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Clement last won the day on June 25 2018

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  1. So we've received concept proposals for T-shirts but we are not very happy yet. We'll have some for launch, for sure.
  2. Hi everyone, Sorry for the lag - Naila and a significant part of the team are at E3 indeed. And when I pushed the new forums to be live, it looks like something went wrong with the users permissions. Can you confirm you can now post new topics?
  3. Hey everyone, Now that Arthur is done, we all wait with great anticipation for next week’s playtest sessions, where people will have the opportunity to play through the whole of Arthur’s story for the first time. It’s very important for us to witness players’ reactions to the new flow and to check that what we implemented resonates well with what players expect. You’ll see that most of the team has spent the week on either final bug-fixing for Arthur or polishing for the other characters. Well, the part of the team that has not been hit by a mysterious plague (ain’t winter grand?), that is. Art Team Marc-André This week I did polishing work on the Doctor Headquarters. I laid out a bunch of objects to make it feel less empty and more like a place. I also did some lighting tweaks and bug fixing pertaining to that, and created some new meshes such as an operation table. PH Hi! This week I’ve got a good time on weapons. Team gave me the opportunity to imagine 2 flaming weapons. So I quickly sketched some crazy ideas and I assembled pieces in 3D to get a first look. Since it’s heavily gameplay, there’s lots of back and forth in the design. I’m trying to get something cool that the player would love to use and feel powerful. But what’s the definition of “cool” in video game? What is “cool” in We Happy Few? It’s more complicated than expected. In the end, I think it will need additional work to come up with awesome flaming weapons but here you are some 3D concepts : Animation Jules Hi. So this week I’ve continued to polish our combat animation. All of the final tweaks are done for the attack of the NPC. It’s looking great and I’m really happy about that. I think we reach our goal, the wind-up is clear and the attack is appropriate for our wellie and wastrel. What I mean by appropriate being, when you start a fight in the street of Wellington Wells, you have the real feeling of being attacked by a crowd of random people who want you dead. What we didn’t want was during the fight, you have the feeling of fighting against some people who are experts in combat. Also, I’ve started to polish the taunt animation for the NPC when they engage in the fight. This week I am sharing with you the wastrel heavy attack. See you next week! Mike Sup folks! Not much to report this week, I’m done with cutscenes for now and am back to animation chains. Trying to make your encounters/conversations with our lovely folks as interesting as possible. It’s a nice little respite for the hectic schedule from the past two weeks. Well that’s it from me, tune in next week, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel! Vincent Ahoy! This week has been mainly about polish and realisation. That’s when you take a functional scene or encounter, and try to make it flow a bit more and look more natural. All that without breaking it, hopefully. I also did some more general tweaks and bug fixing, like retargeting the sleeping pose for female characters. Up until now, they used the same animation as male, and as both genders models are not made quite the same, the result was quite bad. That’s the kind of obvious but non-essential things that get to be tended to at the end of projects. It is super satisfying to finally take care of those little matters, that, as a whole, will make the experience a little bit more immersive. Programming Michael The priority this week was the playtest build, which means making sure that we can provide a version of the game for people to play all the way through Arthur’s story, without getting trapped by bugs or broken logic. This means tasks like: debugging why some quest rewards aren’t given, and some quests aren’t showing up when they should be active, or making sure you can’t shove an important NPC through a wall while you’re fighting them. In between the firefighting there was time to focus on less pressing matters like why the throwing arc visualisation doesn’t work for heavy items. The possibility of having to look into the physics system is always a terrifying contemplation. Fortunately, after drawing lots of debug lines and dots on the screen to show the difference between the arc and reality I was able to track it down to something in the game code. Seemed we were adding extra gravity too early, physics code blackhole avoided for another week. Serge This week has been all about population management to increase the density of characters in the village's streets! The challenge here is to have more NPC without creating performance issue so I started by pushing the system to its limit in order to stress the mechanism that choose which characters should be updated or paused. That decision is based on many factors like the importance of a character related to the gameplay or his visibility on screen (to only name a few of the information we use to score its relevance). With the help of our quality assurance team and game designer, we will tweak the size of the targeted population to find the best equilibrium between realization (for which more is better) and performance (which is quite the opposite, less is better). That's just a hint at the kind of technical challenges we have in real-time entertainment industries! Design Roxanne This week I worked on balancing the loot in cellars and other uncovered places. I also did some balancing on the weapon side and made the wastrels and wellies able to block attacks. Mostly, bug fixing and balancing! Thanks for tuning in. Compulsion team.
  4. Hey everyone, This week marks an exciting milestone - this is the last week for us to finish off Arthur’s structural changes, so that we can playtest all of his content in its final form. We still have time to touch up Arthur here and there, but there will be no big changes after this point, which is why this is an important time to review and playtest what we have. As of next week, the team moves on to bug fixing for the playtest (removing quest blockers, fixing crashes, and tightening up things that slipped through the cracks) and shifting our focus over to Sally. As a change from the usual, this week we wanted to show what an international team we are, so we asked everyone to write their weekly piece in their native language (or in some cases, “language”). And so they went crazy. If you like to have a good read, then you’re in for a treat! If you guys would like to comment in your language, please do, and we'll Google translate with enthusiasm. Programming Michael Cor blimey, bruv! How do you do? I’ve been working, this week, on clarifying information that is displayed through the UI for the player. This has included stuff that we want to try out in the upcoming user playtest and helping Antoine with his excellent work on the new starting island. One of the tasks was updating our new suspicion icons so that there is a difference between “you are doing something bad, people will ask you politely to stop” and “if anyone sees you doing this, they will freak out immediately, and attempt to stop you with all their might”. Lock picking, for example, is not something people will just accept “Oh sorry i didn’t realise this wasn’t a normal thing to do to my neighbours house” as an explanation for. Nope, that behaviour is prime cricket-bat-to-the-head material. The information of what causes instant-aggro was already available “under the hood” so it’s just a case of reflecting that from code so we can wire it up to the UI scripts. I also added a little arrow for the 3D waypoints, for when it is offscreen. Sam liked it a lot, he said so many times. It’s been a good week. I worked with Antoine on some tutorial moments for our player menus. We don’t want you to get halfway through the game and not know that you could have been upgrading your skills, in the skill tree, or using the quest tracking feature to help guide you around. We also don’t want to be intrusive with tutorials, so we’ve found some ways to convey the knowledge when it’s needed without holding you up. [ignore the programmer art/writing] For the crafting menu for example we don’t want people to miss the fact that there are multiple categories of recipe lists, but as soon as the player switches category we know that this information is understood, so we just display a notice to direct attention to the category buttons when we know the player is looking for a specific recipe, and hide it when they switch categories, we don’t need to pause the game or throw up a big graphic, and we teach it when the player needs to know it. If you can’t tell, I love a well-made tutorial. Animation Franzi Hallo liebe Leute, hier ist Franzi, die andere mysteriöse Animatorin!...Moment...Franzi wer? Was sagt sie da? Und vor allem wie??? Ja, Ze German kommt jetzt auch mal dahergeschlittert (ich sag nur Eis in Montreal) und schreibt euch ein paar Zeilchen. Ihr habt bisher noch nicht viel von mir gehört, aber es ist Mutter- sprachenwoche bei Compulsion Games und ich lasse es mir nicht nehmen, euch meine Arbeit zu erklären. Und das auch noch in Deutsch! Also, mein Revier sind die zahlreichen Encounters, sprich NPCs, auf die ihr trifft, wo ich entweder bereits bestehende Dialog Animationen zusammenschneide oder für spezielle NPCs neu erstelle. Es geht darum, den Charakteren Leben einzuhauchen und dabei die jeweilige Emotion und Intention zu unterstreichen. So kommt es, dass z.B. ein Romantiker auf die Knie geht, ein Wellie euch ein Geschenk überreicht oder ein wütender Wastrel auf den Boden stampft. Und diese Woche habe ich wieder einige solcher Dialoge mit Animationen versehen, aber was genau, werdet ihr selber sehen. So weit so gut, das wars auch schon. Traurig, aber wahr, es ist auch meine letzte Woche bei Compulsion Games und ich fühle mich geehrt an einem so coolen Projekt mitgewirkt zu haben. Machts gut! Jules Salut à tous ! C’est un avec un grand plaisir que je vais vous raconter ma semaine mais cette fois-ci en français. Pour changer j’ai encore et toujours travaillé sur le combat ! Ça tombe bien c’est ce que je préfère. Donc comme je vous le raconte depuis plusieurs semaines je “polish”, où disons plutôt raffine les animations que j’ai réalisées il y a plusieurs mois auparavant. Cette semaine c'était au tour des attaques au poing. Dans un premier temps pour nos chers Wellie et ensuite pour les Wastrel. Donc concernant le combat, les attaques sont prêtes. Mais il reste encore beaucoup d’autres animations telles que les provocations ou encore bien d’autres animations de communication durant le combat. Comme promis je vous partage quelque GIF de ces attaques ! La première correspond à l’attaque légère des Wastrel, et la seconde à l’attaque lourde des Wellie. Bon week-end à tous et à la semaine prochaine. QA Alexina Hey guys! So my first language is France’s worst nightmare - la joual. So I’m just gonna skip on that and avoid all the billion spelling mistakes I would make. This week we’ve been in super high gear for the upcoming playtest and all collectively complaining at least twice a day about how awfully icy the sidewalks are (except Sam - Sam never complains). There’s also new features that are being tested and there’s also some older features we’ve been reviewing such as the bobby whistle. I’ve been doing a stealth pass for Arthur this week and the usual QA work stuff as well as nonsense. On a side note: Kumusta kayong lahat na Pilipino naglalaro, huwag ninyong kalimutan ang iyong kaligayahan sa pag "tune in" kada simana! For now, keep warm and do a weird foot shuffle every time someone gives you scotch. (Please someone, give me scotch to survive - please.) Art Whitney Howdy doo! Vermont here! Jeezum Crow it's chilly out there! Let me grab my favorite flannel and some craft brew before tellin' ya how my week was. If only I could describe it to ya with a vegetable diorama or day-glo painted junk art sculpture. This week I reviewed play-through notes, drew a new location, and chugged along on remaining environmental narrative. So. Much. Environmental. Narrative. Enjoy this painting of our Weird Sisters:) Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  5. Hi everyone, Animation - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph And Franzi Jules Hi! So this week we made a lot of progress in combat. Now, when a lot of NPC are attacking you, you have the feeling of fighting against a real crowd of people. They move everywhere, they taunt, they feint, and they communicate. (I am sharing with you this GIF, this is a work in progress but I think that it can give you an idea of how the feint will look). So like I said, the NPC can communicate during the fight. What I mean by that is for example, if you make a critical hit to an NPC, others are going to have a reaction like "Oh my god that must hurt". Same if an NPC assigns a critical hit to the player, the NPC is going to have a reaction like "Good job guys we will kill him". We made this improvement because we had the feeling of NPC are a little bit "dumb". Now I think we reach our goal. The combat is gonna be really different than what you can see already in the game. I'm very excited to finalize the animations and share them. See you next week, guys! J.R. Hey everyone, I’m out of my cinematic dungeon this week! ...well not quite, but I did spend some time helping out on gameplay a little bit. As you know we have been touching up on combat quite a lot recently. For me that meant: meetings, giving feedback, polishing up throws for NPCs, adding a new lob throw animation used for bangers, molotovs and whatnot, and replacing the infamous bayonet slash with a poke variation, which makes much more sense with the pointy stick. Then I moved to object interaction, offering a bit of support for lock picking and creating a new jimmy bar animation that could work well with any object you can pry open. Oh and I also updated a “combing hair” animation. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you have this dude in the game, hair combing needs to be shiny. #DannyZuko And as usual, nothing I can tell you about cinematics… except that I’m working on a scene involving an apple. Design - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne And Benji Roxanne This week I set up prices for all pickups in the game. It was fun! (NOT! But necessary). Now I am working on the display of stats for all items so you will be able to compare them for their relative value and efficiency. Next week, it will be a big pass on quest rewards. I’ll try not to drown in that ocean of data! Antoine Hello! Wow it’s been a while. How’s everyone doing? I’ve been incredibly busy hence why I’m not posting too much in here due to the fear that I might be repeating myself “working on secret stuff, tune in later.” What I can say though is that I was given a new shiny task that excites me quite a lot. That is to create a proper introduction to the world of the garden district and cover more basics of the gameplay in the form of “tutorials.” Putting tutorials in brackets because we’re trying to create exciting moments that hopefully don’t feel too much like tutorials. A recent user research report explained that most players had a hard time understanding the dynamics of the NPCs in relation to the player. We’ll try to address that by creating moments that introduce properly two factions of the garden district: the hooligans and the wastrels. That way we can understand who they are, what their motivations are and how these factions interact with each other in the world of We Happy Few. Also trying to keep the entire thing creepy, which is something that I always try to push in all the levels I’m working on. Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil And Guillaume (Sometimes) Lionel Following on last week, I was deep in the geometry generation part of the engine. This is a dark place where Math monsters lurk and everything is slower. So, I spent a lot of time waiting for the complete world generation to finish - because the geometry generation is done at the end. and I built the proper math for the corners to adapt to roads of different widths. And pulling my hair when doing something as stupid as forgetting a -1, because then I had to relaunch everything again… Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary And PH Marc-André For the first half of the week, I’ve been continuing to work on the new fillers set for the garden district and have been having a meeting about the upcoming new “tutorial island”. I will be the environment artist doing the heavy lifting of that environment when design planning will be over. Afterwards, I started to work on new vine variants that will go on the garden district building to make them feel a lot more dilapidated. This is very tricky because it involves optimisation (polygon count, shader complexity, texture size, draw calls, etc.), a lot of manual work/steps (branches, leaves and roots all created by hand) and multiple iterations. By multiple iterations, I mean that there are requirements for: lush and dead variants, shape variants, color variation and more. Although it is challenging, it is very interesting to do. Narrative Team - Alex And Lisa Alex We are at an odd phase in development. On one hand, we are scarily close to when we need to have everything built and working. At this point, we should only be fixing problems, not building new things. However, some problems can only be fixed by building new things; and many problems only become clear after you resolve other problems. You can’t tell if the car pulls to the left until you can make the wheels go round and round. We’ve been doing a lot of focus tests on Arthur’s playthrough, and it’s become clear that we can do a better job of putting the player on the right track from the get-go – some players report coming out of the initial shelter and not knowing where to go or what to do. We also need to make the first couple of hours stickier – more cool stuff to see and do, less running around in the woods. So, we are building (we hope) a new, sharper, more spectacular opening to the game. That involves a lot of back and forth between me, G, and the lucky designers handed this task. Publishing – Steve, Jeff, Mike C, Austin, Meredith, Elisa, Kat, Kelly, Nicole, Sean, Mike M, Elliot, and Simon (and more) Simon Hi everyone! This is Simon on behalf of Gearbox Publishing’s Quality Assurance (QA) Team. Our goal is to support Gearbox Publishing’s various partners/developers through a team of objective testers. We offer functional, first party certification, localization and compatibility test services to ensure that the player will have a smooth experience when the games reach their hands. Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  6. Hi everyone, Production Sam In development news, we’ve finished our first round of reviews on the game. The vast majority can be completed without debug (eg cheats), and we have all our AI archetypes running around. However, we need to improve Arthur’s and Miss Thigh High’s flow - this means we need to go back to the drawing board on the first couple of hours of Arthur’s playthrough, and create new content to make sure it’s a really great experience. If the first two hours isn’t good, it won’t matter how good the rest of it is. This is a pretty big deal, so we will keep you updated (eg Lisa’s post below explains a bit about how important it is to introduce both mechanics and the various parts of the world). Animation - JR, Rémi, Vincent, Mike P, Jules, Raph And Franzi Slightly sick Mike Hey folks! Hope you all had a wonderful week! I’ve been introduced to something called the ConPlague. Apparently that’s a thing - getting sick after running a booth at a convention. Anywhoo, this week I worked on another cutscene. Our poor characters are getting abused in new and creative ways! (I kinda secretly enjoy coming up with new ways to mistreat them). So this week involves some doctors using Arthur as a pincushion. Think Mia Wallace getting revived in Pulp Fiction. So yeah, good times! That’s it for me this week! Tune in next week, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel! Jules Hi ! This week, I’ve had time to go back to combat! One aspect of our combat circles that wasn’t working right was the supporting NPCs (NPCs that are hostile but just out of reach) weren’t threatening you very much. So, I created a new taunt for the NPCs: Also, as part of our reviews of combat, we want to create some communication between NPCs during the fight, to help make it feel more coordinated (rather than just a group of people randomly beating you and ignoring each other). So I am currently working on a few feint and communication reactions. I will keep you updated about that next week because we need to run some tests before it’s final! See you next week everyone. Design - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne And Benji Adam I’ve been fixing a ton of bugs on the Mad Scotsman’s playthrough, and reworking a few of the more important missions, particularly his intro sequence. We want to make sure that each new character’s introduction hits the level of Arthur’s intro, both in terms of creating something engaging and teaching you what you need to know about that character. I also made slight changes in the flow of the levels, to either speed up or slow down the action. Engineering Team - Matt, Serge, Michael, Lionel, Rob, Evan, Maarten, Céline, Neil And Guillaume (Sometimes) Lionel Our charming, delightful (especially under Joy), islands can be sometimes a bit empty. The wild areas are not very well distributed - Early Access players will be familiar with big stretches of meadow and forest that don’t have much in them except for berries. We had two problems to solve. First, there are tiny hamlets made of 4 or 5 houses that are supposed to provide the player with loot and side quests but they are not very well identifiable and too sparse. The player tends to simply not see them and go through them. Second, the way we connect those tiny hamlets is not ideal and creates loooong roads between them. This week, I tackled the first part. Now, those areas have a central place with the four houses knit together and the side quests are around in a spiraling fashion. It is much more readable and at the same time more compact, making the islands smaller. Serge This week I have completed the features related to the Doctor (can’t wait for you to see his resurrect unique ability) and moved onto NPC search behavior. While that effort is mainly for the soldiers archetype (surprise), who need to be more relentless in finding the player than other NPCs, the coordination between the members of the search party will be beneficial to other NPC archetypes too. It’s really motivating to see all those archetypes getting personality over the course of development! Michael It was nice to go along to MEGA on Saturday and see plenty of cool games, and also talk to some nice people who were interested in We Happy Few. It’s always great to see people playing the game. It’s easy to forget that we already have something that people are enjoying, and to know that we’re improving on that is pretty motivating. The wheel of fortune that controls my tasks landed on Combat this week, another of the core gameplay systems that needs some love. The goal this week was to improve the way the combat ring works - aka the way we distribute NPCs when they’re engaging you. The way the NPCs surround you when you’re in a fight has a lot of design requirements: It needs to be challenging to just unthinkingly run away from combat, hence the encircling. It also needs to feel like you are surrounded, and you’re not just looking at one guy and hearing all the rest, but at the same time we don’t want cheap shots coming in from offscreen. We want the NPCs to look like they know they are attacking as a group and acknowledge each other to make them feel more real and less like game objects (see Jules’ post above). To start with I have changed the pattern to make it so that more of the NPCs position themselves in view, while still making sure the ring doesn’t have big holes in it. I will make sure they move to block you if you try to run away, picking your timing and utilising the shove move will still be a useful tactic, but it should be harder to run away unscathed unless you’re good at it. For some reason NPCs had stopped blocking as well, which was making combat too easy, so I have fixed that, and I want them to come to each other’s aid if you really start laying into one of them. Art Team - Whitney, Emmanuel, Tito, Marc-André, Sarah, Guillaume, Cary And PH Marc & PH We are continuing our artistic efforts to refactor the procedural system in the Garden District. We are happy to see that our new roundabouts and buildings works seamlessly together. We still have a lot to tackle, but progress is very encouraging. Narrative Team - Alex And Lisa Lisa I’m working on environmental narrative for a new location that will orient players to the world of the game. So I’m having to think about a world I’ve been immersed in for over a year, from the perspective of a newbie. Fortunately, we’ve had great fan feedback about what is unclear or confusing, so that’s immensely helpful. Thank you! Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  7. Hello everyone! Another packed week for the team. While we’re still working on the core mechanics of the game itself, a significant part of the team spends their time creating and polishing the story. That means that they can’t always showcase here what they’ve been working on. That also means that the game is shaping really nicely, and we can’t wait to share the results with you. But we have to (wait), I’m afraid. What that means is that animators have been working on cinematics, Alex has been recording even more lines (both story-related and NPC barks), designers have been working on the story quests, artists have been polishing new environments… while the rest of the team keeps working on refining the AI, fixing or improving existing encounters and mixing audio. Thankfully, nobody in the team keeps having crazy ideas to make the game even better and bigger. Wait… they what? Anyway, let’s move to the actual weekly, but before that, let me remind you of the video we posted about our work on the UI of the game, in case you missed it: Production Sam Hi folks! This week I went off to E3, for a bunch of meetings about the project. It’s really important for at least one of us to attend the major shows each year, so that we understand what’s going on in the industry. This year’s E3 felt like the beginning of a return to the “glory days” of E3, and it was so packed that I could see a bigger E3 next year as a result. I’m really happy with how the week went, and there are some pretty huge surprises coming up within the next two months, but as we have a lot to prepare I’m not yet ready to talk about it. Sadly I was so busy with meetings that I didn’t get a chance to play many games. Instead, here is a picture of my favourite booth of the show, which was a tiny little alley inside the SEGA booth: Yeah, SEGA! Who would have thought? Design Antoine Hi there ! First some good news: Adam has had his baby! He’s out for 5 weeks on paternity, and Eric is away in Las Vegas for a wedding, so let’s just say that Ben and I felt pretty lonely this week *cue sad violin music*. Aside from the sadness *snif snif* this week was a bit unusual. I often spend my time solely in the editor vigorously building levels and making scripts, but not this week ! Last week I finished the first cycle of quests of the second character and couldn’t really see the progression of the playthrough at a glance. I took the description of each encounter and started to arrange them in logical order from the start of the playthrough to the very end. This makes scripting and building levels very fast since you are never really going to have to stop and think about how this quest ties into the other one both from a gameplay and narrative perspective. It also makes it so we can weed out any flow problems in the golden path early on. So why I said this week was unusual is