LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Studio
The first update for LIZ: Before the Plague Early Access is finally here!



Hello Agents, the first update for LIZ: Before the Plague is finally here!
What's new? We added another playable room and thanks to your suggestions we fixed some bugs and improved the product.

CHANGELOG (Revision v0.2)
- Added a new playable room.
- Added shooting mechanics.
- Added difficulty selector for the puzzles (easy, medium, high).
- Improved the hint system to match new puzzle difficulties.
- Improved the readability of the P.D.A. help textbox.
- Improved some animations, added lipsync.
- Improved drone placement.
- Fixed rotation speed for the character selector wheel of the remote tool.
- Fixed incorrect placement of first person character in pre-menu intro call.
- Optimized for Oculus Rift S.


There are still few known issues we are still fixing:
- Slow loading after new game.
- Dark colors banding on some graphics cards, especially using Oculus Rift.


Thank you for all the support and feedback during the days after release, you can expect more to come, as well as some new content that we are working on.
Continue to stay tuned for other updates, we also would like to have you on our discord channel, here you can talk with devs, send your feedback, receive assistance and help us to improve our product!
Join us on https://discordapp.com/invite/wGWxXcR
LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Studio
Thrilling News! LIZ: Before the Plague is available on Early Access
We are proud to announce that Liz is on Early Access!



The game will be available for the whole period of early access at a discounted price, don't miss it!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/628940/LIZ_Before_the_Plague/

The current build includes the first two rooms of the game where the player explores the dynamics of investigation and learns about the initial plot.
The Shooting dynamics will be introduced in the coming weeks with a patch, in the meantime you can experiment it in the Shooting Range mode.
For those who purchase the game in early access, continuous updates will be issued up to the final and polished version of the game, in this way you will have the game at a lower price compared to the launch price.
This is how we Twin Wolves want to thank you for your support!

Notice this is an Early Access game, it's actually not complete, let us know if you have problems we are here to help you!

There are some known Issues:
  • Slow loading after new game
  • Dark colors banding on some graphics cards, especially using Oculus Rift
  • Incorrect placement of first person character in pre-menu intro call
  • Sporadic non-blocking input mapping issues for Oculus Touch controllers
  • No lipsync
  • Some contacts are not perfect

We're working to patch it all and to add content! The first patch will arrive very soon to fix some bugs.
Continue to stay tuned for other updates, we also would like to have you on our discord channel, here you can talk with devs, send your feedback, receive assistance and help us to improve our product! Join us on https://discordapp.com/invite/wGWxXcR

Oct 25
LIZ: Before the Plague - Shizuka
Hello everyone! We were missing for a little time because we are preparing a thrilling surprise for all of you, stay tuned to find out what we are plotting. In the meantime, we leave you a taste of gameplay with some gif captured during a playthrough at our studio.







Waiting for the big news we are gonna release next week, follow us on {LINK REMOVED} and {LINK REMOVED}.
Remember to wishlist our game!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/628940/LIZ_Before_the_Plague/
LIZ: Before the Plague - Shizuka
Hi everyone, how is your summer going?
The Twin Wolves Studio Team is taking a little vacation, but we will soon be back in better shape than before to complete the development of Liz Before the Plague.
In the meantime we leave you some shots of Liz and Jane at the seaside.





Happy Summer! ːsteamhappyː

Remember to wishlist our game to stay updated on the development process!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/628940/LIZ_Before_the_Plague/
LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Staff
Agents, we have a case for you to train your detective skills.
An eyewitness saw the young Jessica Stone being flanked by a black van near the Harvard Medical School where she studies. The girl is soon declared missing by her friends who were waiting for her nearby. Boston police intercepted the phone of his father, Jeremy Stone, a prominent government officier and a ransom request from an unknown location soon arrived.
Here you find a recording of the call
https://youtu.be/cb-9CFhcBRk
We also pinned on this Map some suspicious vans, in the Boston area, that correspond to the description of the witness.

A) South of Washington

A Security Camera registers a van similar to the one described by the witness, passing with a red light.

B) Cambridgeport

A police car sent to patrol the Cambridgeport area reports a black van parked next to a house, where Jessica's ex boyfriend, Michael, is currently living.

