Archive for the 'wip' Category

Goodies! part 2

March 10th, 2009 by Auriea

We’ve been to the printer this morning. I was anxious to see how the girls would print… and I wanted to document the work being made.

Edition of 200 posters. 1 meter tall. All 6 girls. I checked the color, signed off on the proof prints.
It was fun to see the girls printed so BIG! :D (If this goes well we may print the wolves too.)
click to see them bigger.

2009-03-03 at 11-27-47 2009-03-02 at 13-07-25 why i love our printer Rose 4 color plates the splendor of Carmen Carmen on the table our print master approves of her beauty. Robin on the table checking the color Another masterpiece, signed Auriea ;) inverted Rose Rose plates being loaded into the press oh, Rose

No crunch

February 23rd, 2009 by Michael

These are the last days of bugfixing. On Wednesday we will build the first release candidate. Then bugtesting is really over and the only thing left to do is make sure nothing is wrong with the application before we send it to the distributors.

While there’s a lot of nervousness around here because of all the things that need to be taken care of, we’re not really in a crunch period. We’ve had lots of that leading up to achieving beta status. Now it’s just a matter of making the software run as well as possible. We have a long list of bugs and issues. We know we can’t fix them all anyway. So we do what we can. We’ve prioritized them and are going down the list. The further we get the better. But there’s no extremely problematic things that need to be fixed. Just details, really.

Getting there…

February 17th, 2009 by Michael


Jarboe & Kris doing what they do best.

February 12th, 2009 by Auriea

THIS is what Jarboe and Kris can do for a live spoken word performance….

that performance has nothing to do with The Path. But I present it to you as it does show Jarboe’s powers of narration!++ We are trying to arrange an event where she reads Red Ridinghood to a frightened, and attentive, audience :)

you should download the first song we’ve released from what we hope will become The PATH Original! Soundtrack! Album!

It’s a little track we like to call “Safe Song.”
Listen here…
Download here…

good day.

thinking bigger

January 29th, 2009 by Auriea


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? ;) )

tester #12

December 4th, 2008 by Auriea

game tester #12 And… we ended our series of alpha testing on a light note yesterday. The player knew absolutely nothing of games, or how to interact with a virtual world. Also, she was left handed and a Mac user who hadn’t really used a two button mouse before. We spent the first hour helping her understand how to navigate. It was kind of fabulous though. It turned out that the joystick was the easiest way to play for her. She approached the entire experience unlike any of the others. Slowly and with wonder. Everything was a sign, a symbol. She herself is an inventor of games… analogue ones that children can play (she was an educator.) She discussed how she often had to find solutions to problems, changing traditional physcial games (football, running races etc.), remixing them to help girls and boys play together or for kids who are of different skill levels to be able to play together without problems. This, she said, made her sympathetic to the way we are trying to make a video game that is remixing the idea of what video games are.
Her reactions were the polar opposite to the Game Designer we had as tester #11. All of the things he said we “should do” would have totally turned this woman off to the game. She was here because she found the game beautiful. That perceived beauty and interaction with the characters was entertaining for her. We don’t interfere with her experience with lots of hardcore conventions. Maybe where we are coming from is just not from the place of conventions of game design. We are simply applying the same principles of art and aesthetics from our past experiences. It is about entertainment but not necessarily fun. Why are games supposed to be fun? (I mean, action! fun! whoohoo! fun.) Are video games fun? I posit that games can be about dreams. And we invite you to visit one.


