Saturday 30 November 2013

Failed to sneak my way to the servers this time, and got tasered by the guards instead…

Thursday 3 October 2013

Eurogamer Roundup:

Our first fully playable prototype for ‘Off Grid’ demoed at Eurogamer Expo in London last week, we met some amazing folks, had people write and tweet about us, and we managed to get the build into the hands of lots of kind and willing gamers!

It was great to hear what people thought, see them enjoying the gameplay, and take note of the things that will be our first port of call in the next development phase.

This last month has been particularly tough, with Pontus and I pushing ourselves to get the game from being a disparate set of systems and prototypes and into a single, functioning level, and so the last couple of days have been pretty damn good for rest and reflection.

Eurogamer was a great reminder of the big picture. I can safely say we couldn’t have asked for more at this stage in development. Highlights include Mike Bithell tweeting us; big name players visiting the stand to try out the game such as Henrique Oliviers from Bossa Studios, Ali from Puppy Games, and Leigh Alexander from Gamasutra, among many others; and finding out in the pub that a good few fellow developers and journalists we admire had already heard of us, including Simon Roth - developer of Maia, and Daniel Nye Griffiths, UK Editor of Wired. What more could you ask for?!

We’re going to be working hard over the next few weeks to implement changes inspired by all the great feedback we got. We’re also up at Gamecity Festival, Nottingham, at the end of the month. I’m going to be heading up a panel discussing ‘Thematic Risk’ in games (or the lack thereof) and we should hopefully have a couple of exciting guests to announce soon! If you’ll be there, drop us a line to let us know and come and get involved!

Thanks for a great Eurogamer to all those who visited us, and those who made it happen!

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Data Trails

After spending a few days trying to build a system to track all the data the player and in-game characters leave while using their mobile devices and other connected gadgets, and strugling with the multi-dimensional lists and complicated data structures involved, I finally decided to give LINQ a try.

After less than a day’s work we now have our in-game data tracking system working, gathering all the data and sorting and tracking each character’s movements and device usage over time.

I decided it would be appropriate to name the main script “PRISM”.

Monday 19 August 2013

The abuse of Copyright, and the power of the web

It’s easy to get down with the current situation, and the #Miranda saga.

A friend pointed me to this story recently, which I think quite wholeheartedly sums up the sort of battles the internet is winning for people, and truth, and fairness the world over.

It may be small in comparison to some of things you hear, from Iranian hacktivism to Egyptian bloggers, but sometimes the scale of that can be hard to grasp, especially here in the relatively benign and safe (for most) West .

Read on and enjoy how the free internet is something to cherish (and perhaps instigate and protect)

Friday 16 August 2013

The Toy

After a dev miscommunication between Pontus and I over our desires for the turning and strafe functionality of the character, we decided to have a little character control revamp!

I know what you’re thinking, 6 weeks ‘til we demo at Eurogamer and I’m fiddling with the fundamentals, but the cold hard truth is that 'the Toy’ or feel is so important that I don’t think any time spent tweaking what will essentially be one of your player’s first impressions of the game, is any time wasted at all. You really can’t get this feature too right.

There is some great stuff out there on character controllers, but if you’re looking for Unity specific stuff, it doesn’t get much more thorough than this following set of videos by John McElmurray:

If the man was still on twitter there would be a big shoutout going to him right about now! If you can hear me.. THANKS JOHN!!

Thursday 15 August 2013

The bits have turned sideways!

“See, that’s the reason for your TV not working… All the bits have turned sideways!”

Tuesday 13 August 2013

The evolution of our hero

The evolution of our hero… (or one of them - hint hint)

Thanks to for chivvying me along to get these to you good folks.

If you’ve got keen eyes, then in the ‘Mixamo rigging’ post we put up, you might have spotted a different character to the one in our trailer, but until now I hadn’t put anything up officially. Well, here’s where we are with it…

Silvia’s work on the characters really deserves some limelight and applause, she’s been doing a fantastic job and I cant wait to show you all more as it comes along.

For now, enjoy these and let us know what you think!

Sunday 11 August 2013

Sketching out the soundscape designs for WWise

I thought I’d share this early sketch our Sound designer, Jonas, put together as he started to use Wwise  a couple of weeks ago. It shows his initial thinking and the foundational principles of using Wwise and calling events with different triggers. To me its really nice to see ‘sound’ drawn out on paper, so I thought I’d share it!

