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"IT'S A NICELY DESIGNED GAME AS LONG AS YOU DON'T WANT ANY MEANING IN YOUR LIFE."-TIM

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Author Topic: Mar 12 Weekly Update  (Read 2361 times)

sluangkhot

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Mar 12 Weekly Update
« on: March 12, 2018, 02:37:05 PM »

Hey everyone!

I almost forgot to post today since I had just made one last Friday... thank you for the reminder @Flug!

So the first is a Mac and Linux update, which I posted about in this thread.
Here's the quote:
We'll probably have to generate new Steam keys and set up a new list on BackerKit so that any Mac and Linux users will receive a key from the correct list.

Speaking of which, I have an update!

So the good news is that we're able to make a Mac and Linux build! The bad news is that there's some startup issues due to using an older Unity version with some bugs we have to hammer out, and there's no audio in the build because our wwise license expired. (We were using wwise, an external audio system, back in August to handle our audio for the Windows pre-alpha build, but now that we're building after the expiration, there's no sound...)

So we're in an interesting position. Alpha should be finished within the next 2 months or so, and it may take us 1 month or longer to make the pre-alpha for Mac and Linux playable. (We're in the middle/close to end of an important milestone in the office, so we can't focus too many resources on the Mac and Linux builds, even with my eyes on it.) This part of porting takes the longest because Unity thinks the game can "run," but when we open the build on an actual Mac/Linux, we see a lot of minor compiling bugs that take away from the experience. (Long periods of black screen, non-animated assets, etc).

I really appreciate everyone's patience as we work this out. At some point, we may be open to asking some of you to act as "external testers" to make sure the Mac and Linux builds are running, if at all. We only have one artist outside of the office who owns a Mac, and one friend-of-the-office who owns a Linux, so testing opportunities have been tough to coordinate.

So I know what I'm doing this week :') I also mentioned that we're nearing the end of Alpha and getting everything to rough Alpha draft or better. This means ALL the systems are in, ALL the characters are in, ALL UI... etc. We spent so much time on the mechanics and physics that we're finally catching up on other systems and roughing those out. (I mentioned hunger, trade, quest system, and the hub system last time, I believe?)

Of all the levels we have finished, the one we've spent the most time on recently is the "Basic Training" area/"Tutorial" space. It's been really important to us to make sure that systems, controls, and paths are clear, since this will be an introduction to the game. A lot of amusing feedback has come up, as well as fascinating "shortcuts" that we've decided to keep in. (Without spoiling much, one example is that about half the office plays "aggressively" and the other half likes to play "craftily," which has led to different approaches to testing the level. "I didn't have any trouble with this part, I just shot the lever with the bow & arrows I found after breaking down a pantry door." "I  thought we had to trick the Skeleton into opening the door for us! Where did you find the bow?!")

Our status from last Friday hasn't changed much, but here's what you can look forward to:
1. Our SXSW panel will bring some new shots and a reveal that I know Joe and I are REALLY excited about. We just finished wrapping up the final cut for that teaser today, and we hope you'll all visit the panel if you're able to in person!
2. After SXSW, we'll be posting the first of a series of videos that we made in collaboration with 505 Games. I won't spoil what it is, but it's been fun to make!
3. I'm polishing up the first draft of the newsletter, which I'm aiming to get out by the end of next Friday! There's a lot of topics we still want to cover before release, so I'm still coordinating with Joe on what we want to focus on, especially after some of our reveals after SXSW.

After all this filming, I've also been gathering some footage of areas and bugs I've come across recently. I just posted one on social today, in case any of you missed it! (Also... how's the darkness?)

Build-wise, we're working on finishing up some "secret stuff" (*cough cough* MAGIC SYSTEM) and the usual pipeline of "make a level, throw in some characters, tweak the animations, refine combat, make sure the level feels RIGHT, and then throw the level off to art to do an art pass, followed by a narrative eye". The next milestone coming up is due by the 23rd, so we're really nailing what's going into the final game at this point.

On a BackerKit-note, those of you who have Figurine access will have your BackerKit locked down on the 30th! Don't forget!!

I'll also be reaching out to more backers soon regarding rewards that require your input, so I'm in the midst of juggling forms and outline for that too. (ex: Custom Tabard, Statues with Your Likeness, Lordly Abodes, etc) Should be coming in the next month, if not sooner? *fingers crossed that everything gets approved quickly*

FINAL NOTE, I'll be posting our updated UA logo (and OSE logo!) either today or tomorrow. Phew!! I think that's my entire plate for today.
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nodezsh

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 03:58:38 PM »

I was going to comment on that video in another thread. That's very much the kind of setting I like to see, and the background ambiance sounds like it could have come right out of Thief's cathedral level (that's a compliment of course). One does have to wonder what a barrel was doing hanging there from a rope.

