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Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary and PH
Rock’n Props for another week. I’m still trying to help everybody here with the last minute props before content complete. Unfortunately, this week I can’t really show them to you folks. A lot of them are too much related to the story. However, here’s a little walky talky I made:
Hi people! This week it was all about the Parade District, and trying to make it look as pretty as we can, so Marc, Guillaume and I are working on the island, each of us have a section assigned and our work is to decorate with props, lights and give it the feel of a real place.
Another day, another sign. Hey lil' babies! We're busy busy busy filling all the environmental narrative gaps, and that means lots of signs in the Parade District, where all the trendy Wellies go to get their fab goods, you know. Marc-Andre's going to plug these doers in, and make them look amazing (as he so often does). Can't wait for you guys to see the Parade for yourselves!!!
The Village is undergoing major changes! After two years of creating story encounters and FX, I’m finally back on WorldGen!! Things are moving fast and some big decisions have been made in term of gameplay and final look of the procedural generation; we’ll have more control over it and will be able to predict how levels spawn, therefore being able to effectively art them up and place them into the world, no more gaps! The idea is also to compact the world and being able to predict and control the series of events the player will be facing. All of this is extremely exciting and signifies the final steps for bringing a powerful and coherent experience at anytime and anywhere in the world of We Happy Few!
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil and Guillaume (sometimes)LionelAh, procedural generation, the realm of wonders and nightmares, of immense or tiny creations, some hard as diamond and other so brittle, they collapse under their own weight. Visiting this strange place, the careful traveler consider his path and his spells carefully as a simple variation can make a huge difference; there, the letter of difference between castle and cattle has immediate consequences. This week has been one of careful tuning and delicate changes, but those will make the city more hospitable, and more amenable to new inhabitants - a tighter, more compact Village. It was a cold place that looked at who wanted to move there with a reproachful stare. So we nudged its spirit toward a more tolerant perspective.
I have spent the week working on the Doctor, which can now revive someone that you killed during combat. Plus an effort on his signature weapon, the bone saw, has been done with Jules. His unique ability to smell someone that is not on joy allows him to chase you more efficiently than any other archetype (so take your drugs when you see him). We also continue to iterate on conformity rules to increase the pressure on the player while ensuring that the whole experience stays fun.
Getting creepy as we approach Halloween, as I am working on stealth! Specifically this week I have been doing little bits and pieces to get distraction objects working. We want the AI to be so addicted to the sound of smashing and crashing that you can lead them wherever you want with enough empty bottles and rocks. Before this week the citizens of Wellington Wells were really uninterested in using their ears, but with a few tweaks they are getting better.
Hopefully we will continue to improve this, and other stealth gameplay, up until launch, because personally I prefer having the sneakier, less lethal approach to our encounters. After all, they were once your neighbours.
Publishing – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Mike R, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Brad, and Erick (and more)Kat
Hey guys! My name’s Kat. I’m a recent East coast transplant to the Dallas area, and one the newest members of the Gearbox team. As the Publishing Project Manager, my days are spent working on thrilling things like Gantt charts, schedules, emails and spreadsheets (which I love)--basically making sure everyone has the most information possible to make awesome stuff! I’ve been working hard on the production of the Time Capsule (what we used to call the Collector’s Box), and currently have a prototype of the mask replica sitting on my desk! Caffeinated lifeblood in a can for scale:
I also helped with a motion capture shoot for an upcoming trailer with Alex yesterday, which was awesome to see. I’ve never been part of something like that before and I learned a lot! I look forward to being able to share more with all of you in the future!
Thanks for tuning in!
Animation Team - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph and FranziMike P (Still a danger)Did stuff. Animated more stuff… All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy…All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy… (Don’t worry Naila.. I’ll add something)… So yeah, it’s been an interesting week. Been working on a cutscene that falls in a bit of a moral grey zone that hits a little close to home for me. But I got through it and I think what I came up with works. As per usual can’t tell you about it but rest assured I gave it my best college try and I hope when you see it you’ll feel a bit of emotion. So that’s it for me, tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel!JulesHi folks! So last week I talked you about our new weapon on the game, the bone saw! I can now share with you some gifs of my animation (this is a work in progress).
