Before we get on with our weekly update, we would like to do a bit of housekeeping.
A lot of backers from Kickstarter and BackerKit still need to fill out their surveys on BackerKit! This is a very important part of us sending your backer rewards to you, and we’d very much like to get as many of these sorted out as we can.
You should have received an email either at the end of our Kickstarter campaign or when you backed us on BackerKit. If that doesn’t ring a bell, try searching your inbox for “BackerKit” or “We Happy Few”. Inside that email will be a link to your survey - please fill it out, so we will be ready to distribute the rewards when they are available. If you are having any problems, please send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll help you out.
Pre-alpha progress and Early Access
As you may know, we’re planning to launch on Early Access and the Microsoft Game Preview program some time in the new year. It’s important to us that pre-alpha players have plenty of time to play and give us feedback before then, as we don’t want anyone to be short changed and not get a chance to contribute before a bigger community joins in. To make sure that doesn’t happen, we will close our crowdfunding campaign / BackerKit page towards the end of this year. So this is advance notice - if you want to get in on the pre-alpha feedback but haven’t had a chance yet, now is the time.
In the meantime, we’d also like to encourage all pre-alpha players to give us feedback on our forums! The feedback so far has been super helpful, but we’re always hungry for more. If you haven’t played it yet, we have recently published Update 9 which has made a number of big changes, and we will publish Update 10 towards the end of November. We’ll write up the focus of Update 10 in either next week or the following week’s update.
To make sure we hit the right level of voice acting quality, we’ve recast the Bobby and the Doctor. I’ll be recording them in Montreal next Friday. We should roughly double the number of things that the Bobby and Doctor can say. Not that the Doctor has shown up yet, mind you, but you’ve seen him! He has a very disarming smile.
Also, after a great deal of pestering, I got Guillaume to sit down and approve the opening scene for the game, and the narrative cutscenes for our its third character’s playthrough. I hope to record both of those in the next few weeks as well. That means I can get Alex Wyndham back in the studio to record all these lovely new Arthur barks I’ve been sitting on. He will, among other things, have a lot more crazy things to say to Wastrels. It’s not just pointy penguins any more. So I’m prepping five recording sessions all in.
As a very minor point, I sketched two maps for Whitney, one of the German invasion of Britain, and one of the situation on the continent. If one of y’all would like to help me design a better historical map, I’m all for it. No, seriously!
This week I continued working on some buildings for the new biome.
I worked on buildings for the Hamlyn Village biome
Hey you guys!
So I focused on fixing feet sliding for NPCs this week. Not super exciting to show just yet, but the game will benefit from that a lot. For those of you testing the game in the pre-alpha, you should notice the difference.
I basically went back on all animations that were previously “in place”, and added root motion to them. What this means is that we now use--extract in code--the wellies’ position in the animation to determine the velocity for their movements. This way, and with the help of Marc’s magic, we’re making sure that our NPCs’ feet will be grounded whenever they move around, in and out of combat. Cheers =]
I’ve made a lot of small changes in the past few weeks, mostly improvement and polish in a lot of areas: smoothing the player mantling so it feels more natural, adjusted sound and bark volumes, added some barks, added ambient music for the inner city, improved the Bobby’s patrolling logic at night, fixed the perception hud icon when crouching (stealth), etc...
One feature that was added to the combat last week is a block breaking mechanic where you can possibly break weapons of someone blocking if you have a “strong” weapon vs a “weak” one. Of course that applies to the player as well, so fighting can be risky if you don’t have a backup weapon and are just fighting with a branch vs a lead pipe…
This week has been spent improving the NPC animations’ synchronisation so we can avoid too much foot sliding. It’s tricky because the engine is input driven (i.e. it’s the gameplay “physics” that drive the characters) and not animation driven (i.e. where the animation control the displacement), so we need to calculate the movement inside the animations to determine what blend to use to get back the exact displacement needed. It’s looking good, we should end up with the best of both worlds: animations that look correct with the flexibility of adjusting movement speeds without having to touch code or redo the animation.
This weekend is Halloween, yay! Here at Compulsion we LOVE Halloween, so please come show us your costumes, carved pumpkin or Fall recipe on our forum :)
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