Guns. Lots of guns

One thing that we get questions (and suggestions) quite frequently is on the topic of weapons. People ask us “what kind of weapons will there be? Will there be more weapons? What about gun customization? What do they look like?” This leads to the inevitable “show me the guns!”

Well today I am happy to answer some of those questions and show off some weapons with some side-by-side comparisons to the original game’s arsenal. The list of weapons is always shifting, growing, and changing. Most of your favorites from the original game are making an appearance alongside some fancy new additions!

1911 Comparison
1911 details

So to kick things off, if you’re a gun-nut like I am, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the names and brands of the weapons have changed – they are not “real” anymore. Now this is because we’re now working on a commercial product and we have to respect existing copyrights and trademarks. So we’ve made up substitutions; “Beretta” for example becomes “Fierra”, “Glock” substituted with “Eder” and “Ruger” is replaced with “Gruber”. This sort of change is also present in a few of the gun names as well, as some of those too are trademarked. So with that being said, don’t be alarmed when you pick up a firearm with an unfamiliar name!

We’ll start with firearms. The most noticeable change and improvement with the weapons you will see right away that the visuals are of a much higher quality. Our weapon selection was put together as a joint effort between myself and friend of the team Tim Bergholz of Chamfer Zone (www.chamferzone.com), who made most of our firearm art. We worked with the arsenal of the first game and made a few changes and additions, and Tim cranked out some amazing models and textures as we went down the list, and you can see here just how much of a quality improvement his skills have brought to the guns. We’ve put together a few side-by-side comparisons of some select guns from the original game compared to their new equivalents so you can see for yourself, starting with the M16A4:

M16A4 details

The basics of guns in general function more or less the same as what you’re used to. No on-screen crosshair – requiring you to use ironsights for accuracy, no permanent HUD for ammo – requiring you to do ammochecks, the ability to unload ammo from guns, the ability to perform skillshots, and using flashlights with handguns. On top of all that, though, we’re adding in a few new things too. These two little features alone should add plenty more to the gunplay of NMRiH2.

Flare Gun comparison

The first new feature is the ability to use “alternate ammo”. For pistol calibers (sans .357 Magnum) that alt-ammo is HP or Hollowpoint; inflicting massive damage to a single soft target. For most rifle calibers (plus .357 Magnum) the alt-ammo is AP or Armor Piercing; dealing huge amounts of damage armored enemies human or zombie and passing through multiple soft targets. A couple rifle calibers have API rounds, or Armor Piercing Incendiary which is exactly what it sounds like. And finally we have 12-gauge shotguns shells which, to make the shotgun class of weapons more versatile, come in buckshot, slug, and finally dragon’s breath. This feature is still hugely work in progress and is subject to change like everything else, but that’s the intention!

CX8 Alaris carbine with attachable sights

The second new feature is gun customization. If you’re familiar with Crysis, our system works similarly. You can enable on-the-spot gun customization allowing you to attach suppressors, tactical lights, sights, and more to your firearms. Every firearm is different with what options are available to you. You can find parts in the world or you have the chance to bring them into the game with you from your Steam Inventory – but that’s a whole other game mechanic that we’ll explore in the future 😉

Eder 22 (with attachable light) compared with Glock 17
Eder 22 details

Another change with firearms this time around is that they will no longer “rest” in a hipfire idle state. Now, when you’re just standing around or milling about, your gun will be in a “rest idle” position held up at the side if a pistol or down in front of your body if a long gun. it’s a small change, and doesn’t impact much, but visually it’s a really nice addition that enhances your immersion.

Now don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about melee! There will be all your old favorites and some new additions as well. Once again their function will be similar: quick swings and charged attacks, shoving, throwing, and flashlight support for one-handed weapons. This time, though, certain melee weapons have “tool functions” so for example you can use a crowbar to prise a manhole cover.  Charged attacks have also seen a slight change; when you begin charging a weapon your character will quickly come to a complete stop, “planting” your feet down to ground yourself for a strong swing. This means you can’t just forever run around the map with a charged baseball bat looking for heads to knock off – you’re going to need to be a bit more strategic!

