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Just Death Update #1 - Fixes, HK G3, HiRoller, and Drugs.

Posted by , 03 March 2016 - - - - - - · 360 views
just death, steam, early access and 1 more...
Just Death Update #1 - Fixes, HK G3, HiRoller, and Drugs.

Hey guys,


This is the first update of Just Death since the Steam Early Access release a few days ago ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/336210 )! I appreciate all the positive support I've received from the community so far! I'm excited about what the future holds for the game. I plan on making weekly updates such as this one, with new content/features/fixes being pushed out to you guys each week - for another year, or until the game is "done". Future updates will be more gameplay centric, I'm still trying to catch my breath from the game's Early Access release.


In this first update I'll talk about the new vehicle just added to the game, the "HiRoller" Luxury SUV. I've added a new weapon into the game - a .308 HK G3. In addition I've added drugs into the game, they are in the Headquarters purchase menu. There are 5 drug types I've created for this first pass. Also I'll talk about the fixes and additions made to the game :-) I appreciate the detailed feedback left on the Steam Community forum, and the clever finding of bugs I would have never thought of by some members of the community. Ok let's go ...


New Vehicle - "HiRoller Luxury SUV"
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This is the first of about 12 more vehicles I have to integrate into the project, so expect them to be sprinkled throughout the upcoming updates. I'll also be adding more uniqueness and tweaking handling features of all the vehicles on each update, I don't necessarily log all of these types of things.


New Weapon - "HK G3 .308"
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This weapon is one of about 40 more weapons I have already created that just need to be integrated, I can't integrate the weapons myself, I need my animator to make a few unique animations for each new weapon so in future updates there may just be batches of 4-5 weapons released at once. When the game progresses further and we start to nail down the balancing issues, I'll try to add equal "spread" of weapons, not just 4 new shotguns at once, for instance.


Buying/Selling Drugs - First Integration
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I've taken the first steps of integrating drugs into the game, you can browse all 5 kinds of drugs in the HQ purchase screen. There are basically two types of drugs, gameplay-wise... Pain killers, which heal your character (previously there was no way to regain health)....and Cocaine, Weed, Heroin, and Ecstasy, which you (and/or your gang) can sell to civilians for a profit. There will be a finite amount of money available to the civilian population in an area, and some areas will recharge faster. So this will put importance on controlling territory in the game world. I will also integrate a per-server/per-game instance of a supply/demand marketplace simulation, so you can't just sell the same drugs over and over.


Please keep in mind this is the first build with drugs in the game, so only the painkillers are working at this first iteration.


Noteworthy Fixes/Improvements Since Last Week's Build
- Remove smoothing transition from character’s orientation -> goal aiming orientation, should remove “warping” effects when aiming.
- Fix Melee killing people in spawn Online.
- Don’t open “store” while chatting Online, cancel all interactions while chatting Online.
- Only show stationary jumping animation for now, until final jump code is in. Remove jump code -> Bunny hopping ?!?
- Spawn in random HQs online, not always same spawn location.
- Show vehicle’s top speed, weight, and more information on purchase screen, still need to hand-customize the values shown to player.
- Make it so you can’t exit vehicle if you’d be outside of world.
- Make it so you can’t exit your vehicle if you’d collide with a building [ perform raycast on vehicle exit request ].
- Pill bottle sound when you use painkillers.
- Fix bug with >= not being in weapon purchase code Online (now you can buy a weapon if you have exact cash).
- Fix some issues with the 'use' animations of the HK G3, Tec9, AUG, and AK47 - should look a lot better online & offline now.
- Fixed bug with shooting/use animations don't 'loop' constantly online.
- Painkillers should work Online.
- Damage is reduced and randomized Online, if you're inside a vehicle, to simulate the limited protection a vehicle offers from bullets.


Highlighted Screenshots from Community
I'm really happy to see some cool screenshots uploaded by the community, I'll share a few of my favorites here!
Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate your continued support while I finish this Early Access product. Patience is definitely a virtue of anyone who will want to purchase this game, so please keep that in mind. Otherwise, if you've already picked up the project, and you appreciate my work or enjoy the product so far, please leave a nice review below, e-mail me, or post on the Steam community forum.


- Dan

Just Death - Steam Page + Game Trailer

Posted by , 15 February 2016 - - - - - - · 999 views
Just Death, Steam, Early Access and 3 more...
Just Death - Steam Page + Game Trailer

Hey guys, I've uploaded the trailer for my latest project, Just Death (http://www.JustDeath.com), and the Steam page is also LIVE for you to check out. If you don't know, Just Death is is an “Open-World Sandbox Crime Game” set in procedurally generated cities. There's a bunch of info on the website so check it out :-)

Here is the link to the Steam page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/336210

Ok, a picture is worth a thousand words - and you know I love posting screenshots - so that means this trailer is worth, like 1,797,000 words. Word.

