Hello everyone for another one of those not much gamey stuff to talk about Mondoids. Just a few quick updates on what is going on.
Happy Birthday Mash!
It’s Mash’s buuuurthday today, so why not send all your birthday love to her on the twitter and forums! Cause she’s awesome, and has crappy date-blind idiot guys as team-mates we want to make sure she gets extra birthday love this year! <3<3<3
Return of the Will
Okay, Will hasn’t really been anywhere, but due to the delayed and very mountainous amount of development for the NPCs we had a huge backlog of Will’s work that had yet to make it into the game, with Lemmy pulling his hair out and up to his neck in the various code challenges along the way and resulting in Will essentially twiddling his thumbs waiting for Lemmy to get everything into the game, Will has in the meantime been keeping himself busy writing for the awesome Alien: Isolation by Creative Assembly. SPOILER: It’s awesome. This results in the rather boast-worthy situation that the Project Zomboid writer and (we finally figured out all our company titles) Indie Stone’s creative director has been writing lines of dialogue for Sigourney Weaver and others from the original Alien cast. How cool is that?
Now Will’s work on Alien: Isolation has wrapped up, it’s turned out to be spectacularly convenient timing, considering the NPC development has now FINALLY started to reach the point where Lemmy has (yes, I know) rejigged the NPC codebase, rewritten all the things that needed rewriting, and is craving new words and situations for those NPCs to get themselves into. This is really exciting and we are currently all talking about a whole bunch of new situations that can arise from NPC groups. Our ultimate dream of an infinite procedurally generated Walking Dead plotline generator (hopefully with no walking through woods shouting ‘Sophia!’) are that much closer. As we’ve said in the recent NPC mondoid, this doesn’t mean that they are imminent, but there’s some reeeeally exciting stuff on the horizon and we’d like to think that the NPCs will truly be the legacy of this game, if we’re lucky enough for it to have a legacy at all.
To get back into the swing of things, Will is starting work on a new revamped canon and back-story for the game (largely to fit with the expanded world), radio broadcasts, and world building that will help drive the overarching story of the apocalypse.
We recently ran into an old friend whom Binky and Lemmy both worked with back in the olden commercial industry days. Just so happens he’s an animator! What does this mean? It means in September, when he’s free, we will be working with him to finally start getting a ton of new animations into the game. This is extremely exciting, because while Binky has the anim skillz, not only is his time split between so many things, but by his own admission he’s never going to produce the results that a full time professional 3D animator would, or as fast for that matter. We’re anticipating getting a whole host of new character animations into the game very quickly. From sneaking, pressing against walls, crouching, more zombie walks, hostage taking, looting, backpack manipulation, we’ll suddenly be getting pretty much full time animation support at least for a few months following September. Let’s put it this way. We sent him a list with some 40-50 animations and his response was pretty much a shrug and ‘yeah that sounds cool, bring it on!’
A complication here is it will be impossible to get all these anims working on the 2D models, as it would drive the memory usage up by many gigabytes, however we will make sure the game continues to be playable with 2D characters without those extra animations. We’re resigned to the fact that there are too many people who cannot run the game with 3D models for us to justify dropping support, but I’m afraid we cannot provide the animation variety to those people that we’d like.
However those who can run the 3D models will find the animations flooding in for the latter part of the year, and it should have dramatic ramifications on what is possible for the combat system, and stealth gameplay, and we can finally start ironing out the slightly flakey combat system and make character control and gameplay a lot more intuative, varied, fluid and just plain sexy. It’s all super exciting!
That’s about it really. Romain is taking a well earnt break in Venice this week, and EasyP is continuing on the vehicles, which are coming along very nicely, as well as his usual bug massacring. We’ll probably be due another IWBUMS release very soon.
Love you all,
The Indie Stone