The playthrough I started Sunday night is still going on. While the game is not that long, it has taken me a little while, because I've only gotten to play it at like 45 minutes a clip. But at this point, I'm halfway through, and I expect to finish things up by no later than Thursday.
Speaking of length, I'm very pleased with how the game is shaping up in that respect. I've never hidden the fact that this game will never be as long as Cry The Beloved, but I still wanted something meatier than the Coming, and I think I've found that nice balance. So far, I have done everything, read every codex entry, etc., and I'm about 3 1/2 hours into the game thus far. If things could get up to 7 hours, I'd be happy. As always, I'm more of a quality over quantity type of guy.We'll see...
Another thing I've noticed (well, how could I not!) is that I'm jotting down way less notes during the playthrough. This is rhe first time in years where there is just not that much to report. At this point, the only real glaring bugs are NPC's missing some ambient lines, stuff I forgot to send RP Singh. But I'm talking minor stuff, like 5-6 of them. Everything else are "improvement" items, mostly ideas on how to add little extra nuggest of gameplay, without trying to shoehorn it in. These are items, that for the time being, I will ignore.
While the testing goes on, on the laptop, I continue to go through and revamp the quest system. It's so bad, that while testing, I received a journal entry, and in bold caps at the top of it, it said, THIS NEEDS MORE CONTENT!!!. As if I didn't already know, I'm also leaving myself little notes :)
Tomorrow, if I could finish all the journal entries for Act 1, I'd be happy.
The final piece I want to highlight from Fire Emblem is actually from one of the GBA ones, Scared Stones. I would love to hear an orchestrated version of this. Anyway, enjoy!
4/28/13 -Sunday: PLAYTHROUGH HAS COMMENCED...
Well, after weeks of level polishing, combat tuning, creation of new abilities, tuning of existing abilities, etc., it was finally time for the latest playthrough. This fike has been labeled, alpha_3.0. If all is well with it, I think it might be the first version I'll give to the public for alpha testing. I had a much larger following right after I released The Coming, so I was able to have testers damn near throughout the entire development cycle of Cry The Beloved. I mean, that game took me 15 months to create, and I had people testing little bits 3 months in. Unfortunately, I've had to sort of start at ground zero with this, so it sort of feels like my first game, in that the bulk of testing will be done by me, and then at the end, by others. Ah well, it is what it is.
So, the plan is pretty simple, actually. I've started the playthrough on the desktop, but have already transfered the database file to my laptop to import. So during the day on the train, I can work on little things here and there, mostly journal entries, and at night, I can continue the playthrough. This pattern should only really go on for at most, 3 days. Once that is done, presumably, I'll have a bunch of items to go through, which I'll try to knock out as soon as possible. Then, I'll move on to this final cutscene I've been bullshitting with for well over a year. I mean hell, I even created the damn level for it and everything, then other things came up, and was never able to get back to it.
On the VO front, I still need some things from Alexander, and RPSingh is working with his friend to record some lines for another character. Gotta say, I'm very proud of the fact that I've been able to more or less fill every role with quality actors, without having to actually go out and find them.Things just sort of fell into my lap and I said, "Um, okay, sure... That works :)"
Today's music from Fire Emblem Awakening is the theme that plays when you change classes. Enjoy!
4/27/13 -Saturday: ON A PRETTY GOOD RUN...
So, not sure what has happened, but I've been on one hell of a run. Now, it is getting warmer outside, which usually translates to me being more productive (maybe because I'm in a better mood). However, I just bought Mass Effect 2, for those times that I can't pull myself to work on the game. Since I bought it, I haven't touched it since that initial weekend. The point is, I've been knocking out things left and right, and it feels damn good! The difference is, whereas maybe sometimes, I look at this as a job, lately, it's been fun again, just like the good old days of late/early 2005/2006.
