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Weekly Journal - Back from PAX East and into the trenches

Hey everyone,  

We are back from PAX East, after a few of us took a short trip down to Boston at the end of last week. We didn’t have a booth but we wanted to meet some players, check out where the industry as a whole is moving, and play some indie games. We played some fantastic games and even filmed a video about them, so keep your eyes peeled for next week’s video!  

We have finished content and most of the QA work on the new update. We were going to announce a date today, but we are going to wait just a bit longer, as the game is so big now that we can’t get away with the old optimization processes we have been using. So we need a bit of time to figure out how to make this run well on low end systems. But it IS coming and we even have a cheeky video to announce the date, once we’re ready.  

The good news is, we know now for sure what’s going to be in the update, and there is a lot of cool and new content such as: a brand new Island (not the Parade District, yet), the new playstyles, new encounters (Simon Says anyone?), THE PUB, new enemies and even brand new bugs never seen before! But let’s not spoil all the fun before you get to play it. And of course once we drop the update, all feedback will be very welcome.

Narrative Team  

Lisa  

Wonder why Joy isn’t working for everyone in Wellington Wells? Want to know what causes plague? Curious whether there’s a Big Bad? You’re not alone!  

This week I wrote environmental narrative for an intrepid reporter who’s tracking down some of the same questions a player might wonder about. Eventually you’ll see her reporter’s notebooks and rejected (i.e., not happy enough) articles, as well as her “crime board” (one of those crazy bulletin boards with photos and news clippings, like what the FBI uses on TV crime shows). One or two things might even be written in code you need to decipher. Hope you like a mystery!

Design Team  

Adam  

Hello all, I'm back from PAX East. What an amazing event. I got to meet a ton of fellow developers and check out their games. A huge congratulations to all of them, and I look forward to playing the release.

A shoutout to Bill Gardner at Deep End Games, working on "Perception" http://www.thedeependgames.com/  

To the Deetman brothers at Keoken interactive, working on "Deliver Us the Moon" http://deliverusthemoon.com/  

To Sean Slavik down in Brazil at chance6 games, working on "Colina Legacy" http://store.steampowered.com/app/371650/  

and finally to Giuseppe Enrico Franchi at 34BigThings working on "Redout" https://34bigthings.com/  

There are tons more I wish I could list.. but.. no business cards =/

Oh, and play Brawlhalla, it’s amazing.  

Now, onto business. This week, I have been putting together an underground level, entitled "Jubilator Attacks!". I don't want to give away any spoilers, but we will have some exotic gameplay from the Jubilator trying to run us over at 4 kph (Google tells me that's 2.49 mph). It sounds easy to avoid, but all the other tricks up its sleeve will make that quite tricky.

Antoine  

Hi! I think I can say I’m officially recovered from PAX. That was an awesome 3 days for us getting to meet people from all over the world (yep, Croatia, Germany, Russia, Italy and so on) doing some really inspiring things. Hats off to all of you. Shout out to all the peeps mentioned by Adam, you guys rock.  

Shout out to this crazy game called The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti. Very awesome seeing devs pushing a stylized look with UE4. http://theartfulescape.com/

Shout out to the peeps at Runic Games! Thanks for letting us occupy their booth after a long day at the convention. We named this the Compulsion Occupation of 2017. https://www.runicgames.com/

Soo, this week I’ve been grey blocking a new encounter currently titled as “Cub Reporter”. Here’s some pictures. As always I’m trying to push the use of vents and small secret passages which I always find exciting when I encounter them as a player.

 

David (Design Director) did a cool PowerPoint presentation a couple of weeks ago that got me very hyped for what’s to come in the systemic open world portion of our game. This week we properly jumped into realizing those ideas. The plan is to have root cellars and bunkers placed throughout the open forest areas (which you haven’t seen yet!). Bunkers will be both German and also English to echo World War 2 events. Some of those will be below ground and some above ground, creating variation in the places you visit. Gameplay situations will also vary too. Root cellars are pitch black which means you’ll need your torch to navigate it properly if you don’t want to trip on something dangerous. Some root cellars are a bit larger and occupied by Hooligans which means you’ll get more of a combat/stealth scenario.

We are also working on a more systemic approach to honey collecting. The plan is to have “honey trees” scattered throughout the world. You’ll need to find a suitable way of taking care of the bees if you want to harvest their honey safely. Bees will also now pursue you until a certain distance. If you happen to be very close to an NPC the bees will change their target and pursue that NPC instead leading to some quirky situations.

Hayden  

Hello Folks,  

This week I focused on a good handful of bug fixes for the next update and writing docs for our next set of encounters. I was able to actually get in the editor this week and start blocking out a house that will be used in one of the new encounters, as well being set up for a generic house you would find around town.  

The new encounter that I’ll be working on is all about this workaholic reporter, I can’t tell you what story she is working on, but it’s big… big enough that some folks around Wellington Wells are willing to break into her home… Downers.  

I’ll have more to show you next week as I move into blocking out several other homes and encounters. For now enjoy an early pic of the reporter's home.

 

Programming Team  

Michael  

So the programmers are mostly working on getting all the new content into shape ready for release, which doesn’t give many exciting things to talk about. Just optimising and bug fixing new content. This week did see the beginning of construction on Compulsion’s new cyborg employee.

Animation Team  

Vincent  

Heya! This week has been mostly spent on animating the Doctor! Yes, one day we’ll finally bring the Doctor into the game. It’s far from finished on the AI side, but I’m making sure the programmers have everything they need once they jump on that. Looks like the Doctor is very happy about being able to (finally) move about:  

Apart from that I worked a bit on the Export Script I mentioned last week. As anticipated, there were a few bugs that were promptly squashed. I also added a few quirks to it, like automatic settings saving. Here’s it’s lovely interface, a simple click on the top-right button, and your animation(s) is ready to import in Unreal:

Shameless plug, if you’re into 3D and like to have script do boring stuff for you, I’ve got a little blog of my own, with some cool homemade tools in it : http://scriptsandtidbits.blogspot.ca/

Art Team  

Carylitz  

This game is just getting crazier every week! I started making normal props like a hat, a suit, you know normal stuff, but then I made a brain inside a jar, after I started working on some bones, trash bags with strange shapes and now this amazing vehicle, and for what I know, this is not even close to how crazy this game is gonna get!

 

 

Marc-André  

This week, I’ve spent three days doing fixes and tweaks. I went back to a bunch of old encounters and fixed sound materials, collisions and a bunch of trivial issues. I fixed huge negative scales bugs that affected the Xbox One build. Pieces of walls were floating around in the Garden District. This obviously was a major art and gameplay concern, and will now be fixed in the coming update.

 

I also took a look at hundreds (310, to be very specific) of unoptimized material instances in order to lower their memory footprint. I did the same for some UI textures.

After getting these bugs sorted out, I’ve started to work on new art assets for the game, such as a radio. There are also other props in progress which are close to be done but not yet ready for show. You will see them in next week’s update!

Thank you for tuning in!  

Compulsion Games

 

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