Thing 2 RPG November Update #4

Greetings Captain! We’ve got some interesting new Intel from the field for you for this last November post.

Last week I only did about 60% of the work I set out to do. Having said that upon testing what I’ve done it works (after a few minor adjustments) so that is progress. Based on my own personal schedule I can suggest that the release date for the v2 expansion/update of the Thing 2 RPG may be released on Friday the 11th December 2015. This heavily depends on work I am waiting on alongside my own testing and schedule.

Here is a breakdown of what’s left to do:

Voice Acting: Last week 1 character was completed leaving 2 more to do. They should both be in by the end of the next week (6/11/15). If this goes well I can begin testing the voiced section of the game properly to do any last minute audio balancing (Headset users you are welcome :P).
Once Voice Acting is complete and I am satisfied with testing I will be handing over an early copy of the game to my friend Sadonrii who will be doing a YouTube let’s play of the new voiced campaign which will feature as promotional content for me instead of making another trailer (I’m lazy but I think it’s a good idea).
Artwork: Jose is busting his ass off getting in Art to me. I think in the last 3 weeks he’s handed in 16 of the 32 images I asked him for. I’m hoping he will finish Mac’s artwork by 11/12 in time for release but you have to appreciate it’s not easy to draw a lot of images on demand.
MacReady now appears as a random encounter in the game, retells the events of US Outpost #31 and now I am at the stage where you take control of him for a “Choose Your own Adventure” story where you experience Mac’s adventure first hand. Having him retell it in flashbacks wasn’t as fun to me. I’m about half way done with telling his story so when it’s finished it will switch back to the main story again.
It’s just the start of Mac’s subplot as he has more stuff for you to do afterwards before eventually going back to US Outpost #31 with you for some unfinished business.

I’m hoping there’s 1 weeks’ worth of work left and 1 weeks testing. Based on scheduling myself and those I am dependent on for this final crunch time. You won’t get an update post off me until closer to release now as I focus my efforts on that. If there’s any questions feel free to ask but for the meantime here’s some spoiler free shots of Mac’s Story:

Mac 01
Mac 02
Mac 03
Mac 04

Be careful who you trust this winter Captain…

Thing 2 RPG November Update #3

Hello Captain! It’s been a busy month, a lot of games came out in November. The Delay of X-Com 2 surely proves that Jake Solomon predicted these turn of events…

I’ve personally got my hands full but I’ve managed to get a bit done this week, here’s my report:

The v2.3a Test Build was released to selected players. It’s been productive feedback thus far but we still have a way to go to fix up the game for public release.
Sprites and Tile Graphics relating to MacReady’s Story are complete, in game and ready to go.
MacReady’s story has started, He now appears in story mode, explains the events of US Outpost #31 (Skip-able but recommended if for some reason you haven’t seen the awesome 1982 movie) and is ready to begin his “choose your own adventure” flashback sequence.
Artwork for MacReady’s Story is currently being made, 6 of 32 images are complete.
Corpses and more gore have been added to the game to replace most of the skeletons found previously. The Dead Space series approves.
Voice Acting is nearing a close (Finally!)
4 more voiced characters have finished recording and editing and are now setup in the game.
2 more voiced characters have just been handed in for me to edit and will be in game shortly.
1 more character needs recording and has just been assigned a voice actor (fingers crossed)
As requested I added an option to toggle voice acting on or off when starting Prequel Mode. It should be fine but no promises…
A missing file error has been fixed. I am attempting to keep download size low (its about 350mb currently) and I’m looking at ways to cut excess/unused files such as audio down. It’s hard to track what files are/are not used in the game.

If all goes well the game should be release in 2 to 3 weeks. Aside from Art/VA work; the work I am responsible for will take 2 weeks roughly to finish. I just need a week to test everything and play the 50 hour RPG making sure its smooth. It’s stable for the most part but I’m very picky about minor graphical/display issues. My spelling isn’t the best but I assume most people are creative when reading my text…

One other thing Captain; There have been rumours circulating about an 80’s Arcade Game ‘lost’ in the Arctic. I wonder who holds the high score…

Jet Defender 1

Thing 2 RPG November Update #2

Hello Captain, It’s been a busy week and even the release of Fallout 4 hasn’t hindered me! (Well not that much…)

In the last week I have been adding new graphics to the game, little extra touches like a pool table, new corpses and little extra bits like that. Jose has been busy handing work into me and we are close to the end now. We even put some time into a secret mini-game in the game which I’m sure you’ll find fun.

As promised I did make a video although It took me a few attempts as I didn’t really know what to show off, I didn’t want to spoil too much and I’ve already talked about v2 features as it is. Below is the video tease for Prequel Mode, View it on YouTube and read the description to find the voice actors credited.

I’ll post a recap of the v2 features as we get closer to the end. As for release November looks unlikely but I’m trying to get stuff done. My main concerns are with work contributed by others but sometimes people are busy I get that. I’ll keep you posted but I hope you don’t mind a December release, I want to release the v2 update/expansion as intended not half-done.