The work I've been doing continues to revolve around the final set piece of the game. I've been playing the battle, over and over again, trying to balance the hell out of it. I've done many things, such as:
Tweaked # of enemies
Modified initial costs of abilities
Modified upkeep cost for sustained abilities
Modified cooldowns of abilities
Created a new Unison Ability
more stuff I can't remember
After doing this work for many, many days, I can say I'm pretty happy with how things have turned out. It is still challenging, but if you utilize all the new abilities you have gained throughout the game, you should be fine.
Next up? Well, I had an idea for a new Unison Ability, but one that involves not just 2 party members, but 3. I've only made one of these before, Trinity Beam, and it was gained towards the end of Cry The Beloved, and only really usable in one battle. While 2 person Unison Abilities are supposed to be the norm, 3 person is up are supposed to be rare. That said, seeing as it's going to be the only one in this game, I think it makes sense to try to implement it.
Once that is done, it's time for another playthrough, which I am really looking forward to. After that, I'll work on any issues that I jot down during the playthrough, get back to my journal work, and start what I hope to be the final cutscene I ever have to make for this game.
Here's another epic battle track from Fire Emblem Awakening. Enjoy!
4/23/13 -Tuesday: SYNCING DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENTS...
Today, I checked in all my current work on journals, exported the database, copied it to my desktop, and imported it. From there, I did a little hour test, playing the game the prelude of the game, and the first half of the first act. As always, I was very impressed with how it looks on the desktop. I am definitely going to do a playthrough this weekend!
Also, interestingly enough, my plan for the different environments has changed somewhat. Lately, I haven't been doing any in game testing on my laptop. Hell, half of the time, I forget to take the disk out of the desktop before leaving for work. All of this goes back to... yep, you guessed it... laptop overheating issues. Ugh, I'm so lazy... Luckily though, the whole export/import database thing only takes like 10 minutes, so it's not a big issue. Plus, I've been getting more work done on the train it seems.
To that end, tomorrow, I have a nice healthy list of about 10-15 things I wrote down while doing the combat testing a few days ago. I wasn't able to get to it today, so it'll be the first thing I do on the train tomorrow.
Today was a pretty slow day, unfortunately. While I had done a bunch of journal work on the train last week, it turns out, there were some broken things that needed to be cleaned up.
More specifically, since I broke apart single plots into multiple plots so I could have the breadcrumb journal structure, those had to be updated in the corresponding scripts. That worked fine, because all I had to do was do a compile of all scripts, and then fix the errors. However, I had totally forgotten about the references in the conversation files. These are the things you can add in for conditional lines to be shown. The simplest example is a plot that has a check for if you completed a quest or not. You would add this to a particular conversation node, and if the plot check passed, a particular line would be shown.
Well now, a lot of these checks were failing because the plot names themselves changed. At first, I panicked, because I was thinking, "Shit, this is going to be very annoying to try to remember all the conversations that need to be edited". Luckily, I tried exporting a known broken conversation, got an error, and realized I could just export all conversations, and fix them as needed.
So yeah, that was my day on the train, unfortunately. And when I got home, I decided to play tennis (it's that time of the year again) with a friend for a few hours, and by the time I got home, I was ready to go to sleep. Ah well.
In the beginning of the game, main character is floating down stream on a raft. Villagers find him and being him to their village.
This is quite interesting, because this is another little bit of the "true" beginning of the game which never made it into the NWN representation of The Coming. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I moved up the beginning of the game to where Aramus & Clopon are already in the town of Aribine.
Players of Cry The Beloved will know why Aramus is floating down the river, but I never went into detail in game as to what happens afterwards. The general idea was that he was brought into this village, which used to be called Aribine. Confusing, right? Yes, the Aribine that everyone knows used to be called Dublon. At some point, I switched the names, and never references this first town ever again.
Anyway, he's in this town, and once the villagers recognize who he is, they kick him out. A little bit after he's kicked out, he runs into Clopon, saves her, brings her to the closest town, and that's where the NWN games start from.
If I had to do it over, would I include this initial town? Yeah, I think I would...
Page 9 - 4/22/99 - Demo Disk
Go to end of battle saving Clopon. As he holds her in his arms, game fades out and a rose fades in. Light piana music occurs.
