Week 3 Update

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,
Jonathan Gregoire

Week 2 Update

Web_Headshots_Keith

Howdy everyone my name is Keith Leiker, and I’m the producer for DigiPen’s “Those Guys”. We have an extra long post today because we’ve been gone for the last month and lots has happened!

Announcements:

New Team Members

I would like to welcome Anne Feeny, David Scamehorn, and Adam Purvis to the team. The scope of the game is such that we need more hands on deck and they will be instrumental to completing the game to the level that we want.

DigiPen Foundation Studio

Those Guys are one of the six teams selected to participate in a pilot program that will see us trying to do some scholarship fundraising! We are super excited and will send out more details soon about how you can help support us and the other five teams.

However that means that we will be more strict with the content we gve out. Weekly blog posts will come to all, and we will keep putting up art nuggets, but the Alpha and Beta builds may not be available. Stay tuned for more on this.

We have a new team space!

DigiPen has finally put together a floor plan so teams can have some official space. We have a nice corner  of the new 3rd floor computer lab, named Tesla the best real world mad scientist ever!

What I do:

My job as the teams producer is to make sure everyone has what they need to succeed at building their part of the game. That means planning meetings to discuss design, animation, and programming. I define what goals we will strive to hit for milestones, and keep track at a high level the progress of the team.

Update about the things I do:

After a quiet winter break we have been running really hard as a team to accomplish a ton of stuff. We split up the fourteen weeks of spring semester into seven, two week sprints, to help us keep our noses to the grindstone. We are currently running toward our Alpha milestone, where we need to have all of our mechanics finalized, a grey box of our entire game complete, and some significant rework of the art assets that populate the game.

I am happy to be working at getting our new team members on-boarded and hope to t be able to show some excellent artwork and more audio soon.

Updates about the Game:

We have quite a few new mechanics that we are trying to get in, and Jonathan and David are busy getting a new player controller working  with these new mechanics.

Anne has been busy re-skinning our main character “That Guy” and building some fresh animations.

Brandon and David have been discussing all of the story beats and level flow along with Jonathan, we should have some significant progress soon!

Adrian, and Hans have been working on getting us some new AI behaviors for our “NPC” and building some excellent visual tech to make the game pop.

Hojun, Decker, and Adam have been hard at work refocusing on what needs to be rebuilt and what else we will need.

It’s an exciting time for us, there’s lots of possibilities that we are sanding off to get the game ready for milestone though.

See you next week!

Those Guys are a Rockin Team

Fresh from our European tour we are Those Guys!

Rockin out 80's style. That's just how we roll.  From Left To Right (David Fenton, Keith Leiker, Adrian Orszulak, Jonathan Gregoire, Hojun Lee, Brandon Anderson, Bottom: Decker Fantastic)

Rockin out 80’s style. That’s just how we roll. From Left To Right (David Fenton, Keith Leiker, Adrian Orszulak, Jonathan Gregoire, Hojun Lee, Brandon Anderson, Bottom: Decker Fantastic. not pictured are Jon Everist and Hans Wagner, WE couldn’t contain their Rockin-ness!)