Monthly Archives: February 2015

The busy days leading to GDC

Oh man life is crazy at the moment.  We have like 1 work week until we’re heading  down to San Francisco for GDC, and there’s so many things going on.  All Is Dust is looking great I must say, here’s some gameplay footage that John recently recorded.

If you compare this to the old footage you can see just how far the game has come along, there’s a lot more going on visually and the redone map is so much better.

We’ve also turned ourselves into a real company.  We’re called Mannequin Games LLC (an homage to the game that was stolen from us :P).  Being a company allows us a bit more legitimacy and may open doors for further publishing options.  Being able to say I’m the Lead Producer of Mannequin Games LLC doesn’t look to shabby on a resume either.

We’re so excited to show off the game at GDC and see all the other cool things going on down there.  We printed off some cool postcards to hand out to people, and my team is being super helpful and excited to help staff the booth.  It’s crazy to me that this time last year we were taking the Mannequin prototype around on a laptop, and now we’ll have All Is Dust with some prime booth space.

So if any readers are going to be at GDC, come visit us at the University of Utah booth (right next to the IGF pavillion).

This is the time when production work is really ramping up!  Trying to figure out the appropriate platforms for us to publish the game once it’s finished, managing the last few sprints before we declare it done, it’s nuts.  It’s the busiest I’ve ever been (and it’s just going to get busier) but I do feel more able to do it after the 2 years of schooling.  I’ve also got a great team that is happy to do their share of the work, everyone really pulls their weight!  The team leads are crushing it and it feels like this semester we’ve really hit our stride in working together as a team.

Blog? What Blog? Oh….

I’m sitting here just in shock that it’s been almost 3 months since I’ve made a blog post.  I’m disappointed in myself for letting it go that long and getting caught up in other things, but at the same time I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made on All Is Dust in that time.

We’ve finally got the story pretty much locked down and we’ve decided to have the story elements conveyed through a series of hand drawn 2D images, rather than trying to construct new scenes for just what’s essentially a cutscene.  This is working out really well since it lets our engineers focus more on making the existing scenes shine, and we have Jing on the team who is fantastic at 2D art, and she’s super excited to take a crack at the new story elements.  We should have her mockups to show soon, and we’ll know then how everything is shaping up.

The game has a definite direction that the player is supposed to take, and we’ve come a long way in conveying that.  It used to be that we pretty much just put the Oculus on the player and said “have at it”, but now there are all sorts of things to help guide them.  There is a ghost of the daughter character that leads them around, there is a map that they can bring up at will to help re-orient themselves if they get lost, and there’s a much improved text and UI system in place.  So we have much less of a problem of players just wandering around aimlessly now.

GDC is now exactly 1 month away!  We have a month to polish this like crazy and show it off as much as we can, and we’re all working a lot to make it shine and also sell ourselves as potential employees.  I’m excited to go back to San Fransisco with another years worth of skills under my belt, and to see what connections can come out of it.