Die to Survive - Railshooter

Some pictures of some assets i use in the demo i am preparing.
I will hopefully can share a flytrough of the finished level soon also.


Hey, @Thorsten09, I hope you’re having a great Monday. These assets look great; I especially love the designs! :star_struck:

I’m looking forward to seeing the finished level’s design and possibly more gameplay. :eyes:

Hi @Zezkaii, thank you i am glad you like it :slight_smile:

Here is a very short video from the demo i work on.
Here at the start of the level i try to use kinda tutorial, without having a real one.

I just use some sort of color-coding and build up awareness so hopfully the player can later remember if such things happen again.
I love games that slowly introduce gamplay with such things that´s why i want to use similar routes.

This is a very basic final test. I hope i can share a longer video with not only standart enemies, the final gore system and a finished level in place very soon.


Very nice, that’s a smooth intro; I especially love the color scheme/design of the central area of this demo map! Games that introduce gameplay subtly are wonderful; great idea going that route. Thanks for the update! :grin:

Hi @ThronosStudios Happy New Year and it looks like its off to a Great Start for Die to Survive. Very Nice!

How will Players control the Reticle? I would anticipate Mouse/GamePad Thumbstick support by default, but, is there any plans to support other methods of control, especially the ‘LightGun’? Its completely different experience playing a Railshooter using a Mouse/Thumbstick verses a Light Gun (and I favor LightGun for Railshooters.)

I priced a couple LightGuns with the average ~$100 USD. Leap Motion Hand Tracking Starting ~$100 USD (I own one of these). I also looked into Tobii Eye Tracker Tech starting ~250 USD. I’m not certain how popular these peripherals are. In my opinion, supporting more of these peripherals is in the best interest of the Railshooter Genre Revival.

I’m also researching real-time motion capture techniques to include DIY using XBOX Kinect (~60 USD), Cellphones, and VR Motion Controllers. I favor VR Motion Controllers I own a Quest 2, and intend to support a few VR Hybrid Modes in some capacity.

VR Hybrid Modes?
  1. VR Motion Controllers for Reticle Control; Standard Monitor (No HMD).
  2. Static VR HMD for Stereoscopic View / AI Controlled Camera [ Rail Shooter ].
  3. Dynamic VR HMD for Stereoscopic View / AI Controlled Camera [ Rail Shooter ].
  4. Static VR HMD for Stereoscopic View w/ Manual Controlled Camera using Motion Controller Thumbstick.
  5. Static VR HMD for Stereoscopic View; Third Person Camera Perspectives.

VR may be the means for achieving the Railshooter feel I’m looking for and I suspect they’re more popular than LightGuns.


Hello and happy new year,

@TechLord , the short answer:
The focus is to aim with a mouse (till the game is fully finished or in some sort of early access state)
Gamepad (but only with aim assist)
VR maybe later (unsure)

At the moment the focus is pure for aiming with the mouse and finishing a demo that needs to be done in about 5 days.

More in deep answer

I testet a Gamepad but i did not like it (also at the PS3 lightgun times and there it was the same).
To make this work and have fun you will at least need some sort of aim assist wich i not have right now.
Tested already a little and it is not to hard to develop this.

I do not own one right now, but i read a lot about a pretty good one (at least seems like) Sinden Lightgun.
As far as i understand it is almost work like a normal mouse so i think this will be more like figure out how to set up controls for it.
But i can´t tell right now because it was sold out the last time i looked, but of course i will get one at some point to test and also play with it.

It would feel strange develop a Railshooter without suporting a lightgun because this is where you get the most fun out of it.
In a few weeks when i get closer to finishing the game i will have a deeper look at all lightguns available then.

I think this would be also a very good idea but i also do not own one of this. So hard to tell at the moment. The controls look very different,
could be done i guess but i have no idea how this will work till i have tested it.
So i am not sure right now if i will do a VR version of the game.
But i am well aware this would also be a great idea. I simply did not touch this and do not know how it works at the moment.


I think this would be also a very good idea but i also do not own one of this. So hard to tell at the moment. The controls look very different,
could be done i guess but i have no idea how this will work till i have tested it.
So i am not sure right now if i will do a VR version of the game.
But i am well aware this would also be a great idea. I simply did not touch this and do not know how it works at the moment.

