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February 10th, 2017

Testing new workflows

What am I doing right now?

Lately I've changed up my work schedule up a bit, just to try a new kind of work flow. Normally I focus on a single thing – for example, a boss fight – and keep working on it until it's ready. Since the final boss fight has turned out to be the most taxing thing in the entire game, I decided to mix things up a bit. This way I will avoid both burning out on the boss fight AND becoming blind to any glitches or balancing issues.

Now I've split my TAGAP work-day into three distinct blocks; I start by working on cut-scenes sequences for a few hours, followed by building and testing of the boss fight and ending the day – or at this point, night – with sound effect mixing and implementation. The sound mixing basically has to happen during the night, since having neighbours sucks; It's literary the only moment I have a chance of having enough peace and quiet to work on sound mixing, sleep deprivation be damned.

This has turned out to be an effective work flow. The boss fight progresses steadily, sound effect to-do list shrinks at a rapid pace and I have, since the last blog post, finished two cut-scenes! One of these cut-scenes, by the way, was an entirely custom sequence, with every bit of artwork and sound design specifically crafted for that scene alone.

So yeah; Even though I can't say I've completed the boss fight yet, there's been great leaps forward in terms of progress.

Playlist

Playlist is a regular feature in our Penguin DT blog; A chance to highlight cool games both old and new that I've been playing. As always, I believe that in order to make games, you need to play them, preferably with a broad scope when it comes to genres, so each day I dedicate at least an hour to actually playing games. The rest of the free time? There is no such thing, it all belongs to TAGAP!

As I mentioned in our GOTY post, I'm currently in progress of playing through Final Fantasy XV – though I did hit a few bumps in the road in the interim.

Basically two things happened; First I managed to get a nasty case of food poisoning. This made me ill enough not to be able to focus on a story-heavy action RPG such as FFXV, so I decided to spend my time playing retro-re-releases instead. So, whilst ill, I played the classic Day of the Tentacle once more and trophy-hunted my way through Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour.

These two games have something in common, by the way. Well, in addition to being 90s classics from my childhood. They have brilliant retrospective in-game commentary tracks! Seriously, whether you are a fan or an aspiring game developer, do consider checking these re-releases out for the sake of the commentaries alone.

After I recovered from the illness, I noticed that I was getting major head-aches whilst playing FFXV. And I realised it was because all the menus in the game are so freakin' tiny that I have to squint constantly. This lead me to the realisation that I hadn't renewed my eyeglasses in over 10 years! Immediately I went I ordered myself new ones, putting FFXV on hold, again.

But now I'm back at it. So far I can say I'd wholeheartedly recommend it. It has this interesting atmosphere of impending doom whilst, at the same time, remaining a super-relaxed, adventurous journey. It genuinely feels like a fantasy road-trip of a group of close friends, which isn't easy to pull off.

More on the game once I finish it. Which isn't any time soon, I guess. Since I only play one story-driven game at a time, this sadly means that yes, I still haven't gotten around to play the super-praised Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. I already have it, patiently waiting its turn.

What's next?

Next up I'm starting to craft the level for the final boss fight. Right now it's just an empty void with a few floors and walls – this way I can easily modify the arena to fit the boss fight without having to re-align content with every change. Per usual, the level crafting starts by creating the required custom objects and textures.

On gaming front I keep chugging along with Final Fantasy XV. If by some miracle I manage to complete it by the next blog update, I'll have moved onto either Resident Evil VII: Biohazard or Lego Dimensions: Year Two.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin

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