15 – 20 years ago I devoured games such as Wolfenstein, DOOM and of course the 15 year old genius that is Quake. What I loved about those games was so much more than the pleasure of blasting monsters – for me was all about the neat little extras that the developer threw in.

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Most notably the muzzleflash and weapon recoil when the trigger button was pressed. This lit Quake up beautifully. In fact before OpenGL changed the look of the game you could pretty much light your way along a gloomy corridor with a few rounds from the shotgun / nailgun or with a single shot from the rocket launcher. I can’t tell you how many times I did that and enjoyed it.

For Area 51 I wanted to achieve my own very stripped down version of this super satisfying sensation.
To achieve the muzzleflash I simply re-rendered the wall overlays to include a touch of Photoshop light rendering. I aimed the cursor to the right of the weapon area so that it pretty much just lit up the right hand corridor wall. If you look you can see it slightly illuminates the darker corridor in the distance. The effect was satisfying enough but empty without the recoil of the weapon in hand.

I set a .nextthink attribute on the weapon object and depending on the weapon it would be anything from 4 game ticks to 10 for the slower non-auto weapons.
During this period I would flash the walls and recoil the gun. Better yet I lifted the already written blood spurting code and created a white version that spat from the gun with every round. Almost like bullet cases being shed when unloading an automatic rifle.

You can see the muzzleflash in the above right image compared to the left side.

Finally I got around to iconising the weapons for display in the HUD. You can tap each unlocked weapon to use it. The first three weapons will unlock fairly quick but the last two might just be beyond level 20. That’s when the aliens and hideous experiments start to come at you :-)

Hugely entertaining to develop this. Loving making games again.

Incidentally the text in the green console is dynamic. I intend to write meaningful things in there during each mission to assist the player. As yet I haven’t thought of anything to say in there.

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