As you can see with this weapon, you will be able to realize real carnage in a short amount of time! But when you equip it, you are restricted to only walking. This weapon is too heavy for you, so you can't run. It's the same for blocking the attack of your enemy.
So you are not strong enough to do that, but maybe another person can... yes some other NPCs can carry the bone saw. And this transforms them into powerful opponents.
Do you have you an idea who?
Hello people! This week, I was still on cinematic animations. Progressed quite well and did lots of back and forth with the rest of the team for a complicated scene. And when I say the rest of the team, I mean the WHOLE rest of the team. I got some feedback from programmers, artists, concept artists, writers and other animators. I find it quite important that you ask everyone for feedback. Everybody has a different background and knowledge that can apply to your animations. They might not be able to tell you that your animation lacks weight or why it needs more anticipation, but in the conceptual phase, anyone can tell you how they feel about the scene. Everyone has already played a game or seen a movie. If a non-animator notices there’s something off, maybe it’s worth listening to him ;).
Sadly, we were not able to fly to Texas with Alex for the Mocap session, but still managed to be in a conference call and watch them from Montreal. They did an amazing job and Alex was great to direct the actors. The only times we had to communicate is for the initial setup of the scene. Where the characters should be at the beginning/ending of the scene and providing them with the right dimensions of the environment.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this data and start playing with it!
Ahoy lads and lasses, the rest of the animation team is not quite dead, despite what you would think, reading the previous updates. We’re still hard at work on the cinematics, as well as all the little scripted moments that can’t be done with simple conversation animations. Tackling those smaller events is a nice change of pace, especially when you’ve been animating 4000 frames long scenes (Alex quite likes to write, in case you haven’t noticed yet!).
We also welcomed yet another new animator to help us in the final stretch, Franziska. She’s gonna give us a hand on the conversation animations, along with Raph who just arrived a few weeks ago. That makes eight of us, and we all have quite ‘du pain sur la planche’ (did I mention Alex writes a lot?).
Greetings! Aside from integrating several scenes into the game before content complete, I spent the week on the end of the game… yes, you read that right! WHF actually gets a complete story with a beginning and an end. Who would have thought. And let me tell you, it’s short, sweet and totally satisfying. It’s also a technique we haven’t used a whole lot of in the past. Our cinematics are all in first person, but at some point in the game we make a cool transition into a new point of view.
I don’t want to tell you more, because we think the whole thing is a very nice moment in the game and I wouldn’t want to spoil it. After all that, I’m very happy with the story, where it got to and where it’s getting. In the end, it truly is a lovely day for it!
Lots to share this week even though the team is knee deep in work and in story related content. Enjoy!
As we near the end of content complete, we come a bit closer to understanding our estimates, and what we can/can’t accomplish in the time we scheduled. The level design schedule is looking tighter than we’d like for the final week, as it has taken a bit longer to record VO than anticipated, so rather than ask everyone to work super crazy hours we’ve made the call to extend content complete by an extra week. This won’t affect street date as we had built in time to the schedule for exactly this kind of situation. So, still roughly 2 weeks to go until we can say “this is the content we’re shipping with”.
In the meantime, the team continues integrating content and getting us to the point where we’re ready to submit to ratings. One area of interest right now is the Parade District. Some of you may remember that we had planned to add this in the last Early Access update, but we removed it because we felt it was too intertwined with the story (aka, there was really only story content there, and much less systemic gameplay). Once we made that call, we were also able to make another one: we are creating this area by hand, rather than using the procedural system. This should give the Parade District a very distinct feeling, and provide an experience that is a bit more hand crafted. However, that means a lot of art team time, so almost the entire art team will be working on this for the next two weeks.
