Gearing Up

May 11, 2009

Most work done on Seal Hunter lately has merely been about polishing the overall first impression of the game and making things a bit more logical. With a prototype version having been sent off to PlaygroundSquad as my work sample (and after doing some serious code crunching) I’m rather relieved and miscellaneous UI elements is all I’ve been working on lately.

As well as this bastard of a menu which was an utter pain to code. Or well, at least utterly boring.


In a vain attempt to explain this rather muddled menu and its purpose, as mentioned earlier players will be limited to carrying only a certain number of weapons at once – or rather, only being able to buy these weapons during a game round. The weapons carried make up the player’s loadout. This magical number has now after some contemplation been set to five, which means that players are able to pick out five weapons (or less, if you’re hardcore enough) before starting a game – and they can then purchase these weapons during the game. Easy enough, right?

Some of you might not like this, but there are two major reasons for this design decision:

  • To avoid cluttering the buy menu. The buy menu in Seal Hunter is a small window that pops up in the bottom right, after which you can either use a number key or your mouse to purchase a weapon of your choice. There’s of course also the traditional “auto-buy” feature from the original game that purchases the most expensive weapon available to you. Since there will be quite a few more weapons in Seal Hunter than in The Seal Hunter this was vital in order to not make the buy menu all too intimidating.
  • To encourage players to specialize. Seal Hunter is first and foremost – at least that’s the way I perceive it – about multiplayer co-op fun with friends and strangers alike. Players will most certainly grow accustomed to certain weapons while despising others, and this is a method of easily making one’s preferences clearly outlined to other players. For example, in multiplayer you might have somebody concentrating on explosives to take care of smaller victims using the splash damage, while one of your friends act as a form of more concentrated damage output with weapons such as the AWP etc.

Why five weapons? A player rarely purchases more than three weapons during a game, so technically I could’ve limited it to three or perhaps four, but I didn’t want to become too strict on the player. Should something unexpected arise during the game (…as if) the player should not be penalized all too much, but should instead be allowed a sort of second backup plan if things would go utterly haywire.

Also, I need your help to come up with rank titles! Pay the forums a visit and give me a hand; it’d be very much appreciated. :-)