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Weekly Journal - 08/09/2017 - Production update and regional price adjustment
This week’s development has been focused on finalising encounter blocking for the last stretch of the story, along with finally recording those additional Uncle Jack kickstarter shows! It’s great to finally complete these recordings, as it means there will be even more Uncle Jack as part of the final version of the game.
It’s a busy time for our level designers as they create the remaining building blocks of the game, and we work to lock down all the features in the game.
We also spent additional time with Gearbox analyzing the regional pricing for the game after several discrepancies were brought to our attention. Here are revised price points for several regions, effective immediately:
Hi folks! From now on until we ship, I’ll be adding weekly production updates so that you can keep up with our progress towards finishing the game.
To start with, I want to explain where we are in the production cycle: in 7 weeks, we are aiming to be “content complete”. This is the point where we effectively “lock down” what’s in the game, to submit to ratings. After this point, we can touch things up, fix bugs, and add in missing pieces (eg recorded VO for which we used robo voice previously), but can’t create new things.
In order to get there, the first step is to make sure that all of our levels are “blocked” - aka the point where the levels can be played, but the supporting things like VO, animation and journal text are not final. We will not be blocking any new encounters after the end of next week. That means this week, and the past 2-3 months, have been all about blocking encounters.
To give you context, we launched the Early Access version of the game with around 50 encounters. As part of the quest rework, the Clockwork Update shipped with 61 remade/reworked encounters. 94 encounters were in the game by the Maidenholm Update, and 110 in Life in Technicolour. These range from big encounters like the Butcher, or smaller encounters like bridges or Crazy Legs, but does not include things like interactive houses. Once we have finished the current content creation, we will have significantly more encounters, which should make for a much richer world.
As part of this, Alex is furiously writing VO to be recorded, and we will be having probably 1-2 dozen recording sessions over the next month and a half.
Narrative Team - Alex and Lisa
Wakey, wakey! In addition to writing environmental narrative for the Parade District, I wrote a fun scene in which Uncle Jack’s Fan Club breaks into a melee, arguing about whether his 1951 Christmas Special is part of The Uncle Jack Show’s canon.
I’ve also been coordinating with the art and level design teams to make sure the amount of environmental narrative feels right for the newest locations. (For instance, if someone is trying to kill you when you’re in a certain room, that might not be the best place to hide lots of diaries and letters.) I usually start with my own list of character-related documents I want to put in a location, but honestly, some of the most fun stuff happens when another department tells me, “Figure out what this room is used for.”
Clara The Great Cheese
Hello everyone, So much news this week from the ninja department!
Last Monday we gathered our film gear, scripts and Wellie masks to shoot more Uncle Jack shows with the amazing Julian Casey. It went really well!
(Julian, aka Uncle Jack, and Bruno Gatien, our wonderful make-up artist!)
We managed to shoot about 12 shows which will add even more diversity on all the tellies and radios of Wellington Wells… plus a special episode which I can't talk about just now. Secret secret, you know the drill.
A hundred coffees later, I also started syncing footage and cleaning everything for the team to review, while going back to my daily tasks of retouching the UI, planning the next weekly video and reworking some of our loading screens to make them fit even more seamlessly in the world of Wellington Wells.
Animation Team - JR, Remi, Vincent, Mike P and Jules
Mike (Kinda not the new guy anymore)
Hey gang! So this week I did some work on some atmospheric conversation stuff and started animation on a new takedown for the player. Can’t mention anything specific, but if this thing doesn’t make you shudder just a bit, you might be a robot. It’s a little on the terrifying side of things. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait till 1.0 to see it! But it’ll be worth the wait!
That’s it for me, see you all next week, same bat time, same bat channel!
Hi, folks! So for me during the first part of the week, I finished another POI (point of interest) animation. As you can see it's a poke fire animation.
Now the NPCs have another interaction with their fires, I'm going to take a break from the POI animations and move to an exciting task, updating combat animations! The goal of this is to improve the feeling of intensity during the fight for the player. We want more variety for the attacks and really want to make the player feel how much the NPCs hate them (because you are a Downer...).
Hoi! This week, I joined the Ninja Department for a bit, and switched my animator hat for a driver hat! Then I quickly returned under my secret cinematics animator hat.