Sunday, February 12, 2012

Salvage Youth - Countdown to Alpha

It has been another busy week, with a lot of our work being done on behind-the-scenes stuff as we shift into polish mode and try to get the gameplay revisions we've planned completed in time for Alpha.

Alexi has been going back and revisiting a lot of our old props, making sure that the art for them matches the style of our world.

He's gotten a first pass done on the rocket texture sheet. We're tweaking this a bunch, and he's already started on the changes for it, but we'll be getting the animation done for its cut scene this week. Should be fun.

Finally, he also worked on making some more low-poly terrain assets for the game, little bits of weeds and stuff we can put around in our environment to help tell the story.

We got a very cool little script running in our game now that was quick to put together and adds a very subtle but important feature in bringing our characters to life - we can swap textures on the fly now, and we tested it first by having the kids blink their eyes randomly every two to six seconds. It's a little thing, but it really does add to giving them some life. With this feature, we'll be able to swap in other "emotion" texture sheets as needed, like if one of the kids is distressed or if they do something correctly.

Laura has been hard at work getting things prepped for our opening cinematic, and she's really nailing the design of the kids. She has been creating some great storyboards for the cinematic, too.

Steffani created a fantastic rendition of Jenny's workstation that we'll be using for our main menu and in low-poly version in our game. She stayed really true to the original design, and it looks awesome.

Jermz has been creating some fantastic animation work, and we resolved our export issue - like most things, it came down to a single check box we were missing, but that little check box cost us a couple days of heartaches. Oh, technology.

We've started recording and importing sound effects this week, as well, which is going a long way to bring all of our hard work to life.

Finally, we have a whole ton of other code and design changes: getting the boss battle really working, fixing problematic camera issues, getting AI states in, throwing boxes from lane to lane, double jump for Dustin and better jump controls, all kinds of great stuff.

We've got another major deadline looming large, and then we're off to GDC shortly after, so this week is going to be a lot of nose-to-the-grindstone crunch time. We've been very carefully going over our list of features, additions and assets left and how much time we have total, so we're quite aware of the amount of work we have ahead of us, but we're all confident and excited - we're getting so close to getting our game in front of players, and that's the best part of all.

See you next week!

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