Narrative Team - Alex and LisaAlexWednesday I flew down to Texas for a motion capture shoot for a key scene in the Mad Scotsman’s story, that will also be the backbone of an upcoming trailer!This is the first time I’ve ever directed mo-cap. As with most motion capture shoots, we already had edited audio — I recorded one actor in London, and another in Toronto. Now we needed to give arms and legs to those voices.So motion capture is a bit like dance. My job was choreographing the movements and gestures that are supposed to sell the emotions in the voices. I had a general idea of where the actors could move in the imaginary space we’d already built. On the mo-cap stage, I worked with the actors to express the characters they were there to inhabit. The mad Scotsman is big in all senses of the word. The other person in the scene is a British aristocrat who measures her every move.But it’s not just gestures. As I was working with the actors, at a couple of points we’d rehearsed a scene to the point where they were getting everything right; but I wasn’t feeling it yet.In one case I realized that the other party was just sort of hanging out with our mad Scotsman; I needed to tell her mo-cap actress that she had somewhere else to be, and something urgent she needed to do there. Suddenly the scene woke up. It’s funny, because exactly none of her gestures changed. But now, I felt it.In the other case, I hadn’t given the actress her intention. She was saying stuff to the mad Scotsman; but she wasn’t trying to convince him. The actress didn’t know what the character’s “verb” was. And again, not a gesture changed; but as soon as I gave her an intention for her character, the whole scene came alive.I find the two most powerful questions I can ask about a scene, whether it’s written, or recorded, or edited, or mo-capped are: do I believe it? And, do I care? If I can get both answers to yes, I think we end up with something pretty neat.LisaThis week has been a bit nuts. My to-do list was tantalizingly short at the beginning of the week, but as we get closer to content lock, we notice that some things I wrote a year ago need tweaking because levels have changed slightly in the meantime. It’s now a race to get everything done before time’s up! But it’s also fun and exciting.Alex went to Texas for a mo-cap session, so I got to use the Big Desk and drink all his diet colas. (Caffeine is pretty necessary at this point, as you can imagine.)
Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne and BenjiRoxanneWorked a lot on weapons and outfits. We are making them so we will have a proper tiering of specialisation. We will also identify them to indicate their rarity. We are getting close to having our definitive list. Stay tuned.In the following weeks, I will also make big adjustments on the loot lists for all containers (NPCs, lootable furniture and so on). We are also modifying our crafting system a bit. Our recipes will no longer unlock by finding ingredients. You’ll find them in the world, mostly on crafting tables and be able to buy most of them at the shop keepers. Hopefully, I will contribute to improve balance and make the game more exciting to explore! Your help is precious for this part, so do not hesitate to give us constructive feedback!EricThis week has been purely bug fixing for Arthur’s story. When I’ve not been doing that, I’ve been integrating the vast amounts of VO Alex recorded that has not been put into the game. I might be mistaken, but I think this is the game with the most VO I’ve ever worked on in 10 years.
I'm loving all these in-game walking apparatus. From a disabled cosplayer, I thank you so much for giving us canon walking support at conventions.
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil and Guillaume (sometimes)
So with world generation, the thing is that despite all its advantages, it is hard to test. And the QA people are nice, but they don’t like untestable stuff. So they invited me to a meeting. Once we all sit, they just stared at me with a nice, silent pacino vibe and I stared back… for a while. I kept my poker face approximately 5 sec. In the end, I just built a better logging system for them to check the worldgen. Also hunted down bad data that was making the system barf. Of course, not everything is true in the above paragraph but who would read programmers’ reports if it was ?
This week I have been working on Miss Thigh Highs’ exclusive items. Physically, she may be a weaker character but she has particular talents that make up for any lack of brawn. These items are quite interesting to work on as they can involve several areas of the games (animation, AI, …etc.). I hope you guys will enjoy using them ! :D
Publishing Team – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Mike R, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Brad, and Erick (and more)
Hi! I’m Elisa, the New Media Manager here at Gearbox. New Media is the umbrella term for all the cool new ways folks are creating content, such as podcasts, streams, and video. Right now, I’m starting prep for TwitchCon next week. At TwitchCon, I’ll meet with Twitch staff, streamers, and other game developers and publishers to learn as much as I can about putting together livestreams and working with streamers to make sure they can deliver a fun experience for their audiences. As a streamer in my (limited) spare time, I’m always curious to know what tips and tricks broadcasters have to make their streams unique, high-quality, and entertaining. I’ll eventually translate what I’ve learned to the streams we produce from our own space here at Gearbox Publishing. I’m also looking forward to meeting with broadcasters that are a perfect fit and would have a blast showing off We Happy Few to the world!Feel free to come say Hi!
