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Weekly Journal - 09/09/2016 - Surprise Update

NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
Hey everyone,

In our schedule we had planned to release the September update next week but it is stable to enough to be released today, so, surprise!

The update is currently on the main branch of Steam, and on GOG. We have submitted the update to Microsoft as well and it should be up in the next few days on Xbox One. You can read the patch notes here!

Keep in mind that you should start a fresh new game after every update or it will create a lot of random issues. This isn’t ideal but it is temporary, at least until we can finish working on the compatibility system.

Narrative Team

Alex

I decided it was crucial to spend two weeks walking around London and eating meat pies in pubs.

Also, to spend a night in a hotel inside the Avebury stone circle. And visit the White Horse of Uffington. And the chalk cliffs of Eastbourne. I’m bringing back a slew of reference pictures for Whitney and the art boys, so some of these may wind up one way or another in the game. I’ve also got some ideas for more things Bobbies can say to each other. Very hard, painstaking work, you understand. There’s nothing we won’t do for authenticity.

For some reason all this is considered “vacation,” so don’t worry, your Kickstarter/Early Access dollars did not pay for it…
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Design team

Vince

Hello everyone! This week with the design team we started learning the new quest system that the programmers have been working on. We are going to use this to handle all of the game’s quests. We are going to be spending a fair bit of time transfering all of our encounters to this new system in the coming weeks, but it will be worth it as it will greatly reduce quest progression bugs and it will take us less scripting and debug time so we can really focus on making more quests and build a bigger and better Wellington Wells for you to explore. So, nothing really exciting to show this week, but everyone will be glad that we took the time to do this in the long run. Stay tuned!

Mike

Hey! This week I mostly worked on “porting” the script work we have to the a new quest system the programmers have created. This is gonna fix a bunch of bugs, and accelerate Level Designer’s workflow at the same time - So we spend less time dealing with issues and more time building cool stuff! New underground level:
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I also added some new decorators (things that allow for variation in how the street looks, eg signs or flowers) that can spawn on the street, and started to integrate Marc-André’s archways structures:

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See you next week!

Animation team

Vincent

Ahoy! I’m back after a pretty long vacation. All ready to start the sprint toward release with all the Compulsion fellas!

I’m starting right away on some secret storyboarding for some crucial scenes in Arthur’s playthrough. That kind of scene is pretty important to plan in advance, and storyboarding is a really nice tool to support discussion, as it helps us to agree on the direction we want to take the scene!

PS: While away, I had us covered for marketing in the prairies.
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Art Team

Whitney

We are currently working on upgrading and developing more Village homes, so this week I continued researching British 60's kitchen furniture and interior color schemes and layouts. I also did some research on how to approach some of our cinematic locations, including our major final location. Here is the design for the Wellington Wells "Compliment Machine" - a robot designed to make you feel great about yourself by lavishing you with compliments.

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  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    Marc-André

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    At the beginning of this week, I completed the new medieval arches for the Village. These will allow us to break up the visual space and add variation to the world. I've had some help from Mike to get them to spawn in the Village islands. After that, to replace some of the game’s oldest props, I’ve been creating a new complete high-quality kitchen furniture set for the Village. New furniture ranges from cabinets and shelves to a sink, oven and fridge. This new set is very flexible. It has been created in a modular fashion and can have its colours easily altered to match multiple color palettes. When the player interacts with furniture to gather loot, drawers will visually open to give additional visual feedback. As always, the set is optimized both in polygons and in texture memory. When creating sets like this, multiple steps are involved.

    1. Reference/Concept: First, I was given references to work from (pictures of actual kitchen furniture in the style we want). As with always, it is important to use these as inspiration and alter them to avoid carbon-copying them. Copyright is important and we therefore can’t use existing furniture exactly as-is.
    2. Planning: The second step was to determine which dimensions I wanted to use for the modular system. In this case, it was quite easy because I was instructed to match the new set with the dimensions of the old one. Modules range from 50 centimeters to 1 meter, which translate to 50 and 100 Unreal units. That way, modules can be effortlessly snapped inside of houses next to each other.
    3. Modelling: After I know exactly what I need to do, I progress to the modelling stage. This is where I sculpt the various furniture inside of Autodesk Maya LT. I concentrate on shape, size and form.

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    4. Baking preparation: After the modelling is done, I start to optimize the meshes and prepare them for texture baking of the normal map (gives illusion of high detail on a low-polygon model) and ambient occlusion (surfaces that are near together appear darker, accentuating relief). I separate the different objects I am creating, remove duplicate areas (ex. clones of the same cabinet door) and create new meshes that are going to tell the computer later on what areas are to block light/create occlusion. These are walls and cabinet doors. To help me visually differentiate these block-light meshes, I set them to a red color.

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    5. Geometry optimisation: Now, the models’ geometries needs to be optimized. There is a very high amount of polygons on the models I created earlier. I keep a copy of the existing high poly version in another folder; we’ll need it later on. I try to keep as much of the original shape as possible while greatly reducing the amount of polygons. Now that I’m done, I went from 73414 polygon triangles to 14227 polygon triangles – not bad! However, some very important details have been lost. We will recuperate them later.
    6. After geometry has been optimized, I map the UV space by flattening the meshes onto a 2D plane (much like unfolding an origami into a flat sheet of paper). This will allow me to apply textures correctly to the 3D models.
    Next week: texturing!

    Thanks for tuning in!

    Compulsion Team
  • tectec Member, Moderator
    love the eastbourne pics! Cant wait for the xbox update.
  • Is it out on xb1 yet??
    I can't wait for this update!
  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    @jedixxxeric not yet! We are actually looking into some sneaky crashes right now.
  • Well I say "say take your time" .
    I'm super excited about this game and love watching it progress.
  • Thanks so much for everything that you guys are doing! You're all amazing for keeping on with working on this game and I'm pretty sure that ALL of us are very happy that you're working so hard on it!
  • Still no update on XBOX?
  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    @SirMcgladerry Most likely next week. We didn't want to release a build that had so many crashes.
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