Dead Ghost Open World Game

Dead Ghost is an open world survival crafting PC game created for the Bafta Young Game Designer Competition. In the game you play in a completely randomly generated world in which you can manipulate everything. You can explore, farm crops, mine ores, construct buildings and face enemies. The challenge is to survive for as long as you can and explore the lowest depths of the world. 

//World Creation
The world in which you play in is completely randomly generated when you start the game through a function which creates gradients from low water regions to high mountain regions. Conventionaly game objects would be used for each element in the game. However, since the world is made up of over 1,000,000 different tiles, this is too processor intensive. To solve this problem the map is stored in multiple 500x500 8 bit arrays which contain the data for each tile. A single gameobject is then responsible for drawing game elements to the screen depnding upon the players coordinate in the world.

Each tile of the game is made up of a floor tile, a block tile and a roof tile. Floor tiles comprise of the ground on which the player stands on. These can be grass, dirt, stone, water etc. Block tiles are impassable by the player. These can be trees, stone blocks, constructed walls etc. Roof tiles are used to cover up buildings, these become translucent as the players nears them allowing you to see into the building. There are number of other tiles including plants, chests, staris etc which the player can also interact with in unique ways.

//Game Art
An 8-Bit esque style was used for the game sprites. Many of the floor and block sprites needed to be able to blend smoothly into each other when the same type of tile is adjacent. 12 different sprites for each tile type needed to be made. The function which draws the sprites to the screen chooses which one of these needs to be used depending on the tile types of the surrouding blocks.

The player can explore underground with the use of ladders. There are 5 different levels to explore in the game each one becoming progresively more difficult. The terrain generation for each of these levels is unique and new blocks can be found the lower down the player travels. The player can harvest these new resources to buid better tools and weapons.

There are a number of friendly and unfirendly characters in the game. Milk can be harvested from cows in the overworld to craft food recipes. Enemies included ghosts and slimes which become harder to fight in lower levels of the world. There are also some boss fights that the player can engage with when they are ready.

The game world goes through a day and night cycle meaning that the player must use torches in order to be able to see. These are also needed when exploring underground. The lighting effect shades each tile depending upon how far away it is from the nearest torch. Although this is low resolution it is extremely high performance compared to other shading methods tested.

The player can place floor tiles, blocks and roof tiles wherever they want in the game world using the cursos. This allows the construction of things such as houses and farms. The player can also build ladders which enable them to traverse to lower levels of the game world. 

A crafting interface was made in the 8-Bit style to allow to players to assemble in game items such as weapons and tools. The materials needed for each item are displyed next to it which informs the player what materials they still need to gather.

Chill Lo-Fi soundtrack for the game composed by Peesh. Check out his other music at the link bellow.

//Tools used
+ Gamemaker Studio
+ Laptop
+ Music by Peesh
// Date
+ July 2018