Melee weapons have also gotten an art overhaul, and we’ve included a few more side-by-side comparisons for you all!

Machete comparison

We also have the ammoboxes – much like the guns, we needed to make up all fictional names but we wanted to try and stick as close to the color schemes you are all familiar with from the original game. We’ve also added a couple new calibers to the game including .40 S&W and 5.7mm – Check these out and you can let us know if you feel they are recognizable! (Keep in mind this is just a first pass of their art, and we’ll probably make a few boxes open with exposed bullets like in the first game.)

The primary firearm calibers

So thank you for joining me today to talk about weapons, hopefully you’ve enjoyed taking a look at the art we’ve done and maybe you’re super pumped to use them when we launch the game! If you’ve ever wanted to make gun models like you see here, our buddy Tim Bergholz at Chamfer Zone  has a series of tutorials for 3D Studio Max and Substance Painter that’ll teach you how to be an art pro!

Join us next month for another Dev Blog, and we’ll end off with a huge array of images for you to enjoy!

                                             

Keto 85 comparison
Keto 85 details
M590A1 compared to the 870
M590A1 details
MP5A4 comparison
MP5A4 details
DT11 compared with SV10
DT11 Details

Recap and Forecast

It’s been 6 months since we started this blog. So right now seems like a great time to do a recap and forecast. I figured it would be good to reflect and ask for feedback as well as give a current status update and tease a little of what to expect in the future.

Previously…

We first launched this blog back in January which was shortly after our first trailer. The trailer gathered so much attention we were blown away with the reception. This prompted us to start being more transparent and communicating our development with the community, thus the blog. So far we’ve had four department specific posts focusing on Character Art, Music, Animation and Story. We’ve tried to give a snapshot view of our progress and thought processes for said departments. Not only focusing on what we’re making but also what ideas go into our current choices.

Current Events

About a month ago, No More Room in Hell 2 was selected as a recipient of an Unreal Dev Grant. We’ve been incredibly excited as this is a great boost for us to make the quality game we’ve set out to create. While this doesn’t let us quit our day jobs just yet, the grant helps us greatly as it allows us to afford some tools and assets that would be out of our reach otherwise. We can be more flexible and accomplish our development goals faster without breaking the bank paying out of pocket for everything. At the end of the day we like to think it’s with all the support from our community and fans that made this possible and on behalf of our entire team, thank you!

Now on to the actual development front. Our first map, a remake of our NOTLD, is coming along quite nicely and we’ve been teasing a few images on twitter and facebook.

Coming Up

Speaking of NOTLD we have a special project in the works to show off a little bit of NOTLD in an upcoming teaser! Coming soon…

We learned a lot making our first trailer and Epic has been steadily improving the sequencer in UE4, the in-engine video/trailer creation toolset. We couldn’t wait to give the new features a spin and show off our hard work at the same time so we decided to start work on a brand new teaser trailer!

NOTLD isn’t our only map, we’re deep in development of a brand new map which is a bit too early along to show much of yet. We can’t wait to start showing it off once we get it in a proper state.

As for this blog you can expect our usual post every month. Topics we’ve been discussing for posts in the future are: UI, Environment/Level Design, SFX and Guns. We would love to hear what types of blog posts you’re interested in reading please let us know in the comments or on any of our social media pages.

-David Meade

                                             

Building a Narrative

Calla Murphy spotted a long stick lying on the forest floor. It would’ve been perfect for playing Hogwarts with her brother as a child. She twirled it, mimicking the movements she’d picked up from the movies. Her hand spasmed involuntarily, throwing the makeshift wand into the darkness of the forest.

She reassured herself that her squad would be fine in the end. They had the training and the tools to survive. They were smart, resourceful and they knew how to make the hard decisions.

Their trek from Philadelphia to the abandoned farm house was pure pain. Friends were lost in the city, and now they had lost another. Roy Walsh had gotten sick from a bite he sustained trying to save a child in the city. They stopped at the farmhouse with the sole intention of letting Roy rest and heal until they received further orders. Then Roy had turned. And the orders never came.

