20 червня 2014
Summer Sales are upon us! Yay! Frenzy!
So imagine releasing McDROID during the last days, that would be bad.
So we're postponing but this time I'll put "summer" instead of a date so that you folks don't get that jarring feeling.
A lot has happened since the last update so here is what we've been up to so far:
- All lines of dialogues now have my voice as temp and I did casting with actors. I replaced some parts with their voices but our testers don't like them so we keep at it. In fact I may extend the casting to the gaming community, maybe some of you would like to have their voice in a game?
- New sounds: dSonic is now redoing most of the sounds of McDROID, we're keeping the cute fun stuff, like the sneezing and other gross Lobber Monster sound, but a few monsters, lasers and walk is redone and now synched up, which doesn't seem like much but is a huge deal. The game really feels anchored in its reality. For example the angry worm now sounds wormier and angrier, the repair sounds like clockwork, it's very very cool.
- We've had so many problems with UI that I've decided one day to tear it out, some will remain: the HUD, some buttons, but most of it is now replaced by 3D objects. So you have this wooden post sign with electric wires sticking out and a mechanical button bolted to the side, the button opens when you click on the sign and the camera zooms in so you can see what it says, it can be static information like an image or some text or interactive data. Those sign are scattered around the levels to provide help, but also serve as level selector.
- The level selector UI is gone, I hated it, clunky ugly, so I made a 3D level instead, with those signs. Signs are cool because they scatter the information in a very organic manner, like the Mario games. And in fact, because we have persistence, you can re-decorate your level selector. Plus the planet is in the middle, which grows trees as you heal her. Finally I hid a few goodies in the selector.
- The research UI is also gone, it was ugly, so now it's a laboratory level where you can "shop" for tech, and persistence here as well so you can decorate, we'll eventually expend on the idea of persistent levels, in updates after release, which should be this year ;).
Here is what it looks like: Video
- I added an armored safe, so you're like a burglar in Payday and crack those with your weapons. They are very very tough and contain lots of goodies.
- The title screen always bothered me but I never knew why. Then I this graphics designer from Australia, Dan, who showed me the Picmin box art and suggested I separate the buttons and title from the background action in a similar way. I did it, it's animated and cute, I like it.
- 2 weekends ago I went to the Muir Woods with a friend and these tall vertical structures, the redwood trees, looked so peaceful and majestic that I wanted them in McDROID. The could have replaced the pine trees but I wanted dynamic elements, I wanted to grow trees in the game, because that was the initial vision, a tree-planting robot, so I turned the fertilizer into a majestic redwood and ... you'll see how they grow, it's really nice.
- Monsters now leave remains but that was too gruesome, at the end of a level you ended up with 100s of carcasses on the ground, and all that geometry was bogging the game down so now when you pick up the soul (aka score orb) the carcass disappears. After all, you're not on your planet to kill things, but to liberate them from Somanto's mutations (gotta love rationalization).
- Big monsters carcasses can be mine for loot, it's a bit grim, but fun.
- The Angry worms, which is the one with the fur, was way too tough, and it wasn't satisfying to play because your lasers seemed ineffective, so I made them weaker, still their bite is super deadly.
- For some reason co-op kept getting new bugs, that's fixed, and one of them was bogging down the game in later levels, fixed too.
- Performance is slightly improved due to extended use of LOD. I even LODed the landscape.
- Steam leaderboard
The quality of the game has somehow taken a quantum leap so we will have something very special when it is released.
Bye for now and have a good Sumer Sale!
25 квітня 2014
Did someone want to release McDROID in May? M'yeah clearly someone deluded.
In pure Elefantopia style, a new idea sprouted then we ran with it, because it was just too awesome. I'll show you what it is soonish, I think you'll love us for it.
Sound is doing amazingly well and the game feels much much better.
A couple of sound designers did tests to show how it would improve the game and that convinced so we are in the process of hiring a sound person. In the meantime McDROID walk is now synched and the sound changes based on the amount of bliss (harsh rock, sand, grass). Our droid is nicely anchored and at least 75% more lovable. Music is less in your face, replaced by Ambient when there are no monsters (Idea courtesy of Simon from dSynch).
On the voice front, miracles are happening, I was introduced by my buddy David (Smoke Report) to his good friend Jacob (Share House art commune), who walks life being awesome. Thanks to him, casting starts next week. Really looking forward to that because working with actors is fun and super creative, and you don't need to wait for compile. I'll keep you posted and maybe even take some video of the casting session.
There were tons of co-op bugs and they are being squashed mightily.
So yeah you would have hated McDROID if we had released it in May. I'll tentatively set the release date to the end of June, so cross all the fingers, pray and other good luck charm voodoo thing, we can use some of that.