tester #11

December 2nd, 2008 by Auriea

game tester #11 w/ shoes of tester #10

not a decent drawing this time. i had too much coffee at breakfast. was all jittery. (the shoes are of tester #10) didn’t help that yesterday’s tester was a fellow game designer. or rather that he has worked on so many games as a designer. he gave us a healthy dose of tough love and food for thought in how we can make things better for what gamers may expect. on the other hand he seemed surprised when i told him how other players had played. no one ever said game design is a science. it is, in many ways, the art of questioning everything you think you know about how people interact with virtual characters and environemts. is it giving them a form of training. have gamers been trained to think things should be one certain way? isn’t it my job to at least try to seduce them into thinking about things another way. i am somewhat disturbed by the maxim that one should “make games for other people’s expectations” and “let go of your ideas.” i guess because i feel like… i am a human too and to make a game for myself is to make one for others…. but this is why i don’t try to design on my own too because i know i have a very artsy attitude when it comes to creation of anything. i work for the audience but only to the extent that i want to communicate certain ideas. i think that creation of something as commercial product is quite another skill. one which i personally may never possess.
it was all good discussion. nice to talk about things on that level. i hope he can beta test the game too. see what he thinks of the more final result.
anyway, once again the game was played all the way through. he had QUITE a different playstyle than the first person who finished the game. he managed to finish The Path in 2 and a half hours. SO, what should we tell people then? since this game IS designed in such a way that you can play it through having a complete experience in either 2 hours which is extremely short by any estimation, or if you are one who likes to be involved and notice everything and experiment with whats there it can take you up to 6 hours. i do believe these are the extremes.


tester #10

November 27th, 2008 by Auriea

game tester #10

Today’s tester finished the game!
We can now officially say that The Path will have 6! hours! of! gameplay!

It was beautiful to watch a player get all the way through. And have things feel wrapped up emotionally.

We had invited back tester #2. For various reasons but mainly because she had suggested a number of features that we did implement. Little things but we were wondering if they would make a difference for her, really. She could remember when certain things in the game were just placeholder objects so it was fun to get her impressions now that things are more finished off.

The freshness of seeing part of the game that no one up till now has been able to get to because of either show stopping bugs or time constraints was amazing. Still so much left to do but a feeling that everything will work out and we will get this game out to you… that’s best feeling in the world.


tester #9

November 25th, 2008 by Auriea

tester #9

finally, FINALLY, finally!!! :D
a day with NO big nasty bugs!
NO crashes or memory issues! NO distracting character glitches!
NOTHING but smooth playing! I do believe we’ve solved all major issues. yep.
AT LAST we got to the heart of things and could talk with the player PURELY about what they were DOING in the game. She had played many games but had a casual attitude about it. Not a gamer per-se but a sympathizer. Because there were not other distractions we spoke with her mainly about those nagging questions of “what did that mean to you when you did x, y, or z?” and “in your opinion was it interesting to go there and do what you did and did what happened next make sense?” In other words, now, what we call the -Authoring Phase- has begun in earnest. Now we can test for content and not just for functionality. Her answers pointed to some glaring problems. So let’s polish up our narrative, fill in the gaps and start to make the game have better impact. Not only for the symapthizers to our weird game ;) but for those who at first may not think its for them. With some work we can seduce some of those people into loving this little experience we’re making… At least, we have high hopes! We got lots of ideas watching todays tester play… now if one of you will slow down time and send us enough to work a few extra months…. hmmm, not going to happen, eh. Let’s see what we can do in the time that we have left! ONWARDS!


tester #8

November 25th, 2008 by Auriea

tester #8

like i said: 5 steps forward, 3 steps back.
if i have to be honest about today, i’d say that we failed to give this man the game he came to see (to test.) There was a bizarre error which prevented him from getting to the “end” of the game. this is the first time its happened. It was like, without the completion, the entire experience was lost…. even though there is no requirement for players to “finish” the game, these endings are somewhat essential closure on the experience of playing. Was it this lack of closure, of beginning connecting to “end”, which left him feeling that the game had no narrative, or is the game only appealing to those with an over-active imagination? …okay, i’m just thinking out loud but there was quite a bit of that today. also a serious question about a feature which solved a problem for a certain type of player was discovered to make the game lose suspense for today’s type of player. it’s the aimless wanderers vs. the instinctive navigators.
on the plus++ side today: no crashing whatsoever (memory issue solved), and the new collision system seems to be working out okay. the graphical changes (which only i know what the world has been through) are looking superb. but, some questions in my mind about the “mood” certain characters convey.
no, i can’t make coherent sentences or expressions of thought anymore today. there is another test tomorrow. maybe we will iron out some of these quandries and paradoxes and decide which players we can make happy and which will be left wishing we were making something more (or less.)