Before July, I learned how to use the Unreal Engine. After some tutorials, I jumped into the example projects of Epic and bought some cheap/free projects from the marketplace. Since I haven’t worked in a large game company, it’s good to see how other developers structure their projects and how they realize specific gameplay features.
Then it was about time to think about what kind of game I was going to develop.
Oh, one thing, it’s a hobby project, and I don’t even know if I will charge money for it. It does not have to be successful, but of course, I want that some people are going to play it. Otherwise, there would be no point in creating a game.
Why is that important? There were 11696 games released on steam last year (https://steamdb.info/stats/releases/). To be commercially successful, I need to find the right niche, invest money and time in marketing, and do plenty of other stuff. This project should also be fun for me, and the number of couch co-op games is in an okayish range. At least small enough to have a chance that some gamer will pick it up.
So I started to write some prototypes. I created a parkour game that I didn’t enjoy playing. Then we had a “Orcs must die” like game, which was fun to make but way too close to the original. A zombie horde shooter that used the Chaos Physics engine to destroy the surroundings. I couldn’t manage to have the physics synced adequately over the network; more importantly, it was quite dull.
I stuck with the zombies because there are plenty of excellent assets in the marketplace, and the AI shouldn’t be too hard to develop.
I liked the outdoor idea of the parkour game and the shooting mechanics of the tower defense game. Furthermore, I love 3rd-Person-Shooter and enjoy it if there is a little story. So I smashed everything together and added some stealth finisher, and the game idea was born.
I looked more closely at how the unreal engine’s replication system worked and had a trial game with a friend via Steam.
Now everything was ready to set up the actual project.