It’s been a really fun week for us at the studio! As you know, love was a really big theme in the 1960s and we certainly felt it with all of your beautiful fan art and great love songs that you sent us, so thank you for that! On our side we released a recipe for some Victoria (ha!) sponge hearts that the lovely folks from the community team at Gearbox Publishing put together. You can get the recipe here!
And because we love our community so much we wanted to share something special. This is a new concept art piece of a new bridge in the game, which we created as part of Arthur’s restructuring. By our Art Director, Whitney Clayton.
We also released the lyrics of a traditional Wellie drinking song written by one of our writers extraordinaire, Lisa Hunter.
Hello everyone! As we have mentioned over the past few weeks, we are in the final stages of tightening up, polishing, and finishing the content in the game. It is coming along well, and it looks like we’ll be moving onto pure bug fixing in 3-4 weeks.
Last week was our first week-long playtest, run by the folks at Gearbox. The initial feedback has been great, with both some really helpful suggestions (eg suggesting we reduce grinding for ingredients half way through the playthrough, because that’s a rubbish way to spend an afternoon!), and some very positive reinforcement (good news: they really like the story). We will be incorporating as much of this feedback possible over the next 3-4 weeks, as this is our last chance to tweak before locking things down for real.
As we continue onward, the new content we have available to show in weekly journals will slowly dry up. We can only mention “fixed XYZ bugs this week” so many times before you guys will get bored. So, when we get to that stage, we’re going to be looking for some interesting content to focus on, with maybe a look back in more depth at specific features (eg how the UI has changed over the years). If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see, please let us know in the comments.
Narrative Team - Alex and Lisa
Well, this has been a fun week. We’ve been iterating on the story trailer, which is fancy dev talk for reworking it. Because lines have been moved around, we were concerned that they didn’t follow emotionally. So I re-recorded a scene between two voice actors, to try and get the feeling right. (They weren’t in the same studio at the same time – I played one character for actor 1, and the other for actor 2.) In the end, we only used two lines from the session in the story trailer, but they are the last and the first, so they make a difference; and it was worth it to confirm that we had the best performances I know how to get.
Much more fun has been editing some unique audio-only moments that you will hear as part of Sally’s playthrough. (Because why not?) You can pick them up and hear more about the world and her if you are so inclined. The immensely talented young actors Harry Baxendale and Bradley Henderson voiced Young Arthur and Percy in Arthur’s playthrough. Lisa wrote most of Sally’s scenes, being as she has much more experience being a teenage girl than I have. I recorded Sally’s voice actress last week, and got all of these moments; I’d already recorded the other characters who appear in them, some of whom are in the game elsewhere, and some of whom are not. It’s huge fun to put together separate performances into a coherent dramatic scene.
Amelia Tyler, who voices Sally’s mum, told me “This woman is literally my mother, by the way,” in the session. I consider this the highest possible compliment.
We are in the thick of working on Sally’s playthrough. I’ve been writing pensive barks (things Sally says to herself) to give you a better sense of her internal motivations and fears. I can’t wait till you get to meet this character! Don’t tell Arthur, but she’s my favourite.
Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne And Benji
When not wrecking my car by driving into piles of snow and nearly beaching it in the process I was working on Antoine’s lovely Doctor HQ map. Mostly this was implementing a fun little narrative audio/visual ‘ride’ thing. Originally I was worried it didn’t have the ‘oomph’ that it could, so we jazzed it up a bit and I think it’s turning out pretty well now.
Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary And PH
Tons of small and medium things that I have been doing lately! I can't show anything, but I think in general 80% of my weeks lately has been to close small tasks. A lot of “move this object 10 units… and its done” and things like that. Monkey work mostly but every now and then a prop comes along or a small location, which is really nice! So I have been as usual everywhere fixing, helping, supporting, moving, dancing, singing around and having fun.
This week I worked essentially with designers to model the last wearables for the game. I also had the opportunity to visually upgrade the old lootable rubble pile we had in the game from the beginning of the development. Main difficulty here: add some mortared bricks that wouldn’t appear lootable for the player. We don’t want the player to think he can loot an infinite amount of bricks on this pile to start a brick war in Wellington Wells. After few iterations here’s the result compared to the old version:
Animation Team - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, and Raph
Sup folks! This week I worked on some animation chains for encounters, fixed some animation chains that weren’t working, polished some NPC animations, worked on falling rocks and integrated an explosion. Been a mixed bag as they say. Well that’s it for me for this week, tune in next week Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!
Hi! This week I continued to polish the animation I made a few weeks ago. So all of the feints, taunts, and other communication animations during combat by the NPCs are done! Now I move on to the Doctor. I've made a few tweaks to his attack with the bone-saw, it now looks totally crazy and scary. Also, I reworked the animation for when he heals himself because it was not clear enough in the game who was the target of this heal. As you might know, the Doctor can heal himself or heal another NPC. So we need to make it obvious who receives his heal. I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I had fun making it. See you next week for more news about the Doctor!
Ahoy! This week has been mainly about planning… lots of reviewing of the last two characters playthroughs with the Level Designers (mainly the newly revealed Sally, have you seen that?), entering Jira tasks and discussing what we can manage in the time we have left. In the meantime, some bug fixing, technical stuff, the usual help here and there and feedback... Not much animating going on for me this week, sorry!
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil And Guillaume (Sometimes)
More work on Achievements this week, but all back-end stuff. Working out how to send events to Xbox Live and Steam, and why those events aren’t working. It was a great moment to see the little indicator pop up for the first time, to see that I’d Achieved something (very meta!). That happy feeling was gone when the rest of the achievements unlocked immediately after it, their happy chimes telling me that I had failed in some way.
Thanks for tuning in!
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