In case you missed it, this morning we released an official announcement that we were delaying We Happy Few to Summer 2018 and as a thank you for being so patient we also teased the new female character player. You can see the video and the announcement we posted here, along with a little taste of the story. We also talk about it in more depth in this week’s production update below.
Otherwise, it’s onwards to release for us! This week we wanted to make it a good one, so it’s a bit longer than average.
Hi folks - if you haven’t already watched the video about the new release window, these next few paragraphs will probably make no sense. Here it is again if you haven’t seen it. We hope you like meeting Miss Thigh Highs.
G, Whitney, Alex, Matt and I have been on the project for four years now - we started January 2014. The rest of the team have joined us since then, bringing together their enthusiasm, skill and determination to create a game we’re very excited about. Regardless of whether we’ve been on the project for 4 years or 3 months, today’s decision is a tough one, as is any that involves critically assessing the work you’ve done.
To elaborate on what I said in the video, once we finished getting the major content into the game, we reviewed how it felt when it fit together. In particular, we noticed that the game had a good pace throughout Arthur's story, except the beginning - that was some of the first content we built a long time ago, and after refining our tools and world, it just didn't cut it any longer. It wasn’t structured well, and we were not doing a good enough job of introducing the world (the lore behind the Wastrels, the Garden District, Arthur, and all that good stuff). We also weren’t sufficiently introducing the game’s mechanics. In retrospect, this is something we should have done better on the Early Access launch too, but hindsight is always 20/20.
In any event, we didn't think the early game was shippable (among other things), and looking at what we're building now, we are confident that was the right decision. The new intro island is shaping up to be just as weird and wonderful as the rest of the game, as it should be.
The review was a little while ago, which is why you have seen weekly updates mentioning the revised tutorial island for the past few weeks. It has taken us some time to come to conclusions about what to do design wise, line up funding, organise a new production schedule and release window, in order to be able to make this announcement. Gearbox has been supportive all the way along - I appreciate some of you have had some skepticism about our partnership, but we can only reiterate that they have been excellent partners, and are doing a fantastic job at supporting us while we make We Happy Few the best it can be.
To look ahead, 2018 is still a very exciting year for us. We’re in finaling mode, so no more new things, just polish and bug fixes to go. I’m very proud of the team for creating something so unique, and we’re all very much looking forward to getting the game in your hands as soon as we can.
Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary and PH
This week, I continued the work on the posters and graffiti for the Garden District. Early tests were quite good, now I will have to place them everywhere.
Then I started to remodel some old rubble piles for the player to loot. Those piles have been there for a long time and we want another look for them. Pipes, shiny things, rubbles, dirt, bricks... these have to be intriguing for the player to pique his/her interest. I’m working with David and Whitney towards this goal. Here’s a sneak peek at some chunk of mortared bricks I’m working on.
Animation Team - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph and Franzi
Hey folks! As the great Groucho Marx once said: “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.” It’s been an interesting week. Been working hard on cutscenes for you guys. Still working on the same one from last week, which is part of Arthur’s first island, so there is that. Now I know what your thinking to yourself. You’re saying: “ Self, why does Mike take so long to make cutscenes? Shouldn’t this take, like… I dunno, like 2 hours tops!?” And although I don’t disagree that I could slap together something in two hours, I’m pretty sure you’d want to slap me back if you had to suffer through that while playing our game. So until they invent a magical “Animate” button, you’re all just going to have to bear with me while I try to work my magic for you. Well this post kind of reminds me of Seinfeld for some reason. ... Well that's it for me folks, tune in next week, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!
Well… It’s finalling time! That means a lot of reviews and spreadsheets filling, to keep track of all the polish we need to do. I won’t lie, there’s a lot… We really want the baby to be pretty!
Other than that I’ve been working on a sort of ‘light NPC’, to put spectators in the background of some encounters. Real AI characters are super versatile, react to all sort of stimuli and, you guessed it, take a lot of processing power! Sometimes we just need to have some sort of crowd with very basic behaviour, and using generic NPCs for that would be a bit of a waste. So I’ve been putting together a simple object that only can look at something and ‘cheer’. Actually, cheering can be any kind of animation, it’s all customizable. So you can use that object to have a crowd of wastrels that cheers on demand when you get punched in the face, or a crowd of posh wellies taking pictures and taking notes! The script only has to call a function and they all ‘cheer’, with some random offsets and animation speed, so that they don’t look (too much) like robots!
