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That we have a build this week? Why yes we do! Although it is in very early stages, we do have something that works. Jose had been pressuring us to have a proper build for a while, so we gave in and worked hard on getting one this week. We made a wrapper to manage the menus, as well as level loading (so that the game is actually playable). Also, through our internal playtesting, we decided to get rid of the simple chasing boss we had, so we shifted Abhishek to be the guy making the Wrapper. Being the lead engineer, it fell to me to be the guy who makes sure we have a build ready on time. This brought forward new challenges with Unreal, which I had honestly not seen coming. First off, building lighting takes years, even on the machines we have. Having experienced this first hand, I’ve started looking into setting up Unreal Swarm ( a Task Distribution system which makes the lighting builds quicker by distributing the process to multiple computers). Also, apparently Unreal projects are HUGE. Are very simple game, with only four levels, takes up two gigs after being packaged. This is another thing I will be looking into, to make our build as small as possible. Meanwhile, James has started prototyping a new boss type, which instead of simply following you, flies above you and shoots things down at you. While not in this build, it should be there in the next one, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will work with the rest of the game.

Last week was GDC(Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco. To say that it was an amazing experience is not enough. I met people from Ubisoft, Schell Games, Epic Games, Unity, Havok, Intel, Riot, Obsidian, High Voltage, WB Games, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft, Wargaming.net and more. It was a full week of talking to amazing game industry pros, then seeing them again in the parties at night. I am not the kind of guy who talks a lot, especially with people I don’t know, so I was initially skeptical about it all, but after shaking hands with John Romero (yes THE John Romero), I realized that the pros were there to let their hair down, and just meet and talk to people about video games. That bossted my confidence and I ended meeting a lot of people and making some valuable contacts.