Monday, May 31, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary - May 31, 2010

Monday May 31 2010: My gosh, we have a lot going on right now! This is a good thing. Spirit is progressing very quickly, and very well. We're getting close to being Alpha, which is quite shocking to think really. Let's take a quick look at where we've been, where we are, and where we're heading to: We started the development of the project in January 2010. We had a playable demo working within a couple of weeks and we shared that with numerous publishers. We signed a publishing agreement in March 2010. We are currently adding the final assets to the game. In a couple of weeks we'll be in Alpha, where we no longer just focus on adding content to the game but instead we get to examine what on earth we've thrown into the bubbling pot of Spirit Stew. We will find that some of it tastes good, some needs extra seasoning, and some isn't even fit for the dog. We have 5 weeks in Alpha to do this, which, by our standards, is a great length of time. Once those 5 weeks of tweaks is up, we're onto the Beta phase where our focus is now purely on fixing bugs and errors for 6 weeks. Wham-bam, thank you Ma'am. Exciting stuff. Even though we'll have a fairly decent build of the game around E3, I think we'll hold off on showing it until it is fully spit and polished to avoid any issues. Sometimes, showing off a game too early has negative repercussions.

Smoke is also thundering along at a tremendous rate. We'll be done with that game before we know it! We have the design doc near-final. We're in the stage where we're doing both creative and schedule work at the same time. The ideas we have in the design doc are good and I think it will make for a fun little game. Gregg has created some kick-ass concept work, which I am hoping will be available in the game somehow. We have hired a new programmer, Matthew Gambrell, to help us out on the project. He has many years of experience and is a huge fan of the platform we're developing the game for. Welcome aboard sir!

Not much to say about Face just yet. More on that project later. :)

Let's face it, Red is dead. Won't be bothering to mention that title again I expect. I think three projects is good for now. However, by the end of this year we'll be needing some more, so let's hope E3 brings some our way.

I hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary - May 21, 2010

Friday May 21, 2010: The project that is code-named Smoke is now a go! It's official. It's happening. There's no stopping it. The train has left the station. Hello Smokey. This is a super short project, so I expect you'll be hearing details of this project about the same time we're able to chat about Spirit. Smoke is SOOOO different from anything we've ever made before. I imagine some Dementium and Moon fans will be like, WTF? But, to be honest, Smoke is aimed at a different audience, which is exciting for us... and the audience hopefully. :)

Spirit is moving along very nicely. We're now nearer the end than we are the start of the project. I'm still not sure when we're going to reveal what the game is, but I'll be sure to let you know when I do. The game is turning out to be everything that I hoped it would be. There are some rough edges that need to be filed down, and I hope we find the time to do so in the Alpha phase... which is coming up pretty soon! The entire team is kicking some major booty, and the game is rockin' as a direct result of that effort. The publisher has been great to work with, which allows the development process to be effective.

Face is going through a big change that is great for the project. This game is nowhere near completion, so it'll be a while before I can give any details. I'm really excited about it though.

I hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary - May 15, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010: We submitted another milestone for Spirit yesterday. The game is progressing really well; I'm really pleased with it. We included all of items listed on the milestone deliverables and also managed to squeeze in a little more on the UI side that I didn't expect... well done chaps! It feels good to be on track to get get this game completed on time and to a good quality standard.

Face is cruising along nicely. We had a dramatic "change" dropped on us on Friday. It is a rather large and exciting change that will delay us a smidge, but the outcome is something of sweetness that I think every one will enjoy. Man, I wish I could tell you more.

Smoke is getting closer to getting signed. It is possible that we'll start development next week. Very excited about that. Not sure if I mentioned this before, but Smoke is with the same publisher as Spirit. I'm really happy about the idea of working with the great guys there; they've been nothing short of awesome to work with. I appreciate it when I am fortunate enough to work with people who are both real and nice... it's really nice. :)

Nothing new on Red, so I'm not going to mention that anymore unless something happens. Feels silly just saying "nothing on Red" every week.