I should be set to release the project, in Early Access form, in the next 2-3 days. I'm still working on adding more features to the "online open city mode" for the very first players (whose feedback I'm very much looking forward to). In addition to the 3 offline gameplay modes (Vigilante, Bank Heist, Gang War), to support the "Online Open City" mode - I've got game servers setup in NYC, San Jose, Sydney, and Amsterdam.


If you're a game developer who appreciates the sh*t load of work I've put into this, writing the engine/game and all that jazz, all by my lonesome, I'd appreciate it if you'd pick up the "Dev Support Edition" from the homepage (http://www.JustDeath.com) for a few bucks more than the regular Steam key. I'm expecting it to be in Early Access for about a year or so. I've spent ~two years on it so far, and maybe 6 years on this engine (utilized through other games obviously).


I'd be glad to answer any questions anyone has. As always, thanks for your support - and none of this would be possible without GameDev.net, so I sincerely thank you guys.


- Dan

Just Death - JustDeath.com - New Website & Details

Posted by , 14 January 2016 - - - - - - · 538 views
Just Death, GameDev, IndieDev
Just Death - JustDeath.com - New Website & Details

Hey guys,


I've created a new website for my latest game, Just Death... you can view it here: www.JustDeath.com there is a lot of new information about the game on that website, please let me know your thoughts!

The game should be for sale on Steam Early Access soon, I'm wrapping up the final elements of the latest build.


Here is a preview image of the front page of the new website:
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I'll also mirror almost all of the website's content here for your viewing convince :-)


Front Page Artwork
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Gameplay Modes
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Vigilante Mode
You awaken, the city smells like scum. Somebody has to clean it up. In Vigilante mode you play as a "lone anti-hero" out to kill all the gangsters & bad guys in the city, while avoiding the police presence. You start out in your modest vigilante headquarters where you can purchase an initial weapon. There are ways to make money around the city to upgrade your hardware. While you have the option to rob anyone in the city - you get more points & credit for killing bad guys/gangsters and taking their money and weapons in this gameplay mode.

  • Objectives: Eliminate all gangsters from the city.
  • Time Limit: Open-ended.
  • Multiplayer Unit Sharing: No.
Bank Heist Mode
Your crew of four professional bank robbers have their eyes on the Gang City Bank, the largest pile of cash in the city. Hit the bank, grab all the money possible and reach the waiting getaway van with the loot. Oh by the way, Gang City Police and SWAT units might have something to say about it. There is a balance between gaining cash, sending one of your crew to get the vehicle, and shooting it out of the bank. The number of surviving bank robbers, and the total cash netted are two factors that determine your ending score in this gameplay mode.
  • Objectives: Steal as much money as possible from the bank, and escape.
  • Time Limit: 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Multiplayer Unit Sharing: Yes.
Gang War Mode
This city ain't big enough for all of us. Fight for control over the city against other gangs. You start with a small gang inside your gang headquarters. You have to expand your gang's territory to increase your extortion income. Additionally robbing armored cars headed to/from the bank, robbing civilians, and killing enemy gangsters are good ways to generate income and grow your gang's arsenal of weapons. You'll need to keep out a watch for the city's police and SWAT forces. Each gang's score is determined by their territory, influence, weapons, vehicles, and cash on hand.
  • Objectives: Conquer the other gangs in the city.
  • Time Limit: Open-ended.
  • Multiplayer Unit Sharing: Yes.
Online Multiplayer & Offline Practice
All of the gameplay modes in Just Death are playable Online and Offline. In Offline Practice mode, the artificial intelligence takes the place of all human players, and is played locally on the user's computer. In Online Multiplayer mode, the player joins a game server and can play with others from around the world in real-time. There are also two separate global scoreboards, one for Offline play and one for Online play.