The bit about a skeleton opening the door is interesting, or rather that you can trick it into doing so. I look forward to all the upcoming news and those new logos.

In the last update thread you asked for any screenshot requests. I'd like to see a space with water, if water's ready to be seen.
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Doctor Sbaitso

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 04:59:41 PM »

Audio is great in that clip, light levels and cramped space is good.  The only thing missing based on what we know is with portal warping to different dimensions the sense of depth is lost.

That space is nice and cramped.  If they player knows they are 5 levels down, it feels all the deeper, darker and menacing.  Can you give a progressively oppressive feeling when you portal to various places?  Maybe but the narrative would have to create the sense where stairs do so naturally.
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Flug

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 07:06:31 PM »

I agree with other posters. Light, 'crampedness' and darkness levels (gamma, contrast, saturation) and shadows all look good. I'm assuming it's the exact same area that appeared in the recent pic?

Hard to gauge exact scale without denizens and actions happening, but looks about right in terms of torch, brick, barrel proportions etc

The skeleton stuff sounds intriguing. The end of the year sounds....quite close, though?  ;)
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DawnrazorDCLXVI

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 08:21:03 PM »

After all this filming, I've also been gathering some footage of areas and bugs I've come across recently. I just posted one on social today, in case any of you missed it! (Also... how's the darkness?)

I can't comment on the darkness--I'd need to see more of it to get a "feel" for the area. But I wanted to mention the sound design is phenomenal. I am really happy for the dense atmosphere. I suggested the underworld could be influenced by drone music, and it's nice to hear that hollow howling filling the backdrop. It definitely feels influenced by Thief (in a good way.) I would like a similar sound snippet detailing how civilization sounds--the music and backdrop of Marcaul. I want to hear how it contrasts with the isolation of lone exploration. And any bizarre environmental noises you could provide snippets of would also be welcome--bubbling lava, ambient sounds, hammers banging. I am really digging the sound design of this game.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 08:25:08 PM by DawnrazorDCLXVI »
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"The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist." -Charles Baudelaire

sluangkhot

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 10:50:08 AM »

Thanks for all the great feedback about the level, audio design, and atmosphere. There's still some work we want to put into it, but we're happy to hear we're on a good track!

I don't think we have an official track for Marcaul yet, and that may be further down the line, once Marcaul is really fleshed out. Music gives a lot of soul to an area, so I believe our audio director (Jim Bonney), will want to have a good sense of the level before he starts crafting his magic. Sound-wise, we've been pretty preoccupied with making sure the soundscape makes sense. Since we want to give players the opportunity to try a variety of play styles, the world needs to be properly reactive... and noisy. (Or in some cases, silent.)

For example, our current Skeletons aren't as scary as they seem once you get up close to them. Their AI is currently set to detect your velocity, rather than your current proximity/visibility/soundscape. Obviously, this will change soon as we adjust their alert states, but it's always funny to stand perfectly still next to a Skeleton guard without aggro'ing him. ("Don't remember this human statue here before... oh well.")
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TrenchKnife

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 06:07:02 PM »

After all this filming, I've also been gathering some footage of areas and bugs I've come across recently. I just posted one on social today, in case any of you missed it! (Also... how's the darkness?)

I like the darkness ... the sounds are pleasently disturbing but I never listen to asoundtrack (unless on my 5th playthrough and my cd player is skipping).

however, I want to discuss the controlls.

you seem to be using a keyboard only interface. the movement is archaic like I hate with a game-station style button tap-tap-tap.... (till you get there) or tap-push-overshoot-and-then-tap-tap-tap... I would like to see video of the fluid motion of how I intend to operate through the game, with a mouse-move-till-your-pointed-in-the-right-direction.

can you give us some of that ? or better yet, describe the controls and how we interact our character through the game as 10 digit wielding humans (well, most of us anyways).

tell me the motion is fluid; show me the controls are fluid; introduce the handicaped options if any. and please let it not be like a game console. I really dislike tap-tap-tap-overshoot-tap-tap-tap-oh-close-enough of a hand held game controller .... like I was back in some colleco-vision mario-land buttons -vs- a mouse's fluid motion.

thanks

-TK

edit (that does sound harsh now that I reread it ... I'm not trying top be overly negatively critical, but I really, really, really hate game console "lack of fluid" motion and view control, which is more like binary motion, limited, choppy, unruly, and generally weak compared to mouse movements).
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 06:13:37 PM by TrenchKnife »
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nodezsh

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 06:43:27 PM »

New screenshot detected.
https://otherside-e.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/03_UAMetaSlider2-0x0.png
More natural lighting than what we've seen so far, textures as detailed and rough as one would hope, wood actually looks like wood instead of plastic. I dig it.
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DawnrazorDCLXVI

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 07:09:04 PM »

New screenshot detected.
https://otherside-e.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/03_UAMetaSlider2-0x0.png
More natural lighting than what we've seen so far, textures as detailed and rough as one would hope, wood actually looks like wood instead of plastic. I dig it.