Playing the Railshooter in VR could present several presentation formats, one of them could be like playing in front of the Actual Railshooter Machine in an actual Arcade with actual Lightguns!

The physical freedom of movement in VR with HMD/MCs is way different than playing in front of Monitor with keyboard/mouse/gamepads. Lightguns present similar physical freedom of movement in front of a standard monitor and the AI controlled-camera is suitable for both seamlessly in my opinion.

After experiencing such physical freedom of movement in VR, It is very difficult for me to play a game in front of standard monitor. This problem has been a major driver for me to develop Hyper-cinematics camera system for standard games.

Virtual Reality Statistics by Users As of 2021, there are 57.4 million VR users and 90.9 million AR users in the U.S. There are an estimated 171 million VR users worldwide. I would only anticipate this number to increase so its worthy of investment as a Game Developer.

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After looking today a little into how i build the system for movement damage and so on, i think i could use what i have now as a base framework. But the gameplay would be very different because of the freedom with the movement to look around you have with VR. Clamping would kinda work, but i am not sure how this would turn out.
After finishing the game i will also have a closer look to VR and all options that are available.
First i want to finish the game. I spend way to much time testing a lot of different things, thats why i takes so long :grinning:

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And here is a short video where i have done some quick final tests if all works as i want. Looking good so far, now i can start to build the final level and use the newer gore system.

Edit: Just another short funny test with explosions and ragdolls to remind me how much fun it can be seeing stupid animations in games :smiley:.


Understandable, and I know about how much time its takes testing when you solo Game R&D. Sometimes I find myself having so much fun with a particular feature, I end up more so Playing than Testing haha. But, if truth be told I need some fun to keep motivated and working on it.

Awesome Progress Video! Enemy AI looking great with Flying Knifes, Rag Doll, Dismemberment, and up-in-your-face Slashes are something fierce. I love it all. I would add those onscreen Bites, Slashes, Blood Splatters to a standard FPS. Left4Dead could have benefited from those indicators. You have my wheels turning, thinking about various onscreen attack status effects from 3D versions to Procedural 2D versions. DTS already looks like a lot of Fun.

I really appreciate the idea of “shoot-to-interact” with event triggers, pickups, etc. It really highlights and emphasizes the shooter in the rail shooter game. The Player can only control weapon(s) and shoot, so SHOOT EVERYTHING! I can easily visualize the technique being use to activate ‘derailers’ to switch routes. Shoot Characters to Type. Shoot Body Parts to Customize.

Optional Reading

In addition to using onscreen attack status effects, I would like to use the “shoot-to-interact” approach in our XPS ARPG to consolidate interaction methods to a single method: ‘Press Fire Button’ to do stuff. The reason for this is because, i like to click the LMB for everything and the Hyper-Cinematic Camera System requires many input controls:

  1. WASD - Movement
  2. Mouse Wheel - Switch View
  3. Mouse Wheel Button - Switch to Default View
  4. Keys 1 to 8 - Switch View
  5. LMB + Shift - Sticky Mount ( Focus on Player )
  6. RMB + Shift - Sticky Focus
  7. LMB + Ctrl - Sticky Mount ( Focus on Other )
  8. RMB + Ctrl - Sticky Focus
  9. LMB + Alt - Sticky Mount In-Place
  10. RMB + Alt - Sticky Focus In-Place
  11. LMB reserved for Weapon Firing.

This requirement has created a dilemma of sorts with managing inputs for other features. I’m forced to devise a solution that allows a one Input to be used for multiple purposes. I refer to the solution as Input Schemes.

Input Schemes are inputs assigned to one or more groups. You can select one or more groups to be active. All inputs assigned to active groups will fire upon activation, those not assigned to active groups do not fire. Technically, its a simple array comparison between ActiveGroups & AssignedGroups following InputAction/InputAxis Event Node.

they are also great for Gamepads.

