Archive for October, 2008

tester #3

October 28th, 2008 by Auriea

tester #3

Today’s tester was someone who, at last, is very much a gamer! And also a male, also in a younger age group than the other testers so far. This was great because we could discuss our game in relation to other games as well as just have some all around geek-out game talk. :) He was very comfortable just jumping right in and playing The Path without us having to explain much of anything. He tested with the joystick controller and the keyboard. His play style was very different from the other 2 also in that he invented in the game certain challenges for himself. He had a amazing mind for 3d orientation, finding some of the things we do -on purpose- to disorient the player a bit frustrating. We were excited at how he truly embraced the narrative of the game though!

Again, a big list of bugs! We’re going to take a few days out from the testing and work on everything that has come up recently. We will begin again with this exercise next week.


the meaning of “alpha test”

October 28th, 2008 by Auriea

“You tell people what you do for a living, and they’re like, ‘Oh, you play video games for a living.’ No, I play a game that’s not as fun as it should be, that’s broken, until it’s no longer broken. Then I give it to other people to have fun with.”

–Cliff Bleszinski (who, for once, i agree with on something.)


tester #2

October 28th, 2008 by Auriea

She was elegantly dressed. She chose to use the keyboard rather than a joystick “because I am not a gamer, I am comfortable with a keyboard,” she said.
After an orientation where we explained controls and some basic info about the game. After the coffee and the croissants. She played tirelessly all day, and diligently wrote out all the bugs she found. A great help! And she helped us decide to include on a feature which all future players may thank her for ;) . She volunteered to come back another day next month and I think her familiarity with the game will come in handy to evaluate the fixes and tweeks we’re about to make.


tester #1

October 25th, 2008 by Auriea

tester #1 We sent out a notice to our mailing list last week that if anyone would like to come to our studio and help us bug test the current builds of The Path they could set up a time with us via email. These tests are happening one person at a time and every night we try to fix the bugs found the previous day so the next tester can find what we missed and help us keep our to-do lists full of new bugs >.<
As people come to play I will draw them… just because, that is what I do if I have to sit still without a computer for any length of time. :p

Anyway, we had our first official tester of The Path come over today. What a difference it makes for us to see the game through a fresh set of eyes! We’re so busy making the game that it can be hard to find the time to really examine the total effect of a play through… or we just don’t see it anymore because we are always looking in such a specific way at specific things as we work. When someone comes and just PLAYS we see the game finally as it was intended! And we are very very happy with what we’re seeing so far!


quotation as metaphor

October 25th, 2008 by Auriea

“you cut up something that’s alive and beautiful
only to find out to find out how it’s alive and why it’s beautiful
and pretty soon it’s neither
and you’ve got blood on your hands and tears in your sight
and only the terrible ache of guilt to show for it”

– Clive Barker

Just looking

October 23rd, 2008 by Michael

Thanks to Drama Princess, the characters (or “Actors” as we call them) in The Path are aware of their environment. This allows them to look at objects in their vicinity. The picture is made of several super-imposed screenshots taken from a tool external to the game, where we visualize the Actor’s activity with lines and blocks, so we know what’s going on in their heads.

once upon a time

October 18th, 2008 by Auriea


i screenshot i took of them all together soon after i’d finished the first versions of all the girl models.

The Making of Scarlet

October 17th, 2008 by Auriea


I feel responsible for her. Someone has to. She is always looking after the others. First born but last made. I think some of my weariness rubbed off on her. She was made in such a lazy way. Forced to grow up before she was ready.

This is not to say that I don’t find her perfect. I sketched her after being inspired by the films of Ingmar Bergman, the mannerisms and characters of his actresses, especially the lovely Liv Ullmann. It is hard to say if what I felt I learned by watching his movies has been injected vertex by vertex into Scarlet…. but I believe a little bit remains.

6_Stern Red-concept sunshineplaysamajorpartinthedaytime darkly superhyperworkinprogress-scarlet

She is a serious young lady. More images of her are shown in the gallery and on flickr. She’s looking a bit frightening in the wallpaper, but i think it’s just her way of dealing with a frightening world. Let us all wish her well.

Good week

October 12th, 2008 by Michael

After a slight bit of panic and thanks to canceling a feature I had planned to work on, this week turned out pretty well. I was able to correct a few major show-stopping bugs and tweak some smaller nagging issues. I have also reconciled myself with the fact that we will not be able to do everything we want, that that’s not the point. The point is to make as good a game as we can within the given constraints. Gotta keep reminding myself of that.

The game not quite ready for the preview that Eurogamer Benelux want to get next week. But at least things seem under control now. At least for the part of the game that I have been working on lately. Next week I will be working on the other part. Hopefully the optimism remains…

Correcting virtual mistakes

October 10th, 2008 by Michael

In regular software development, a large part of the work consists of dealing with mistakes that a user can make. In a game like The Path with a lot of semi-autonomous elements, a similar thing seems to occur. Only we’re dealing with the mistakes that our artificial creatures are making, not the user. A large part of the work that I’m doing these days is correcting the mistakes that our virtual characters and other generative systems are making. Or at least trying to build systems that prevent them from making those mistakes. Of course, unlike the mistakes that human users make, anything that the characters in The Path do is entirely a result of our own doing.