You know Otherside has done well when I can't voice a single criticism against their art direction.
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"The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist." -Charles Baudelaire

Joe

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 07:43:07 PM »

Glad you like that shot! Can't wait for you to see the next batch.

And also I'm really glad you like the audio ambience in that short bug clip. I've been doing a lot of work in that level lately and, honestly, it never gets old. Like Sam mentioned above, it's the stellar work of our audio director Jim Bonney (who was responsible for the old-timey covers of modern songs in BioShock Infinite). He's a phenomenal talent and one of the nicest people I've ever worked with. It's amazingly fun to collaborate with him and I'm really confident that he and the rest of our audio team are going to make the game sound great.

We also have some interesting updates coming about darkness and light, by the way.
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TrenchKnife

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 07:50:30 PM »

I agree, the art is fantastic. and this effort (totally on OE's part) has shown me not just the world of game development but also game authoring. I've been hanging on the edge of my seat for this and the ride alone was worth more then the cover charge.

my best recollection from the prealpha was the magic visuals. the sounds of the spell was also 'unique'.   

would you let us see some of the magical displays and hear their sounds?

thanks
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nodezsh

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 08:46:58 PM »

New screenshot detected.
https://otherside-e.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/03_UAMetaSlider2-0x0.png
More natural lighting than what we've seen so far, textures as detailed and rough as one would hope, wood actually looks like wood instead of plastic. I dig it.

You know Otherside has done well when I can't voice a single criticism against their art direction.

I've had my fair share of criticism along the way but I'm rather satisfied with the way it's turning out. The thing is there are so many games, kickstarted ones and not, where the devs promise certain improvements after the alpha, and then after the beta, and then before you know it the game's out and the improvements were never made. So even though I still have reservations about other areas of UA, it's encouraging that OSe has been true to their words regarding art direction.

Glad you like that shot! Can't wait for you to see the next batch.

And also I'm really glad you like the audio ambience in that short bug clip. I've been doing a lot of work in that level lately and, honestly, it never gets old. Like Sam mentioned above, it's the stellar work of our audio director Jim Bonney (who was responsible for the old-timey covers of modern songs in BioShock Infinite). He's a phenomenal talent and one of the nicest people I've ever worked with. It's amazingly fun to collaborate with him and I'm really confident that he and the rest of our audio team are going to make the game sound great.

It's great when a game lets ambience come to the foreground.

We also have some interesting updates coming about darkness and light, by the way.

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Flatfingers

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 10:13:06 PM »


OK, do NOT make me break out my Stephen Russell impressions on you, taffer. :D

(I'm actually getting ready to do my first Audible novel narration, and it's all I can do to avoid making the protagonist sound like Garrett....)

That said, "darkness and light?" And Jim Bonney doing audio...?! Holy moly, this just keeps getting better....
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Jenuall

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 08:20:41 AM »

Thanks for the updates team, things are looking (and sounding!) really good now. I can't wait to see more - although I keep telling myself I'm going to stop looking at updates as I want to keep things fresh for the final release!  ;D

The audio in the clip posted to Twitter is really impressive, as others have mentioned there are some real Thief vibes coming through. Also I think the audio is absolutely a huge part in conveying that feeling of being deep in the Underworld - there is just a particular quality that sound takes on when you are in that kind of environment, in terms of the way sound travels and reflects through the thick walls of a cave, the way things can sound distorted compared to who they would on the surface, and how you can feel you are surrounded by noise even when there is no visible source in the local vicinity - it has travelled through the earth to reach you!

Speaking of which is all the audio in that clip just ambient - or is any of it attributable to a specific source?
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OSE Walter

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Re: Mar 12 Weekly Update
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 09:57:20 AM »

The team has been really focused on nailing lighting recently. Definitely something we need to get right from gameplay (stealth) and art perspectives. The Unity team has been really engaged with us on this, helping us see our vision I hope in part because they see this as a game that can show that Unity games can look really nice. The team has also been looking at and tweaking the PBR shaders to tone back some of the shininess and get the materials looking the way we want them too.

More new screenshots coming at SXSW in a few days and we deliberately included some of the tighter spaces :)  The new Key Art is also pretty much done and hopefully we'll have it for Friday's panel as well.  Fingers crossed!
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