Winter has finally arrived in Montreal. It’s cold and night falls at 4:30pm but the party doesn’t have to stop! It never starts, that’s the real secret. We just hibernate.
We will be attending a convention here in Montreal called MEGA, so if you are in the area, come say hi to us! We’re really just here to meet you guys, so we’ll have a few consoles showing Life in Technicolour, and we’ll be showcasing alongside our friends from Red Barrels (creators of Outlast).
Production wise, this week has been all about subtitles in preparation for localization, more rating submissions and reviews of all the playthroughs.
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil And Guillaume (Sometimes)
This week (and the week before actually), I worked on offering a bit of closure to the hamlet and Village in the game. One common reproach from our beloved artists was that those had an abrupt outline: it was either nothing and then the wilderness or buildings and then the wilderness. They were obviously right, so I took my robe and wizard hat and looked to see if we could do something about that. I had a bit of luck, and adapting for the outlines the current system of generic buildings was quite easy. The impacts it had on other parts of the world generation system was not. After a lot of coffee, head scratching and scribbling on paper and in code, the new placement system is there.
Narrative Team - Alex And Lisa
This week I feel like the Easter Bunny! I finished the first draft of the time capsule book HOW TO BE HAPPY, and it is chock-full of Easter eggs. I even read through the text one last time, just to see if everything would make sense to someone who hadn’t played the game yet. Hopefully the text works on two levels, for both newbies and longtime Downers.
We’re also still dealing with odds-n-ends that came up after content lock. For instance, every type-o I made in the past year in a lore document is getting pinged by the QA folks, but fortunately it’s only a handful at this point (thank you, Spell Check!) But it looks as if I’ll have more time to play the game now (and cross your fingers that I don’t find other things I need to fix!).
This week I’ve been mostly reviewing the game. I’ve been playing as Arthur. Anyone who’s wondering if there will be enough game, well, I’ve logged about 550 hours in the game, I know how the game works, and it’s still taking me the better part of the week to play through Arthur. That’s not blockers, although there are some places where progression is blocked; that’s stuff to do and places to go and weirdos to talk to and things to find out.
Probably the most fun part was when an elaborate, phantasmagorical encounter we’ve been working on for three years came to full fruition. It was hilarious. And weird. And yet, I think, at some level true.
“It never happened; yet it is still true. What magic art is this?” says the Puck in Sandman 34, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” That’s the writing I aspire to.
We also spent a good bit of the week rejiggering the opening island, so that when the player comes out of the shelter for the first time, he is “onboarded” through a curated experience. Some new players were getting lost when they hit the open world – what do I do? how do I play? where am I supposed to go – and we’re hoping to fix that.
Animation Team - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph And Franzi
Hi everyone! This week I've worked on the Doctor and his powerful bone saw! The gif I am sharing with you is the new doctor light attack. I've also made a new custom hit reaction for the player.
Apart from that I've spent my week tweaking the navigation of the doctor, his idle animation with the bone saw and a lot of other small animations.
Just Mike, and the rest of the animation team
Sup! Been working hard to try and blow your socks off with some cinematic/cutscene love! Unfortunately I can’t show you anything or talk about it… so yeah. But I’m confident y’all are going to like it! Sorry not much other than that to report this week. So tune in next week, same Bat Time, Same Bat channel!
Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary And PH
I finished a really cool weapon that the Doctor will use in combat to resurrect people and I can’t wait to see it in action. I will put my props time period on hold for a moment because I really have to help Marc refine the art side of the procedural system. We are really optimistic on this but it’s going to take several weeks. In the meantime, here’s a little picture of the Resurrector:
Publishing Team – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Mike R, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Brad, and Erick (and more)
I’m Michael, Gearbox Publishing’s Submission Specialist, and I’d like to share a little bit of information on something I worked on this week for We Happy Few.
As the Submission Specialist, I work with the Publishing Producers, Developers, Marketing, and Functional and Certification QA groups to gather information and materials that are required by first parties (such as Microsoft and Sony) to publish a game on their respective platforms. After these groups plan and carry out their tasks, I take the finished materials and bring them to the first parties for approval and ultimate publication.
Titles that are published through Microsoft and Sony go through a Certification process (which is the last step before a game goes “Gold”), which helps ensure the games are stable and meet performance requirements and work with system-level features without issue. There’s also a “Pre-Certification” process that is provided by both Microsoft and Sony to help the developers understand where their product stands and what items need to be fixed before the title enters the final Certification process.
This week I’ve been working with Microsoft to address a unique situation that we ran into when planning for the Pre-Certification process. We Happy Few is currently part of the Game Preview program and the Game Preview build is already live on the Xbox Marketplace. This means, in Microsoft’s systems, I can see the product and all its parts and pieces-- but what happens when I need to change something or add something new? For Example, we will be submitting a new build (of the final release game) to Microsoft; however, the location we would normally submit the build to (for Certification) is already occupied by the Game Preview build.
Which leads me to my task for the week—How do we get this build to Microsoft for Pre-Certification without that original upload location. Part of why this is so important is that we don’t want to risk uploading a build that is not final to the original location and have it accidentally published to the public. We also want to leave that original location untouched in case there is a need to patch the Game Preview version before the game official launches. Ultimately, working with our Producers, Sam at Compulsion, and Microsoft, we successfully found an alternative that provides a solution that works for everyone. We made a new upload location! While it sounds easy on paper, there’s some work that goes into getting this setup, with the communication and planning between our internal groups and with Microsoft. But we have amazing people at Microsoft who are very responsive and creative, as well as those at Compulsion Games which have the patience to help us work through these kinks.
Thanks for tuning in!
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