Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Layout & Some Updates

Well it's been a bit since I posted last, and I've made some changes! I was tired of Blogger's basic templates so I butchered up the Notepad Chaos theme - it turned out a little more to my taste!

I've also decided to try and make the commitment to doing a weekly post instead of monthly or so posts. This should encourage me to not only work harder (to make sure there is something interesting to post!) but also provide a higher level of transparency on Fireball. So, on to the updates!


We're currently in week two of three in our pre-crunch sprint, and I feel like I've been slacking. I set myself two large goals: develop the requisite fireball particles and provide the team with a finished environment for our third floor, the Vaults of Sorcery. Brendan and I broke down the components of the fireball and came up with a pretty solid structure, but we've made slow progress on actually creating the individual particle systems. I enjoy particle systems, a lot in fact, but it's such a more nebulous task than my level design pipeline and I work better with defined goals.

That being said, the environment for the Vaults is behind schedule as well. Our part time level designer, Austin, was given free reign on blocking in the level and he did a great job. My job was to then take the blocked-in level and replace the assets with pieces that will end up being used in the final composition. I am particularly proud of how optimized it came out: the entire level's base geometry is comprised of only a few meshes, meaning that despite its gargantuan scale it's running on-par in terms of efficiency.

The next step is to work with Austin to start adding in all of the scripted areas, like the puzzles, and make sure the flow feels right. Then the blocking-in phase will really be over and I can start adding in art assets and lighting. I feel the central area is too open still, and so I'm working on a solution that will integrate nicely with the standing design.

Before I wrap it up here, I'd also like to report that the Phoenix IGDA went well, and we received positive feedback on the demo, which can be downloaded at Real Dedicated's IndieDB page. We plan on normalizing the voice over levels and pushing a new demo in the near future, and next week I'll try and post some screen-shots of the level I'm working on.

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