Input Schemes are awesome for Gamepads too, allowing you to do many more things with the small inputset with or without using input combinations to trigger events. Input Combinations are also a means to achieve many more with a small inputset, and you could apply schemes to these input combinations. But, the caveat is, it requires a dedicate Scheme Select Button, to switch schemes on demand, so you technically loose a gamepad button in the process.

Input Schemes work great for consolidating all the various Marketplace Assets and their inputs. Consolidation is a critical initiative for me to minimize the number of subsystems implemented and keep the project design manageable for solo dev. Combat is one of those areas. I’m developing a Spline-driven Projectiles (Trajectiles) to supports both Range and Melee Combat.


I try to keep the controls as simple as possible. So i only have shooting, weapon switch and reload at the moment.
The rest will be as you said “shoot-to-interact”. I needed to figure this out, so i can let the player chose a path trough the level (Will not be in the first demo because not much time is left). But you can really drive all interactions with this system.
I just like to keep things simple :slight_smile:

Here are 2 Enums i use to select/start Events

// How to start event
enum class ENextEvent_InputFromE : uint8
None _ UMETA(DisplayName = “_None”),
PlayFromManager _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Manager intern - Play Event”),
PlayFromMsg _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Recive Msg to Play Event”),
PlayFromMsg_NtbK_Finished _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Recive Msg NtbK FINISHED”),
PlayFromKeyPress _ UMETA(DisplayName = “KeyPress to Play Event”),
OverlapBox _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Overlap Box”),
StartEventManager _ UMETA(DisplayName = “First Start of EventManager”),

// Select event to start
enum class EEventPointEvent : uint8
MoveOnSplineLocAndRot _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Move On Spline Loc And Rot”),
MoveOnSplineLoc _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Move On Spline Loc”),
RotaToSplineRotation _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Rota to Spline Rotation”),
RotaOnSplineL _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Rota On Spline Left”),
RotaOnSplineR _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Rota On Spline Right”),
PlayerMovementEvent _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Player Movement Event”),
PlayerEvent _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Player Event”),
EnvironmentEvent _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Environment Event”),
SpawnPointEvent _ UMETA(DisplayName = “SpawnPoint Event”),
Cutscene _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Cutscene”),
Trap _ UMETA(DisplayName = “Trap Event”),
SFX_Music _ UMETA(DisplayName = “SFX Music Event”),
SFX_Sound _ UMETA(DisplayName = “SFX Sound Event”),
SFX_Lights _ UMETA(DisplayName = “SFX Lights Event”),
None _ UMETA(DisplayName = "_None "),

Here is a picture from 1 of the sets of models i prepare for this demo.

Another picture where i do a final test wih the dismembering and fatal bloodmask.
Functions working well, now it is time for the final opacity and textures.


Just a small update.
Today i tested a build for the demo to find and get rid of some errors.
I recordet a slow fly trough. It is around 1/3 of the whole level lenght and just a slow overview how it will look in the end.
And i found a place to use the models wich i used to test nanite long ago :slight_smile:


VR!!! would be great fun with with those gun adapters for vr controllers!

Nice looks fun

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I will have a look into all options available to control the game after it is finished.
VR is one of them :slight_smile:

Here is also another update video i recordet today. It shows real gameplay (like a slow tutorial but as gameplay) while i debug what i play. Still only the standart models at the moment for debuging.


Just finished a new set of models. I changed the UV layout so i can use helmets and stuff as attachment. It is just easier to use this as armor and detach without much afford.

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A short video about the final test of the gore function.


After the last few days nonstop working on the demo, i finally finished it today.
It is meant to show at the upcoming steam fest on 2023.02.06. I hope i was fast enough because today was the last day to send it there. So i am not sure if it will show up then.
And i really need to figure out how to do this on the epic store now.

Here is a last test i have some fun with zombies.


Finally it is done. A playable first demo of the game will be available soon.


A first short Demo of the Game is now available on steam.

It would be nice to get some feedback. All of it the good and the bad things, suggestions just all you have in mind.
Every feedback is very welcome to make the best game possible.

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I’m not sure how late I am to the initial demo’s release, but I have it downloading now and will try it myself later tonight! Congrats on making it this far in your development journey, @Thorsten09, and I’ll definitely let you know what I think! :clinking_glasses: