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Weekly Update - 14/08/2015 - Summer Vacation and New Biome Art

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Hello all,


Welcome to a new edition of our Weekly update!


Weekly Update


Production Team




Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since we updated you on the status of the project, and a few important things have happened that I wanted to discuss.


First, in Germany, I met the creator of Minsc. I’m pretty sure this is the high point of my life, and it’s all downhill from here as I drift towards my twilight years. If you do not know who Minsc is, just remember, go for the eyes, Boo. Go for the eyes.


Second, as you may know, we went to GamesCom in Germany last week, to announce that we’re releasing We Happy Few on Xbox One! Guillaume and I went over there to talk to media and fans, and while it was an exhausting week, we’re really happy with how things are going.


This is a big deal for the team and the project. Microsoft has been very supportive of the game and is eager to help us make it the best it can be. We agreed to do this because of their enthusiasm - something they seem to have in spades - and having partners on board who really care about the game means a lot to us. We’re really excited about it, and hope you are too.


Some of you have raised concerns that creating console versions will result in the “dumbing down” of the game or our vision for it. Don’t worry! The Xbox One version will be pretty much exactly the same as the PC version, and we’re not making any design adjustments. Any work we do/improvements we make for the Xbox One will apply to the PC version too (and vice versa). Performance optimizations will benefit PC players, particularly those not running high end PCs, and have already improved things for a lot of pre-alpha players. We’ll also potentially have ease of use options for Xbox One, that could carry over to PC. For example (and this is only an example), if we implement some sort of controller aim-snapping into the Xbox One version, we’ll add that as an accessibility option in the PC version. In any event, this will not affect the core game design.


Third, we’re smack bang in the middle of one of our two quiet periods for the year. July/August and Christmas are times when the team usually goes pretty dark, going on holiday and spending time with our families. This means our pre-alpha updates will be a little smaller than usual during this time, although we’ll still have a few surprises for you in the next update. Your feedback on our forums has been really helpful, and we’re looking forward to more of it.


Gameplay Team




Hi there! A big week again with lots of little things, centered around finishing what I started last week and making sure they are working as intended.


I implemented a new water bottle/canteen system. Basically I removed large bottles and replaced them with canteens, so that's what you'll need to find if you want to carry around tap water now. Glass bottles cannot be filled with water anymore but they are now throw able objects and are needed for crafting Bangers.

Did some testing and fixed some problems with the begging Wastrels, they should now behave properly - they don't care what you wear and won't get suspicious of you. They will randomly spawn in destroyed buildings in the Garden District.

Did some tweaking on the MultiTool and the Advanced Electro-Lock Shocker to better fit their description. They are quite a lot harder to craft, so I thought they should also be more useful. The MultiTool is now basically an unbreakable lockpick and the Advanced Electro-Lock Shocker will also be able to zap any safe you come across!

Finally, I added a few things the Wellies can do in the Village besides wandering around aimlessly. They will now stop and stare at shop windows and home owners will now go out of their houses from time to time and start sweeping their front or back stairs. Marc also worked on this and we will continue adding more of those so that the Village of Hamlyn really feels more alive.

I worked again on the super secret stuff I started last week... and can't wait to see your comments when you'll actually play it!

Programming Team




I've been mostly quiet in updates these past few weeks because the bulk of my work was spent on minute UI details that aren't that interesting to summarize. But with the last update, you might have noticed improvements both aesthetic and functional in all menus.


A lot of it was getting the main/options menu functional with both mouse and controller. I also polished controller support for most menus, namely adding controller button prompts for the useful but less obvious features.


Probably the most visible effort is on the map, which I feel has now graduated from "programmer art prototype" and, incidentally, can now be controlled with a gamepad too. It should handle much more smoothly now, though there is still quite a lot of functionality and detail to add in the days to come.




This week I mostly did some sound integration for various props and gameplay effects, I reworked the ambient loops and integrated the garden district and the ocean ambience. I also adjusted the dodge mechanic for the NPCs, plus the usual bug fixing and optimisations.


Narrative Team




What I am working on this week is learning Pro Tools so I can edit the cutscene audio at pro quality!


We’ve been having issues with players attempting to go in filler houses. The original intention was that the Wellies have painted all the boarded-up houses to look like inhabited houses. Unfortunately, people are not finding it clear which is which.


So, Whitney and Josh and I worked up a new lexicon. Wellington Wells no longer has access to oil or coal. They have replaced it with a sparkly blue, highly volatile and unstable fuel called Motilene™. Active houses will have clear pipes carrying Motilene out front (retrofitted into their vintage exterior). If the Motilene is flowing, it’s a live house. No sparkly blue, it’s not for you.


Also, filler houses have boarded-up doors that have been painted to look like windows. And they don’t have doorknobs, either. So we’re hoping it will be pretty clear where you can go in and where you can’t.


Art Team




One of the things I did this week was continuing to develop the new biome. This biome is heavily inspired by White Hall, London. We’ll talk about the backstory soon, but here are some designs for the architecture we're using.














Laura Ellis on Indigogo


Music was a fundamental part of our first game, Contrast. One of the characters was a cabaret singer named Kat, and we had the extremely talented Laura Ellis on board to be her singing voice. Here is one of the songs from the game:



Laura is preparing for her new album and has launched an Indigogo campaign! If you like her work please consider supporting her or simply sharing the word :)


Have a great weekend everyone!


Compulsion Team

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I'm glad to hear the Wellies are doing more things now; they always seemed like they had nothing to do all day. Having rad glowy stuff about the place is never a bad improvement. 8D


I have to ask, was Whitney's environmental piece drawn from scratch or copy-pasted? I'm trying to get my head around it and it's all just gorgeous.


(Also I would totally read Guillaume's Travels, especially if it includes an angry society of tiny people.~ )

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Have the updates Vince talks about gone live? When I opened steam it didn't appear my game ever updated. I just played for a few hours and it doesn't seem like any of the new gameplay (large bottles were still in my game, canteens now being fill-able, wellies doing more than just wandering around, etc.) is in there. I even reinstalled the game and no luck. Any suggestions?

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@afrat240 no, we push out new builds about once per month. Sometimes we'll speed that up (eg urgent fixes) or slow it down (because we want to wait for a major system to go in), but on average you should look out for a new update at the beginning of every month.

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