Of course this has to be used in a controlled environment, where the player can’t interact with those fake NPCs, or they’d just look at you very insistently, looking like the complete idiots they are.
Hi! I’ve started this week by doing some animation for the Jubilator. After this task, I moved to our POI (point of interest) animations, which are the random activities that Wellies and Wastrels can do about town. We had some issues with the animation and now it’s fixed! So our NPCs can pick their nose/ear, cough and sneeze in total tranquility in Wellington Wells. During the time I had left, I went back to polish combat animation, especially the fist attack! I will share some GIF of them next week for sure. See you then!
Hey guys. After recovering from the plague that's been slowly knocking down Compulsion team members over the past month, I was back and ready for a week of reviews and meetings! Not the most glamorous of all things, but very productive as it makes our goals very clear. Aside from that, I've technically been finishing the last cinematic I owned except for one special case... which is crazy! Sure there's other shots to fiddle with (still secret!!) and a little bit of polish and fixes to be done here and there, but looking back and to think that I went through all of those scenes, it makes me really happy and proud. Hope you enjoyed the little sneak peek in the announcement today ;) ......Sally who?
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline and Guillaume (sometimes)
Hello ! Lots of fixes were done in the last two weeks concerning Stealth. There was a funny bug where asleep NPCs could see you even if their eyes were closed. Additionally, when spotting you, they were so surprised that, most of time, instead of just falling from the bed like a normal person, they would fall through the floor and disappear in the abyss of the world. I'd never thought Arthur could be that scary. Jokes asides, we also fixed some weird NPC behavior when throwing objects. Now they’re properly distracted, leaving the path clear for you to progress. There are still a lot of tweaks and fixes to make the stealth experience nicer but it is progressing quite well.
Happy Friday Ladies and Gents. I’ve spent a good deal of time this week sitting in meetings with a large number of the team and reviewing all our mechanics for combat, conformity and stealth in order to see how “done” we are. Fortunately the feedback is “just balance and polish” for almost everything, which seems like a good stage to be at. One thing that has been given a bit of additional love is the Quickslots, which are very important to the game and have received a lot of valid criticism from players and the team. So this week I have rejigged this design and implemented a new system which allows you to have 4 slots assigned to use at all times, and the list of things that can be assigned is a lot larger and more up to you.
Hello world! The goal for me this week was to polish a special fight with the Jubilator by implementing a custom behavior for it when the player leaves the arena. For that I needed to implement a new mechanism to acquire position from a level in order to feed the behavior of a NPC. That effort will also serve to polish another encounter as the goal is to support specific realization (aka NPCs doing unique things) while still running systemic characters. Rapid iterations with a gameplay animator has been key to achieve that within a week which makes me particularly proud!
If you are curious to see how what I am talking about looks like in the editor, here is a screenshot of the new subtree that handles that fight with the Jubilator:
Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne and Benji
I’m back from Christmas vacation, and it’s straight back into overdrive here. We’re continuing our blitz to finish up Arthur’s story mode, and being really careful about whether we REALLY need this thing, or whether we can live without it. Personally, I’ve been reworking the flow for the 3rd hour of the game to clear up confusion, and streamline the player to his objectives. I’ve also been playing with this awesome tool that Matt made (draw road shapes and it appears on the overworld map). As you can probably guess, my test case was to draw a giant dick.
What Adam said, but for different parts of the game. Although similar parts of the anatomy.
Clara (Do I have to state my name everytime? I’m the only one in this department for Christ’s sake) Editor's note: Yes you do.
The ninja department is alive. Working in the shadows, as always. (Literally. My screens are blocking the lights from the windows. It's dark in there. For the better.)
Since I've been back from Christmas holidays, I went back to editing for my greatest pleasure and to put together the short Sally sneak peek that you probably saw earlier today. I love doing those. Not only do I get to explore storytelling and tease you guys, it makes for lovely collaborations within the team; I get to work with people that I actually rarely work with:
Benji was nice enough to spend some time adding console debug for me to go to specific cinematics (and avoid a lot of swearing on my part), Celine looked over builds, Emmanuel did his Emmanuel stuff and made everything look amazing, Valentino handled sound recording, Cord wrote and talked and threw ideas to my head and we played that pleasant game of bouncing ball with the edit ("won't it look better if? Shouldn't we try this? What about that?")
Those little pieces of videos work pretty much the same way we make this game. With a lot of people, coffee, Digestives(cookies) and collective effort. Hope you enjoyed it. See you!
Thanks for tuning in!
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