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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Hey everyone!

I wanted to take the time to share some news regarding the forthcoming work on PGD Survival with the release of the Torque 3D 4.0 release. While we do not have this date in our back pockets yet to solidify information for you, I wanted to give everyone a rundown of the battle plan here at PGD as it pertains to our upcoming work with the engine and what we're going to be giving to you guys!

First and foremost, once 4.0 drops, I'm going to spend some time to look over the changes to the engine with great detail, trying to pinpoint the exact locations where to implement the replacement classes which will be used for MAP (And yes, this is essentially going to be a complete re-write on the C++/TS side of things), and then actually implement these new systems. I anticipate this amount of work will take about 2 months from the time of release, and will depend on how much other stuff I have going on at the time (For instance, 4.0 landing during winter break would be better than the middle of my semester for instance). This work will involve writing internal implementations of the SHA-1 and Whirlpool hashing algorithms, and then a full implementation of the RSA and AES-CBC-256 algorithms which are the backbone of the security package implementation we use here at PGD. At the current point in time, I'm not exactly looking at adding additional hashing algorithms, but I am considering replacing SHA-1 with the most recent SHA-3 algorithm which would be a little tougher to crack, although RSA keys are already a bit tough so long as they remain large in size. On this same notion, Torque 3D does not have an internal BigInteger implementation, which means this will also need to be written as well, however there are plenty of great examples on the internet and I'm already well on my way here.

Once all of this stuff is done, I'll be able to take the existing 1.2 client of the game and test the changes to the security system, running it through a robust series of tests to ensure that it is both stable, and a lot less crash prone than the current Crypto++ implementation. Once I'm satisfied with those changes, then the real work on the 1.3 update begins.

Update 1.3 for PGD Survival is all about getting a fresh start for the game, and this update is going to deliver this by means of some pretty significant gameplay changes. First and foremost, I'm going to be doing a complete sweep of the existing armory and weapon system in the game, meaning it's gone! There will be no more weapon affinity progression and no more weapon specializations in the game. This also means that all of those loadout stations, are also going kaput! In place of this, weapons will now be acquired through in-game means, so players will need to actually progress through the map in order to unlock their weapons. Speaking of the map, Dead End is going to get a complete overhaul. Instead of the current valley graveyard map that it exists as now, this map will be getting both a size and detail increase, both on some pretty large scales. So this begs the question, what happens to ammo now because there are no loadout stations. The answer is a brand new powerup system which will go along with the new weapon system. When you kill zombies there will now be a chance that they will drop a powerup which can aid you and your teammates as you progress through the waves of zombies. These will be various different tools such as restoring your ammo, increasing your damage, increasing your point gain, and even wiping out the zombies near your position.

Now of course, you're going to ask me, but what about the zombies, the existing game was very dull and boring because zombies were extremely predictable. This is a different challenge that requires some line of thought to fix. Now in most games, zombies are rather predictable, they run after their prey to feed on their brains, they don't usually employ tactics or strategy, but instead rely on their hording and brute force. These last two aspects I feel are what have been missing from PGD Survival, so this is going to be getting an overhaul, and here's how that's going to work:
  • Horde Mechanics: The AI will be getting a new controller class instance which will allow multiple zombies to be assigned to a single target, this will allow large groups to quickly develop and employ overwhelm mechanisms to increase the difficulty
  • Dead-End Detection: Furthermore, maps are now going to be designed with dead-ends in mind. Zombie AI will become smarter to recognize where these dead-ends are located on the map and to funnel their targets into these areas when they get close to them
  • Spawning: In the current version of the game, all zombies in a wave spawn over a 25 second period, this creates a very predictable style of hording which players can easily adapt to and defeat without much trouble. This will be adjusted in 1.3 to make spawning become a mechanic that cannot be ignored
  • Health Adjustments: Both players and zombies will see health adjustments such that the game becomes a little harder without going down the overkill road

There are a few other things in the works for 1.3, but I feel that at the current point in time, it's a bit too early to talk about those new changes to the game. Like always though, I'd like to hear your input on the manner. Do you think these adjustments will bring some more interesting encounters into PGD Survival? Are there other adjustments you'd like to see employed?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Phantom, I think you should really post a gameplay video somewhere. It would get more people interested in trying it. I think I'm going to give it a (first) try too, seeing as this is still being developed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:44 pm 
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It's a bit hard to do a gameplay video for something in the design phase, as I mentioned in a news post last month, this is currently awaiting the Torque 3D 4.0 update to begin development. But I do like the idea, and I'll probably do one around the time that I'm getting ready to launch 1.3.

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