SITREP - Week 6, 2014
published Friday, 5 Sept. 2014, 00:00 by ZPSPhyrefli
PAX is over, and Carsten is home from the US. The PAX exhibition was incredible for us, and the demo went down a treat. Now it's heads down for the final two weeks of creating The NeuroGen Incident.
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 September 5th, 2014
This is likely to be the last SITREP before The NeuroGen Incident goes live on September 18th. The NeuroGen Incident is the final name for the Project Co-op update, and will represent 4 months of work by the time it is released.
To say we're excited about this update is a vast understatement. The end of a long marathon is near, and like any marathon the last few stages are the hardest. This is the period where we add the final polishing and enhancing, and that can make a huge difference between a good update and an awesome update. And we want The NeuroGen Incident to be beyond awesome.
Last week also saw Bozar at PAX with a 2-player coop demo on Alienware's booth. We also released the demo to our Spearheads over the weekend. The feedback we had from the demo was incredible! Both the community and the press seemed to be really excited by it. For us that's really great news, because we know how much larger and impressive The NeuroGen Incident is compared to the PAX demo.
(Lukas hard at work on one part of The NeuroGen Incident)
Lukas is another TGA intern who joined us recently after the first company he was going to intern with had some difficulties. Lukas has fitted in rapidly, helped by the fact he knows Henry and has been able to get a head start based on Henry's experience.
In typical ZPS style, Lukas has been thrown in right at the deep end and has been working on the electrical systems for a part of The NeuroGen Incident. This is critical work and the ability to add electrical systems and connect them at will is part of the underlying tech that has been developed for co-op. The NeuroGen Incident is so large it is being built in three separate sections prior to it being stitched together for release, which means Lukas, Kim and Henry can all be working on separate parts at the same time, while Jess is free to add his additions and enhancements to the levels.
Bozar has spent a week over in the US doing an incredible job at PAX, showing off the PAX demo to visitors to the exhibition. Carsten was on the Alienware booth, with two PCs, to publicly show off the very early version of co-op for the first time ever. The reaction was far better than we'd hoped for and makes us much more confident that what we're going to deliver on Sept 18th will live up to the community's expectations.
(Carsten at PAX with Angry Joe)
The NeuroGen Incident requires an almost totally new audio landscape, so Nics has been beavering away creating a massive array of new sounds. Everything from doors opening to button presses to ambient sounds need to be created, and that's a huge task even for someone as dedicated as Nics.
But that's not the half of it - Nics has also been directing the huge number of voice overs that are needed for this level. In total there are nine different voice actors and over 100+ different parts being spoken. That's a lot of recording and processing!
(Jonas and Thordis doing voice recording while Nics remotely directs)
Niko is back in action and once again proving why he's such a talent. We want the community to be able to replay The NeuroGen Incident multiple times, which means we need certain mechanics to be created. Niko is working on adding several difficulty levels to the co-op experience, which is one way we'll encourage replaying The NeuroGen Incident.
Once that task is completed Niko will be moving on to adding additional ways players can earn TPs when playing The NeuroGen Incident. For example, there may be a TP rewards for reaching a certain place while playing. Niko will also be looking at adding new Steam Achievements as well - we're not sure what they will be yet, we'll decide that if Niko is able to complete that task before we release on the 18th - but they're definitely something we want to add!
(Niko heavily focusing on his work, while behind him Miki talks to Marcus)
The highlight of this past two weeks really has to have been the reaction to the PAX demo we released to our Spearheads. It's a small demo, taking no more than a couple of weeks for Henry to put the level together, so we weren't really expecting a huge response. That's why were taken aback when the community reacted so positively to it.
I mentioned it earlier in this article, but that kind of response makes us a lot less nervous about the release of The NeuroGen Incident in a couple of weeks. We want to create something awesome, and we pour our hearts and souls into that. But the final arbiter of quality is our community, not us, and like any artist we're always just a little nervous hoping our work stands up to the community's scrutiny.
Hope you enjoyed this SITREP - please let me know what you think!
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME,
Paul (Phyrefli) & the team at Zero Point Software