View Full Version : Dead Frontier (3 part mini series)

01-14-2008, 01:19 AM
I've now released the 3rd part of the Dead Frontier mini-flash series and was wondering if there was any constructive criticism to be had. Especially interested to know how it runs on your machine. I'm now building an MMO based on the same engine and aiming to release in March 08.

Below are all three nights. The first one isn't especially great, so if you only try one please pick #2 or #3:

Night One: http://www.deadfrontier.com/nightone.php
Night Two: http://www.deadfrontier.com/nighttwo.php
Night Three: http://www.deadfrontier.com/nightthree.php
Screenshots: http://www.deadfrontier.com/screenshots.php


Roman Budzowski
01-14-2008, 05:18 AM
I played it for a while. It's too dark for me, though I understand it has to be dark (but maybe not so much?). I didn't have speakers so I can't say how "dark" the game is.


01-14-2008, 06:02 AM
In the "day one" I couldn't move with the keys, only rotate and shoot with the mouse.
This happend to me with some other flash games.
I tested it on a linux computer, not very fresh with the flash players, but your second game "day two" worked fine. They all look interesting (love horror games).

Game Producer
01-14-2008, 09:12 AM
Hey, I'm on your newsletter list. You are supposed to email me when this stuff happens! ;)

P.S. are you doing the Flash programming, or do you get help from somebody?

01-14-2008, 09:19 AM
This is pretty darn cool - aside from the tower defense game it's the only Flash game I have ever really had fun with.

The one room setting went on a bit too long for my tastes - I'm going back to work after spending about 20 minutes or so. If I had more of a sense of progression I would probably be losing a lot more time to this game.

Would be interested if you ever do a game producer type interview where you share revenue info.. I'm not sure I want to get into Flash game dev. myself but I'm curious how a top game performs through sponsorship and ad. revenue.

01-14-2008, 09:55 AM
Wow.. that is top notch stuff!
I thought the first night was pretty good, then I skipped to the 3rd night and was blown away.
I loved how you had a friend and his daughter in the 3rd night.
Lennard .. you've got to try the 3rd night .. it isn't just one room.

The game ran fine on my machine (which is to be expected since it is a 2Ghz core duo processor.)

Pretty exciting that you're making an MMO out of this. I wonder how it will work. Would people have to team up against the zombies? Or will some people get to be the zombies ... or will people just shoot each other. Interesting.

I would have other questions too since I'm beginning flash development myself.. both technical and business. Technical such as .. is this Flash 8? How are you handling the drawing .. and how are you communicating with the server for the MMO? .. but no need to answer right now .. just curious.

Seeing stuff like this makes me really want to get into Flash development and I think you've found a sweet spot for yourself where you can really make games you like and make money at the same time .. Congrats and good luck!

01-14-2008, 10:09 AM
I got answers to some of my MMO questions here:

Great to see you've got a community going already!

Popcorn Boy
01-14-2008, 10:43 AM
Wow.. that is top notch stuff!
I thought the first night was pretty good, then I skipped to the 3rd night and was blown away.
I loved how you had a friend and his daughter in the 3rd night.
Lennard .. you've got to try the 3rd night .. it isn't just one room.

Played Night 3 for a bit. Made it to the roof but ran out of ammo and the girl got eaten. :(

01-14-2008, 10:53 AM
Yep it's Flash 8, and no plans to change to AS3 yet. Drawing wise it 100% bitmaps, no vectors. Most of it is 3D renders. Communicating with server is done via a mixture of xmlsockets for realtime in game and simple 'sendandload' php requests for browser parts.

I don't think it would be good to say exact figures but sponsorship is pretty decent money, enough to live off of if I could make on average one good release every 6 weeks (which I think wouldn't be too hard if you make multiple games out of same mechanics). I'm guessing I could have gotten more money through sponsorship if I had really played hard ball and shopped around, but that was never really the focus. Idea was simply to pay for art/sound assets, pay for some of my time and build up some interest before the MMO is released. Seems to be working so far.

If MMO doesn't work out for whatever I'll make a try/buy version though doubt it'd be a huge seller. So many people on the forums say things like "wow i really can't wait for this but I don't got any money so plz make it free". Guessing they're mainly teens.

01-14-2008, 11:00 AM
I enjoyed the 3rd Night very much. I liked the father's and daughter's dialog, I thought it added to the feel of the game to have them yelling stuff dependent on what was happening(A zombie close to him, or to his daughter). Might be neat to add some dialog that pops up dependent on what zombie comes onto the screen("That's a fast bugger!" "Die, dog bitch!").

I think the darkness is perfectly fine, it's meant to be dark and creepy. I think it might even be cooler if the character was given a flash light and the screen was made even darker for some levels.

One other suggestion, the zombies need some kinda sound effect for when they're just walking towards you I think. It seems like there is a missed opportunity to make things creepier, by way of the sound effects, by adding a groaning noise to make things scarier when you have a bunch of zombies chasing you down.

I think this would really help with the fast zombies, who already rush you decently fast but could be enhanced if they're making some kinda creepy noise while doing so.