because I spent it practically entirely in Google Docs and going back and forth between Alex and David to make sure narrative sticks well with the gameplay. Lots of tough questions were asked and it came out as a hopefully cohesive playthrough for all of you nice people ! Art Carylilz Hi guys! This week I made small changes to the new shelter and adjusted some props from that location, alongside new and secret props that I can’t show. I spent most the week doing research, talking with Remi for the rig and David to know the functionality and purpose of the asset. So far I think it is one of the most complicated props in terms of technical complexity, so lots of thinking on how to make it work. Marc-André I started by making a few assets, such as the fake doctor's head mirror, a mousetrap and flowers with stems for an upcoming VFX. I went through my bug list to fix what I could. I also fixed bugs I noticed myself, such as ground materials in all Village houses (they stopped working due to an mesh optimisation pass we did a while back). I have also been integrating new posters from Sarah in the Village parks and modifying a story level to meet the animators needs. I did a brief art pass to the fine cuisine encounter, which now has a before/after state. After you free the cook, he'll transform his prison into a restaurant! The menu's always stew, but some fancy meals are "coming soon"! For the second part of the week, I started working on the lobby of a new story location, which will be an encounter set in a new upcoming biome. So far the whole encounter is very early work in progress, and I can’t share it, but I have done some excellent work on... toilet stalls! Everyone’s favourite gameplay location. Engineering Chris and Rob Hi all! Rob and I have been focusing on efforts on the UWP build this week. We managed to get a UWP build packaged and running really early this week, so that's great! We had to stub out some of the Xbox Live features and then spent the remainder of the week tracking down various problems. The good news is that the build seems to be as stable as the Steam build now. Is there bad news? Yeah, I think our Xbox Live changes may be causing a problem with the Live services in the Xbox One build. So first order of business next week: Fix the Xbox Live services on UWP and Xbox One. For those of you playing the game on Xbox One, don't worry! We're currently working in a separate branch and our QA will make sure everything is working again before we bring our changes over to the main code branch . Have a good weekend! Michael This week I’ve been adding sound effects and voice lines for the inventory screen, quick slots, and fast travel. Audio can add so much to the experience. Games are an interactive medium, and so the feedback we give for any action you perform is important, and audio can be a big part of that. It’s pretty common that audio gets left until the end of the process of creating game elements, but when it goes in it’s very exciting because it adds a new level of responsiveness to what you’re playing. With the new inventory screen, the elements are a lot more animated and dynamic, and with the audio on top of that, it’s very fun to just click and mess around with it, which feels like a success. Narrative Lisa In a world awash in “fake news,” aren’t you glad you have the O’ Courant to tell you what’s really happening in Wellington Wells? This week I wrote a newspaper that you’ll see in the next update. I’ve also been writing environmental narrative for a schmancy design/fashion center in the posh part of Wellington Wells. (This is when having seen BLOW-UP 20 times comes in handy.) I think cosplayers will jump for Joy when they see this location. If you read the fashion tips in the signs and memos, you’ll know what’s in and what’s out. (Hint: tweed is VERY controversial this season.) Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  8. Hello everyone! It’s E3 next week, and I hope you are all looking forward to what the rest of the industry has to offer. We’re only going for Very Important Business Meetings this time around, and we’re looking forward to having a bit of time to see what everyone else is doing. In development this week, we’ve spent a fair whack of time nailing down issues with our new AI system. It’s progressing well, along with work polishing up the new weight-based UI and a new streaming system that we had hoped to write about this week, but it’s still not quite in. We’ve also started work on encounters for the next + 1 update, while we lock this one down. Also, in case you missed it, we published a new video. This time this is Emmanuel - whose birthday is today! HBD! - from the art department about the work on effects and their impact on the environments. You can watch it here: Art Team Guillaume Hi everyone, I’ve been busy this week arting up our systemic system that will spawn challenges randomly across the map such as bombs and ruins. And making some tree variants, but this is still very much WIP. Have a good weekend! Marc-André This week, with a concept from Whitney, I have started the exterior blocking for one of the biggest encounters to pop up on a new island. I have also been doing an "urgent picture frame swap" across multiple encounters, so that these are not as overwhelming when they don't need to be - and properly showcase Sarah’s paintings. I did some fixes to the Pub and Mystery House, which needed some love on the exterior art pass. I did an oh-so-beautiful flower for Weili, which replaces something else when you’re on Joy! I also did a fire extinguisher that will be used with the player (I’ll let you imagine the possibilities). Then at the end to fill the remaining time, I tweaked Garden District materials. Emmanuel This week was all about a really special secret bridge! Also finalising and implementing some more features and bug fixes for the Joy update! Carylitz Last week was all about finding the right size and general space of the building I have been working on, so that I could work on the interior design this week. It has been a lot of back and forth with Whitney to get the right feeling in every space, and make the rooms to have the right idea. I think now everything is going in a better direction and I hope I will have something close to be done for the next week, so I can start with the lighting and get all the details! Narrative Alex Last week I recorded the last of the audio for the revised Miss Thigh Highs playthrough. This week I’m re-editing pretty much all the scenes, so the animators can get going on them. It’s funny. These are scenes I first recorded at least two years ago, but here and there I still find a line I can cut. Of course, I have to be careful to watch out for artifacts of prior versions – things that made sense but don’t make sense, or are redundant, now. Lisa and I spent some time this week “plussing” the Parade Barks. I’d written up barks for the Parade people – “poshies” – but they weren’t different enough from Wellies. Of course they’ll have posh RP accents, but we are trying to make their barks not only reveal their mindset, but reveal stuff about their lives. We’ll start recording them next week, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise. As we move into the Miss Thigh Highs playthrough, I’ve got a whack more recording lined up. I’ll actually be in the States for family reasons, but that’s no reason I can’t run recording sessions. After all, our actors aren’t here anyway. It is sort of amazing that we can run a recording session in London from a studio in Montreal and a desk in East Hampton, but I’m sure by next year we’ll just be frustrated that it isn’t more seamless. “Why can’t I do in 2 minutes the thing that was impossible 5 years ago???” Design Team Adam Today I’ll talk about process. As you know, we have more than 1 playable character in WHF. A number of existing encounters and locations are used again for other characters, but with a very different style mission. That said, we have been working on tools to load/unload what we need on a per character basis. We also have the ability to branch flow in blueprint depending on character, so you retain parts of a mission while deviating to plan a different outcome. It’s really cool. Animation Team Vincent Now that the big push to finish the content for the next update is behind us, we’re back on cinematics! So expect us to be quite silent for the next month or so, as most of what we’ll be working on is even more secret than the not-on-YouTube Comey hearings. Our off site animators are on some of the scripted events and encounters for the main playthrough of The Mad Scotsman. On the not secret side of things, I worked with Antoine, Valentino and Michael to make sure our Fast Travel system looks, feels and sounds great! Engineering Team Chris This week has been a mixture of highs and lows. The Unreal engine is massive and adapting it to support a new platform (even with a sample to work from) is a ton of work. The bulk of the work is in the engine though, since the game has been developed using the engine's platform-independent interfaces. This is my third big project using the Unreal engine and I'm really glad I had that previous experience to help me understand and debug the build process. Overall, we finally managed to get the game compiling and linking on UWP and are now tracking down our first runtime issues. This might not sound that exciting to non-programmer folk but from a technical perspective (or at least from my perspective!), it's pretty awesome. It's still a bit too early to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but overall, I'm very happy with the progress we've done this week! Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  9. Hello everyone! As we approach summer, the team is becoming more and more aware of how much work we still have to do to ship this game, and our looming deadlines. It’s going to be a tumultuous few months, with us bringing on multiple new people (we’ll explain that next week!) across all departments (except art) to help us improve the quality and scope of the game. In general, the content for our next update is looking great (and is now done), and we’re finding that our AI overhaul has been very successful but needs more attention to get it ready for prime time. We’ve also got some very exciting features coming in next week, which will dramatically change how the game is actually rendered. We might even get Guillaume (our CEO/creative director) to write about them! Watch this space next week. All this to say, we’re still looking good on late June/early July for the update, but we’ll keep you updated as we lock down the AI. Here’s what the team has been up to this week. Programming Michael This week has been continuing to bounce between inventory makeover and fast travel. We’ve ended up redesigning our inventory redesign (hah) to try and reduce information overload, and give more space to show off each of the items in there. It’s been fun trying to test the inventory stuff recently because a bug has caused the shopkeepers to be very aggressive. You really need to get in there and check that stuff is working before Stewart Adams starts trying to cleave you to pieces. Clara Unreal is fun. Unreal is fun. Unreal is fun. Repeat. (Clara makes Eric question his life choices.) A lot of touch-ups on the UI design this week. I adjusted the animations for the toggles, played around with a still-ugly-but-about-to-get-better Error Box, finishing up the highlight animation for the quickslots… slowly getting there. Oh, also, the sleeping interface has changed a bit! This is going to give you much more feedback about what sleep will do for you. Looks disgusting for now, but we’re gonna clean that up eventually. Chris Hi all! Rob and I have joined the programming team this week and are excited to work on this game! We've been hard at work getting a UWP version of the game running for the Windows 10 store. We got Microsoft's branch of the Unreal engine with UWP support working on our machines and have brought over the changes into our version of the engine. There's still lots of work to be done, but it's been a productive week. Cheers! Level Design Antoine Hello there ! Lots of work is being done on the story. I finished the blocking (rough event scripting pass) of the intro for our second character, and it’s looking really great! Very different from Arthur’s. I also worked with Vincent and Michael to create feedback for the fast travel doors. When the player selects a location to travel to, Arthur will open the big metal door, walk down some steps and the screen will fade out. Arthur is basically using the maintenance corridors of Wellington Wells to travel from one shelter to the other. Eric Finally, I’m basically done with these underground jubilator shenanigans. Hope you guys like FX, explosions, and pressing buttons, ‘cause there will be some of that in here. Plus corpse throwing. That’s always fun. (Like Unreal) Animation Team Rémi Hello! This week was a debugging week. I fixed multiple issues for the game encounters as well as some rigging tweaks and fixes. I also got to skin and integrate two more arm variants - Arthur finally has a wardrobe! I got to test the wonderful work that Matt has done to allow us to swap the arms in real-time when we equip different suits. Testing these out and seeing the switch in-game is amazing and adds a lot to the immersion/believability to the game. Here’s a little something for you to enjoy it as well: Have a good week! Art Team Carilitz I got caught with some small tasks and fixing layout so I have not much to show but just one prop, made for the new shelter I'm working on! It's a little bit different from all the really creepy gory stuff I was making before but it was super fun to do it. Marc-André This week I finished tweaking last week's buildings. I fixed holes in the meshes and integrated them to the world spawner, so they now spawn in the Garden District. I also added a building with red bricks. In the next update, hopefully the Garden District will have more variety and feel more like a real place. I also integrated multiple of Sarah's signs for the butcher's house as well as the pub, where a blueprint randomizer allows for different names and illustrations. I did a broken version of the Joy mask to be used in the TV Altar encounter. I did a butterfly net and foxglove flowers (before and after loot versions). I took multiple screenshots of our world with the new Joy. I fixed a few bugs. So basically, I did a lot of small things here and there! Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  10. Hello everyone! Today marks the end of the content sprint for the next update, which means our level design, animation and art teams can move on to new stuff. We still have a bunch of technical features to finish up - eg AI, UI and at least one major technical overhaul (which Guillaume has secretly been working on for weeks) - but the core content is done. The team has created some, frankly, ridiculous encounters for you guys to experience, and we’re looking forward to showing you all. Next week, the content teams move on to stuff for our final update, along with the ever ongoing story work. So the levels you see from now on won’t be in the next update, but will be in the next + one (and final) Early Access update. Narrative Alex Last night at the bar, one of the company founders, Cord, asked me to name one of the things I like most about the game. One of the things that came to mind is how we are telling the story of the world. What we try to do in We Happy Few is “pull” narrative: we try to provoke the question in the player before we present the answer. I call it “pull” because the question pulls the player into interrogating his or her environment to find the answer. Our narrative is “dirty.” Most of the stories we tell through lore and through encounters have relate at most tangentially with the player character’s overall goal. NPCs aren’t there to serve your story. They’re there to serve their stories; it’s only an accident that their story intersects with yours. When you meet them, they’re in the middle of something important to them, and they have somewhere else to be after meeting you. To me, this feels more like real life. No one is on Earth to serve your life story. They are there to serve their own life story. Even your Mom, who loves you, is living her own story. It may be her goal to see that your life is a good one, but that is still her goal, not your (related) goal. To add to this notion, quite a few of our NPC stories intersect with each other. You are not the nexus of all that is interesting. Some NPCs hate each other. Some love each other. Some love and hate each other. Such is life. In other words: we are hardwired to turn our experiences into story. Which means that, by giving the player chunks of narrative content that could add up to a story, we allow him or her to tell themselves their own story. To my mind, the Holy Grail of game storytelling is: get the player to tell the story, rather than telling the player the story. The individual chunks of narrative need to be linear in order to bear meaning – Arthur’s story isn’t choose-your-own adventure. But I aim to give you spaces in between the cutscenes which you can fill in. I’m only showing you the peaks; you fill in the rest of the mountain. That’s my goal, anyway: to let the narrative breathe. Next dev diary: why, in spite of all of this, branching narrative is vastly overrated. Art Team Carylitz First location block out done! I spend most of the week working on this; a new shelter for the Parade District. For this building I did some new modular pieces for the outside and played with the layout of the inside. I have been moving everything around trying to find the best composition for it. I still have a lot of work to do on this one but so far so good. I have also been doing some small task, like fixing things here and there and creating some props for encounters. El equipo de Animación Vincent This week I’ve been touching up some stuff here and there to wrap up all my encounters, I hope you’ll enjoy them in the next update! There was some time for finishing touches on the giant robot thing as well. It now has complex state machines and several animations playing at the same time to fit its different behaviours! It’s makes for quite a complex animation script, but I had a lot of fun doing it. We also welcomed in our imaginary ranks two contracting animators, Mark and Diego, who are going to help us finish up the TON of stuff we still have left to do! One is in Vancouver, the other in Melbourne… So with Maarten in Belgium who joined us recently on the programming team, I guess it’s safe to say that there is ALWAYS someone working on We Happy Few. Yes, that’s terrifying. Rémi ¡Hola! (pretty much all I know in spanish) This week, like Vincent, I have been finishing work on my encounters. That means I have worked on conversations and a few custom animations. I still had a