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Weekly Journal - Lining up the Shot
Animation - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph And Franzi
Hi! So this week we made a lot of progress in combat. Now, when a lot of NPC are attacking you, you have the feeling of fighting against a real crowd of people. They move everywhere, they taunt, they feint, and they communicate.
(I am sharing with you this GIF, this is a work in progress but I think that it can give you an idea of how the feint will look).
So like I said, the NPC can communicate during the fight. What I mean by that is for example, if you make a critical hit to an NPC, others are going to have a reaction like "Oh my god that must hurt". Same if an NPC assigns a critical hit to the player, the NPC is going to have a reaction like "Good job guys we will kill him". We made this improvement because we had the feeling of NPC are a little bit "dumb". Now I think we reach our goal. The combat is gonna be really different than what you can see already in the game. I'm very excited to finalize the animations and share them. See you next week, guys!
Hey everyone, I’m out of my cinematic dungeon this week! ...well not quite, but I did spend some time helping out on gameplay a little bit. As you know we have been touching up on combat quite a lot recently. For me that meant: meetings, giving feedback, polishing up throws for NPCs, adding a new lob throw animation used for bangers, molotovs and whatnot, and replacing the infamous bayonet slash with a poke variation, which makes much more sense with the pointy stick.
Then I moved to object interaction, offering a bit of support for lock picking and creating a new jimmy bar animation that could work well with any object you can pry open. Oh and I also updated a “combing hair” animation. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you have this dude in the game, hair combing needs to be shiny. #DannyZuko
And as usual, nothing I can tell you about cinematics… except that I’m working on a scene involving an apple.
Design - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne And Benji
This week I set up prices for all pickups in the game. It was fun! (NOT! But necessary). Now I am working on the display of stats for all items so you will be able to compare them for their relative value and efficiency. Next week, it will be a big pass on quest rewards. I’ll try not to drown in that ocean of data! :)
Hello! Wow it’s been a while. How’s everyone doing? I’ve been incredibly busy hence why I’m not posting too much in here due to the fear that I might be repeating myself “working on secret stuff, tune in later.”
What I can say though is that I was given a new shiny task that excites me quite a lot. That is to create a proper introduction to the world of the garden district and cover more basics of the gameplay in the form of “tutorials.” Putting tutorials in brackets because we’re trying to create exciting moments that hopefully don’t feel too much like tutorials. A recent user research report explained that most players had a hard time understanding the dynamics of the NPCs in relation to the player. We’ll try to address that by creating moments that introduce properly two factions of the garden district: the hooligans and the wastrels. That way we can understand who they are, what their motivations are and how these factions interact with each other in the world of We Happy Few. Also trying to keep the entire thing creepy, which is something that I always try to push in all the levels I’m working on.
Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil And Guillaume (Sometimes)
Following on last week, I was deep in the geometry generation part of the engine. This is a dark place where Math monsters lurk and everything is slower. So, I spent a lot of time waiting for the complete world generation to finish - because the geometry generation is done at the end. and I built the proper math for the corners to adapt to roads of different widths. And pulling my hair when doing something as stupid as forgetting a -1, because then I had to relaunch everything again…
Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary And PH
For the first half of the week, I’ve been continuing to work on the new fillers set for the garden district and have been having a meeting about the upcoming new “tutorial island”. I will be the environment artist doing the heavy lifting of that environment when design planning will be over.
Afterwards, I started to work on new vine variants that will go on the garden district building to make them feel a lot more dilapidated. This is very tricky because it involves optimisation (polygon count, shader complexity, texture size, draw calls, etc.), a lot of manual work/steps (branches, leaves and roots all created by hand) and multiple iterations. By multiple iterations, I mean that there are requirements for: lush and dead variants, shape variants, color variation and more. Although it is challenging, it is very interesting to do.
Narrative Team - Alex And Lisa
We are at an odd phase in development. On one hand, we are scarily close to when we need to have everything built and working. At this point, we should only be fixing problems, not building new things. However, some problems can only be fixed by building new things; and many problems only become clear after you resolve other problems. You can’t tell if the car pulls to the left until you can make the wheels go round and round.
We’ve been doing a lot of focus tests on Arthur’s playthrough, and it’s become clear that we can do a better job of putting the player on the right track from the get-go – some players report coming out of the initial shelter and not knowing where to go or what to do. We also need to make the first couple of hours stickier – more cool stuff to see and do, less running around in the woods.
So, we are building (we hope) a new, sharper, more spectacular opening to the game. That involves a lot of back and forth between me, G, and the lucky designers handed this task.
Publishing – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Mike M, Elliot, and Simon (and more)
Hi everyone! This is Simon on behalf of Gearbox Publishing’s Quality Assurance (QA) Team. Our goal is to support Gearbox Publishing’s various partners/developers through a team of objective testers. We offer functional, first party certification, localization and compatibility test services to ensure that the player will have a smooth experience when the games reach their hands.
Thanks for tuning in!