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Weekly Journal - The Ballad of Foggy Jack
We hope you are having a good end of October. There are a lot of cool games coming out, shows to watch and Halloween is right around the corner. If you are dressing up as anyone from We Happy Few, send us some pictures!
This week we’ve been posting some fun stuff on our social media such as some pumpkin stencils and a little bedtime story by Uncle Jack.
We also posted a tutorial on how to make your very own Bobby mask thanks to the amazingly talented cosplayer DeAnna Davis.
Reviews continue this week as we look more closely at player progression, world setup (the procedural generation) and balance. Looking at the user research reports from Gearbox (who have added a piece below explaining who they are and what they do), one of the pieces of feedback that matched community feedback was that many people were taking a while to get to the Village and start taking Joy. As you guys know, these are critical parts of the game world, and many early reports from players have been “I don’t get it, is this just a survival game?” because they never got to the more colourful parts of the world:
These reports are cool because they’re independent - they’re similar in a way to the feedback all of you have given us over the past few years, but are focused on the story playthroughs. These aren’t editorial suggestions, they’re (as much as possible) objective evaluations based on player feedback. They’re a way to help us gain perspective, because it can be very easy to get tunnel vision during development. With this specific issue, we have a range of solutions.
One thing that has become apparent the past two months is that we have huge power with the procedural generation to make big changes very quickly. One option to solve the problem above is to use the generation system to change the layout of the world, introducing these areas earlier. While the generation system has caused issues for our art and level design teams in the past, it is much easier for us to make changes like this than it would be for a traditionally built game. We’re really starting to see the benefits of it at this stage.
For most of the team, content work continues well, and we are able to finalise our ratings submissions. Brazil has been submitted (it is the region with the longest analysis time), and we’re now beginning work on Japan and Malaysia! We do have a couple of last minute cinematics coming in today (including one highly suggestive and comical scene), but as of today that means we have now built the raunchiest, goriest, most full-of-expletive, parts of the game. It’s very fun to review! One more week until “content complete”.
Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne and Benji
Over 1000 lines needed to be plugged in for the mad scotsman… and that is now finished… hooray! After that, animators go through all the conversations and put together idles/animation chains for conversations. This is a double-edged sword because it opens up the floodgates for a bugs and problems, but it’s an important part in helping give life to the dialogue and story.
Bugs and problems are pretty much daily life during development. If we have a bug with animation, we’ll need to either fix it through script, or ask for a better tool from programmers. Both solutions can potentially break with subsequent changes, although script fixes are more volatile. For example, in the Technicolour update we remade our AI systems. That system continues to be iterated on, but that can cause problems and break encounters that worked correctly beforehand (eg if we add a new conformity rule, our quest NPCs may not know that they’re supposed to ignore that rule until we fix it).
Early Access was fun for that, because each update meant we’d need to fix encounters that were working previously! Good times. That being said, we’re almost at the point where major systems stop getting significant changes, so we are looking forward to doing the final “finaling” pass and making things run super well. In the meantime, *opens beer bottle*.
Integrated VO mostly. Had to fix bugs to be able to do this, so it was a twofer this week.
This week I worked on the new loot system and populating our loot lists. I also made some burning status effects for people stepping in campfires. Tons of VO integration otherwise.