all your files get deleted! Your save files, that is.

Player Avatars

Why should you be limited to a choice between a Standard Looking Dude and a Standard Looking Woman? There is no atavistic normative bullshit here, so you can be who you want!

Customise your avatar's body, clothes, hairstyle, skin and hair colour, mods and more.

These things are purely cosmetic, but important nonetheless.

Operating Systems

Runs on Linux, Windows, and even Mac!

kiilas (2018-02-20)

HELLO WORLD (2018-02-20)

This post is just to say hi.

Expect much more content in the next few days, including gameplay videos, information about the vision for the game, and news!

There will also be more in-depth material about the development process and design decisions.

kiilas (2018-02-20)