Half of our team left yesterday to go to Boston to do crazy drunk karaoke sessions meet the community and fellow developers at PAX East. This is always a great opportunity for us to share some good times with our community, as well as to meet our friends from different studios, to exchange ideas about what they’re/we’re doing and learn how we can get better.
The rest of the team in the office is split into groups. On the one hand, we’re adding the final touches to the next update’s build to make sure you all have a great time. We’re also working on the marketing side to make sure everybody knows when we update the game, so they can check the improvements. On the other hand, some of us have already jumped onto the next sprint, where we’ll focus on dramatically improving some essential gameplay features. You should be loving it!
Also, you may have seen this week that we’ve published a video regarding subtitles. This is a very important feature we need to spend time on, to make sure we can include as many players as possible. That also means that most of our team will spend the next few days reviewing all subtitles and making sure they match the audio they’re linked to, as well as localizing everything in French, so that you get everything for the update. Long nights at the office ahead!
Enjoy the video here:
Animation Team (or what’s left of it)
Ahoy! This week has been mostly about wrapping up the content for the next update: fixing little bugs, finding and reporting the ones I couldn't fix myself, updating conversations with the last voiceovers...
Once this was done and half the studio was at PAX, I took some time to work on a Python script I've been craving to write for a while... A little tool to help with our gameplay animation export process. It's about time -- that's gonna save us hundreds of clicks in the long run. I'll be lobbying to have the other animators give it a try, and hopefully they'll give me feedback and I'll be able to improve it little by little!
Ok, what may happen is that the script won't run on their pc for an obscure reason, and I'll spend a day pulling my hair trying to find out why. Oh, the fun!
Hey guys! I had a very exciting art week. The frenzy to make new 2D content for the upcoming update is over, and while the QA dudes and Programmers are making sure the build is solid, I'm free to make some less critical pieces (however totally necessary for atmospheric purposes). I made a ton of new abstract expressionist and pop art paintings for the Village interiors, inspired by real peeps including Franz Kline and Jasper Johns (though both are American I would argue that their art vibes are globally iconic). The current paintings are repeating too much for our liking, and it was a great challenge to get them to really feel like textured, gloopy oil paintings despite being born in Photoshop. I'm really happy with how they turned out, and hopefully the Wellies will be too!
Clara and I also worked on a Mr.Peabody inspired animated teaser video for this next update. We went over a script and storyboard together, and I designed a ton of graphic assets for Clara to animate. I'll share more of them in the next weekly so as not to spoil her hard work, but for now here's a still! Have a great weekend, and for those at PAX East, have a wicked good time!
It’s been about a month since I flew over from England to join the elite ranks of Compulsion Games. It’s super exciting to be working on such a cool project, and the team have been great, and very welcoming.
I’ve been doing a lot of bug-fixing to start off, which has been great for getting familiar with a new engine and a game that already has so many systems in place. So most of my time is spent staring and scrolling through pages and pages of code trying to work out exactly how something like the lovely ( and the not-so-lovely ) status effects work… and then how they don’t work.
Other than bugs I have been looking at UI.
At the start of this week I was looking at improving the New Game menu for the next update. It’s no longer just a few drop downs in the corner of the screen. We’re adding some cool icons (created by Sarah) and descriptive text to help you choose how you want to set up your playthrough.
This involved creating a new layout for the icons and creating a little menu in the bottom of the screen to keep track of the options you’ve chosen.
Okay, back to bug-fixing.
Hi there. QA’s been busy testing all the new content we’ve got going into this next update as well as some interesting changes to world generation for the Garden District, compliments of our technical director Matt.
A major goal for these changes is to make this part of the world play in a much different way from the village islands. This involves splitting the gridded blocks of ruined buildings up into smaller hamlets which are separated by sprawling forests, to give it a more natural feel. Encounters have been spread out as well in order to help fill these large sections of forest and encourage exploration.
After testing the game with these changes for the past couple weeks, I can tell you the Garden District gameplay fits much better with the atmosphere of those islands. We still have some kinks to work out with road & encounter placements, but it’s all coming together very nicely.
Until next time! :D
Along with what Lee mentioned, we have also been:
- Testing a few refactored encounters that we missed for the Clockwork update.
- Testing fixes for a bunch of major issues with various older encounters.
- Having epic forum battles with Korean casino spam bots.
- Doing some database house keeping and updating forum FAQs.
- Drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee.
Stay tuned for our next update's patch notes!
The last few weeks have been a blur of last second polish and bug fixes—with several long nights and slightly more gray hair in my beard, things are looking good.
This part of the development process is where you battle your own mistakes and fight for time the clock has ticked away, and you begin to realize where you can improve and prevent issues in the future. You may even pick up a new trick or two to put in your bag for the next update.
The process is molding you into a better developer, with every bug you fix…
Naa… I’m just joking, it’s a pain in the ass and I’d like to have a nap, now.
Howdy. We Narrative Few are in Texas this week, but between margaritas and rodeos, we are talking about Wellington Wells. (Alex says he is “bad at vacation.”) So, for example, we completely re-broke the story of the playthrough for [redacted], whom you might see in [redacted].
Vacation is the best time to attack big-picture narrative questions. What are the relationships between the various characters you meet in the game? Wellington Wells is a small place. People know each other – they are relatives, friends, exes and enemies. They’d write about each other in their diaries – and maybe they’d remember same incidents differently because of their Joy.
Oh, and we realized that [redacted] is clinically [redacted]. That will be fun.
I’ve been reading the forums, and love reading your theories about where Arthur’s story is going and who the other key characters are. At least one of you Downers is right about Arthur’s story … and the other theories make us think, “Huh. That would have been another interesting way for the story to go.”
My goal in writing environmental narrative is to not only tell you about the place and character you’re dealing with at the moment, but also to reveal the larger story of Wellington Wells, so that the world feels rich and strange. I know from the forums how eagle-eyed you Downers are, so I hope you’ll enjoy putting the pieces together as we add more things for you to discover.
Have a great weekend!
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