Thanks for tuning in!
A bit of a short journal this week as we are now more than ever in the middle of the super secret content and finishing the last bits of the game!
Hi everyone! Continuing on from last week, we’re now approximately 2 weeks away from content complete. I think we’ll need just a little bit more time on this than we have previously planned for, because in our playthroughs we’ve been making changes based on things we have missed - eg adding in the new opening island, noticing gaps in player direction, etc. This means that the work slated for right now has been pushed off a little bit. That being said, we’re still on track to hit our ratings deadlines.
However, we have hit at least one important milestone this week: we have, essentially, 99% complete narrative material for the game! All the scripts, encounter dialogue etc for the game is now essentially done, barring some journal entries for encounters and the inevitable touchups we’ll make as we keep reviewing the game. We’ve collated this (thank you Alex!) and sent it off to Gearbox, so they can submit this to ratings agencies. Think of the children, everyone.
In other news, this week we had a series of playtests over at Gearbox, and early feedback is that we’ve made some good improvements on the issues raised in the previous report. Hopefully next week we’ll have the guys at Gearbox provide a bit of an excerpt of the report, so you can see the kind of information we’re looking at.
We had a very interesting week. After a few months of being pulled out of the weekly videos for production reasons, we remove the dust on our film gear and went out to shoot the next Blade Runner movie. Well, that's what we told Sam anyway. What we really did was shoot a series of interviews with a few willing victims (aka select members of the team), talking with them about numerous subjects that we didn't have the chance to touch base yet on previous weeklies... It resulted in two full days of shooting, a great number of rushes and a fully-packed media drive which we can't wait to go through and properly edit.
These shoots always represent a lot of efforts in terms of planning, research, and obviously time spent by our fantastic team, who is taking time outside production to help us build all this cool content for the community. That said, it's always super rewarding and super motivating to hear them talk about what they love doing, creating and working on. Makes us appreciate their passion and efforts even more.
Animation Team - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph and Franzi
Hey ! So this week I continued to work on the new combat animation. The animations now work well with our new process! But these animations are not yet totally finished. We need to tweak the timing during the windup to achieve good balancing. After all, we don't want to transform the NPC into an all-powerful killer! We want to use these new attacks to add depth into the combat and make it more tactical for the player. This is the new heavy punch, because I know you guys like gifs!
Next I take a break from combat animation to work on another super exciting task: ("drum roll") The Bonesaw weapon! That's our new weapon, it's very powerful and bloody (mouhaha). To activate this weapon you need two power cells and an activate card. I know that's expensive, but imagine being able to run into Wellington Wells and attack things with what amounts to a chainsaw made of spoons. Like really dull ones. Carnage! I think it’s a fair price, isn't it ? Next week I will able to show you the animation about this Bonesaw !
Hey folks! So this week was a short one due to the proper Canadian thanksgiving. I finished polishing up the transition cutscene from last week and started work on some custom animations for another one. Again can’t say much about it other than in the immortal words of Marvin the Martian: “There was supposed to be an earth shattering KABOOM!” Hehehehe. Also I animated a few obscene gestures. So that’s about it from my end folks, tune in again next week, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!
Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne and Benji
On top of working on some content, I’m starting to go through all of our items and categorise them, this will allow us to balance them and handle their repartition on each island.
Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary and PH
Hi all! At the moment, I’m trying to help as many people as I can by doing small assets. That gives me the opportunity to work with all the departments and that’s awesome. Everyday is a new day with completely new art to make. Absolutely no time to be bored. This week for example, I made some crutches, various papers and letters with the awesome artworks of Whitney and Sarah, new clothes variations, a gate...
