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Weekly Update - Road to Early Access (July 26!)

Hey everyone, 

This week we are posting the Weekly Update today (Thursday) as tomorrow it is a holiday here in Quebec! Tomorrow is Saint Jean-Baptiste, the national Quebec holiday, where we relax and hang out with family (or whoever will tolerate our presence). It’s a long weekend so we’ll be a bit quiet on the reply front. 

Otherwise, the team is back together at the office after E3 and we are gearing up for the Early Access release on July 26!

Most of you are up to date with everything since you’ve been following us from the get go, but just in case you had any questions, we’ve made an updated FAQ. One of the biggest misconceptions new fans have is that they believe the game is a scripted linear story and they get turned off once they realize it is also a survival game set in a procedural world. As most of you already know, we have a story, we are just going to tell it in a different way :) 

If you wish to see some pictures from our E3 trip, we posted some photos on our Facebook page! 

We also did a lot of fun interviews at E3, here is one with Daniel Kayser from Epic and another one with BBC News. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36556520

We won’t be talking too much about Early Access until it releases (we’re in bug fixing mode) but we will show you some sneak peeks of Early Access content every week up until the release ;)

Programming Team  

Camille 

 Well, the cat’s out of the bag and Early Access is coming soon. This means we have to wrap up as much content as possible. UI-wise, this also means I get to go down my ever-increasing pile of TODOs and decide which ones are actually kind of important! I’ve been revisiting some of our UI screens over the previous two weeks and putting in place some ideas both functional and artistic. 

The first of which was the status screen, which had admittedly been a rough placeholder to begin with. With the revamp of the HUD the old coloured need bars that I was using there became somewhat obsolete and reusing the new elements would make more sense. Another objective is to provide more actual information about your status effects and how to fix them. So some extra space was allocated for them, although what the extra information will be still has to be worked out.

The other player menu that required revisiting was the journal screen. Specifically, our players might have noticed we had been using it to display letters found in the world, such as Mrs Stokes’s letters. But this wasn’t optimal, because the journal so far was only laid out for quests even though we specifically wanted to have lore elements visible somewhere. So a new section was made for those.  

And since our designers have been hard at work adding so many encounters, I’ve found that the journal could actually get quite cluttered. Therefore, I’ve added some sections in order to distinguish between the story, major and minor encounters you find.

And last but not least, where would we be without Jack Worthing? ...And all three shows we had of him!  

Truth be told, our broadcast system was inadequate and could only schedule a single in-game day’s worth of shows. Considering we have much more than that even now, it’s been a bit of a blocking issue if we wanted to deliver more content. I have decided that this could not stand and have taken it upon myself to address it.  

The result is more Uncle Jack than you could’ve imagined.

I have implemented a simple but sufficient broadcast system that takes our shows and scatters them at different timeslots throughout the day. It is randomized once every new game, so if you’re diligent enough, you should be able to watch a full serving of Uncle Jack.  

But don’t forget to eat, sleep and take your Joy! The shows keep playing regardless of what you do. If you miss one, better not die before you’re around to see a rerun.

Design Team  

Vince 

And there it is! The beautiful amazing intro that I poured all my soul in has finally been revealed at E3! That was such an amazing moment. Finally seeing something you worked on for months without being able to talk about it and then… BOOM! The whole planet sees it, and it has gotten a whole lot of love and positive comments from you guys, I couldn’t have hoped for more. Special thanks to all the good peeps at Microsoft for giving us this amazing opportunity.  

Besides that, we are still working hard to polish the Early Access version of the game, swatting bugs left and right and balancing the game so that you guys can get a good idea of what to expect in the full game. Of course, we will have lots of surprises for you along the way until the final release and we will continue working hard to make this game a success! With your help too, of course :)  

Mike 

Hey! This is week I added a bunch of letters in the game! They can be found in the mailboxes around the Village and the Garden District:

Thanks to Alex we can learn a bit more about the world of Wellington Wells with these! :D  

The rest of my week was bug fixes, bug fixes, and bug fixes!

Animation Team  

J.R. 

So you guys finally had a chance to see a whole story sequence without us being all secretive about it. How cool was that?! I hope you enjoyed the cutscenes, we got plenty more to come on our way to the finish line.  

Cinematics aside, coming back from the E3 week I got some time to tinker on a lot of gameplay animations and create some new ones to support encounters. I notably worked on the new takedown against sleeping NPCs, the infamous “pillow takedown”. (see below)  

I also spent a couple of lovely days making every NPC archetype puke properly. They now have facial animation to go with a nicely located particle emitter, thus making sure that the vomit comes out of their mouths. Other sphincters felt awkward.

Thanks for tuning in!  

Compulsion

 

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