This has been one of those weeks where everything seems to be going at light speed.
We purchased an animation content set to get the basics up and running over the barebones (or none in most instances) we have been running with. Andy is busy getting those imported into the engine so that we can get better visual feedback to the player. A lot of these will need to be redone in the future to nail the level of realism that you expect, but it gives us a huge leg-up in terms of time and letting Andy focus on the ones that really count, as well as letting us stop looking at T-posed bad guy when he turns, or enemies disappearing when you kill them.
Characters & Weapons
Andy is also working on getting our first player-character model into the game. Once he is in, we will release some screenshots. He also imported working models for the SMG, AR, and Shotgun (the pistol has been in for a while). These still need a lot of work, but it’s nice to see a visual representation of the weapon you have equipped, which has not been the case up until now.
The prototype mission is pretty well developed. Christian made some tweaks to the objectives based on playtest feedback. There are multiple objectives you can complete in any order, some of which are randomized in location. Once all objectives are completed, the player must extract to complete the mission. With more lethal AI and randomization of objective placement, playtime to complete the mission has gone up. The mission is now fully playable from start to finish, including multiple insertions. Next step is Christian “co-op proofing” the various triggers for objectives and other triggers..
Mark and James are working together on a mission briefing video, using a 3D diagram of the level Mark built and based on Christian’s script. First pass feedback was that it was too long, and Christian is going to work on paring down the script. The visuals look great though, and after James does his aftereffects magic on it, we’ll see about getting it released. This will help a lot in initial playtest feedback, as currently it is a bit challenging to know what the objective are unless Christian is standing over the shoulder (Christian tried a robot voice audio implementation, but it’s pretty hard to understand).
Brandon has been working on converting a lot of Christian’s prototype AI work into real code, as well as implementing AI tactics such as falling back or advancing when line-of-sight to their target is lost or they are wounded, etc. AI can now HEAR the player! Oh, and he fixed a bug where they kept killing each other.
Mark did a great job on the level screenshots, as well as his massive investment of work in implementing anti-aliasing after fan feedback (i.e., he turned it on). Mark is implementing the airlock doors for the lab portion now, and an elevator is in the lobby, which Christian hooked up to work. The elevator is now referred to as the “newb trap.” Christian and Mark now agree that elevator logic is a pain in the ass.
Multiplayer is up and running, with one of the engineers helping us out has done a lot of ground work to ensure that the foundation of networking and MP is working well and built so that things are properly set up for animation, weapon fire, and more functions correctly across the network. Christian set up multiplayer on the level, with one team in the garage, and one team on the roof. Playtesting is now commencing on initial starts, etc.
Terry and Erik are working on a new frontpage layout for the Serellan.com site (remember, you can also go to Takedownthegame.com), which will be oriented more for new visitors and be easier to navigate.
Super Fun Part!
Not to leave her out, Tiffani is working hard with the accountant on the books and taxes, which is great so Christian doesn’t land himself in IRS prison.