Animation - JR, Remi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules and Raph
Hey everybody! So this week I will talk you about combat animation! We continued our work on it this week. We edited the animation I showed you last week, to change how the NPCs will hit you. The biggest change is that now the NPCs step towards you to hit you. They will no longer move in front of you, wait, and then hit you. This brings our combat system to another level. The immersion is more intense and less repetitive. So now my challenge is to adapt my animation so it fits with this new process. It’s really exciting! Seriously when I started this task, I never would have imagined that we’d able to upgrade our combat to that level.
Hello people, it’s been a while! Sorry for not keeping everyone up to date on what I’ve been working on in the past few weeks, but the truth is we’ve been working really hard on cinematics and story assets. I did some rigging and exploded a few more objects as well, but the main focus remains to deliver our best animation work for you all to enjoy. Have a good week and hopefully we’ll soon have some special things to share with you!
Mike (not so dangerous anymore)
Heeeeyyyyy! So this week I worked on some custom animations for our level designers to try and make all of our encounters as special and unique as possible. Then I burned the midnight oil making a cutscene to transition you guys from the first island to the second, and help set the mood for the rest of your playing experience. I know it doesn’t sound like much, however I tried to put a lot of love and effort into it for you guys. So that’s it for me folks, tune in next week, same Bat Time, same Bat channel!
Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary and PH
I did a new character this week! I call him my little monster, because he is made of many other characters. Unfortunately he is story related so I can’t show him. After him, I did a bunch of different things, I destroyed a location, worked on one of the bridges, a house, and created some variations of textures for some characters. It has been a really busy week, and probably next week will be busier, but we are getting there!
Hey folks! Sarah and I are busting our butts to finish the 2d assets that support the environmental narrative in the game. All secret, juicy stuff for the release. I can show you something, though. Here's the Doctor rendered in a classic painting style.
Wow! This week I worked on a lot of assets, but mostly small ones. I did variations and I retextured various works. No time to be bored, I switched from environmental assets to character assets. Also, do you remember all the parachute stuff I made last week? I finally finished the parachute’s bag itself.
This week was a rollercoaster of disciplines, from bug fixing to arting up secret story levels, to rain FX, World Map visual FX or planning one massive section of the game! Good thing is it all ended up being pretty amazing, above all expectations! Here is a wallpaper of an “ideal” look for our country roads!
Publishing – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Mike R, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Brad, and Erick (and more)Mike CHi! I’m Mike, the Director of Production here at Gearbox Publishing. This week, besides trying out a new hair color (this month its fuchsia), the team and I started the submissions process to get ratings for all territories. This starts out with conversations with representatives at each ratings board (ESRB, PEGI, USK, etc.), as each territory rates elements differently. At the same time, we work with the team at Compulsion to get the most comprehensive slices of the game to give an accurate representation of what the full game will entail. The goal is not to censor any part of the game, but rather to make sure the game is properly rated so that customers around the world with cultural differences in ratings and sensitivities understand and enjoy the content.
We're super excited about what's in the final game, and we can't wait to make it available to the world!
Have a great long weekend everyone! (It’s Canadian Thanksgiving)
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil and Guillaume (sometimes)LionelI have been working on, wait for it, blocker bugs ! And to catch bugs in worldgen, one builds logging systems to validate the generated data as it is produced. As a consequence, I spent a big part of the week squinting at those aforementioned logs to find the root cause of some overlapping between buildings. I put my pirate hat on and cursed a lot (especially when bad input data was the cause). Yarrr ! Once I had a good prognosis, I corrected most impactful errors. And I put the hat down, but that part was a bit sad.
Narrative Team - Alex and LisaAlexIt’s fun to write lists in dialog. A good list has power. In Henry V, the English soldiers charge “For God, for Harry, and St. George!” Somewhere I have a felt banner that says, “For God, for Country and for Yale.” (This motto is listed in a dictionary as an example of “anticlimax,” no doubt by a lexicographer from Harvard.)This is the planned list, a list that has solidified in the speaker’s mind. I had fun this morning writing the sentence, “No one’s going to go to war for the sake of an island of rubble, subsistence farmers, and terribly large badgers,” describing our alternative history England. The speaker clearly has said that before, even if only to himself.
Then there is the unplanned list. After Agincourt, Shakespeare has King Henry V read a herald’s note detailing the dead among his enemies, the French:
King Henry: This note doth tell me of ten thousand French
That in the field lie slain. [...]
