Archive for January, 2009

thinking bigger

January 29th, 2009 by Auriea

veryultraworkingprogressposters

in the meantime i’m working on full length posters of ALL the characters in the game. I’m not used to working so high resolution, feels kind of luxurious. they won’t be quite life-sized just a meter or so tall. It will take much work but it is gonna look WICKED!

Above, the absolute unfinished work-in-progress of Grandmother and the Girl In White. (ooooh, we haven’t mentioned her before have we? ;) )

Bugfixing is FUN!

January 29th, 2009 by Michael

Fixing bugs in software is like playing a game. It gives a real rush when you track a problem from its symptom to its cause and then remove the cause*. Pity I’m not a great fan of playing games. ;)

* Like tracking a bullet to the barrel that fired it and placing some lead between the eyes of the evil alien wielding the gun. No wonder boys love this stuff.

Reference: red knitting

January 29th, 2009 by Michael

We have a folder of over 2 GB filled with inspirational and reference images for The Path. I thought it would be fun to share some of those images once in a while.


vincentdixon2
vincentdixon2.jpg



We didn’t keep track of where these images came from, so we can’t always credit them properly. So I’ll just add the file name.

Tags:

by Anne Carson

January 22nd, 2009 by Auriea

The flea circus

January 20th, 2009 by Michael

Our bug tracker says that we have fixed 69 bugs and that there’s 56 new ones to deal with. Another 24 issues are in an undetermined state. So that’s 80 that haven’t really been resolved yet. I’m sure not all of these will be resolved as most of those bugs or rather minor and more serious ones will no doubt be found before we get around to fixing them. It’s a funny process.

The most serious bug that is still unresolved manifests itself only on the computer of the one person whom we need to feel happy with the game at this point because he can help the Path reach many many people. Luckily he’s very friendly and understanding. But it was a big O O P S ! when it happened nonetheless.

Bugfixing is boring

January 15th, 2009 by Michael

So we play the game and make the list of bugs longer and then we open the editor and make the list shorter again. Etcetera. Endlessly. It’s easy. You know exactly what needs to be done. None of that vague artistic stuff that is never really finished anyway. No. Now it’s about finding the error and correcting it. It’s binary. It’s either solved or not.

I never cared much for perfection. I’m more interested in potential, in places where things can happen. Rationally I know that The Path should be as bug-free and stable as possible. But emotionally I can’t say I care much. I don’t mind when things go wrong once in a while. As long as the broad strokes are strong. But I’m afraid not everybody enjoys the aesthetics of the unfinished.

On the beta path

January 12th, 2009 by Michael

So far beta-testing has been easy. We’re continuously finding new errors, some rather serious but all fairly easy to solve. But we are still waiting for the final version of the Quest3D game engine before we can invite other people to test the game on their machine. Running the game on different machines operated by different people will probably introduce a whole new string of bugs. Not looking forward to it, but we are determined to make this game as stable as it can be.

Introducing the new logo of The Path!

January 7th, 2009 by Auriea

We are thrilled to today unveil our brand new logomark, hand-crafted by celebrated graphic designer Marian Bantjes. It was fabulous to have the opportunity to work with her and we’re still surprised she said she’d work with us. The end result is something we’re very proud of. In our opinion the new look says more about what The Path is and meshes beautifully with the overall aesthetic of the game.

There are 2 new desktop wallpapers in the downloads section for you to admire her handiwork more closely.

And here is a look at the animated version of the logo we are using in the game itself.


The Path – Logo animation from Tale of Tales on Vimeo.

The Path —— Status Report January 2009

January 5th, 2009 by Michael

We did it! We achieved beta stage right at the end of the year. What a relief! The game is done! Of course we still need to check it thoroughly on different computers and fix any errors that come up. Hopefully we don’t run into any serious issues.

As expected, December was quite stressful. But it was also a race to the finish. So the end was always in sight -even if at times it seemed like we weren’t going to make it. It was just a matter of doing that last effort to get there.

We had a few more alpha-tests in the beginning of the month. But most of the time was spent on tweaking and polishing interactions and systems and finalizing the assets. The game looks really nice now. Even the final part, inside Grandmother’s House, that nobody has really seen yet in its full splendor.

It’s funny how, when the remaining time becomes really short, cutting features becomes very easy. Simply because a lot of things have become impossible to implement due to the time they require to produce or the risk they pose to the stability of the project. At some point, it felt like for every issue that we would fix, two other things would break. So as time runs out, to some extent you need to stop fixing things. Or at least evaluate and prioritize. Under the pressure of time, it becomes very easy to see which features are important and which are not. And we were lucky that the most important things were done already.

That doesn’t mean that The Path is perfect. Several systems and visual elements could definitely be improved. But this is a low budget production and we simply cannot do everything that a big developer can. We hope that our audience cuts us some slack and that the uniqueness of the experience makes up for the weak points in the game.

I must admit that playing demo’s of triple A games on our Playstation 3 Christmas present has made me feel a lot more confident in this area. There’s a lot of things that The Path simply does better than those multi-million $€£ productions. It could just be me, of course. I guess I don’t exactly like a lot of videogames. If so, I hope there’s many people like me out there.

We took a few days off around the holidays. And crunch time is now officially over. Working after dinner is not allowed anymore. We’re slowly attempting to get our lives back.

I hope the beta-testing does not reveal any annoying situations. Because I’m really looking forward to working with the game rather than on it. Creating marketing materials, figuring out how to advertise, finding partners to distribute the game, etc. It all seems like a vacation after such a long period of hardship! :)