Okay, I guess this proves just how nuts I really am. Demo disk?! I knew nothing about game development, and yet, I already knew what the demo disk would include? Even funniner is the concept of demo disks themselves... You can tell this was from 1999 :)
To be fair, if I had the chance to release a demo of the game, I think that would be the perfect spot to end it at.
While I haven't heard this game music in game yet (I'm literally at the last battle, just screwing around at the moment), I heard it on the soundtrack, and fell in love. Enjoy!
4/21/13 -Sunday: GREAT FEW DAYS OF DEVELOPMENT!
Development wise, the entire weekend was devoted to one thing: combat testing. This wasn't anything simple combat, this was the final set piece of the game, when the entire party is together. More than anything, it's a culmination of all the combat you have done up until that point. At this point, the player should be familiar with all the new custom systems in the game, and making proper use of them in order to succeed. As a game developer, there is no better feeling than to play a very difficult battle, and just come out ahead because of the strategic use of custom abilities you created years prior. It tells me that I was on to something when I created them, and that they just work.
All of that said, I took about 14 notes over those 2 days. The highlights were:
Some custom abiltiies need to generate a higher threat value, so the enemies will notice you more, making them more likely to attack you.
Many custom abiltiies need some of their stats revised, such as stamina/mana cost, as well as cooldowns.
There's a bug with the new Unison Abiliity I created last week (or the week before, can't remember).
One particular Last Resort needs to be strengthend. Also, the caster needs to be invulnerable as they're casting it. This is something I put into the game a few weeks ago, because I was finding that when someone was casting a Last Resort, their health was already low to begin with, and by the time the ability came out, they were dead. It's like a 3 second thing, but it evens things out a little.
Ooh, this is a biggie. I need to re-do my "RestParty" function. Right now, it heals the party, but it doesn't replenish mana/stamina, nor does it reset the cooldowns for all abilities. Truthfully, I thought the game would have their own function that does that, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Oh well...
What I think was so good about this weekend was, all I seemed to care about was the game. No distractions at all. I mean, hell, I just bought Mass Effect 2 the other weekend, and I didn't touch it once. I was just in one of those zones, circa 2006. Felt good.
Tomorrow, on the train, I'll finish up work with revisions to the journal system, and integrate some new VO from Chris Erath. When I get home, I'll need to marge the changes between both development environments, and then test the combat again. Oh man, getting so close, I feel giddy as a school girl!
Here's some more chicken scratch from the Rose of Eternity Bible.
PAGE 7 - 4/20/99 - Flame of Life Scenario
When you're in the town after attack by goblins, you meet up with master thief. He eventually helps you get into the deserted palace of ice.
Wow, this has been 100% cut, in every possible way you could imagine it. When first brainstorming the scenario for the game, I had Aramus going to Elloquince after a huge battle in the middle of Dematol - City of Tears. Later on, for various reason, this never happened. Interesting to remember these thoughts in my head.
PAGE 7 - CHARACTERS - 4/20/99 - "The Coming"
Master Thief: Very cool and calm. Becomes one of the main hero's best friend and most trusted companion. Main weapon is a pair of knives that can be concealed within shirt sleeves. When you first meet him, he doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself. Then, in a a scene, the main hero saves his life and it turns him around. They start to develop a bond between each other. He is good for sneaking past enemies because he makes little noise when he runs. One special attack he has is "Super Speed".
The way you meet him is the main character and him are discussing business when they are attacked by common thieves. This starst their friendship.
And this, folks, is how you write the most generic backstory for a thief. Sheesh... Lucky for me, things have changed quite a bit. This guy's name would end uo becoming Trivold for many, many years, before I decided to finally settle on Sinteres. Also, the way you meet is totally different, in that in Cry The Beloved, him and other Daishan Assassins make an attempt on your party's life while they are sleeping.
The funniest thing in this, however, is how I keep referring to this "main hero". The name, Aramus, would not come for many years, so "main hero" would have to suffice.
