Today we are releasing the Community Balance Update on the MAIN branch on Steam andGOG.com! As some of you know, last week we released this update on the preview branch to test, and with the community’s help, it’s ready to go live. Thank you to everyone in the community who helped with the preview feedback!
You can read the updated patch notes here! If you report any issue, please make sure to double check that you are running version 29020.
Xbox players, we are submitting the update today to Microsoft. Provided all goes well, it should be live early next week! We will also remind you once it goes live on our social media.
Behind the scenes, we are continuing to work on the story. This week G, David, the two animators and I played the Arthur story line cutscenes from the intro through the last scene. Well, the last scene isn’t animated yet, but I’ve edited the audio. Now that we’ve got all the audio and most of the video, we can see if it has all the impact we’re hoping for.
As a recovering movie writer, I have a tendency to write scenes that might seem a bit long in a game (though not a Japanese game!). So G’s asking me to cut down some of these scenes to their minimum. That’s usually a good thing to try to do anyway. A rule of editing is, start the scene as late as possible (as far into the scene as possible), and get out as soon as you can. So we’ll probably be reducing one scene to its hard nuggets of drama.
Meanwhile, today, I’m recording about 150 new female NPC lines. Monday I’ll record Arthur saying another 180 or so lines; and somewhere in the upcoming week we’ll get about 150-200 new male NPC lines. Most of these are in the Garden District; I’m still trying to figure out what sort of new interactions will work in the Village, and of course, we’re still building encounters there.
Nice to get back into the recording studio!
Oh, and I wrote a new newspaper!
I have really enjoyed this week as a whole, since I have had the opportunity to work on a wide array of things.
First, I’ve been tasked with creating new stone textures which we will be able to use in multiple occasions, ranging from churches to arches. Notably, I’ve been experimenting with the bump offset feature of Unreal 4 which allows for more depth in textures at a relatively small performance impact. The newly created rocks material is based on the following textures, which each have their own purpose at adding to the realism.
Here, you can see a comparison of the same texture with and without bump offset. It does make for a notable improvement:
BATHROOM ASSETS CREATION:
The art assets you will find in the village house bathrooms are some of the earliest made in production. For quality and historical accuracy, some of these had to be remade. Little did I know bathroom sinks in England have their cold and hot water handles spaced apart!
BUG FIXES, TRIVIAL MATTER:
I have also done a bunch of small fixes ranging from typography mistakes, re-texturing assets and optimizing a lot of textures (from signs to illustrations) that were taking up precious memory resources. I finished the base structure for the interior of the church. I reorganized pictures throughout the houses of the garden district to better put in value the artwork done by our talented concept artist.
This week I've put my full focus into UI, and making some much needed icons! We finally have a holster expansion icon to replace the suitcase, an itch I've been aching to scratch for a while now. I also gave Bread a little make-over, and added a Moldy Bread version, which will hopefully lessen instances of accidental food poisoning via hasty bad bread ingestion.
This week I made a new tiling sidewalk texture we will use to make more flexible sidewalks. I also did an art pass on some encounters, and started to work on an ArtMap and new techniques to make better and more accurate skylight Cubemaps.
Editor’s note: if we knew what he was saying, we’d try and translate this for you.
Hello hello! This week I worked on finishing up the Motilene mechanics. Soon you’ll be able to use the Motilene harvester to suck up spills found throughout the world (*wink* *wink* you know that purple ground splash in the second garden district island shelter). There’s also a Motilene Dispenser where you can plug in one of your empty power cells and fill them right back up. Just as a recap, the power cells are valuable for going into underground areas where you’ll use power cells to fill up your flashlight and plug them into other environmental things.
We’ve also been thinking about incorporating more areas in the game where stealth is a valuable option if you can’t meet the conformity requirements. For example, there could be little factories in the village that only workers can access. In order to find valuable mechanical loot and fill your power cells at the Motilene Dispenser, you either need to stealth around patrolling workers or find yourself some Coveralls. I’ve been discussing this for quite some time but we may extend the idea of The Apple Tree. In this encounter there are three bobbies guarding a source of regenerating apple loot. What I’ve pitched is that you have slightly bigger areas in the Garden District that are guarded by Bobbies and you have Wellies inside growing food for the Village. The food inside however is not rotten but top notch food. So it’s either a matter of finding an alternate entry and steal food or make it look like you belong in this area. Beware though if you get caught :).
Hey! New stuff this week! It’s not in the game yet, as we have to test it for a while to make sure everything works properly. New “high cost area” for the Garden District:
It’s a Greenhouse with good loot inside, but the doors are planked so you need a Jimmy Bar!
New filler for the Village:
It’s an additional way to circulate between the streets, and a little alley cafe where Wellies and Arthur can chill sometimes. :D See you guys later!
Thank you for tuning in!
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