few things to do on the butcher quest, but I don’t want to spoil too much. So even though I can’t wait to show you how awesome this encounter is, I’ll try and keep a few things for you to discover by yourself. That being said, here’s a little tease. This is a small section of the conversation you will have with the butcher: On the more technical side, I have tweaked the scavenger extractor animations to be used on multiple surface angles. So instead of being completely animation driven, (full body AND camera controlled by animation) it is now possible to keep the aim of the player as the initial camera position. Here’s a little prototype testing where I can move the camera around while using the scavenger extractor: That’s all folks! Have a good weekend. J.R. I’ll keep it short and simple this week guys, as it was another week of work on encounters. Most of it was spent on the underground encounters, specifically this one scene where some guy is running away from something and trying to climb to safety. So, without revealing what’s going on--you’ll have to tune in on the update for that--let me show you a little preview. Hope you enjoy! Programming Team Lionel ¡Hola! (let’s make it a spanish theme weekly) This week I was hunting for a problem in the way we are generating cities : sometimes we had two identical buildings next to each other. It was not quite a bug but it was really damaging the suspension of disbelief. After a bit of hair pulling (it was ok most of the time), the culprit was found. It was a random generator, which was …wait for it... too random. Duplicates may still happen but they should be much more rare. Long story short, the streets will look more diverse now. Level Design Team Adam Hello all, I have been stitching together a few encounters for one of the main character. I can’t mention much about the content… but you can rest assured that there will be more explosions, sex, drugs, and rock n roll. These are a few of my favorite things. I also lost 16 lbs so far, so that’s something. ALSO… I will be taking a break for a few weeks as my son is about to be born! Eric Woo. Finally through the looking glass on this strange playable sequence I’ve been working on. All the hard annoying stuff’s been fixed. Now it’s just animation hookups, FX hookups, toggles, some falling debris gameplay, and a few other polishy shenanigans to go. Special thanks this week to JR, Vincent, and Ben for some help on this stuff, which you guys will see in the next update. Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Games
  11. Hello! We are Compulsion Games. We are an independent videogame developer based in Montreal, Canada. Our first game, Contrast, debuted in 2013 and told the story of a little girl and her imaginary friend. We are currently hard at work on our second game, We Happy Few, which is currently in Early Access on Steam and Game Preview on Xbox One. We work on creative, original, high-quality experiences and are financially independent. We are a boutique team of industry veterans, who trust and respect each other and love our craft. We are looking for a Generalist Programmer to come and work with us on We Happy Few, an award-winning, dystopian 1960s survival game about escaping from a delusional English society that is completely obsessed with happiness. We Happy Few is a blend of a procedurally generated systemic gameplay and a linear story with scripted elements. We are looking for someone who: - loves games, - can work directly with art, animation, and design teams to help in their realization, - can extend our story, and moment-to-moment systems and pipelines to help create a compelling game experience, - can work on code optimization to improve the game’s performance, - can participate as part of the design and tech team to evaluate and improve the game as a whole through constructive criticism and creative contributions, and - can work and share with other industry veterans who are passionate about their craft. The ideal person for the job would: - have a minimum of 3 years of industry experience working on PC or console games, - have a strong understanding of Unreal Engine 4, - play games regularly and understand the fundamentals of what makes them work, - be technically strong and willing to work closely with artists, designers and animators for this role, and - be looking to join a top-level and creative independent team. Provided you have at least 3 years of experience in console/PC development, we are flexible about experience level. It’s important to us to find the right person, not fit you in a box, so you could be very senior or an intermediate programmer. We like to encourage generalism, but if you are an experienced specialist with a broad background, we will also be happy to talk to you. This is a full time role at our studio in Montreal, Canada. Salary will be discussed based on experience. If that all sounds like you, then we would love you to come and work with us. Please send us an email at jobs@compulsiongames.com, including a CV and examples of recent work.
  12. Hi everyone, Half of our team left yesterday to go to Boston to do crazy drunk karaoke sessions meet the community and fellow developers at PAX East. This is always a great opportunity for us to share some good times with our community, as well as to meet our friends from different studios, to exchange ideas about what they’re/we’re doing and learn how we can get better. The rest of the team in the office is split into groups. On the one hand, we’re adding the final touches to the next update’s build to make sure you all have a great time. We’re also working on the marketing side to make sure everybody knows when we update the game, so they can check the improvements. On the other hand, some of us have already jumped onto the next sprint, where we’ll focus on dramatically improving some essential gameplay features. You should be loving it! Also, you may have seen this week that we’ve published a video regarding subtitles. Enjoy the video here: Animation Team (or what’s left of it) Vincent Ahoy! This week has been mostly about wrapping up the content for the next update: fixing little bugs, finding and reporting the ones I couldn't fix myself, updating conversations with the last voiceovers... Once this was done and half the studio was at PAX, I took some time to work on a Python script I've been craving to write for a while... A little tool to help with our gameplay animation export process. It's about time -- that's gonna save us hundreds of clicks in the long run. I'll be lobbying to have the other animators give it a try, and hopefully they'll give me feedback and I'll be able to improve it little by little! Art Team Sarah Hey guys! I had a very exciting art week. The frenzy to make new 2D content for the upcoming update is over, and while the QA dudes and Programmers are making sure the build is solid, I'm free to make some less critical pieces (however totally necessary for atmospheric purposes). I made a ton of new abstract expressionist and pop art paintings for the Village interiors, inspired by real peeps including Franz Kline and Jasper Johns (though both are American I would argue that their art vibes are globally iconic). The current paintings are repeating too much for our liking, and it was a great challenge to get them to really feel like textured, gloopy oil paintings despite being born in Photoshop. I'm really happy with how they turned out, and hopefully the Wellies will be too! Programming Team Michael It’s been about a month since I flew over from England to join the elite ranks of Compulsion Games. It’s super exciting to be working on such a cool project, and the team have been great, and very welcoming. I’ve been doing a lot of bug-fixing to start off, which has been great for getting familiar with a new engine and a game that already has so many systems in place. So most of my time is spent staring and scrolling through pages and pages of code trying to work out exactly how something like the lovely ( and the not-so-lovely ) status effects work… and then how they don’t work. Other than bugs I have been looking at UI. At the start of this week I was looking at improving the New Game menu for the next update. It’s no longer just a few drop downs in the corner of the screen. We’re adding some cool icons (created by Sarah) and descriptive text to help you choose how you want to set up your playthrough. This involved creating a new layout for the icons and creating a little menu in the bottom of the screen to keep track of the options you’ve chosen. Okay, back to bug-fixing. QA Team Lee Hi there. QA’s been busy testing all the new content we’ve got going into this next update as well as some interesting changes to world generation for the Garden District, compliments of our technical director Matt. A major goal for these changes is to make this part of the world play in a much different way from the village islands. This involves splitting the gridded blocks of ruined buildings up into smaller hamlets which are separated by sprawling forests, to give it a more natural feel. Encounters have been spread out as well in order to help fill these large sections of forest and encourage exploration. After testing the game with these changes for the past couple weeks, I can tell you the Garden District gameplay fits much better with the atmosphere of those islands. We still have some kinks to work out with road & encounter placements, but it’s all coming together very nicely. Stephanie Hey y'all