I usually don't expect to have stellar story in tactical games (sans Final Fantasy Tactics), and while this game is no exception, it does have its moments, highlighted by this track. Enjoy!
4/19/13 -Friday: CELEBRATING 14 YEARS OF ROSE OF ETERNITY!
Every year around this time, I go into deep reflection mode, where I reminisce about where Rose of Eternity started, how far it has come, and where I'd like to see it go.
One thing I don't think people know of is my "Rose of Eternity Bible". It's something I started in mid April, 1999, when I was only 19 years old. My friend and I had been having little conversations about a game we'd like to make, nothing serious, when I finally decided to take things into my own hands, and start documenting everything.
Looking back at it, 14 years later, it's amazing how much has changed, as well as how much has stayed true to my original writings. You have to remember: Again, I was only 19, I had no idea how to make a game, how I was *going* to make a game, etc. I just had a bunch of ideas, and I needed to get them out somehow, hence the creation of the bible. Even during the infancy of this game, this world, back then, I knew some of the key things I wanted, things that are still true to this day. To that end, I'd like to take from the bible some of the earliest writings, written exactly (well, more or less, I've missed a few days) 14 years ago, and then see how much has changed, or stay the same.
Main 20 year war going on. Defenders of Legacy vs. Revolutionists.
I don't even know what to say. Not sure if I can get more vague than this :) Funny thing is, this single line has stayed true to this day. I don't want to put too many spoilers, but the first 2 games take place in the year, 3980. This upcoming game takes place 20 years later (a ha!). Oh, and replace "Revolutionists" with "Boundary Wardens".
So as you can see, I knew what I wanted with the overall story, I just needed to fill in the details over the next 10+ years.
PAGE 5 - Spells - 4/18/99
Attack spells, such as Fire & Lighting attack on area, not the intended target. Can be dodged when perfected. (Some spells take longer to cast than others).
Level 1: Straight fire blast
Level 2: Ground can be burned
Level 3: Can burn ground, pause, and burn another part of ground in succession. If proper timing is used, "Flame Circle" can be performed, or "Flame Wall".
Level 4: Everything can be performed from long distance.
The more you use a certain spell, the faster the spell comes out.
Charging: While for spells, spellcaster is vulnerable while casting (waving hands) the spell. Each level you charge to, above spells, etc. can be performed as written out.
When initially developing the spell system for the game, I initially thought the game would play more like an action RPG, rather than, say, Dragon Age. That said, I had a very clear idea in my head where I wanted spells to a) get better the more you used them and b) have different effects depending on the level you charged them to.
The charging bit is something I have finally gotten around to. Like, I mean, just last year :)
PAGE 6 - Characters - 4/18/99 - "The Coming"
Clopon: 2nd character you run into. You save her from 1 Defenders of Legacy and a Lieutenant. Whole body wrapped in "mummy" paper, including face. Body cloak covers her up. Specializes in healing magic...
Ah, Clopon.Back then, I only knew what I wanted her to look like, and what her role would be in combat. I mean, this is a few days into things, so I had the barest of ideas of what I wanted. Even today, I sort of come up with vague ideas, and somehow, fit them into a much larger structure later.
Anyway, what can I say about this line? Well, I didn't end up with the "mummy" paper thing I wanted, but I think that was mostly due to the limitations of the NWN toolset. And as history would have it, that version of her that got into NWN is the version I will stick with, as shown below:
While her look changed ever so slightly, her style of magic remained, though it would be augmented with some summoning magic, something I ended up creating 6 years later.
The final thing of note is that while I describe how you meet her, it is never shown in the actual game. It's only spoken of during the first scene with Aramusand her. If I was ever to re-make those original games, I would definitely put that part in.
PAGE 6 - Characters - 4/19/99 - "The Coming"
Challseus: Wizard found in forest in beginning of the game.
Description: Long beard and mustache, very old, walking staff, clothed in gold with matching gold cloak. Almost dressed like the Pope. Specialized in attack magic.
