SITREP - Week 4, 2014
published Saturday, 2 Aug. 2014, 00:00 by ZPSPhyrefli
Production is full steam ahead after the holiday break. Everyone has dived head-first back into creating the huge new coop update. Awesomeness abounds!
The new SITREP is an ongoing progress report where we publicly talk about what we've recently been working on, and what we're aiming to achieve over the next few weeks.
Briefing - week ending August 2nd, 2014
It's been hotter than Hades here in Copenhagen for the last few weeks. The team is back off their holidays and have already made big steps forward with the continuing creation of Project Coop.
Henry is a new intern who joined us this week from The Game Assembly, which is the same school Niko, Marcus and Andre come from. Henry is a level designer, and we figured the best task to ease him into the workflow we use should be something nice and simple. So completely ignoring that advice ;) we've asked him to create a new map for Get Killed By Bots!
The new map will be custom designed for Get Killed By Bots!, and will include some verticality as well as different areas to test out not just your own skills but also the AI's. We've had so much positive feedback from the original version of Get Killed By Bots! we wanted to improve on that and provide an even better experience for our players, as well as giving Henry a cool first task. In time we will integrate Get Killed By Bots! into the main game so you can access it through the menu.
Henry is going to continue working on the map for another week or so until he, and we, are happy with it. At that point if it's good enough we'll release it to the community, hopefully in Windows, Mac and Linux versions. You can see more of Henry's work in the Producer Diary further down this post.
(When taking this pic I asked Henry to put on his "intelligent" face. What do you think?)
Jess is one of the few people on the team who has not taken a holiday this year. He's been hard at work on the level design for Project Coop, working with Kim and ensuring the levels are built in a way that makes sense from the point of view of the player. Once his level design work is done he'll start adding props and lighting to "flesh out" the experience and make it more immersive.
Like the rest of the team, Jess has very exacting standards. This led him to ditch several days of work at one point as he didn't like the way the design was working out, and felt it would be better to start over again. The revised design was much better and fits precisely into the experience we want the player to enjoy. And critically, Jess is happy with it.
The feedback we have received from the community on Get Killed By Bots! has been awesome. The videos the community has produced are being used by Miki to make the current AI better and more akin to a human's reactions. He has also been working over the past few days to enhance the vision of the AI, so you have a larger chance of being spotted the closer you are to the CTR. Once that's done Miki will be adding a feature which will mean the amount of light affects how likely you are to be spotted.
When looking at Henry's picture, you may have spotted the new GKBB map has some stairs in it. The AI can already walk up (and down) steps. It can also fire up and down, albeit in a limited fashion at the moment. Miki will be working to improve the AI's effectiveness when firing both up and down. We're hoping that will be ready before we release the updated version of the Get Killed By Bots! map, so you can test out the updated AI as well as the updated map.
(BBQ time - got to take advantage of the great weather!)
The ever ebullient Jonas has been back from holiday for a couple of weeks now. We've been talking in some depth about the teaser/trailer video we want to release for Project Coop, but of course we can't record any game footage until the update is close to release! So Jonas has been working on a few other projects.
He's recorded and created two FAQ-type videos, which we'll be releasing shortly. They're a series of short videos which are designed to concisely answer questions we've heard many times from the community. He'll be recording more of the FAQ videos in the future as we gain feedback from the community as to what topics you want us to tackle.
Jonas also recorded the fourth in the Producer Diary series this week. This one was a lot of fun to record with Henry, and I hope you enjoy it:
Except for Marcus, Andre and Niko the entire team is now back off their holidays, and it's really nice to have the office back up to speed and buzzing again! Production on Project Coop is motoring along with renewed enthusiasm and energy.
Some of the interns, along with Mikael, will be working on what will become Update 13. The tentative plan for U13 is to have VOIP, anti-hack measures, server rollback and an updated and upgraded Get Killed By Bots! That's all subject to change though, simply because the interns are new and neither us - nor they - are yet sure what they can do! We'll let you know as soon as we have a clear idea when Update 13 will be released, and what will be in it.
We're currently targeting mid-September for the release of Project Coop, which is a separate project to U13. I'd like to go into some detail behind the reason we've pushed back the release date of Project Coop as it has moved a few times.
It was July 2nd, 2013 when Interstellar Marines was released on Steam. Project Coop will be the largest single update we have created since then - it will, at least in my opinion, be the most important update we release for at least another year. No pressure then!
When you look at Project Coop from that perspective we have to make it as incredible, as awesome and as fulfilling as we can, and the more time we can spend creating and honing it the better it will be. This is why I've personally been pushing very hard internally to push back the release date to give the team that extra building and polishing time, so we can ensure it lives up to not just our expectations, but also yours.
That concludes this SITREP. Please let me me know what you think!
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME,
Paul (Phyrefli) & the team at Zero Point Software