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Friday, November 6, 2015

Released: Vector Control v0.1

For about a month now, I've been working on a new game project, in my fairly limited free time, and
I just hit the minimum playable milestone. So it's time to post it up here!

I'd absolutely love to hear feedback, but keep in mind that this is the earliest of alphas. I've put just enough polish on this to not be completely embarrassing, but it's still very simple and feature poor, it doesn't have any sound yet, and most of the artwork is not final.

Game Summary


In Vector Control, you're fighting a pandemic, spreading across the globe threatening to destroy humanity. As an agent of the CDC, you move frantically from city to city chasing the plague, trying to get ahead of it's deadly multiplication.

The controls are entirely mouse driven. Click on a city to move there, and click on the city you're on to eliminate one unit of disease. Diseases will occasionally reproduce, generating another unit of disease on the city they're on, and they'll occasionally move to neighboring cities. However, the last unit of disease will never leave a city, so once infected, a city will never be cured without your intervention.

You win the game by eliminating all the units of disease on the map. You lose by the disease getting sufficiently out of control that there are 200 units on the map. You can look to the syringe on the bottom of the screen to see how close you are to victory or defeat.

Downloads


The game is available for download right now: Windows | OS X

Note: The Mac version is not yet tested. I'm trusting that Unity built it correctly. If you try it out, please let me know whether it worked!

What's Next


The game as it stands is rather shallow, but I think it could be the seed of something great. So here are the things I hope to add to it, over time, to deepen it into a really compelling experience.

Special Abilities

I haven't yet decided how these will be made available or limited, but I have a few ideas. I'll likely experiment with a bunch of options before settling on one. Some specific abilities I have in mind are:
  • Quarantine - Drop in the current city. For some period of time, no diseases can enter or exit this city. Good for isolating infected parts of the map from clean parts.
  • Clinic - Drop in the current city. Lasts much longer than a quarantine, but still eventually runs out. Will periodically cure one unit of disease in the city. Useful to place on the clean end of very long connections, so you don't have to worry as much about diseases occasionally spreading along those lines.
  • Chartered Jet - Move very quickly directly to any city on the map. The value of this should be obvious.
I'm sure I'll think of a few more, given time, but these are a good starting point.

More Varied Maps

Variants of the world map with more or fewer cities, to provide faster or slower games.

Regional maps, which zoom in on, say, North America, Europe, China or Africa, and include a lot more of the local cities in those regions.

Maybe even some fictional maps!

Alternate maps should be easy to make, so I expect to eventually have a wide selection.

More Disease Types

I'd like to have diseases that have different attributes, to change up the game a bit. Possibly even include multiple different disease types in the same game at once.

Audio

The game will need sound effects and music. I'll likely need to get some help on this, as audio is really not my area.

Better Artwork

All of the art in the game right now I made myself. I'm not completely incapable in this area (unlike audio), but it's still not my area of expertise. I'd like to get a professional artist on this eventually.

Gamepad Support

I want to have solid support for both traditional gamepads and the Steam controller. This should be a good couch game.

If the game is sufficiently successful, I might even investigate console versions. But I have no idea what would be involved in getting it on PS4, XBox One or Wii U.

Mobile Support

This game should work very well on phones and tablets, so Android and iOS versions will hopefully come eventually.

Local Co-op

It would be great to be able to team up with your friends to fight more challenging scenarios together. This would build on the gamepad support.

Online Co-op

This is a harder thing, but if there's sufficient demand I'd give it a try.

Alternate Loss Conditions

The current loss conditions were just the simplest, most obvious option. I'm also considering the possibility of giving each city a population, which is slowly eaten away by the diseases in the city. You'd lose when the world population dropped too low to sustain itself. This is still an idea I'd have to experiment with. I'm not convinced it would actually be more fun than the current system.