How embarassing. Challseushas most definitely undergone a major transformation from these early days. After realizing a wizard dressed in all gold living in the woods was, well, fucking stupid, I started making some changes. His skin color was inspired by the Eruditesfrom Everquest. I actually had a Erudite wizard named Challseus in that game for about a year :)
The only thing that remains from this original description is the fact that he is old, and he specializes in attack magic.
At any rate, I hope being able to peek into the head of a young, naive 19 year old was interesting. For the next few entries, I hope to continue jotting down things from the bible.
Here's the theme music to one of the most powerful characters in Fire Emblem Awakening, Tiki. Enjoy!
4/18/13 -Thursday: EVERY SINGLE TIME I MAKE A GAME... EVERY SINGLE TIME :)
I swear, every time I make a game, I run into technical difficulties with my main development box. This time, just for redundancy, I have TWO! And even then, they both have their issues:
the laptop has an overheating issue that makes it slow to a crawl, get so hot I feel it's burning a hole in my lap, and eventually shuts off. I know what the issue is, I just need to muster the time to take it a part, without destroying it in the process!
my desktop, for whatever reason, is slow as shit. It makes no sense to me, because before my Dad "fixed" it, it was fine. Then, he put in this SSD harddrive for my C:/ drive, which presumably makes it work the same, if not faster, and there's issues where I simply cannot do anything, while I wait for Windows to do "something". It's not CPU and memory usage, so I'm not sure what the issue is. I currently have CC Cleaner running on it, and after it cleans up 8 gigs or so of space, maybe it will work better. I believe I've heard that they run much better when the disk % is under some magical number, so I'll have to look into it.
I know these issues seem pretty small, but when you factor in so many other things I'm doing, spending a few hours diagnosing an issue is not what I have time for. I need to keep this momemtum!
At any rate, once my desktop was working good enough, I started testing out that area that I made changes to last week. I have to admit, things look real good on this desktop, and hell, I was even testing out things I implemented on the laptop weeks and months ago, just to see it in all of its glory. Really, really can't wait to do another play test.
Tomorrow, on the train, I'll continue with my journal work. At home, I'll do more combat testing in that area. With the latter, I know there will be many iterations before I get it right. Like I said earlier, this is the setpiece of the game, and I really want to ratchet up the difficutly... just not so much that people throw their hands up, boot off the game, and hit me with negative comments. Ah, the fine lines of combat balancing :)
Here's a song from Fire Emblem Awakening, named Sorrow. As you can imagine, it's a very sad, depressing song. Just right up my alley! Enjoy!
4/17/13 -Wednesday: OVERHAUL OF JOURNAL SYSTEM...
Well, I can tell you one thing... When you see me working on the journals of the game, that should tell you that things are starting to wrap on the development front. Of course, there's still lots of work to do, but it's a good sign, nonetheless.
So... Journals... I've actually had some in the game for a while, but they were hastily written, mostly just placeholders. The thinking was, I didn't want to spend too much writing them when things were still in flux, when scenarios in the game could still change. Now that things are mostly locked down, it's safe to start up again.
So, the first step was to, well, write the damn things. However, as this was going on, I had to start thinking about some key things:
Should the journals be written from the perspective of the main hero, as if he was literally writing the journal entries himself? Or, should they just be more of a metagaming thing?
Should there be a breadcrumb style interface, where every new entry of a particular plot still shows what you have previously done? Or just keep it current?
After some soul searching (okay, just looking out the window on the train), I decided to go with the former on both of the above bullet points. With regards to having it be the player writing the journal, it sort of fits with what I did in The Coming & Cry The Beloved. Might as well keep the theme going. As for the breadcrumb journal style, again, if you were really writing your own journal, you wouldn't wrip out all previous pages and only keep the current one available. Imagine I did that with this Daily Journal? Insanity!
So with those questions answered, I was ready to start implementing things, and what better place than the beginning of the game? Due to laptop overheating issues (yes, I'm still lazy), I wasn't able to test it in game the way it will actually happen, but I was able to test it in my sandbox level by simply adding the journal entries when the game loaded, just so I could confirm that they looked the way they should (which they did).
