Friday, 27 December 2019

Sprint Roundup - "This week I have been mostly eating bugs"

Welcome folks, to the last devblog of the year! We hope you have had happy holidays wherever you are in the world. Festive cheer, lots of food, and if you don't celebrate a holiday this time of year then we hope you have had some time off to play some games at the very least.

Eating bugs

We have had some fun stuff, and some not so fun stuff, this last couple of sprints. But in all fairness the not so fun stuff has been satisfying... We decided to spend some extra time on lengthening the test sprint and working through bugs to tidy up the backlog ahead of the end of the year. Oh boy does it feel good reducing tech debt!

Eating ALL the bugs.

The last month or so has included:
  • bugs
  • more bugs
  • some non-bug fixes

As Pontus put it "this week we have mainly been eating bugs :D"


A new look for Steam

We did some admin around the edges too, getting the Steam Library artwork all updated for the new look launch of Steam Library, and we have started making use of the new formats for Steam Announcements, as you as you may well be able to tell if you are reading this on Steam! The backend is so much nicer from a developer perspective, and hopefully it is all working nicely for you to have the whole thing collected together and centralised on the Steam community pages.
Our new box art for Steam Library

A little helper on the Discord

But even more importantly for you good folks who are here keeping up on our news and take part in the various OFF GRID communities, we launched a bot pathfinder has been working on to the Semaeopus Discord.

Why not hop in there now and try throwing around a few commands?

Darth Vegas in action.

But what about the game itself?!

Well a load of work went into new gameplay and testing for the opening missions in the game, and that included optimising and bringing a higher level of polish to some of our draft levels, coloring and braking up walls, adjusting lights, and baking initial lightmaps for testing gameplay in the shadows.
Debugging physics colliders

 Arty stuff

We pushed forward with the design and creation of a system of pipes and cables with multiple interconnecting pieces, and made a bunch of new environment art including cleaning products, janitor supplies, rugs, roof antennas, satellite dishes and more.


We made a start on creating and writing up character profiles for all of the NPCs and started connecting them in mission scripts in game, lots of little back story elements and relationships between characters have started to be developed too. Exciting stuff!

Adding a little character

Additionally we kicked off a new phase of audio work with our sound designer Jonas now that new levels are steadily flowing his way.

Fixing Tasers

We improved a few systems too, including the timings of the taser action and animation. Now when the animation sends the information to show/hide the taser prop it also enables/disables the needed effects, allowing for everything to be more synchronous and more automatic. 

We also added a system to help to know if the wanted action's animation is playing or not, this will help to finish some actions properly, for example in the past sometimes the taser action wasn't played correctly or even at all, and the looking at the phone animation was played instead, that happened because the phone action was called right after that taser action and interrupted it. These types of issues are now fixed.


In the latest game and Levelkit build : 

So, what can you expect to see in the next build of the game and modding tools?
Content (Level Design and Art) 
    • Fixes to system download notifications where items giving data are set up wrong
    • Refactored and fixed mission script and lua errors in new missions
    • Fixed all schedulers to be nested inside empty functions
    • Made sure all props are prefabs and fix parent/scale/skew issue
    • Worked on textures for posters signs and other environmental storytelling
    Gameplay and Mechanics
      • Saving a game were improved, adding more information to a file
      • The NPC taser action was fixed and the timing was improved
        Controls and UX
          • Automatic doors now open automatically if the door is unlocked and the player or a NPC is near it
              • Generated and uploaded new wiki docs and snippets to Off Grid wiki
              • Started adding support for using Timeline with our Lua scripting system
                That's it for now, see you in 2020!

                If you haven’t already - be sure to wishlist Off Grid on Steam - each wishlist makes a big difference to us, and we really appreciate your support!

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