Work Left To Do / In Progress:

Voice Acting; when a developer is lazy and skips voice acting in favour of text there is good reason. It requires a whole extra scope of balancing, quality control and management that is purely cosmetic and while enhances the experience logically doesn’t add anything gameplay wise. There is 1 character left to record and 6 left to edit & get retakes. I started VA casting in August but wish I had started sooner as it has taken more time than expected. It’s not fair on the other voice actors if I release v2’s Prequel Mode half-voiced.

Macready’s Story; There are 3 parts to making this, the first (in progress, nearly done) is the sprite tiles and graphics. Jose has created most of what I need now and once that is all setup we can move to part 2.

Part 2 involves me putting the content in game. The plan is that you find Macready in Story Mode and he tells you about US Outpost #31 THEN he tells you about what happened after. I’ve got it planned so you take control of Macready and experience a choose your own adventure short story as told through his eyes. The multi choice elements will affect the outcome of his story and what happens afterwards. In the transition back to Story Mode he will set you a few tasks (general rpg quest stuff) and you will help him resolve any unfinished business at US Outpost #31.

Finally Part 3 is the “Art Assets” or Artistic Cut-scenes that are used to display parts of the story that are too difficult to sprite or more impressive in art format. Theres around 30 of these and they will take Jose some time to finish so during Part 2 I can leave “placeholders” where the art will go making it easy to drop them in once completed.

Simply put the only work on my end involves creating MacReadys content in game (2 weeks tops, its already written/planned out) and testing Prequel Mode with full audio (To iron out any issues or bad audio, 1 week). Outside of that I have nothing to do but play some more fallout…

As a side note the game is a lot more difficult now, general life expectancy of the average NPC has fallen significantly.

You’re welcome!
Richard

Thing 2 RPG November Update #1

Captain! October was a slow month and we’re a little behind but a good portion of work was turned in at the last minute so let’s hope we can make that release deadline!

Work Complete / New Features:

Major Bugfix (I hope). I’ve removed a script that allows enemy summoning/spawning and replaced it with a less fancy but still effective approach. I believed that this script was responsible for not only enemy battle graphics remaining in battle when dead but was the cause of one significant and annoying game crash where RPG Maker would just, well… crash. It’s only happened to me a handful of times (for some reason especially at the medi-center in original mode) but it was annoying. Hopefully this fatal flaw is now resolved. I think the issue was the game didn’t know how to dispose of the spawned units and there was likely conflict with other scripts.
The game audio has been lowered for the most part across the whole game. This decision was made because the voice acting was hard to hear. I think I have struck a better balance now.
General changes and fixes have been made to the game and I am mostly personally responsible for testing game modes to make sure they work now.
Several new game sprites have been added to the game which include several more pop culture references and weirdness on my part…
Finally Jose has redone ALL the existing backgrounds in the game in a more updated style.

Background 01

Background 02

Work to Do / In Progress:

Voice Acting. I have good news and bad news. Good news I have edited over 600 files which are now placed in the game. I worked with amateurs and professionals so the quality is a bit mixed but I hope you all appreciate the effort and added immersion it brings.
More good news is that 1 more character is near completion 2 just need some retakes and 5 have just been handed in to me which I need to edit for game use.
The Bad news is that there is still 1 character left to do, one of the important story characters but I have someone trying to resolve that for me so I’m hoping that this doesn’t cause any delays and it can be complete this month.
MacReady’s Story. We have just started on sprite work for this, once that is done I will move away from testing and work directly on this. I will finish this in November BUT there are 30 art images that the story requires which is quite heavy work to get done in the month so I’m going to see what sort of timescale Jose needs for this. I’m hoping it can be done this month but I feel these images make MacReady’s mutli-choice story more immersive and personal as he’s a core character to the film.
Generally all I have to do is test things and fix things mostly. Survival Mode is being testing right now but Prequel Mode (voice acting/audio balancing test) and MacReady’s addition to Story Mode need testing when work outside my control is complete.

Steam Update

I fall into the category of a fan based game which Steam doesn’t really accept. I think largely it would be due to the grounds of “copyright”. The main issues I can see would be the games name and names of characters potentially. In the v2 a lot of the movie and 2002 game audio has been removed and replaced so that is no longer an issue but in short it’s safe to say I wouldn’t be accepted onto steam as it would likely bring me unwanted complications.

Release Date

I still want to say this month, November 2015. I will do my best to give weekly updates from this point as we move closer but 2 things hang in the balance of affecting the release. One is the last voice actor (sounds like an indie movie) and the other is the big old 30 art images I need after Mac’s sprites are done. At worst you can expect December as I really don’t want this to go into 2016. I’ll do the best I can to smooth things along and I’ll play every card I have left to try and get this November release going. I should have a video for you in next weeks post of prequel mode in action. I really hope it’s worth the wait.

Thanks,
Richard