Along with what Lee mentioned, we have also been: - Testing a few refactored encounters that we missed for the Clockwork update. - Testing fixes for a bunch of major issues with various older encounters. - Having epic forum battles with Korean casino spam bots. - Doing some database house keeping and updating forum FAQs. - Drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee. Stay tuned for our next update's patch notes! Bonus Gif: Design Team Hayden Hello Folks, The last few weeks have been a blur of last second polish and bug fixes—with several long nights and slightly more gray hair in my beard, things are looking good. This part of the development process is where you battle your own mistakes and fight for time the clock has ticked away, and you begin to realize where you can improve and prevent issues in the future. You may even pick up a new trick or two to put in your bag for the next update. The process is molding you into a better developer, with every bug you fix… Naa… I’m just joking, it’s a pain in the ass and I’d like to have a nap, now. Narrative Team Lisa Howdy. We Narrative Few are in Texas this week, but between margaritas and rodeos, we are talking about Wellington Wells. (Alex says he is “bad at vacation.”) So, for example, we completely re-broke the story of the playthrough for [redacted], whom you might see in [redacted]. Vacation is the best time to attack big-picture narrative questions. What are the relationships between the various characters you meet in the game? Wellington Wells is a small place. People know each other – they are relatives, friends, exes and enemies. They’d write about each other in their diaries – and maybe they’d remember same incidents differently because of their Joy. Oh, and we realized that [redacted] is clinically [redacted]. That will be fun. I’ve been reading the forums, and love reading your theories about where Arthur’s story is going and who the other key characters are. At least one of you Downers is right about Arthur’s story … and the other theories make us think, “Huh. That would have been another interesting way for the story to go.” Have a great weekend! Compulsion Games
  13. Hi everyone! Sam and Clement here, as Naila is away sick with some version of the plague. This week, the team is in a big old “content integration” phase. This means that we’re approaching the end of development on the next update, and are making sure all our work plays nicely inside the game. We’ve got one week left of content work on the update, and after that we’ll move our level design/art/animation teams over to the following update, so our programmers can lock down the next update. That doesn’t take too long, so you can expect an announcement on the date of the next update within the next two weeks. Engineering Team Serge Hello! This week we made a video about the toxic fog which is an early prototype of a gameplay element created to increase the challenge of navigating during curfew. Please accept my apologies on the lack of realization (aka how ugly it looks) but we wanted to share it with you so you can give us your feedback before investing time in polishing the feature. This will be something new to discover in the next update! Narrative Team Alex, Narrative Director I will tell you what I did. I was not satisfied with what we were able to do with one particular character in a recording session with an otherwise wonderful voice actor. Our voice actor is very good at accents, but this is a fairly hard role — a developmentally disabled adult who has to break your heart. So I fired off a casting call to the UK. Saying “developmentally disabled character” to the entire pool of agents in the UK is a little bit of waving a red flag in front of the Running of the Bulls. Playing disabled is an artistic challenge, so it shows your acting chops. The clip will almost certainly go on your reel. I got 80 submissions in about three hours late on a Thursday afternoon. So I got to wade through 80 submissions. One weird thing about voice character submissions is the headshots. They send me headshots. Why would I care about headshots? I don’t care what the actor looks like. All right, it’s nice that Alex Wyndham could actually pass for Arthur if we did the movie, but he could look like Shirley Temple for all I care. When we do the recording sessions, we don’t have the camera on, so I literally do not know what half of my actors look like. I winnow those 80 submissions to 9 I’d like to hear from; plus I go through my last casting call and ping the agents whose clients were great but not right for those roles. The actors will record an MP3, and a dozen actors will come down to three or four. I’ll audition those guys on the phone. The lucky actor — by “lucky” I mean “probably spent a decade or two painstakingly learning how to turn his talent into craft” — then gets to record this one particular part for about fifteen minutes, plus a bunch of other stuff for forty-five minutes. And the scene will play for about a minute and a half in the game. It is a ridiculous amount of work for a role you’re going to see on screen in the first playthrough for 90 seconds. This is why recording voice actors is expensive even for short recordings - you’re not paying for 15 minutes of work, you’re paying for the lifetime of experience that is needed to deliver a great 15 minutes of work. But if those two minutes break your heart, then they add meaning to the hour or two of gameplay following that encounter. They show us a side of Arthur we wouldn’t know without them. So you care. I mean, that’s the point of the narrative, after all: to make you care. So that’s why I was up till midnight on a Thursday. Lisa, Writer No matter how dystopian, a 1960s English town should still have a groovy pop star. I’ve been writing environmental for just such a character – his secret song lyrics, his fan mail, his drug journal (because pop stars have a tendency to mix & match), and more. I’ve also been writing things that flesh out (so to speak) what happens at the House of Curious Behaviours (a k a the Reform Club). As Alice in Wonderland would say, “Curiouser and curiouser!” You will also soon see a fresh edition of the village newspaper, The O Courant, to help you keep abreast of what’s new in Wellington Wells. (Spoilers: There appears to be a new island!) Art Team Carylitz The little park is ready and is Downer free! : D Guillaume This is my last week working on the shelter. This one will be in the second Village. It has been made using Emmanuel’s brutalism set with some scifi elements. Animation Team Vincent Hola! This week has been all about pushing the new encounter animations and conversations in the game, tuning stuff, and overloading Level Designers with requests to make everything move a wee bit better! Have a great week-end. Compulsion Team
  14. Hi everyone! With everyone working on new content, it’s a lot of fun to see the pieces being put together. So this week, you’ll be able to learn more about how we create, fix and edit what we implement in We Happy Few. From how the programmers develop new mechanics, to how the design, narrative, animation and art teams polish encounters, we hope you get a good idea of the way we are working together here! Design Team Adam This has been one busy f*$king month. On the plus side, I have a ton of stuff to show. I won’t do videos just yet, as some things are really work in progress, but I’ll take images of a few new encounters. Murder House I affectionately call this encounter “The Murder House”. Cheap knockoff drugs = psychosis. As you can see, an all new layout for a house has been created. Once we mop up the blood, you might see this house layout appear in other places Hoard House Old ladies like to collect crap… lots of crap. Here are some images of the updated layout of Hoard House Church of Simon Says An art pass has been done on the church of simon says. I’m probably stealing Marc-Andre’s thunder, but I’ll show this anyways Love Birds This encounter is getting a complete makeover. The plan is to make it a scene out of Cyrano de Bergerac, where Arthur needs to hide in the bushes and feed lines to a romantic guy to say to his girlfriend, but if she spots you, the jig is up. The logic is pretty much there, but I’m still working on the layout as you can see Narrative Team Alex This past two weeks, I wrote a pirate into the pub, singing a sea shanty. I’ve always wanted to put “The Eddystone Light” into something or other. Yo ho ho, the wind blows free! O for the life of the rolling sea. Oddly, some otherwise brilliant actors cannot sing a lick. Fortunately, Jay Simon, who voiced the Honey Troll and Johnny Bolton, Special Agent, can. It’s an interesting challenge rewriting the scenes so they convey the new information without requiring new choreography. In a movie, where the camera is third person, it’s easy to expand a scene, because the camera keeps cutting. In first person cinematics, you would have to create animation that would take the characters from position A, to do new things, and then back to exactly position A. So I try to avoid changing the timing of the scene – I try to make the new words fit as closely as possible to where the old words lived, or at least take up the same amount of time, so I don’t bump other lines that are still working. Shouldn’t we have made these changes before the animators went to work? Sure. But it’s very hard to read a script, and still fairly hard to evaluate an audio track. Sometimes people don’t spot things