Dev Diary: January 25th

Dev Diary: January 25th

Over the past two weeks we’ve had two new members join the team.  We are very excited welcome: Designer Nathan Vetterlein and UI Designer Christopher Zalek.

Nathan joins us from WB Games, having most recently worked on Lord of the Rings: War in the North and Guardians of Middle Earth as a designer, and is probably best known for his voice acting work as the The Scout in Team Fortress 2.  Nathan will be working on mission and systems design with Christian.

Christopher Zalek has been a UI Designer in the video game industry for over 12 years and in the professional art field for 19 years.  Prior to joining team Serellan, he worked at Day 1 Studios on the F.E.A.R. franchise, Fracture, and the MechAssault franchise.  Christopher specializes in modern and clean UI designs.

Andy has been focusing on prototyping on the the animation side of things and getting more animation content into the game.  This entails experimenting with various positions of how weapons are held and weapon positioning.  The process typically works like this: The team reviews changes and adjustments as requested by Andy and then provides him feedback.  Christian then helps prioritize the feedback when necessary to get us as close to “functional realism” as possible.  Adjusting these will be an ongoing process as we investigate field of view settings (FOV), new assets get included, new systems come online.

We’ve been working with placeholder audio for a while now, so we were very excited to begin getting the new audio system online this week too.  Brandon has been working with Kristoffer to implement a middleware solution that will reduce a significant number of steps in the audio pipeline.  Christian and Kristoffer are heading out east this weekend to do some initial recording tests and location scouts, which will inform our final audio shoot with weapons in the future.

Christian and Nathan focused on re-organizing our level data for how we will be loading up the maps.  Because we are supporting multiple game modes on each map, both with AI and without, as well as lots of different options for players & hosts, it is critical that everything is organized into a system that allows for a good workflow and data management.

And as always, we performed LOTS of playtests. However, this time we had a special treat because Tiffani joined us in one of the large sessions for the first time.  Much fun was had by all!  In all honesty it was quite helpful to see how we are introducing a new player to the game.  This does highlight a challenge encountered in game development, especially for Design.  In iterative development-cycles feedback is the life’s blood.  Because we are in the game so frequently it is natural to become accustomed to how the game works – and then this “habitualization” skews the data.  So getting new eyeballs on the game becomes a commodity.  On a side note, habitualization is actually one of the things a good Test organization works to account and compensate for.

Tiffani is clearly ready to find some targets.  Deane and Terry wisely getting out of the way

Someone is about to get ambushed (and it isn’t Tiffani)


The Kickstarter supporters’ rewards (the ones we’re capable of sending at this time)

Also…a new conference table to have meetings at.  Christian is very proud of this table.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hail Serellan! says:

    Great conference table, w/ nice round corners 😉

  2. Arilou Lalee'lay says:

    Just wanted to say that I really appreciate you guys continuing to write these articles. I love checking the site and forums for updates and it is very interesting to see how an indie company works on the inside.

  3. Great George says:

    Isn’t too to small? 🙂

    Keep fingers crossed for you guys. I still keep playing Swat 3 and 4. Not mentioning Arma of course. The best part is my 9 test old son plays it also 🙂

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