Procedural Cities






The core feature of Just Death is the Procedurally Generated Cities. With a feature like this, I can provide the players with almost unlimited gameplay environments, by simply changing the “seed number” used to randomly generate the world, or by changing the simplistic input splines which form the “backbone” or basis for the city generation. See the image below for a visualization of the input and output my technology can produce.
Example input & output of my procedural city generation algorithm.
Procedural City Input & Output


One issue that has plagued procedurally generated environments for the longest time is that they always look “boring”. My solution was to simulate every layer of a city individually with as much detail as possible, to hopefully alleviate the repetition. The static environment details I procedurally generate include: buildings, skyscrapers, roads, sidewalks, intersections, crosswalks, elevated train tracks, alleyways, plazas, parks, fences, traffic lights, street lights, trees, fire hydrants, phone booths, newspaper dispensers, trash bins, dumpsters, garbage bags, paper debris, sewers, vents, utility access panels, and more!
Results of the Procedural City Algorithm


Weapons & Vehicles








What kind of weapons & items are in the game?
There are over 50 weapons in Just Death. The game includes everything from pistols, sub-machine guns, tactical and assault rifles to swords & knives, all the way to mini-guns and C4 explosives. Soon I will post an exact list of the weapons I've had created for the game.


What types of vehicles are in the game?
There are a total of 18 unique vehicles in Just Death. The game includes civilian vehicles ranging from sports and muscle cars, and SUVs to panel trucks and transport vans. There are also emergency-response and official vehicles such as Ambulances/Armored Cars & Police/SWAT vehicles in the game. Soon I will post an exact list of the vehicles I've had created for the game.


Is there a fucking nail-gun in the game?
Yeah bruh. Ouch.


Are there unique elements to each weapon and vehicle?
There are over 100 unique parameters to each vehicle. Every detail from the particulars of the engine and transmission, to the physics and aerodynamics values have been simulated, and are being continuously tweaked and refined.
When it comes to the weapons there are about 50 unique parameters to each weapon - elements such as realistic caliber, rates-of-fire, magazine capacity, and reloading time are simulated. Also the physics and aesthetic values of the weapons are faithfully represented in game.


Frequently Asked Questions
What is Just Death?
Just Death is an “Open-World Sandbox Crime Game” set in procedurally generated cities. At its core gameplay mode - Just Death is my take on the Vigilante genre. You must rid the streets of “thugs and scum” using your antihero, playing in the first or third person. Due to the procedural cities in the game, I can provide ample replayability with ease. All gameplay modes have been designed to be played both offline and online. The game is being offered on the Steam platform, as an Early Access product. I want to take into account the player's feedback while I finish development of the game. .


What is Early Access?
Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.
Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development.


Where do I Buy Just Death?
You can purchase Just Death directly from me. You can also purchase the game on Steam.


Why Early Access?
“I want to develop the game with the players! I know this sounds cliche but I really feel that building a "base" of a product, and finalizing it around the input from passionate members of the community is something I've always wanted to do. Instead of developing this product in a vacuum, or based solely on the feedback of a few testers, and execs at a publisher - bringing the game to passionate users in the target audience and tailoring the product to their feedback should save me time, and prevent unnecessary or unliked features from receiving my attention, while important features ( to the community ) will receive a majority of my development focus.”


Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“I'm anticipating the product being in the Early Access phase for 6-12 months. The actual answer is "as long as it takes" for the product to be fun, and to achieve the goals I've set for it, and those may change based on community feedback.”


What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“The industry nomenclature for the state of the product would be "Pre-Alpha", or "Alpha", depending on how many new features the community would like me to add to the product. The game has 3 major gameplay modes, and all are playable in Online and Offline modes. The game server technology is a constant work in progress, as is the game client. Some features are rough around the edges, and there may be crash bugs in the product. Also some visual elements of the product are in a somewhat early stage, and can be improved in the future, based on user feedback.”


Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“I anticipate the price of the product increasing gradually, as the quality and amount of features/content increases.”


How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“I love interacting with players/users and seeing what they think of my work, in a POSITIVE way. I've developed this game and engine by myself, from scratch. For a multiplayer "Open World Crime" type game, this is a huge undertaking. I have no illusions about the complexity and challenges of creating such a game. I've spent many years working on this and very much look forward to having constructive conversations with a mature gaming community as the product progresses in quality and content. Thanks a lot!


Virtual Reality






Does the game support Virtual Reality?
Yes. Just Death was actually designed over the last few years from the ground up with virtual reality in mind. I've found some elements to be extremely immersive, for instance if you switch to first-person mode, and use the positional-head-tracking of a VR headset to put your eyes behind the weapon sights, you actually have to close one eye to aim. Obviously the interiors of the vehicles are also very nice with a VR headset. Based on feedback from early adopters, and players I will decide how much further to pursue integration of virtual reality.


What VR Headsets have you tried it with?
I've only had a chance to integrate the Oculus DK1 and Oculus DK2 into my game engine. I will try as many HMDs as practical.