C) Broadway Station

A police patrol asked for reinforcements to stop a black van on the 93rd, due to excessive speed. The van was found shortly after, parked near the train station area but the driver's trail was lost.

D) Boston Port

A sailor reported the presence of an abandoned van on his property, the owner is not known. A tow truck has been called for removal. This area is very near to the Harborwalk pier.

E) Boston Airport

A policeman who is patrolling the Airport area on foot reports a suspicious black van with tinted windows parked on the street.

Help us to identifiy the area where the girl could be hidden. Write your answer in the comment area!

LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Staff
https://youtu.be/87gENlo7ZKc
Year 2121, the human race can no longer ignore climate change, nature is rebelling violently sweeping away entire civilized areas with extreme weather events.



About one third of the world's population has been exterminated by the onset of new diseases and the consequences of tornadoes and floods.
The global economy is at a meltdown, civilization as we knew it has been destroyed; groups of armed people have organized themselves to pillage from shopping malls and homes. The black market has become the only way to procure basic necessities, drinking water and fresh food have become scarce.



The survivors live in precarious conditions, most of the rich population has taken refuge in armored buildings, protected by private armies, where they lead a privileged life.
"The human race has taken planet earth to the extreme, the forces of nature have rebelled against the hegemony of man" -says the President- "we must get to work to combat climate change before it's too late."
In this dramatic context humanity still has a faint hope.



Ankh Pharmatech is providing the population with new medical technologies to help it survive and revolutionized the environmental approach with a ten-year plan to restore optimal climate conditions on the planet.


LIZ: Before the Plague - Shizuka
No time to rest at Twin Wolves Studio!

Hi agents we're sorry for the absence! Fortunately, we're not dead in an apocalypse and we were not affected by the plague, we are just working hard to complete the development of Liz! ːsteamhappyː
What are we doing now?

Luca - Developer

Luca, our programmer, is currently implementing rooms in engine, checking game flow and adding new features to the gameplay.

Paola - Game Designer

Paola our Game Designer is working on levels' logic and on the collision system of the game.

Chiara - Game Designer

Chiara our Game Designer is working on Puzzle Design and expanding the game design document.

Alessandro - 3D Artist

Alessandro our 3D Artist is texturing some new game models which will be added in the scenes.

Irene - 3D Animator

Irene our 3D Animator is polishing some mo-cap animations we registered for the first part of the game.

Paolo - Character Artist

Paolo our Character Artist is working on some secret 3D characters for the game.

 
Continue to follow the progress of Liz's development, find us on Facebook
and Twitter
Remember to Wishlist the game to stay updated on development process!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/628940/LIZ_Before_the_Plague/
Aug 19, 2018
LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Studio

Hey gamers,
We're glad to announce that Twin Wolves Studio will be at Gamescom for the first time! If you'll be there, come to visit us at Italian booth ːsteamhappyː.

We worked very hard during these weeks, sorry for news blackout!
We share with you this new LIZ: Before the Plague shot, as apologies:
Would you like to have it as your wallpaper?

We hope you enjoy it!

LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Studio


Hey everyone!
Another week of work passed quickly here at Twin Wolves, and we tought to share some of our work with you.
This week we'd like to talk about the sound design of LIZ: Before the Plague.


Technology
The decision about the technology to use has not been obvious. Liz is being developed using Unity game engine, which has a pretty much interesting built-in sound engine, in fact the first implementation relied on it, and it was really good.
After some time, though, we started to feel the need of some features that other sound engines give "out-of-the-box" so we looked around and spotted FMOD. We already worked with that engine so we knew its capabilities and we replaced the existing sound management with it. This allowed us to integrated parameter-based sounds, spatialization and more.
For instance, this is a simple beat sound used in multiple situations, with different impact force and on different materials.



This, instead, is one of the first drafts of Liz' motorbike engine sound.