The game ran perfectly fine on my computer:
C2D E6300
Radeon X1950

01-14-2008, 07:34 PM
Pretty nice. Did make me realise just how dark my monitor brightness was - had to turn it up. :)

Typos in night 2 intro:

"Desserted" should be "deserted"
"surivivors" should be "survivors", and you're missing a full stop at the end of that sentence.

01-14-2008, 09:59 PM
I like it. Some of, if not your best work to date. It's a lot like something I've been wanting for a while. A sort of more cohesive mission based Crimsonland. Yeah quite good and should appeal very directly to the audience it's intended for.

So there's some kind of "full version" in Dec? Will that be a stand-alone app?

The one thing that bothers me a little is the small screen tiny resolution stuff. It's a tiny rect on my big monitor. Will a "full version" address that?

My only suggestion is... replace the 16% completed with a graphical bar of some kind. I can't read that stuff when Im surrounded by 200 zombies and all I have left is a dagger.

01-15-2008, 05:13 AM
So there's some kind of "full version" in Dec? Will that be a stand-alone app?

The screenshots page is part of the old site design, it's not linked anywhere on the main site. Original plan was not to do an MMO and just make a try/buy fullscreen version by December 07 but after getting feedback figured something free would actually work out more profitable (via ads etc). So now doing the MMORPG instead. As a result release won't be until March 08 now.

01-15-2008, 06:10 AM
This is Killer Neil! I've sent the link to a ton o' my friends.

Let me know if that other horror game we started on ever takes root again!

01-15-2008, 06:51 AM
I feel pretty knowledgeable about this sort of game since I'm making one with similar controls right now, and I have a number of constructive comments I'd like to make after beating the second night.

1. I really like the visuals, and the brightness level was perfect for me. Really added to the atmosphere.

2. The feel of the gameplay was good. I liked how you could get critical hits and the whole screen shook.

Now for the downsides:

3. I felt like the night went on way too long; I got bored pretty quickly during the early stages of the game, especially since it was so easy. One thing I would recommend is speeding up both the night progression and the spawn rate of the monsters, especially the most common ones who die easily. Make it feel really hectic, like the night's going by really fast and you can barely survive second to second. Don't be afraid to let the player die; Your audience for this kind of game won't mind a little good-natured frustration. In fact, try to kill us a bunch of times, but make the night go by so quickly that we're dying to jump back in for another attempt. Remember, that last part's key--if you just make it harder but make the night go by really slow, it'll feel like you're not getting anywhere and why-should-you-try-again.

4. The game lacks goals and motivation. I can't find much fault with the basic gameplay, but it all takes place in one area, and the only goal for me was that interminable percentage at the top of the screen that slowly ticked away. I strongly recommend calculating the player's score on the fly (based on accuracy and health or however you're doing it) and putting it on the screen, at the very least.

Another cool thing would be to give the player big notifications in the middle of the screen at certain times--"Keep fighting! You're halfway there!" That sort of thing to give kind of a psychological reward for surviving to that point.

You also might try revamping the way powerups are given; I don't like how they just drop off the enemies. One thought I had was that you might spawn a stockpile occasionally and give the player an arrow at the edge of their screen pointing towards it with a message "Stockpile found!" when it appears. That way they have to fight their way to their items instead of them just randomly dropping off monsters. It'll feel like a big accomplishment when they get to their new gun or ammo loadout, since they had to battle through fifty monsters to get there.

01-15-2008, 07:08 AM
Tried #1 and #3... Thought #1 didn't feel very exciting, however I liked third one quite a lot!
Gameplay and overall look & feel were nice but I felt town blocks (areas) all look too similar.
Minor nitpick: The weapon you mention as Steyr TMP looks like IMI UZI. Here is how Steyr TMP looks like:
And here is UZI which looks like your image:

And I liked the fact that you decided to move your own way making action games, not pursuing portals with the rest of the crowd. This is the way we are heading to right now... We have casual RTS game in development :)
Amber Trichomes (http://trichomes.org)

01-15-2008, 11:55 AM
Yeh the Steyr TMP wasn't correct in night 1 but we got that fixed for later parts. Thanks for comments :-)

01-15-2008, 12:38 PM
Weird, I noticed it in #3 :)
Suzuki Gsx-R1100 History (http://www.suzuki-tech.com/wiki/Suzuki_GSX-R1100)

01-15-2008, 08:24 PM
I played the night 1 episode just now, for a few minutes, before the zombies overran me.

My first impression? It's a great game.

Chris Evans
01-15-2008, 08:44 PM
I just want to say it's great seeing more Indie developers who had previously focused on downloadables get into the web game market. It really is one of the last frontiers where small devs can still get a lot of eyeballs/exposure if the have something unique even if the game is a bit offbeat or niche. I think those who recognized this the last couple of years instead of chasing the portal crowd will find themselves in a very good position in the next 12-18 months.

That said, Nexic if you end up doing the MMO make sure you have some paid/premium feature. I think it's a little risky to be 100% reliant on ad revenue.

01-16-2008, 02:12 AM
Totally agree Chris, and will definitely be having paid content and donations in addition to the ads. I think overall the ads will earn more but that's just my rough calculations based on revenue I've generated from other types of site. Might me ten times worse than I expect, or even 10 times better.