Is the VR mode in the game hard to setup?
You'll need to edit some configuration files, and run a specific version of the firmware on an Oculus DK1 or DK2. I am not officially claiming full VR support because at this time ( January 2016 ), there are only developer versions of VR Headsets on the market. These Dev Kits inherently come with a slew of issues and hurdles to get things working on each user's unique computer configuration.


World Editor




These stats are pulled from Steam, using the Steam Web API. Bullets fired, and every stat are updated nearly once a minute from Steam.




User Guides


- Dan

Just Death coming to Steam!

Posted by , 27 November 2015 - - - - - - · 742 views
Just Death, Steam, 3rd Person and 2 more...
Just Death coming to Steam! Just Death is an “Open-World Sandbox Crime Game” set in procedurally generated cities. At its core gameplay mode - Just Death is my take on the Vigilante genre. You must rid the streets of “thugs and scum” using your antihero, playing in the first or third person. Due to the procedural nature of the environments, I can provide ample replayability with ease. All gameplay modes have been designed to be played both offline and online. The game is being offered on the Steam platform, as an Early Access product. I want to take into account the player's feedback while I finish development of the game.

Below is a piece of concept art, for each of the 3 gameplay modes. The first is Vigilante mode, where you clean up the streets from scum and bad guys. The second gameplay mode is Bank Heist mode, which you can rob the bank with friends, and escape the procedural cities. The third gameplay mode is called Gang War, you fight for control against other gangs for control of the city.

Concept Art
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The core feature of Just Death is the Procedurally Generated Cities. With a feature like this, I can provide the players with almost unlimited gameplay environments, by simply changing the “seed number” used to randomly generate the world, or by changing the simplistic input splines which form the “backbone” or basis for the city generation. See the images above for a visualization of the input and output my technology can produce. One issue that has plagued procedurally generated environments for the longest time is that they always look “boring”. My solution was to simulate every layer of a city individually with as much detail as possible, to hopefully alleviate the repetition.

Procedural City Screenshots
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If you want to read more about the project, or purchase the game please visit www.JustDeath.com and check it out! Here are some screenshots of the game, these are Pre-Alpha screenshots and will increase in quality as the game nears completion.

In-game Screenshots

Stay tuned to www.JustDeath.com for more updates!

- Dan

Killing Horizon Update - 3/5/2014 - Plus 1 Million Journal Views!

Posted by , 05 March 2014 - - - - - - · 1,740 views
Killing Horizon, GameDev.net and 8 more...
Killing Horizon Update - 3/5/2014 - Plus 1 Million Journal Views! I've got a new update on my project Killing Horizon [ http://www.KillingHorizonGame.com ], a 64-player-online-RTS/FPS/TPS hybrid wargame! In addition to some great new Concept Artwork, I've implemented a new visual style for the in-game rendering, which is centered upon a 100% dynamic-time-of-day system. Battles can start during the day and then continue into the pitch black only illuminated by the sparsely populated mining outposts. I feel like the new style, while a bit different from the colorful concept art - really goes a long way to creating the feeling of a desolate mining planet on the Battlefield style maps.

While I may prefer this visual style - I wouldn't let the rest of you guys down, who might not enjoy that kind of thing - so I've made this 'dynamic-time-of-day', a map-author-selectable option. The visual styles of a certain map/level is a selectable environment option from the game's World Editor when the map is created and saved. This functionality is a precursor to the detailed/varied environments I want to deliver later in the game's life cycle.

In addition to reworking the primary "look" of the default environment in the game, I've also made progress on a number of other, more gameplay relevant, features of the project. Implementation of a spline based road system, optionally imported from .svg ( Scalable Vector Graphics ) files, which is basically a XML-like markup of shapes/lines/splines...that system had a lot of interesting elements to it's implementation. I also spent some time on an evolutionary/procedural rock formation tool/system that, I can use to add variety to the game environments. Plus a few other miscellaneous things!

New Concept Art
Below you will see the next 3 pieces of concept art for Killing Horizon. The first one shows a Dropship assault - I feel this image represents the game best. The next image shows the dune buggy racing across the martian landscape. The third image shows a Legion posiiton being attacked by Rebel rockets being launched from attacking dune buggies.

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New Visual Style "Dynamic-Time-Of-Day"
Like I said before, this new 100% dynamic time of day allows me to have the lights on the mining facilities 'click' on at a certain time, and really adds to the feeling of immersion you get in the game [ multiply it with the Oculus VR dev kit ]. These screenshots are at a very low texture resolution ~10% of actual size [ again this type of thing doesn't matter with a lower resolution VR dev kit ]. I snapped them on my dev machine a while ago. Trust me, I will go through and pile on the post-processing and anti-aliasing and create 'glamor shots' later on ;-) haha... if you want to see more, please visit the game's website @ http://www.KillingHorizonGame.com ...

