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Weekly Journal - Onwards and Upwards

Hi everyone,  

Yesterday, after 3 months of hard work, we released the Clockwork Update for We Happy Few! We hope that you have been enjoying it. It has been a tough update for us, because working on the same content for 3 months (as opposed to creating lots of new stuff!) is pretty draining, but we are much, much happier with how the build is performing. 

We’d also like to thank Clara (one of our new team members!) for doing such a great job on this update video:  

So, now that we’ve got this out into the wild, it’s time to get back to business on creating new, fun and awesome stuff for you to play! Including, of course, the main story.

Art Team

Marc-André

Throughout this week, I've been working up on assets and staging of an exciting story location. However, since we don't want to spoil some of the game's surprises, I can't show anything artsy here pertaining to that. What I can show, though, is a side project I've been working on. I've been diving into MEL scripting and have been creating two custom pie menus for Autodesk Maya. Pie menus are user customizable UI elements that appear on screen. They allow the user to quickly access its tools and also, when custom scripting is involved, automate certain tasks.  

The first menu is primarily for modeling/UV use. It has various commands that make applying vertex colors on an object much more easier - and faster - than with built-in Maya tools.

The second pie menu is the biggest time saver though. It is used for baking the id, normals and ambient occlusion maps. By using a custom script I wrote, it automates the baking process by configuring the Turtle renderer parameters. Up to now, us environment artists had to manually reconfigure all of the settings each time we baked a new object - and some multiple times throughout the baking process. I can say that this tool easily makes us save ten if not more minutes per asset, which amounts to a whole lot when you consider the amount of assets that we go through each week. I do plan to add more features (and new pie menus) in the following weeks.

Emmanuel

Now that the new shelter is out, I can finally break my silence to show you what I worked on!

 I created a brand new modular trim and bevel material inspired by Sunset Overdrive’s ‘’Ultimate Trim’’ concept. This allows for really quick and fun modeling, kinda like playing with legos and help save a huge amount of time for creating customs modular environment assets.

QA Team  

Stephanie  

Hey Downers!  

♫ In the second week of December the team gave to me - a release candidate filled with 860+ fixed bugs, 380+ tasks completed, a couple boxes of doughnuts and at least one large glass of whisky ♫  

Since our major refactor, my main focus has been testing and verifying fixes with our previously fragile quest system (RIP Faraday's epic misadventures - 'nuff said).  

I want to thank everyone in the WHF community who have helped us track down various issues by emailing us, posting in the forums and uploading videos in the last few months - you guys rock!

Lee  

Greetings to all residents of Wellington Wells!  

This is my first entry for the weekly journals, but I’ve been with the team for a little over 2 months testing the game and helping to log as many issues as possible. Our goal with this most recent update is to give the community a much smoother gaming experience on both PC and Xbox One. This includes improvements to stability, general performance, save/load persistence and making sure the encounters currently in the game can be completed.  

While testing the refactoring of encounters and the new save system has been a challenge, these new systems will make introducing new content in the future go much more smoothly. As always, we love to hear what you think on the forums so we can improve the game, and your help in tracking down rare or difficult to reproduce issues is invaluable to us during early access.

I leave you with an example of what our day tends to look like on the QA team:

Design Team  

Adam  

I have been working on another exercise. A Crafting RGD (rational game design). What I’m doing here is taking every craftable item in the game, and listing out the ingredients it requires. This gives me a great overview of how many of each type of ingredient I would possibly need to craft one of every type of item. Just on paper, we have already seen some balancing issues that needed to be taken care of (you’ll see a few of them in our next major release). This also tells me what ingredients I need most during the beginning, mid-game, and end-game.

There are a few other things I’m working on, but I’ll hold onto those until they are more fleshed out.  

Happy Holidays!

Animation Team  

Vincent  

Hallo! This week I’ve started to add some hand poses for NPCs. So far when they receive a gift, they just played an animation and the object usually went through the hand in a quite ugly way…  

Well, hand poses will improve that, Marc (Programmer) has finished the system last week and I’ll progressively add poses for each of the giftable objects! (Video coming next week) I’ve also worked on creating new animation for the final stage of the plagued wastrels. We might improve a few more things, but at least they kind of stand out more now… we’ll show you how it looks next week when the behaviour is fully integrated!  

(Meanwhile, the rest of the anim team is on secret missions involving cinematics and story, or so I’ve been told)

J.R.  

Hi! As Vincent said, a lot of what we're working out right now is a little bit secret. Basically on my side I've been touching up the introduction of our friend the mad scotsman! This week, I was making animations for some of the treacherous areas surrounding his residence. I’ve put in a small clip in the next animation video, watch your step!  

Thanks for tuning in!  

Compulsion Team

 

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