Next up, I'll continue to knock them out for the rest of the game. If I stick with it, it should only take, at most, 2 more back and forth train rides. And while at home, I will continue with the level polishing.
This next set of music plays during all non-story related battles, random battles on the map, when fighting other player's party, etc. And it never, NEVER gets old. Enjoy!
4/14/13 -Sunday: GETTING 2 DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENTS SET UP...
So, I didn't get any actual development done today. It was all about syncing my 2 development environments. So far, I've been using my desktop for level design, my laptop for everything else. It's served me well, as the level design (up until the past few days) has been purely cosmetic, which means I didn't need it for the other work I've been doing.
Now that the recent level design changes I've made affect the gameplay, it needs to be tested. Since I haven't fixed my laptop overheating issues yet (I know I need to open it up and clean out the fan, just been too busy to do so), it made perfect sense to just test it on the desktop. Getting all the art resources from my laptop to my desktop is easy, as it's all checked into my SVN repo. For the designer resources, I just need to export the database from the laptop, copy it to my desktop, then import it.
So what's the problem then? Well, even if you have all the resources on the target machine, they still need to be exported. For simple things, this is pretty easy. For things like dialogue, unless I'm mising something, it needs to be done one by one, manually. I have absolutely no idea how much has changed since the last time I ran the game on the desktop, so instead of going nuts trying to remember, it was actually much easier to just take the contents of the export folder on my laptop, and copy it to my desktop. And therein lies the issues. Freaking copy took FOREVER! It probably has to do with the fact that I'm first putting it into a dropbox folder, then letting the desktop just naturally DL the files, and since my internet service is horrible, compliments of Timewarner Cable, said DL is slow as hell.
So yeah, I pretty much spent the day copying files around, getting things ready for some testing/development. Now that I have a system in place, I'll just keep everything in sync every few days, so I don't have to go through this again.
4/13/13 -Saturday: PROGRESS IS PROGRESS, I GUESS...
So I was finally able to sit down and start work on what was supposed to be the most complicated polishing effort, regarding levels. Twenty minutes later, I sat back and said to myself, "Wow, that's it? Christ, why did I waste so much time *not* doing this". Let me back up...
The level was supposed to be complicated not because of the normal additions of props and terrain changes. Since the biggest set piece in the game takes place here, and I wasn't exactly happy with it, I knew I had to take that into consideration. About ten minutes into the process, I immediately got an idea of what I wanted, implemented it, and ten minutes later, I was done. I should be happy, because hell, progress is progress, I guess. I'm just slightly irritated it took me so long to actually sit down and think about it.
Now the worst part was, even though it only took me 20 minutes to make my changes, it took like 2 hours to render lightmaps and export the level. Figures... Anyway, once I'm done with extensive tests in the area, I should be able to strip all superfluous content from the level, which should make it more lean, meaning I won't have to sit for 2 hours every time I want to make a change.
Here's another great example of dynamic music in Fire Emblem Awakening. Enjoy!
4/10/13 -Wednesday: LOTS OF ADMIN WORK...
Today was really more of an admin related day than anything else. On the train ride in the morning, I finished the integration of the lines from RP Singh's female friend, added some new stage cameras, tested it out, then created a video.
After that, I put together the 20 some-odd lines for another potential role she could fill, if she is up for it. It would be such a win for her to agree to do the lines, because at that point, the only major role needed to be filled would be one. Of course, it's the center piece role of the game, but it's still only one.
Next up, I reached out to John's brother about some missed lines from last year (ugh!), and he responded pretty quickly, saying he would have no problems doing it. Even though he isn't featured in the game that much, the role is a pretty important role, with nice little speeches during key moments in the game. Good stuff.
Once I finished up dealing with more emails, I just went through my list of improvments and knocked out what I could. The highlight of that was adding some more cameras to an existing stage. Yes, thrilling stuff!
