Progress Report – September 2014

Design & Development | Progress Report | Screenshots 5 5 Comments

Hello friends,

I wanted to give you a run-down about the progress we’ve made on TAW in the past month. Let’s get right into it.

Options Menu Re-haul

Revamping the options menus (particularly the control setup) has been on my list for quite some time. The previous menus (as you saw in the demo) were a bit clunky, ugly and disorganized.

The new options menu is now split into 3 tabs: “Game”, “Screen” and “Audio”. This gives us some breathing room to add more screen resolutions, and game options which I plan to include (like the ability to turn off screen flashing etc).

But, the real meat of the re-haul was in the control setup menu.
control_screen

I found designing a control setup for a PC game to be fairly difficult. But thanks to some folks on twitter I was able to work out, what I think, is a pretty decent design.

I have a desire to give the player great flexibility in how they want to map their controls. But, at the same time, make it very easy for the player who just wants to use the default control scheme.  I also want to make sure the game supports all game controllers (and not just XBox as many games seem to do these days) and that you could select from as many as 4 controllers which you may have hooked up to your machine. I decided to make a universal default scheme for all controllers and an additional option for a default XBox controller scheme using the D-Pad (which is the way I prefer to play the game). And of course, you can create your own custom mapping for both the controller and keyboard.

Speaking of keyboard, that provided another challenge in decided what I wanted the default scheme to be. So I’ve included 3 default options. One which uses the arrow keys for movement, another which uses the WASD keys for movement and the Num-Pad for actions and the third which also uses WASD for movement and the mouse buttons for actions (you can thank our artist Christine for demanding the inclusion of mouse buttons). These default schemes may change slightly before release as I get feedback from players, but again, you’ll be able to map them our however you like.

 

80%

I’ve now bumped up the “User Interface” progress bar from 70% to 80% on the RoadMap.

 

Boss Battle – Sewer-Dwelling Slime Beast

You may recognize this guy from the last trailer. He’s now a fully realized, working boss. Fans of TAG might notice that he’s had quite a make-over. This is not something we plan on doing for any other bosses, but in this case we wanted to add some interactivity (can’t give specifics without spoilers) that we couldn’t do with his previous worm-like design.

1487917_586334074822016_8419573781778320497_o

One thing that we ARE planning on doing for all the bosses in TAW is change up their attack-patterns and the arenas in which they reside. We won’t be fundamentally changing them the way we did here, but we want each encounter to feel fresh, even for veterans of TAG.

We are all very happy with how this boss turned out and are super pumped to work on more of them. We’re really trying to up the “epic” factor and I think we achieved that with this Slime-Beast.

 

prog_bar_3

30%

Although I would really like to bump the “Boss Design & Assets” progress bar to 40%, realistically we’re only at about 35%, so for now, it’s staying as is.

 

Sound Engine

The other major element that has been worked on this month is polishing the audio engine. I’ve been working closely with Robert Ellis, our composer and sound engineer, in getting the game audio balanced and working out details like positioned sounds. I created some tools that allow him to balance the sound effects externally, which saves me a lot of time. I also re-factored a lot of the code for running sound effects in the game.

Over the development of the game we had to add functions to allow for various types of audio playback (positioned sounds, sound caching, etc.) and it had gotten a little messy. I was also using two different plugins to play sounds that played once and stopped vs. sounds that looped or needed to have their volume changed on the fly. Both plugins handled volume differently and we had trouble syncing them. That has all been re-written so that one plugin handles it all, and the code has been greatly simplified.

 

prog_bar_4

40%

I’m fairly certain that the sound-engine won’t be needed any further major changes, so I’ve bumped up the “Optimization” progress bar from 30% to 40% on the RoadMap.

 

Thanks for reading and for your continued support.

And that’s it for this month. Next month I plan on jumping back into level building, which is more fun for me and should make for a very interesting Progress Report next month.

 

Cheers,

Stepehen (and Robert & Christine)

 

 


  1. Dragonoix - September 26, 2014

    Great work guys :D

  2. Svimmer - October 4, 2014

    Make things MORE AND MORE AWESOME!

    (thanks for fixing the captchas!)

  3. This is looking really great. Don’t hesitate to give other bosses a “makeover” if they need one.

  4. Magnus - October 15, 2014

    Thank you! I forget, will you, pretty please, port to Mac?
    Thank you again!! My wife and I look forward to this game!

  5. ScreamAid - October 22, 2014

    Treasure Adventure Game is a close second behind Fallout 3 as my favorite game to this day.
    This is probably the only game I can see trumping either.
    I hope this is the beautiful masterpiece that it deserves to be(as if Treasure Adventure Game isn’t already a masterpiece).

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