Calla sighed, taking one final look at the bright hunter’s moon illuminating her in the clearing in she had chosen. She peeled back the bandage on her wrist. What was once a mere scratch had degenerated into an oozing black wound with venial electricity crawling up her arm and spreading throughout her body. The veins infected her thoughts, making her itchy… scratchy. She knew she didn’t have much time before she ended up like Roy.

She placed the barrel of her M4 into her mouth, her good arm finger her thumb into the trigger piece.

She reassured herself that her squad would be fine in the end.


Hey everyone! My name’s Jeremy Ferretti (codename infr4mer), and this is the beginning of my dev blog. I am the lead writer/narrative guy for No More Room in Hell 2. This blog post will be an introduction to me, how I came to join the NMRiH2 dev team, and what we hope to accomplish with the story of NMRiH2.

I’ve been a part of the NMRiH community since 2004 when Half-Life 2 was first released. I still remember that cold December when I first discovered HL2. I remember being blown away by all the games that were being developed as a part of the HL2 mod community. Personally I was most excited for the mod D.E.A.D. (which has long been dead), but next on my favorites was the mod No More Room in Hell. Due to their team’s outstanding community outreach I quickly became friends with everyone through mIRC and Ventrillo. Most importantly, I became friends with a guy named Maxx. We instantly clicked, bonding over our love for plants, selling drugs in Garry’s Mod roleplaying servers, creating fake videogame companies, and making concepts for games that will never (and should never) see the light of day.

As life went on, Maxx worked tirelessly on NMRiH1 while I worked on developing my storytelling career, going on to write a few screenplays, a few novels, and a few totally awesome short comics.

After NMRiH1 was released and NMRiH2 began development, Maxx decided they needed a narrative guy, someone to help develop the world of NMRiH2, to create a coherent timeline where a zombie apocalypse could take place in, to create a backstory for each of the maps so they could logically fit in this timeline.

I believe it was David ‘Dman’ Meade who suggested me for the job, having known I could produce workable writing on a tight schedule (at my best I could write 2,000 fiction words an hour). I instantly agreed to help.

Sadly the world has become over saturated with zombie stories, but being able to tell one in a unique, dynamic way on my own terms seemed like a good challenge. I knew this game would give me the opportunity to tell the typical zombie story in a way I had never seen before. NMRiH2 wouldn’t rely on intrusive cutscenes or heavy ham-fisted dialogue from mouthy protagonists as so many video games do nowadays.

Another (unrelated) draw I had to NMRiH2 was the knowledge that a great realistic zombie survival hasn’t been created yet. There have been plenty of stellar zombie games, but most of them end up turning into arcade style shoot-em-ups. But that’s a whole different story for another time.

My favorite video games are those where the story isn’t the main draw. Video game storytelling is still in its infancy. It’s still a developing field with tons of indie devs breaking grounds on how stories can be told in games. When it comes to modern shooters, there seems to a pretty popular formula: you shoot bad guys, then comes a cutscene, shoot bad guys, another cutscene. That’s not what we’re going for for NMRiH2.

Half-Life 1 did storytelling quite well in my opinion. The story is all there if you pay attention, but it doesn’t really get in the way of the game. That’s what I would like to emulate in this game. A game where the story is there if you want to follow it, but we’re not gonna shove it down your throat.

So that’s where we’re at. Out of all the dev posts, you’re probably going to hear the most from me, considering writing is something I just do. Commentary on what I’m working on also helps me work better and more efficiently.

Plans for my upcoming dev posts include the inspiration for NMRiH2, the life behind the Night of the Living Dead map, the timeline of our fictional universe, the characters we will populate the worlds with, and the ideas for the upcoming campaigns.

Until next time, infr4mer out.
Jeremy “infr4mer” Ferretti also publishes his web comic Exits – A Paranormal Comedy (among others) at his website aberrantink.com