Tomorrow, I'll... Shit, I don't know... Something :)
So, the only video game I have been playing consistenly these past few months has been Fire Emblem Awakening. I won't go into all the details on why it's so much fun, because this section is about the music. In typical form for games on Nintendo systems, it emplys some really great, dynamic music. I'm not using the word dynamic in the way that others throw around adjectives describing games, like when people keep describing the combat of every game as being "visceral" (seriously, is that the only term we can use now?).
No, I mean, the music is fucking dynamic, where it plays a sort of smooth version of itself, but when a battle happens, other instruments are immediately blended in. Real dynamic music. The later Super Mario & Zelda games have been doing this for a while, where the music gets softer if you go underwater, stuff like that. Anyway, I'd much rather have music seamlessly blend in and out, rather than a jarring change of music, following by another change back to the non-fight music. Not that the other is bad, I just like this better.
Here are the 2 forms of some great music from the game. Enjoy!
4/9/13 -Tuesday: RP SINGH HAS DONE IT AGAIN!
I'm not sure how he did it, but RP Singhtook one of my longest standing requests, and found a female actor to voice various characters in the game. Okay, well, I know how he did it. He's an actor, so knowing other actors just makes sense. Either way you look at it, it's a good thing.
Now, we wanted to start her off with something rather small, just to see what her skill level was. This included 3 ambient lines for 3 different NPC's, as well as 6-7 lines for a mid-tier cast member. Just like RP Singh does, she sent various takes for all the lines, giving me more to work with. Needless to say, I was more than able to work with what she sent, and immediately got it integrated into the game, and it was just great! I've created a video, which I will send out to him early Wednesday morning.
What's next? Well, with his blessing, it may be time to have her take a look at 2 more very important roles, which also happen to be the last of them: One character who's name I cannot divulge at this time, and another one that shouldn't come as a shock to anyone who has played my previous games: The Keeper of the Rose. The latter obviously holds some level of importance, something I don't take lightly, so while I'm usually lax on the various interpretations of cast members I get from the actors, I have very ridged guidelines for her. I mean, she is the center piece of the game.
There is also an issue of missing lines from actors who are long gone now, one of my greatest fears. One is the brother of John Erath, so I'm hoping he can harass him to record another line or 2. The other, I fear, my just be gone, so I'll either need to cut the line from the game, or maybe have someone else say it. Ah, the joys of VO, and the problems it brings to the table :)
Every, and I mean every Soul Calibur game has to have that "before the fight" music. This one may be the best ever. Enjoy!
4/8/13 -Monday: END OF A MUCH NEEDED VACATION...
STATE OF THE UNION
Well, I have a really good exuse for the lack of posts this past week: I was on a much needed mini vacation. I drove from New York to Maryland and stayed at one of my friend's house. The next morning, we all drove down to Charlotte to visit another friend. The weather could have been better (cold and rainy one of the days, mild the others), but just being away from everything and around good friends was good enough for me. My batteries are slightly recharged, and I'm ready to get back to it.
So, the big goal for last month was to knock out a lot of the exterior level polishing, and hell, I can say with full confidence that I did just that. Another big thing was the explosion of new codexes all over the place. I'm talking A LOT. It got to the point where I was doing level design on my desktop at home (much better equipped for it), and doing codexes on the train ride to/from work. I had sat on them for far too long, and it felt good as hell completing the majority of them.
Finally, there was VO. There's always VO... When I do a retrospective on the development of this game, VO will be like 95% of it :) It started off as business as usual (since I've been doing it for 2+ years now), but the thing I'm really proud of is the work RP Singh did for all the ambient NPC's in the game. I still need to check it out and see if I missed anything, but he single handedly recorded a line for damn near all of them. I mean, this is big. I had been dreading having to reach out to dozens of people to do these lines, and here he comes, and just puts it on his back and owns it. Seriously, much respect to him for that.
For this month, it should be more of them same, really, except with the addition of a playtest or 2. It's been a month or longer, and I really need to see where the game is, flow wise. I've also adjusted some custom abilities, as well as the overall XP output, so I need to make sure everything is still balanced.