With everyone working on new content, it’s a lot of fun to see the pieces being put together. So this week, you’ll be able to learn more about how we create, fix and edit what we implement in We Happy Few.
From how the programmers develop new mechanics, to how the design, narrative, animation and art teams polish encounters, we hope you get a good idea of the way we are working together here!
This has been one busy f*$king month. On the plus side, I have a ton of stuff to show. I won’t do videos just yet, as some things are really work in progress, but I’ll take images of a few new encounters.
- Murder House
I affectionately call this encounter “The Murder House”. Cheap knockoff drugs = psychosis.
As you can see, an all new layout for a house has been created. Once we mop up the blood, you might see this house layout appear in other places
- Hoard House
Old ladies like to collect crap… lots of crap. Here are some images of the updated layout of Hoard House
- Church of Simon Says
An art pass has been done on the church of simon says. I’m probably stealing Marc-Andre’s thunder, but I’ll show this anyways
- Love Birds
This encounter is getting a complete makeover. The plan is to make it a scene out of Cyrano de Bergerac, where Arthur needs to hide in the bushes and feed lines to a romantic guy to say to his girlfriend, but if she spots you, the jig is up.
The logic is pretty much there, but I’m still working on the layout as you can see
This past two weeks, I wrote a pirate into the pub, singing a sea shanty. I’ve always wanted to put “The Eddystone Light” into something or other. Yo ho ho, the wind blows free! O for the life of the rolling sea.
Oddly, some otherwise brilliant actors cannot sing a lick. Fortunately, Jay Simon, who voiced the Honey Troll and Johnny Bolton, Special Agent, can.
I also recorded our Arthur, Alex Wyndham, and She Who Must Not Be Named, and I’ve edited most of the new lines into the cinematic audio.
It’s an interesting challenge rewriting the scenes so they convey the new information without requiring new choreography. In a movie, where the camera is third person, it’s easy to expand a scene, because the camera keeps cutting. In first person cinematics, you would have to create animation that would take the characters from position A, to do new things, and then back to exactly position A. So I try to avoid changing the timing of the scene – I try to make the new words fit as closely as possible to where the old words lived, or at least take up the same amount of time, so I don’t bump other lines that are still working.
Shouldn’t we have made these changes before the animators went to work? Sure. But it’s very hard to read a script, and still fairly hard to evaluate an audio track. Sometimes people don’t spot things until they actually see them.
More importantly, when you spend three years working on a story, you spot weaknesses in it that were not immediately apparent. Hopefully, you’ve left some room in the budget for fixing them.
On the other hand, because it’s not a movie, it’s a game, we can keep making improvements. A while ago we added an epilog for the first few characters. This week G asked us to find a way to tie all the stories together thematically at the end, which makes the game more coherent narratively. It also gives a new mandate to the epilog. So, we are rewriting the epilog to incorporate some ideas.
Also, we continue to improve the ending of the playthrough for SWMNBN. I think we’re on version 5 or 6. The first one was good, but too short to convey the catharsis we need. So each time we’ve been going deeper while, I hope, keeping to the essentials of the story.
And ... I’ve just about got all the dialog written for this sprint, which leaves me some time to play the game! So yay for that.
I spent most of this week editing super secret stuff : some special scenes that will reinforce player immersion in our world’s twisted story ! Yes, that is very vague.
Ah, there is something that’s not a secret. Maybe some of you saw in the last few updates a little graphic bug on the wellies’ masks that looked like this :
If nobody has noticed, then maybe I wasted my time. But this has irritated me for a while. And it shouldn’t be there in the next update. Hopefully.
Another week, another video!
This time I had the pleasure of having Whitney (art director) and Ben (level designer) sit awkwardly in front of the camera to talk about a very special robot, probably Wellington Well’s favorite: the Compliment Machine.
You also may have noticed that we slightly changed the format of the weekly videos since two weeks ago. We hope that it will further explain our development process and expose the hard work that our team is putting into the game. We will also do our best to include any answers to questions or comments written on the Forum, Steam Community or Youtube. So feel free to drop a line to tell us what you think!
I started doing some props for the game, yaay! I can just show 2 of them because I lost one during the week and the others are work in progress. But there will be more for next week.
I have also been the Death Cube Hunter these weeks. I spent part of my days hunting and killing them, and I’m working with the team trying to fix the bridges bug, but we are still trying to figure out how to fix it. Enjoy the weekend!
This week, I've been implementing a gameplay prototype for the Toxic Fog. This is a feature we would like to test before to invest more time into its realization.
The first video shows our testing map where the fog is in the middle of the street but doesn't affect interiors so the player can enter houses to take a breath.
The debug display is added in the second video and with the free camera you'll see how that effect is done. Because particle effects can become really expensive to process, we opted for moving a wall (which is a plane with a transparent texture) on the perimeter of the toxic zone that is replaced by an aqualung on the player's camera once in the fog.
When entering a house, the transparent wall is moved on the closest surface of the building so you can see the fog through the windows on the ground floor.
This is an early feature that explores a cheap rendering technique in order to be able to scale the fog to an extreme. There's a lot of edge cases that aren't handled just yet but you can understand that we have to start somewhere.
Thanks for tuning in!