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Weekly Update - First Weekly Update of 2016, preparing the next Pre-Alpha Build!

Hey everyone,

We are back on regular schedule with our Weekly Updates, hurray! A good part of the team has been working hard on the intro of the game but unfortunately you will have to wait until the game’s release to see it. It’s not something we want to spoil, but let us tell you that it is very cool!

The rest of the team has been working hard on implementing new features, new areas and new art, some of which you will even be able to see in the next build we are in the final stages of testing!

Programming Team

Camille

After a fair amount of testing, consideration and feedback, we’ve decided to do a major change to the player menu (eg your inventory) and keep the game running while it is presented. This has quite a few repercussions, not least of which is needing to let the player be aware of their surroundings while the menu is displayed. Therefore, the menu will no longer take up the entire screen.

This, in turn, requires a decent pass at resizing and reshuffling widgets around in order to make everything fit. Thankfully, the menu had a fair amount of free space to play around with so compacting things for this new menu wasn’t overly onerous.

The difficult part is the gameplay aspects -- one of the main objectives of this switch is to get rid of the arbitrary constraints on changing equipments and using items in combat. But in order to keep things balanced, this means there needs to be some cooldowns to certain actions to avoid savvy players from quickly hopping in and out of the inventory to instantly perform actions. And those cooldowns need clear communication both on the UI and the player animation point of view.

So a few passes have been done over the last few weeks to improve this feedback and balance things. I find that the menu is much improved from this, although there is still a lot of work to be done.

Design Team

Hayden

Patrol Paths, Security Systems and Barbed Wire…

This new, super-secret area of the game is on lockdown and you’ll need to keep out of sight and quiet if you want get out alive. After a lot of testing and tweaking, we are now seeing groups of NPCs patrolling more complex paths. I was also able to implement security systems that broadcast across the level and are capable of placing NPCs on high alert; coupled with game play specific lighting, geometry placement and loot, it’s an iterative process that I hope will present the player with a rich, stealth gameplay experience.

Working on a level of this size means that you have to use your time wisely in order to complete all the tasks required to bring it to a level of completion satisfactory for passing it on to the art team. I hate to see it go, but like some crazy-ass caterpillar, when it emerges from the art department cocoon it will be a thing of beauty and I can’t wait to help it fly.

For now, enjoy the picture below…

Mike

I added a bunch of new items and crafting recipes to the game! Some of which you can see in the next build, some of which you’ll see later ;) . Keep in mind that these items are still being worked on, so they may have a wrong name / image / description at the moment. Everything is gonna fall in place in due time.

Rebalanced the loot distribution for the garden district area. Wastrels should now have more interesting loot, and their houses as well! White berry plants now (rarely) appear in open, grassy areas.

Reworked the beginning of the game. We now wake up in the Safe House, and learn how to do basic stuff before going out in the wild (we do not force you to do it). Things like crafting, lockpicking, healing up, etc. The items you can find in there have changed a bit... so have a look around!

Animation Team

Remi

Hey everyone! I FINALLY have something to show you this time! This week I was in a sort of transition between rigging and animating the next cinematic, so I decided to take a day or two to make some gameplay animations. It’s not a lot and not super polished as well, but it’s good enough for the time I had.

First of all, I absolutely wanted to work on a specific animation that has been burning my eyes every time I saw it in-game: The NPC Newspaper animation.

This image shows how it was before. It was a placeholder that was implemented a very long time ago. The issue with that placeholder is that it was wayyyy too obvious.

And now, here is the final result. It will still need some animation work for the intro and outro of the animation, but with this animation loop, it will not be as glaring as it was before.

I then tackled some animations that our friendly level designers needed for specific encounters. The first needed animation was for a Sick Wastrel! Because when you only have rotten food to eat, there is a great chance of throwing up! The second animation was a Bobby that gestures to the player to proceed to the next step. Those are very simple and fast to make, yet they are extremely important for the player to understand what is happening and what to do next.

More on the rigging side, I was integrating Wastrellette variants! This has been requested by a lot of you, so we couldn’t wait to show you. We now have different dress colors, hairstyles and hair colors for the Female Wastrel! I received the different textures and mesh from our character artist and I was in charge of integrating them in the game. Here are some of the possibilities that we have for the Female Wastrel.

It feels good to share with you again! Hopefully I’ll be able to share more stuff with you guys and we can’t wait to show some of the incredible work the whole team has been doing on cinematics.

Art Team  

Sarah

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, I'm new to the team, and very pleased to make your acquaintance. I've been working on fluffing up the background with 2D art and posters. I'm here to make sure the Wellies are in ship-shape and remembering to be good citizens, giving them the latest in Joy products and Happy Face glam. Over the last few weeks I've been working closely with Whitney to narrow down a painterly style that's in keeping with We Happy Few's aesthetic, and we couldn't wait to share some images with you guys.

Marc-André  

Good day everyone!

January was for me a productive month packed with a lot of learning experience. Being assigned to the task of replacing all of We Happy Few's ground foliage, I had to learn lots of new techniques allowing me to create "Oooh it's so pretty" foliage that does not bring gaming machines to their knees.

Narrative Team

Alex

This has been a big week for recording. I’ve been prepping all week for today’s (Friday’s) session with Alex Wyndham. Guillaume likes to wait until the very last minute to deliver brilliant notes on scenes, so I’ve torn the scene up twice. Obviously the last scene, in which all is revealed, couldn’t be more important. It’s a great scene for the other voice actor, who might be a surprise for you guys, if you ever figure out who it is.

I’ve also been adding new things for Arthur to say in various gameplay situations. Meanwhile, I spent a couple of hours with Alice Kensington on Tuesday. She’s giving another voice to our wastrellette, and a lovely, rude song.

Meanwhile I’ve been editing my last recording session with one of our unannounced voice actors. (Apparently she is quite gorgeous, but we don’t turn on the camera during sessions, so all I care about is that she is a brilliant voice actress.) The amount of voice acting in this game keeps soaring; we’ll end up with something like 30 hours of recordings. So we’re earning our “triple-I” monicker.

Thanks for reading!

Compulsion Team

 

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