One very important part of making game worlds memorable is making them first and foremost believable, as absurd as they may be. This can be done in multiple ways, ranging from interactivity to populating them with NPCs, to adding small details here and there that make the world feel more alive and “lived in”.
One small instance in Dudebro II is the addition, right before the entrance of the oil pipeline facility seen in the first chapter of the game, of a billboard sign showing its company name. Before that, the compound was simply referred to as “the facility”, because that’s what it was made for: as an industrial-like setting to contrast the naturalistic landscapes of Alaska, and shake up the level design after the introductory areas. Leaving it with such a generic name and little to no identity would have made it certainly quite forgettable, so we decided to give it a name and branding, to put front and center what it is, and what it’s used for.
Of course, a billboard alone is not remotely enough to make a setting memorable, but the other steps we’ve taken will be discussed later on.
Well, April Fool’s day is once again gone, so we can confirm it was all a joke. Micromanagement? Menu-based? No way we’d let that happen!
Normal updates will resume as usual on Saturday, April 18th.
[Joke] Advanced Gameplay
Dudebro II is first and foremost a game about consequence. Right after the Alaska chapter, the Chick mechanic is introduced, and this is the turning point where the gameplay truly opens up.
By seducing a lady, Dudebro will get her pregnant. After the baby is born, the usual shooting/slicing mechanics will be replaced by a real time menu-based management system, whose main features include:
- Day/Night Cycle: Fill up the Child’s Health and Happiness bars during the day, as he keeps you awake at night with randomized crying effects.
- Job System: Find a job to get the regular income needed to raise your Child.
- Marriage System: To get things right. If the Wifey Happiness bar goes down too much, she may file for Divorce and spend most of your money with someone else.
- Cheat Mode: A risk/reward mechanic. If the Wifey finds out, you will get a Divorce.
- Online Multiplayer: Meet other dads and liven up social networks with pictures of your Child.
Stay tuned for more details in a later update!
To keep track more easily of the medals collected by Dudebro, the game HUD includes a nice pop-up counter which slides in and out automatically, in the top right corner of the screen, whenever our majestic bearded tank happens to pick up a new medal.
This HUD element has actually been coded in for a very long time, but for some reason it hasn’t become fully functional until just a few months ago. With the medal count being fundamental for progressing through the game, keeping a close eye on this number is probably going to be quite useful.
Today’s post is dedicated to our Lead Programmer Nicolas, who’s getting married next month and yesterday, for his bachelor party (or stag party, how it’s known in those strange British lands), had this brotastic Dudebro-themed invite card.
The names of the special operatives recruited for this mission are, of course, going to stay confidential. Knowing that the party would have made John Dudebro himself proud, we wish the groom all the best. Congrats, man!
So, in the last update you were promised the bloodstain effect in motion? Well, here it is, displayed in all its red-hued glory through two brotastic animated GIFs.
One quite recent addition to the game are blood splatters on level geometry. This feature has actually been considered for a long while, but for many reasons it was never implemented. Until, one day, it was.
Being able to redecorate the environments with a thick layer of red, as strange as it may seem, had the effect of making them seem more solid and physical, and a more effective playground for Dudebro to unleash his arsenal in.
The algorithm used for the procedural generation of bloodstains is quite complex, but its gory effects will only be shown in motion in a later update.
Back when the idea of going for an 8 bit style was moving its first steps, even before the first mockup that kickstarted everything, there was a little known attempt at a slightly different concept, for which the assets seemed to have been lost for a while.
Thankfully, they now have apparently emerged back from the mists of time that had silently swallowed them, and by “mists of time” we mean “someone’s hard drive”, so we’re proud to finally show’em off.
Besides the crude color palette, which was eventually replaced by something more faithful to the 8 bit days, there is one pretty important detail hidden in this picture: the foreground terrain tiles have a distinct blocky style that’s nowhere to be found in the final assets. Why that? Well, because they were originally supposed to be completely destructible. Mind you, this was before games like, for instance, Terraria were even announced. You would be able to carve your own path through the levels by putting Dudebro’s vast array of tools of destruction to good use.
…then why would one ever get rid of that? Sounds freakin’ awesome.
The reason is simple. Because, once we actually started working on the sidescroller version, we wanted to put its level design to good use. Reward exploration, add challenges for the player, give him tools to unlock new areas he had no reason to suspect even existed. Being able to just dig around obstacles and open up those new areas before time went very easily in the opposite direction, design-wise. Also, it wasn’t easy to determine what should have been destructible and what should not.
Some parts of that original concept, though, ended up staying. Destruction is in Dudebro’s DNA after all, so we still added plenty of destructible objects to our environments anyway. Some of them may break easily, some may require certain weapons, some may even explode and trigger chain reactions. If you want to express yourself through virtual property damage, you’ll get many chances to.
To start off the new year with a goodie, here’s a new wallpaper depicting the crashed helicopter scene from the beginning of the game.
This scene was recreated using the assets from the old 3D version of the game, and a fair share of post-processing magic. We hope you’ll enjoy it!
Holiday greetings from the Dudebro II team!
Website updates will resume, as usual, January 10th.
Update: Because of unforeseen technical difficulties, the Holidays will last one day longer, and the next website update will go up on January 11th.
Ever wondered how he’d look in a hypothetical sequel, though? Well, here’s your answer, in full 16 bit styled glory, placed next to the current sprite for comparison.