The first image shows a Legion base/shield through the fog-of-war, as viewed in the RTS mode. The second screenshot shows a Rebel sniper outside a command point. The third screenshot shows a command point, full of resources, with a Rebel shield in the background.

So the main difference between the below screenshots and the ones in the last update/entry would be the sky and lighting system. In the below screenshots the sun ( or nearest star, hell I could have 4 suns... ) is totally dynamic and moves across the sky in real-time...when it gets dark due to the sun/light source being below the horizon - the lights ( if there are any ) on the vehicles and environment props 'click' on. I can't wait to further explore this ... I'll post a lot more about this in the future.

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Vehicle Physics and Ragdoll Physics
I've tackled the physics in a big way, essentially re-writing the entire system(s) over a few weeks. It really produced great results. I'm running very smoothly on my min-spec machine with 64 player controllers and ~16 vehicles, +100s of props. All of that is occurring on a massive, physically simulated terrain and environment collision mesh [ dynamic/keyframed]. It looks like everything is holding together and all kinds of funny situations can occur using the dynamic testing tools I've integrated into my game engine. I'll let you guess what happens when you drive a battle tank into a dense crowd of human soldiers ...


Road System Progress
One issue I've had with my previous game, was the massive landscapes not being connected in any meaningful way. Also the sheer size of the maps was a huge issue. My solution is two-fold, first I've got an entire "Dropship" system for delivering soldiers and equipment around the battlefield, see the above concept art. I will discuss the Dropships at a later date. The second element to solve the size of the maps is a decent infrastructure/system that defines, and allows, clear movement/flow between "points of interest" on the battlefield.

Some of the screenshots below are taken from OLD version of my World Editor, but they show the imported .svg road path, as well as AABB bounding information which is useful for AI navigation, and various other algorithms. I basically generate a AABB around the entire 'road' (spline), and it's point-list representation 'clusters'(vertices). The pathfinding implications of such large maps and detailed accuracy is pushing the limits of the systems I'm using, but I've got some soutions worked out.

Enough yapping - here are some images of my road system in-game/in-engine/in-editor ... the last 3 screenshots show what it looks like when I generate geometry down the spline/road curves and apply a "road" texture. I plan on having many available road textures, and options for the map/level/world authors. The last 2 screenshots ALSO show some environment settings other than the "dynamic-time-of-day" I've described above...






Procedural/Evolutionary Rock System Progress
I've also been making progress on rock formations to represent shapes in between the 100,000s of small rocks placed around the world - and the large mountains made up of the terrain. I needed to be able to blend an arbitrary mesh with my terrain's hieghtmap system. I started by generating a procedural evolutionary skeleton beneath the rock and "shrink wrapping" the mesh around the procedural skeleton, that got very complicated very quickly. I will describe it in detail someday... I designed the rock subdivision gene pools and rule sets to be randomly generated. This system while cool, took a lot of work and produced mediocre results.

So I've still got that all into the game, but I've switch to a MUCH simpler noise based solution. These are totally randomly generated with the click of a button, within the World Editor. You specify the size and the noise model and strength of the rock formation ... the tool then builds and randomizes the rock. You can slide the "bump" around the terrain in real-time :-D

These rocks are about the size of a *very* small house.



1,000,000 Views @ Gamedev.net Developer Journal
Wow, I guess it has been since 2005 that I've been tracking my game development journey and progress on Gamedev.net [ http://www.gamedev.net/blog/289-radioactive-software/ ] ... recently when I logged in I noticed the journal has surpassed 1,000,000 views - so thanks a lot for all the support guys. I hope people out there can take *something* away from all my entries, and posts about my work.


I've personally received so much information and support from the Gamedev.net community I really want to thank you guys again for everything. Also, if any member of the Gamedev.net community ever has questions/inquiries about game development - I'm always available to talk, if you want to e-mail me questions [ dgreen@radioactive-software.com ] or post anything in the comments section below, or on my website's forum [ http://www.RadioactiveSoftware.com/forum ] I'll be sure to get back to you ASAP. Anything I can do to give back to the game development community that has given me so much.

Thanks a lot, I'll keep you guys updated on all the progress of the project! As usual please keep updated on social media!!

Facebook- http://www.Facebook.com/KillingHorizon
Twitter- http://www.Twitter.com/Killing_Horizon

- Dan