E3 is soooo close - just a month away. I am very excited about going. I love E3. My bionic heel is going to slow me down a bit, but it'll be worth the marathon. I enjoy going to E3 for so many reasons: 1. It is my geek getaway, where I get to indulge in my love for games and the games industry. 2. I get to hang out with old friends, meet new friends, talk shop, and drink beer. And, this year I get to learn more (and hopefully play) the Nintendo 3DS. Awesome!

Hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deadly Premonition

Warning - this contains spoilers on Deadly Premonition. Zach, did you get that? Are you there, Zach?

I ordered Deadly Premonition for the 360 through and it arrived this week. I have only put a couple of hours into playing the game so far. The reason I bought the game is because of Jim Sterling's review on Destructoid. He loved it. And, the video Jim posted of the game - the coffee scene - well, that's when I fell in love with the game.

Deadly Premonition is a very campy survival horror game that has humor, scares, and oodles of entertainment. The key to enjoying this game is knowing what you're getting into before you play it; it is strange and wonderful. In comparison, Silent Hill takes itself a lot more seriously than Deadly Premonition.

What I really like about the game is the main character: Agent York. He is hilarious, and ridiculous. He talks a lot, he's smart, and he's probably a little insane. Oh, and he has an impeccable palette and a weakness for biscuits - especially those made by Thomas. The way York introduces himself in the same exaggerated manner each time he meets someone new just cracks me up. It is both campy and adds to the OCD nature of his personality. There is a lot to like in Deadly Premotion. At $19.99, you can't go wrong really.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary - May 8, 2010

Saturday May 8, 2010: The big news for last week was the release of Dementium II. Not only was the game actually released (finally), it was met with positive reviews. Yes! There are still a few sites, such as Destructoid, who have not posted their review yet and I look forward to reading their thoughts. It seems the main negative point reviews have found with Dementium II is the length of the adventure, which I find puzzling. Dementium II is the same length, if not longer than Dementium: The Ward, and no one said that it was too short. Perhaps it is because the added variety in Dementium II makes the experience feel as though it goes by quicker, or perhaps reviewers are just looking for something to criticize. If it is too short, then I would certainly prefer a short experience that is good over a long experience that spreads the goodness too thin. I think Moon suffered from the latter.

Progress on Spirit and Face is going very well. They’re both in production. We’re all extremely busy of course. Two new programmers joined us this month: Andrew Brown, who worked with us on Dementium: The Ward, Moon, and Dementium II – it is great to be working with Andrew again (welcome back dude). And, we’re happy to welcome Giovanni Acosta to the team for the first time, who headed up the network side of the Call of Duty series on the DS. Sure, this certainly suggests we’re doing some multiplayer work… but more on that later. :)

I have heard nothing regarding Red.

Smoke is getting extremely close to becoming a reality. We received the contract and are now finalizing the milestone deliverables with the publisher. This project is likely to start within the next two weeks. As I mentioned before, Smoke is a fun, small project. It is something that I personally think is a great deviation from our other games. I can tell you now that if you’re a fan of Dementium, Smoke may not be for you. :)

Hope you’re having a great day. TTYL.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dementium II is on the shelves

Dementium II is Released Today!

Today is the day that Dementium II is finally released in the US for the Nintendo DS!

A team of ten hard working chaps worked together for 11 months to make Dementium II. Our goal was to improve upon Dementium: The Ward in every way. We read every review, every forum comment, and created a list of the features that we thought either worked, failed, or were missing in our debut title. We treated this project as if it were our last hoorah! Our last epic story to tell on the DS. We wanted the player's journey to feel real, not restricted by repeating corridors, respawning enemies, or a bad save system. Every step you take as William Redmoor treads on unique ground crafted by designers and artists. Each of the 12 enemies and 4 bosses are designed to not only present unique visuals and audio, but also require you to decide which of your 10 weapons is most effective in killing them. Dementium II was a labor of love. It was a great project that ran smoothly, and was completed on time. It was my favorite project to work on in my 18 years of game development. Wow, what a ride. Now, it is finally in your hands to enjoy. I hope you enjoy every nook and cranny of the Bright Dawn Treatment Center, Pelf Village, and beyond.

Visit our new forum to share your thoughts with your fellow renegade kids, here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Renegade Kid Forum

I have set up a Renegade Kid forum. Please visit it here.

Feel free to post your reviews on Renegade Kid games, and chat about anything video game related.