The names of those their nobles that lie dead:
Charles Delabreth, high constable of France;
Jaques of Chatillon, admiral of France;
The Master of the Crossbows, Lord Rambures;
Great Master of France, the brave Sir Guichard Dauphin;
John, duke of Alençon; Anthony, duke of Brabant,
The brother of the duke of Burgundy,
And Edward, duke of Bar. Of lusty earls:
Grandpré and Roussi, Faulconbridge and Foix,
Beaumont and Marle, Vaudemont and Lestrale.
Here was a royal fellowship of death.
When most actors get a list, they tend to read it like a grocery list. They know they’re reading a list. Each word they speak is part of a list. It becomes singsong. If you perform Henry’s speech like that, it has little power.
Take a moment, and read the above like a list.
Now, read the list, but each time you come to a name, pause for a moment, and imagine someone you know. Now imagine them dead. Only then move on to the next name.
Seriously, do that.
See what that does?
It becomes an unplanned list. Short planned lists have power. Long planned lists are tedious. Long, unplanned lists have power.
It is a challenge to get actors to perform unplanned lists, because they can see the damn list right in front of their eyes. They know how many names are coming up. Yet you have to knock them off that, derail that train, or it sounds like a planned list. You have to remind them that their character doesn’t know what they’re about to say until a fraction of a second before they say it.
(In Meisner technique we were taught to practice lines at the highest possible speed, without affect: “Whatapieceofworkisman hownobleinreasonhowexcellentinfaculty etc.“. That way the words would be there when I needed to say them, but wouldn’t be associated with an emotion. So the emotion would come fresh and surprising, even though the line was memorized.)
(The ability to let go of what you know is critical to many artists. An editor has to be able to say, “Who the hell is this character that just showed up?” even though in the 22 previous cuts of the film, that character was properly introduced, so of course she knows who it is. Same thing for a writer.)
One of our characters in We Happy Few has a problem:
“Beatrice says she loves me. But she loves everything! Me... long walks... sunsets and rainbows of course. Simon Says… big wristwatches on a man… wrapping paper… dandelions… a good night’s sleep… ribbons… Uncle Jack’s bedtime stories… six o’clock … commemorative spoons. I have to know if it’s real!”
What’s funny about this list, I hope, is that it is (a) unexpectedly long (b) terribly specific (c) weirdly diverse. “Unexpectedly long” is only funny if the actor performs the list as if he does not know how long the list is. If the list becomes sing-song, it’s not funny. He has to perform it as if he is searching his memory for everything Beatrice loves. It’s funnier if it sounds like he’s done, and then he thinks of some more things. Ideally, to make it more comically upsetting, the actor should do homework: create a different imaginary circumstance in which Beatrice liked each distinct item on the list. Then each item comes with its own distinct emotion, and it will come out of his creative instrument sounding distinctly different.
By the way, giving the actor a distinct imaginary circumstance is almost always helpful, not just with lists. With good actors -- and this deep into development we’ve got an amazing repertory of voice actors -- if you simply tell them something about their imaginary circumstance, the line comes out more distinctly. Even if they’ve said the line the way I intended it the first time, I’ll still tell them something about it sometimes, to see how that informs their delivery. They usually deliver the line sharper. Remember this is in a voice session where we’re doing a new line, on average, every 30 seconds. Our guys are Teslas: they go from 0 to 60 at ludicrous speed. Their ability to interpolate the imaginary circumstance I just gave them and deliver the line fresh is what makes us bring them back.
With the content-lock deadline looming, I finished the last few locations that still needed environmental narrative. People in Wellington Wells didn’t always take Joy. This week I wrote letters and diaries that show you what certain townspeople were like in the days before pharmaceutical pick-me-ups. Get ready for some dishy dark secrets!
For fun, I also wrote a couple of Halloween limericks about Foggy Jack, who most definitely does not exist. (And because the muse does not adhere to the calendar, I also wrote a little Valentine’s Day ditty that I'll share with you in February.) Most important, I started planning my WHF cosplay for Halloween. Have you?
