Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Close to Completion

Hello! Been a while since I blogged, figured it was time for an update! How are things going then. Well, very well actually! I can say now that aside from a few fixes, touch ups and the final encounter being finished, all that's left is voice-overs. Timelord got the first chunk of the final encounter sent over to me the other day and I've been busy working out how to give the followers a level up template (not going so well, I'll be honest..!) but I've managed to fully equip them, along with the main character, so there is some solid progress there. Just need to get the 2DA's sorted and proper encounter testing will begin, but from the small bit of testing I did (knocked the creature ranks down a few notches) it all appear's to work great!

What else have I been up to.. Well, there is just so many little tasks that seemingly appear from nowhere and have taken a fair chunk of time. Setting up plot helpers and adding script to remove plot markers from NPC heads is a bit tedious but it's all done, thank god. The sound is all virtually complete, I've brought in some external pieces in an attempt to add mood and tension during some of the latter parts of the game.

Voice-overs are incredibly time consuming, as if that wasn't already obvious, but I'm at least half way there now. A cousin of mine who runs a theatre is getting a bunch of her acting buddies to supply the VO for the final characters. Thank's Laura! Should be quality.

All in all, the finish line is firmly in sight. I plan to have this released by mid-December, but don't hold me to that!

It's been a hell of a ride and yes, I'm exhausted, yes, I'm sick of the sight of the toolset, yes, I need a break, but no, I wouldn't change it for the world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun fun fun!

Hey all! So the last week has been rather eventful and I did actually manage to get a fair whack of work done, even with all the baby drama and work problems. I did a fairly big tidy up on the level layout, it's now polished to a level I'm happy with. All cutscene's are just finished, just have to add audio to them. What else have I gotten up to.. Ho hum, yes! Voice-overs! I thought this would be a nightmare, but as it turns out my family and friends are quite the little performers! This evening I managed to get 5 of the 20 characters fully voiced, the difference VO makes to the end product is literally black and white. It's so nice to hear another voice other than robobrad (whilst I do love you, hearing you in my sleep tell's me enough's enough..) I have a few more friends penciled in for sessions on wednesday to cover off some of the main characters. It's going really well, with Timelord working his magic on the final combat sequence, there is only some music and a chunk of polish to be done.

At this stage a closed beta might NOT be needed, I've played through it so many times I think I have caught most of the issue's, but I'll see what state were in once the actual gameplay is finished and in place. Looking forward to having a week or two off after CI is released, from there, it will be nice to just play around with the toolset, see if any community members need help with anything etc. I hope to be chipping in with Blood and Lyrium at some point, Timelord's exceptional looking module, as he aims for a february release. It's all go-go-go, no rest for the wicked as they say.

With that, I'll get some shut-eye, I really need to start blogging earlier in the day when I'm actually awake, I might have something interesting to say then.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Eventful week!

What a long, long week it's been. Tuesday night, I was woken at 4am by my brother's pregnant fiancee. She was due a few days previous but it was time. I quickly got dressed and got over to her within 15 minutes. My brother doesn't drive (work's 1 minute from home..) and there wasn't anyone else available, so I was on taxi duty. Got her into the hospital and home again within an hour. 6 hour's later, my little nephew was born. Beautiful healthy boy, weighing 8 pound 2 ounces. So I'm an uncle and it's been a terrific week.

CI progress has taken a wee hit unfortunately, but I hope to make up for that this week. All stage's and animations are virtually done, bar a few small tweaks. Boy did that take long.. For a change today, I started looking at music and sound effects. I ended up fully rigging the entire Island up with audio emitters, very addictive! Some really nice ambience going on now, it should really help with the immersion. So I've got a fair chunk of the sound done, really happy about that as I didn't know what to expect going into it. Rigged up a few interiors too, its really coming together! I've also done some touch ups in the level layout but there is more to be done there before the absolute final lightmap render.

I'm going back onto the final section of the module tomorrow, until it's complete. Once that's complete, it's literally just polish, last bit of music, finish off 2 cutscenes and voice overs. Nearly there! Exhausted, going to collapse into bed. Have to run a midnight launch for Call of Duty: Black Ops tomorrow night, oh the joy!



Monday, November 1, 2010

Shush, not another word!

Alright so that's a wrap on the dialogue front. I've spent the last few evenings going through every single line of dialogue and making sure it's at a standard I'm happy with. It's all completely written, spell checked, linked and finished; there is 20 NPC's throughout Craggy Island that you can speak to.

I'm quite happy with the overall flow and general quality of the writing. There is an underlying cross reference that hopefully you'll pick up on as you progress through the story.

So that marks the first 100% completion on the task list. I still need to touch up on some animations and stage work but the bulk of it is absolutely finished. I've also completed the writing needed for the module's codex' and most of the journal text is also finalized.

As I mentioned in my last post, the last section of the module will take a bit of time; getting the combat balanced and interesting will be a nice challenge. I have most of the enemy model's complete and laid out throughout the area's and while I have the final boss encounter finished on paper, it still has to be put together in-game.

So where does that leave us? 1-2 short cutscenes have to be done (should get them done in an evening or two), music need's to be added and a layer of polish needs to be put on the visual aspect of the Island. Timelord is working on some small tweaks at the moment which will fix up some issues in order to make the module completely playable until the final 10% or so.

Looking at a cast of 20 characters, I'm thinking full voiceover might be a bit.. optimistic lol, but sure we'll see how it goes. Still well on track for a pre-christmas finish, with a release date announcement just on the horizon I hope! Closed-beta announcement will come first, which will last approx 1 week or so, if all goes to plan. Keep your eyes peeled.

It's been a long journey, but the end feels near.