Hello everyone! As we finish off the final week Two Hat games has continued to be in crunch time mode, meaning most of us are losing sleep and drinking way too much coffee. It has truly come down to the point where I can’t tell if the drain is swirling or we are swirling the drain. In this final week before our last build is due to Professor/producer Dave Beck things have really come down to the wire. Everything has now come to a head and we are looking down the barrel of an incredibly stressful week. The stakes are high as an entire feature may be cut if it cannot be fixed in the next two days.
Our war with the twine board mechanic has reached D-day as our programmers focus all their energy into trying to get it to an acceptable state. This feature has been continuously reworked and redesigned throughout the semester as play testing proved time and time again that it was not an enjoyable part of the game for most players. In an effort to keep the game feeling more like an investigation and less like a walk through we have fought not to cut this feature. By making tweaks to the content and UI we have managed to change the board from walls of uninteresting text, to a word matching mini-puzzle. However, in this process of last minute changes we have hit a few snags that may not be fixed in time. Our goal is to produce a game that seems polished and complete. If we are to hit this goal the twine board must be finished. If we can’t get that to happen we are going to have to cut it. For now you will just have to stay tuned to find out if our last ditch efforts go to waste or if they will be enough to keep the board.
So as I mentioned before we have hit Crunch Time, this is a natural part of everyone’s semester but for most of us it is amplified this time around because this is our final semester before we join the real world. We want to make this project the best it can be seeing as it is a reflection of all the time, blood, sweat, and tears we spent learning and developing our skills here. This amplified crunch time has made all of our mistakes from previously in the semester really stand out. It is easy to look back and say” Man we really should have done it that way.” Or “Why didn’t we see this coming?” The great thing about this though is it shows us what we have learned. It may have been learned the hard way but now we know for our next game/project how to work smarter and do things better. When you think about it, that is the policy here at Stout, we learn by doing. We learn by getting our hands dirty and trying to accomplish something we have never done before. We can all leave this place with the experience of having seen a 3D game project through from start to finish. As Thomas Watson (founder of IBM) Said “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” Knowing what doesn’t work and why is just as important as knowing what does.
The build we produce on the 18th will be not be our final public release, it will how ever be the build Professor Beck will be evaluating us on. April 27th is our projected public release date. Building 37 will be playable at The Spring 2016 Stout Game Expo (SGX) Wednesday, April 27 at 6 PM – 9 PM in the Memorial Student Center. It will also be available for Mac and PC on Gamejolt and Itch.io. There will be a second opportunity to come play with the developers at Glitchcon 2016 the following weekend (April 29th and 30th.) in the Minnecade.
I’ll leave you with some final eye candy before you can explore the game yourself.
Environment Artist and PR Manager