We are pretty much in the eye of the storm of the project right now. The purpose of these updates is not to always show the pretty side of development but to be transparent and right now it is hectic, busy and a bit tense. If it's difficult, and challenging, but that's not a bad sign at this stage. The challenge keeps us engaged, and help us make a better game.
Last week in Montreal, the Metropolitan Orchestra paid tribute to Montreal made games during a video game symphony. It was beautiful and our previous game Contrast was part of the show along with many other local games, like all 137 Assassin’s Creeds.
As we approach content complete (now three weeks away), we’ve been looking at the full game and making the last major adjustments to content that we can.
One of the challenges in game design is that it’s rarely ever “done”. The artistic nature of it means that there are always improvements; always parts of the game that you want to put more into. However, you also need to ship the game, and that often conflicts with wanting to make changes (as I’ve mentioned before, finishing a game involves locking down parts of the game, allowing us to do things like bug fix, optimization and polish). Balancing production realities with creative desires is most difficult at the end of the project, and not always an easy task. But, we’re getting there!
This week sees the last major changes (eg Adam’s work below, structural changes to the final island, structural changes to the stories, etc) coming in, as we prepare for a playtest of Arthur’s full story next week. This is being done by Gearbox’s user research team, and it’s exciting to get independent verification of whether we have improved on the issues raised by the previous report (and also on all the issues raised by the community!). Hopefully once that information is available, I’ll be able to share some of it with you all.
Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne and Benji
Surprise surprise, we’re all working on story stuff, BUT some exciting news. I’m redoing the first level of Character 3’s story to give it a boatload more action. What else… a lot more VO has been recorded and imported, so.. that’s me for the next 3 weeks.
I have been working on fixing some blocker bugs and lots of VO integration. Most importantly, I just started helping on balancing weapons. We will do massive tweaks to them, so they stop feeling all the same and are actually interesting to acquire. More on that soon! ;)
Hey lil' Downers! This week was nuts, and it's only going to get crazier until content lock!! Defying the odds, somehow ANOTHER player menu screen was designed: SKILL TREEEE! The design was approved with a surprisingly minimal amount of retching from David and G. When their feedback does not include phrases like "my eyes are unhappy" or "this screen makes me want to kill myself" I know I've done a good job! More to come on that end, it's going to need a bunch of sweet, sweet icons, so I'll keep you posted! I also made some posters for a secret location that describe what Wellies believe will come to pass in the FuTuRe!*~!*!*!
(Sam note: we haven’t spoken much about the skill tree yet, but it’s a system we have decided to experiment with to give players better rewards for completing side encounters, and to give a better sense of progression for your character(s). These are two things requested by you guys, and it’s really nice to be able to figure out good ways to respond to feedback. We’ll talk more about this at a later point.)
Hello all! As we were focused on the player menu until now, we didn't have yet the occasion to make a pass on fonts and get rid of old assets still laying around after a few years of production -- and which used to make Sarah's eyes bleed.
So this week I played around with the HUD (Head-Up Display, basically all the visual information displayed on screen) to make it fit with our new UI aesthetic! I also added the tab design for the player menu.
The rest of the week was about going through UI design bugs and trying to juggle between design efficiency and player/team member feedback received.
It's always a bit tricky because we all have our own logic or a certain opinion on how a game should represent (and has represented) certain types of information, and it's all about finding that fair middle while trying to be innovative and getting everything ready on time for content lock.
It's a good thing we have good coffee and donut breaks!
Publishing – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Mike R, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Brad, and Erick (and more)
Hey all! I’m Meredith, the Community Coordinator here at Gearbox Publishing. This week, I worked together with Community Manager Naila to come up with some cool social content for the next few months. We’re going to be focusing on some fun and spooky elements of the game in October, and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of our planned assets come together. Thanks for the ideas, Naila!
In more immediate news, Nicole (one of our Marketing Artists) whipped up this really cool ’60s-inspired Wellette paper doll! I never thought I’d ever work at a place where “cutting out clothes for a paper doll” was a legitimate part of my job, but sometimes working in social media can be fun in ways you didn’t expect.
Thanks for tuning in!
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