And so we come to the final entry in this dev log. I just read all of my previous entries in this log and was absolutely amazed with how much this game has changed and how far it’s come during production.
From a narrative perspective, all of the dialogue has been written and most of it has been recorded by voice actors! It’s really exciting hearing the dialogue “come to life”. Having run a voice over session during my co-op, we did things in a similar fashion. First, I had the script written in Google Sheets:
As you can see at the bottom, there is a tab for each section of the game (Level 0 investigation – Level 1 interrogation). There are also tabs with all of the characters’ dialogue copied and pasted for recording purposes. This way, they don’t accidentally read the wrong line during the session. We found that the easiest thing to do was to have one laptop for the actor to read off of, and one for us if we need to make any changes. Since it’s in Sheets, the script would update for them and they could read the new one right away.
I’ve also written dialogue that will be specific to the Level Up build, which I’ll touch upon in the production section.
From a production point of view, communication is still the most important thing in development. Our team has had a bit of a problem with that since we haven’t been used to working in a team this size in our other years aside from sprint weeks. To fix this, I made a daily schedule for our team to follow and it’s worked out really well.
This colorful weekly schedule has daily tasks for everyone. It’s important because a lot of tasks are dependent on whether or not other people have done their work. If something hasn’t been completed yet, it gives everyone other things to work on and promotes communication between team members.
And finally, from a design perspective….
There has been SO MANY CHANGES and all of them have really been for the better.
While we didn’t have a hard time teaching players the controls, we did have issues finding an intuitive control scheme. After a short meeting, we found a way to accommodate and implement a new control scheme that is both intuitive and easy to teach.
Warping – menu button
Grabbing – grip buttons
Talking/Interacting – trigger
Open Journal – pressing the bottom half of the touchpad
Flip Journal Pages – pressing the left and right sides of the touchpad
There were many problems with this scheme aside from the fact it wasn’t intuitive. The tracking on the touchpad was always a problem. If the entire surface of the player’s thumb wasn’t on the touchpad, the button press wouldn’t register. Since they had to click in a specific area of the touchpad, most players would click the edge and not put their entire thumb on its face. Also, the grip buttons are hard for players to get used to and people would mostly press the trigger even after we showed them the grip buttons in real life.
Warping – grip buttons
Grabbing – trigger
Talking – menu button
Open Journal – press down on touchpad
Flip pages – swipe left or right on touchpad
With this new scheme, the player instinctively presses the trigger to pick things up and we’ve re-located the warping to the grip buttons, which are easier to click and release rather than click and hold. The player is now able to press down anywhere on the touchpad to open up the journal, and swiping left and right feels much better than pressing left and right.
You can also see that we’ve colour coded the buttons. In that same, short, meeting, we decided that texturing the controller with coloured buttons (with influence from Google Eart VR) would help us teach the player. Buttons have symbols too. The interaction button has the dialogue bubble, the warping has footsteps, and the journal has…well…a journal.
There’s still some small fixes left to do, but aside from that, the rest of the year I’m making sure everything we want gets in the game, but also going into somewhat of a QA role, because as Ron Swanson said:
…Back to work!