Archive for June 19th, 2008

The Path —— Status Report June 2008

June 19th, 2008 by Michael

We’re in the middle of production now. The focus is on asset creation and implementation. And we’re expanding the game as elements get added. Auriea and I are working fulltime on the game. Up till last week, Auriea’s focus has been on modelling the characters (there’s 14 of those: 6 Reds, 6 wolves, the grandmother and the Girl in White). Most of that work is done now. And now her attention is going towards fleshing out the environment of the interior of Grandmother’s House for which I have made placeholder geometry and in-game system over the past few months. Next to that I’m also implementing the endless stream of animations that Laura is producing. Many of which require new behaviours or parameters to be added to the Drama Princess parts of the game engine.

Laura is also working full time on The Path these months. There’s a lot of animation in the game! Luckily we have found a great help in Hans for finetuning the skinning of the characters. So Laura can concentrate on what she does best.

Jarboe and Kris have just started with the creation of the musical compositions for the five remaining Wolves, and some other songs. We’re looking forward to hearing more. As we have experienced during the development of the Alpha Demo, hearing the music in the game is incredibly important for making decisions about aesthetics and even about gameplay.

The production of assets will continue until the end of July for all our collaborators and the end of August for Auriea and I. Then everything should be in the game: 3D models, sounds, textures, animations, software systems, character behaviours, etcetera. Everything should work but does not need to be finalized yet. That’s what will happen in September, October and part of November: a phase Auriea and I call “Authoring” and a vital part of the way in which we create games. That’s when we make final decisions on interactions and the look and feel of the game. We’ll probably do some user-testing in this period too. After that, we’re going to do another two months of “Finalizing“, which includes bug fixing and creating installers. I think we’ll also contact the publishers and distributors that have shown interest in the past during that period to see if we can come to an arrangement.

In February the game should be done. But we may not be ready to release it just yet. That will depend in part on any partners we decide to collaborate with and, more importantly, on the marketing that we want to do. We want to create nice marketing materials (stills and a trailer) and may be worth postponing the launch so we can do it properly. (it will be hard, though, because we’re very eager to show our work to the world)