Hey everyone, I am Jonathan, the Game Director of Chained, and I wanted to get everyone caught up on what we have been up to for the past week.
What do I do?
My official job on the game is to act as the director, essentially to make sure the team and the game is following a strong vision that will really make the game feel unified as a whole. I spend a lot of time talking to Decker, the Art Director, Brandon, the Lead Level Designer, and Keith, the Producer, in order to answer any questions about what this game is and isn’t and how we can best achieve the goals we have set for this game, which, at times, involves reworking the vision to fit better within our scope.
Updates about what I do:
Initially, I spent most of my time laying down the foundations for this project, which included prototyping mechanics, or researching and implementing various aspects of the game, like the Mecanim animation system Unity provides us with. Now that we have David and Adrian on as full time programmers (more on their work latter), I have been able to step away from the nitty-gritty aspects of the game, and truly focus on what this game is, and how to best achieve the emotional arc the game is trying to accomplish.
When we started this semester, Brandon and I had to take a long look at what the team had created for first playable, and we realized that while we hit our goals, our goals were misaligned and therefore we did not create a game that was as engaging as the project needs to be. So, we ran in the opposite direction. We developed a new mechanic that would have added way too many new animations, but we thought it was the answer to our design problems. It wasn’t. After exploring, we came to the conclusion, that through a few new mechanics (that we prototyped within a week) and some smarter level design, we could create levels that would engage the player, without increasing our scope. Now, we are full steam ahead, creating levels that combine our slower/atmospheric design with a new goal of creating more to do in the game and its beautiful, surreal world.
Updates about the Game:
Everyone has been incredibly busy as there isn’t much time until alpha on February 4th.
Adam and Hojun have been creating models like mad. They each have a large list, but we are confident they will get them done.
Decker has been examining and working with the FX and Lighting in the game, as well as concepting out our story beats and environment art.
Anne, unfortunately, ran into some issues with her work. It has put us back a bit, but the problems between Unity and her animation skinning have been fixed, so she is unblocked in order to continue working on our new animations.
Brandon has re-redone the Intro level again, and has already begun to art it up.
David is in charge of our creating our levels that are intended to create a player dependency on the Ball. They are looking really good, and we can’t wait to put it all together.
David Fenton has, within two weeks, almost entirely rebuilt our Player Controller. And it is so much smoother and better. I’ve got the chance to play with it, and it is really good.
Adrian has finished up his work on creating us a volumetric fog system. It is also super cool and Decker is beyond excited to start seeing what it is capable of.
Hans has been working tirelessly on our WISP Behavior system and has been putting together a Path Finding system for them. It is really coming together.
I went ahead and did the ending levels for the game and will be putting the game together from beginning to end for the first time, before alpha.
See you guys next week,