Concept
As we discussed in a previous dev-blog, all the Liz experience is studied to be as immersive as possible. Every element in the game has a strong bind with the game world.
As the GUI is located on the main character's PDA, so that the player sees what the character sees, the same is for the sound.
Most of the sound effects were designed ad-hoc by Davide Pensato, very familiar with FMOD studio. In fact, the greatest part of them is parameter-based and takes advantage of FMOD's spatial audio and scattering, so they are realistically placed in the game world and give such a variety when repeated.
In order to keep immersivity, we couldn't just put some background music and play it during gameplay. Liz' PDA is paired to a headset and that's where the music comes from. Liz has the habit to turn on the music during the most lively moments in fact, before every survival game phase she turns on her music player.



Music
The voices that make up the music have been designed to increase the level of tension as danger increases. With a dark tone pad with percussions of industrial character, each layer gives a specific emphasis. From an old organ to baritone electric guitars and industrial-style percussion, the emphasis is placed on the feeling of being crushed by an entity that has corrupted the deepest essence of the human being; dirty sounds and blows united with increasingly intense rhythms will accompany you to the end, without ever leaving you alone.
Music does not only fit the game mood but also the different gameplay phases! The way it was made makes it adaptive to the gameplay. If enemies are coming, it is at that moment that we want to intensify the tension but without using faders or sudden changes: the flow evolves according to the events in progress, silently accompanying the player. Each piece of music that you hear will be a sequence of loops of loopable modules, which overlap according to the current game state and will give a unique experience to the player. This compositional approach, experimented for the first time by our composer Alberto Martino for LIZ: Before the Plague, gives us, every 10 seconds, about 1.200 different combinations, considering even a 3 minutes game we have much more than a billion songs different possible! All these combinations are part of the composer's intention to avoid unwanted sequences by structuring the modules purposely and by constraining the overlap with very few simple rules.
All it's left now is to choose among all those combinations what are the most impressive to use them in-game!

Here are a few montage samples.




Let us have your feedback! Comment and rate!
The sound designers will appreciate! ːsteammockingː
Apr 20, 2018
LIZ: Before the Plague - Twin Wolves Studio


Hey everyone!
Another week of work passed quickly here at Twin Wolves, and we tought to share some of our work with you.
This week we'd like to talk about the player's immersion inside LIZ: Before the Plague.


LIZ: Before the Plague has been developed from the beginning aiming to make it a highly immersive experience, the kind of immersion where the limit between real and virtual is almost imperceptible.
For this reason, we prefer to define Liz as a videogame experience because we want to give to future players a more vivid and realistic experience.

UI
The graphical user interface (GUI) is the first element that breaks the illusion while you play, that's why we built a completely diegetic GUI, meaning that there is no user interface in the game that is not integrated into the game world: the player sees what the character sees.



Also game settings and most of interaction interactions pass by the character’s gear, the PDA, as well as by the drone, which will be our guide during the experience.



Character
When we started working on this project we did some studies on other VR games to understand how the main character was currently managed. On many occasions we have seen interesting things, but none of these solutions seemed appropriate to our title and our goal. We started studying a method that allowed the player to feel completely immersed in the scene. We wanted the character's body to follow, as much as possible, the player's movements from the view of the bust to the movement of the shoulders, arms and hands in space. For the legs, instead, we had to approximate the movement, because the hardware does not give us tracking information about the lower part of the body.
We can say, however, that during the testing phases it is often natural to want to see the legs! Not to mention the boys who focus for a few minutes on the details of our beautiful main character 😉

Here are a few pics of our game designer testing the body responsiveness ːsteamfacepalmː



Always in favour of the immersion, we have eliminated the ghost of the physical controllers in favour of items of character’s gear.




Narrative
Narrative is something not so easy in VR since you have no control over the player's focus (you can just "wait" for it or try to draw his attention) and, as soon as the game is first person - meaning the character's position matches player's one - where the animations cannot be seen, you cannot give the proper emphasis to crucial scenes.
We have studied different alternatives, but they were all in line with the current market and not very adaptable to LIZ, so we developed a somewhat different system.
In main narrative phases, which need a particular emphasis, the main character will detach from the player point of view, and the player will remain a spectator of the scene where the characters give life to a scene.



This choice seems to reduce the immersion but has a motivation, let's see if you will find out and understand it by playing!




As always don't forget to let us have your feedback! Comment and rate! ːsteammockingː
...

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