Balpha

It’s been almost a month since our first alpha test now, and this coming friday, we’re having another one. This time we call it a Balpha, for some reason. I guess we weren’t comfortable labeling it a beta just yet. So, to keep the steam going on this devblog I decided to do a quick unedited and ugly rant about what we’ve been up to since the last test, and in which ways these different things have improved upon the game.

First off, our last test yielded a nice long list of puzzle-clues that needed strengthening. The first two weeks following the test, I dedicated to working on implementing everything on that very list. My colleagues Henrik and Mathias certainly helped out as well, but as mentioned in the previous post, they also spent some time at casual connect, so part of their month fell into that.

So what kind of clues am I talking about? Well, mostly responses to interactions that just hadn’t been written yet. During the last test I kept having to pretend to be the voice of bwana, when the players tried stuff. (both “That won’t work, mon!” and “Hey, that might work but first I probably need to…”) etc, etc. Giving responses that show the player that they’re on the right track is VERY important, and I’m now happy to report that I think most such responses now have actually been implemented into the game. Though not voiced. Many of them, but not all.

Voice is another thing we’ve been working a lot with the last month. Tons of Bwana and Lina lines have been pouring in and have been implemented, we’ve done some auditions, we’ve got various minor characters speech going in the game, I’ve written a ton more dialogue and sent it off to other actors… So on and so forth. So on the speech-front there’s been a lot of progress since last month’s test.

navbook

 

Another thing that was completely bare-bones last month but now has been fleshed out are two in-game books, used for various lore and puzzle-solving purposes. They’re not 100% completed, the text needs some more love and some pics need polishing, but it’s almost there!

This week I’ve mostly been working with our cinematic storyboards and adapting them to the various changes in the game world that have taken place since the last time we went over them. (We decided to change were the grand finale took place, so had to make some rather vast changes both to in game environments and the movie following it). I’ve also added speech to a bunch of movies that previously only featured my pretty voice, and none of the real cast. (I always record myself saying everything first.) (and I do somre pretty rad sfx too!).

On top of that, we’ve redesigned two rooms to make them flow together better and have removed an entire character in favor of two other, better integrated characters.

Henrik has been animating, animating, animating in-game stuff, and Mathias has been polishing up scripts all over the game like crazy. (tons of work on little things that just make everything feel a lot better, like Bwana facing the right direction when he looks at stuff, and making characters face each other when they’re talking, etc.) Mathias has also been doing a lot of work on the puzzle-redesigns, but I’m fairly confident we’re pretty much done redesigning puzzles now. The actual puzzle design is awesome, now we just need to tweak it with more testing. And that testing, is what we’re doing on Friday.

Odds are we’ll keep on doing monthly tests like this. So far it really feels good, starting a new month by tearing the game a part and then making sure you have a new working build by the end of each month.

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  • Thorn

    Good to read about the progress you guys are making, thanks for keeping us updated. I’m really looking forward to chapter two! Keep up the great work. :D