until they actually see them. More importantly, when you spend three years working on a story, you spot weaknesses in it that were not immediately apparent. Hopefully, you’ve left some room in the budget for fixing them. On the other hand, because it’s not a movie, it’s a game, we can keep making improvements. A while ago we added an epilog for the first few characters. This week G asked us to find a way to tie all the stories together thematically at the end, which makes the game more coherent narratively. It also gives a new mandate to the epilog. So, we are rewriting the epilog to incorporate some ideas. Animation Team Vincent ¡Hola compadres! I spent most of this week editing super secret stuff : some special scenes that will reinforce player immersion in our world’s twisted story ! Yes, that is very vague. Ah, there is something that’s not a secret. Maybe some of you saw in the last few updates a little graphic bug on the wellies’ masks that looked like this : If nobody has noticed, then maybe I wasted my time. But this has irritated me for a while. And it shouldn’t be there in the next update. Hopefully. Ninja Team Clara This time I had the pleasure of having Whitney (art director) and Ben (level designer) sit awkwardly in front of the camera to talk about a very special robot, probably Wellington Well’s favorite: the Compliment Machine. You also may have noticed that we slightly changed the format of the weekly videos since two weeks ago. We hope that it will further explain our development process and expose the hard work that our team is putting into the game. We will also do our best to include any answers to questions or comments written on the Forum, Steam Community or Youtube. So feel free to drop a line to tell us what you think! Art Team Carylitz I started doing some props for the game, yaay! I can just show 2 of them because I lost one during the week and the others are work in progress. But there will be more for next week. Engineering Team Serge This week, I've been implementing a gameplay prototype for the Toxic Fog. This is a feature we would like to test before to invest more time into its realization. The first video shows our testing map where the fog is in the middle of the street but doesn't affect interiors so the player can enter houses to take a breath. The debug display is added in the second video and with the free camera you'll see how that effect is done. Because particle effects can become really expensive to process, we opted for moving a wall (which is a plane with a transparent texture) on the perimeter of the toxic zone that is replaced by an aqualung on the player's camera once in the fog. When entering a house, the transparent wall is moved on the closest surface of the building so you can see the fog through the windows on the ground floor. This is an early feature that explores a cheap rendering technique in order to be able to scale the fog to an extreme. There's a lot of edge cases that aren't handled just yet but you can understand that we have to start somewhere. Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
  15. Hi everyone! This week, work continues on building our encounters for the next update. We’ve been working on our production pipeline, as now that we have built our new encounters with the new quest system, we are able to build content much faster. In the background, work on playstyles and improved AI has continued. Clara has created a quick recap video on our playstyles, for those of you who may have missed this in last week’s journal: Note, we have made improvements to Sam’s haircut since filming this video on Monday. We had to outsource this work, but we hope you’ll agree that the quality is much improved, is better optimized for warm weather, although it is unlikely to substantially affect gameplay. Engineering Camille As Unreal Engine 4 licensees, much of our functionality comes from said engine. This saves us a lot of trouble reinventing so many wheels. However, not all functionality from the engine is fully featured, and sometimes we have to put our shoulders to the aforementioned wheel to actually reinvent it. One such feature is the subtitling system. While functional, it was clearly meant for action games with little simultaneous dialogue. Only one line could ever be displayed at any time, based on a priority system we hadn’t fully harnessed. While we could’ve done so, I felt that a dialogue heavy game such as ours deserves a more thorough treatment. Being hard of hearing myself, I nearly always play with subtitles on and have therefore gotten to see many different systems in action. One of these is Source engine’s, which you can see in Half-Life, Left4Dead, etc. Instead of only showing one subtitle line at any time, they simply show a scrolling history of subtitle lines colour coded to different voices. When rewriting our own subtitle management and display system, I’ve heavily borrowed from this system, so fans of Source games will feel right at home. For flexibility’s sake, I’ve retained our subtitle size options and also offer 2 different subtitle display styles that users can choose from. This is the backgrounded style in action: Unfortunately, now that subtitles are no longer squandered by Crazy Legs’ chronic lateness, it also underlines how much work we need to do on our underlying data. Most of our data was directly imported from our scripts with little regards to priority or timing. We’ll be working on this over time, but I’m confident that the new display is already going to improve things vastly. Narrative Alex I have an interesting relationship with the designers. They are instinctively concerned with “what does the player want to do?” As the narrative guy, however, it’s my job to ask, “Why does Arthur want to do this?” For example, let’s suppose Arthur discovers that a delivery boy is late. The player gets an objective to find out why he is late. However, why should Arthur care whether a delivery boy is late? “Because the player got an objective” is not an answer. Nor is “because it is going to set him off on an adventure”; he doesn’t know that. Most people Arthur knows are forgetful; aren’t people late all the time? So, I’m the pain in the ass guy who complicates the job of designing levels by asking why the player character wants to do what the player wants to do. So, first, I thought, maybe this delivery boy is never late. Okay, that’s helpful. But still, why should Arthur care? I asked David. David said, “Maybe he knows him.” So I thought, of course. The delivery boy was Arthur’s brother’s only real friend in school. Arthur’s goal in the game is to find Percy because he promised he’d take care of him. If he can help the delivery boy, he can accomplish a shadow of that goal. Now the mission is personal. Note that it has not changed at all in design, only in meaning. And that changed meaning gave us an interesting way to resolve the encounter, which helps make the encounter even deeper and more personal. But you’ll have to play the encounter to find out how. When I wrote sonnets back in university, I noticed that fitting a meter and rhyme scheme forced me to be more inventive with my language than writing in free verse did. Necessity is the mother of invention. Because our designers believe in our narrative, they don’t have total freedom. But in return, we discover new things about our world every time design crashes into narrative. Or, as the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ad went, only not exactly: “Hey, you got narrative on my design!” “Hey, you got design on my narrative!” “Hmmm, tastes pretty good.” Art Marc-André This week I worked on multiple things. Bug fixes: Fixed multiple missing textures throughout the game, as well as deleting old meshes that were spawning in the world Created an LOD Material fixes: Fixed garden district houses brick textures (proper roughness and normals maps) Level design: Updated an encounter’s house layout interior and exterior pieces to match the conventional modular set Assets: Church pulpit (created entirely from tileable wooden trim texture) Simple candle w/ holder Level Art: Working on the interior level art (layout and lighting) of the Church of Simon Says Design Antoine Hey there good people ! I’m continuing work on the new shelters for the coming update. Very soon I’ll be in a position to pass those levels on to every other department for the realization phase. Awesome art will be done, sound and dialogue will take shape and 2D art will be made. I’ve also addressed a few bugs that you guys found in the Shibboleth encounter. Those fixes should be in the next update! Hayden This week I finished up the layout and logic block-out for two new encounters, Nick’s Pad & Sad Treasure. Nick’s Pad features two homes, one of which belongs to Nick Lightbearer and the other belongs to his nosey neighbors. Currently, both homes are being renovated, which explains all the scaffolding around the homes you’ll have to navigate to make entry into Nick’s Pad. Once inside, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to being a celebrity than fans think. Next up is a new park for a new encounter called Sad Treasure, it’s built into the center of a roundabout and is currently under observation by a Bobby & Peeper Downer Patrol Unit. There were also many reports of illicit drug use in this park, shady deals everywhere you look… someone is going to need to clean this place up. Thanks for tuning in! Compulsion Team
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