Friday 19 July 2013

The Fifth Estate

You can expect plenty of high stakes #crypto action from this up and coming stonker! #Assange #wikileaks

I’m hoping there’s some lessons ‘Off Grid’ can learn from this film, there are already plenty of parallels emerging in the game as we build it. Keep your eyes peeled and let us know what you think when you get round to seeing it!


Here’s a little trick for those Autodesk Maya users of you who aren’t in the know!

I’m often surprised by how many colleagues I’ve worked with in the past who are unaware of the flexibility of using Maya ascii files. Recently I had a friend working in a different version of Maya ask me to re-export some work for them…

You can always re-export,  but a quicker fix that might be useful to know for future reference is that these are .ma Maya Ascii files which means they are human readable code.

You can open up the file in notepad or some other text editor and the file is fully editable in text form. Some more advanced users are able to use this to fix corrupted files, and it’s often used in automated pipelines to strip out non-essentials from large projects, or create generic lighting setups over multiple files.

For us this provides a win as if you scroll along it has the Maya version requirement on the first line. From here you can either rewrite it to match the version of Maya you are using or delete the entire line. (see photo attached for reference) Hope this helps!

Thursday 18 July 2013

Characters motions

We’re just starting to play around with getting more variations on characters and their motions into the demo to jazz up the security guards and how they react etc.

@Mixamo have a great character prototyping pipeline available, we just used their free auto rigger and python scripts to create a maya rig for an animator who is helping us out.There’s a decent library of motions too so check ‘em out!

Sunday 7 July 2013

Dynamic building generator/tool

We started prototyping a dynamic building generator/tool for our city recently, and you know what, for an afternoon’s work its starting to make things that look damn-near like buildings!

In fig.1 you can see the test building that we created the tiles from in Blender, then in fig.2 you can see the ‘WallBuilder.cs’ generating a wall with those tiles randomly, but in fig.3 … wait for it … we have it specifying a ground floor, with ground floor tiles, and intermediate floors with intermediate floor tiles.Still a long way to go, but this use of the Unity Editor scripting options and generally component based scripting, should prove a powerful way of letting our production and interior designers come up with clever architecture patterns and rules and play around with generating buildings in the game engine. Freeing us to focus on EVERYTHING ELSE THAT NEEDS DOING, AI, UI, interactions, gameplay programming, the story… yada yada yada!

Let us know if you have any tips for tile based building tools! Look forward to showing you all more as it comes together!

Friday 5 July 2013

Develop Brighton Conference

We’re gonna be down in Brighton for Develop Conference next week, if you fancy catching up then look out for us, or drop us a line on the contact page, or tweet us @offgridthegame!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Monday 1 July 2013

Off Grid teaser

Here it is, the teaser trailer we showed at Etoo London is finally up and online! Spread it around, share if you like it, tweet us if you want to play it!

Friday 28 June 2013

Color schemes

After getting some nice new color schemes for city districts from our production designer, Elo, we started creating some test renderings about how the colours behave with different colours for the sun and the HDR sky images we plan to use for smooth image-based lighting

Custom shaders

During last weeks we’ve been doing some work on saving data in the game world when people use their mobile devices, interact with various objects etc. Here’s a test rendering of our custom shaders for showing that data to the player.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Concept art in the city!

Concept art in the city! Night and day colour schemes for liberated and unliberated areas of the city!!

Visual language

We have a fantastic art team developing the visual language of Off Grid at the moment, check out these tone tests our Production Designer, Elo, sent me this morning, how cool!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Off Grid interview

Tune into #ETooLondon livestream at 8pmGMT to see me and Pontus being interviewed about Off Grid, and see the exclusive broadcast of our new trailer!



So.. Hello! We’re here at Etoo London today so we figure we better get on with this whole social media doodah, seeing as we’re being interviewed tonight and all! So please welcome us to the twittersphere, tumblrsphere, er yeah, and point us in the direction of interesting indie projects of a similar ilk. We’ll be posting up new art and exclusives each week so make sure you pop back regularly and we’ll make sure to keep you posted!

Monday 10 June 2013


So, we’re here, with a proper online presence and everything! Here’s an early concept render test for an office interior in our new game ‘Off-Grid’ to get you started