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September 23rd, 2009

September status report

It is time for another status update and a peek at what we've been up to past month or so.

TAGAP 2

I'm currently beating past the other one of our two major 'development bottlenecks' – specific and time-consuming assets that need to be done in order to move on. As I'm just about to complete these assets, I can soon finish several levels and cut-scenes I wasn't able to finish earlier, scratching multiple items off my lengthy to-do list. I find this very relieving, kinda like completing particularly tough section of a grand puzzle.

Once we're past the bottleneck, the development should resume the normal pace. Level 15 is shaping up nicely, though as it is the biggest level so far, it will take a lot more time before completion – after finishing the current one, there are still two more sub-sections to go.

By the way, I just checked some statistic the other day. Just in case you are one of the people wondering 'what the hell is taking so long with TAGAP 2', perhaps this comparison chart will do for an answer;

TAGAP

  • 482 sprite frames
  • 140 texture images
  • 219 sound effects / streams
  • about 3.5 Mb worth of script code
  • 536 entities [*]

TAGAP 2 (work-in-progress)

  • 1643 sprite frames
  • 161 texture images
  • 402 sound effects / streams
  • about 9 Mb worth of script code
  • 1315 entities [*]

[*] "entity" is an in-game object with (dynamic) properties (everything interactive and/or moving)

And when checking these statistics keep in mind that TAGAP 2 is still under construction, we still have loads of work ahead. As I mentioned, I'm currently working on level 15 (of planned total of 18) of single player campaign – and I haven't even begun working on co-op or extras (achievement icons, Jukebox, art galleries) yet.

TAGAP 2 trailer

Script/plan for the trailer is ready, all we now need is the trailer music which Petja is doing right now. With the first TAGAP I used the theme song directly, but this time around Petja does a specific remix for the job. Don't expect Hollywood trailer music ala E.S. Posthumus, though, as the remix will still represent the sound of TAGAP 2. Once the music is ready, I can start putting it all together.

Web updates

Yep, more blog posts and Making of TAGAP 2 entries are on the way, I've just focused most of my time to overcome the aforementioned bottleneck. That has been almost like a splinter in the eye, bugging me with its absence for several months in form of placeholder assets.

Game playlists

I'm blasting through Wolfenstein while Petja is gunning down terrorists in Rainbow: Six Las Vegas. As GTA IV turned out to be as lengthy game as promoted, my to-play list is getting crowded; I have Batman: Arkham Asylum in the cue but I haven't had a change to even unwrap it yet, Shadow Complex and Halo 3: ODST are waiting to be bought and Brütal Legend (my most anticipated game of 2009) is just around the corner. Not to mention that both Serious Sam HD and Doom II XBLA have already been announced for 'late 2009' release and both are day-one purchases.

But don't worry, TAGAP 2 comes first; These days I only play games an hour or two at the time during the evenings, while the rest of my freetime is reserved to Pablo & Co. :)

Knight Rider 2008

I finally got to see the entire series on DVD and I loved almost every second of it. High-flying nonsense plots, awesome special effects, top-notch production values and just the right amount of cheese add up to one hell-of-a-entertaining switch-off-your-brains kind-of show. Only criticism I have is the almost anti-climactic battle of the KARR episode, but that wasn't fault of the series crew, but budget cuts of NBC. For comparison, the previs version of the battle is on YouTube and it's almost twice as long as the TV version.

That's it for now. Hopefully in the next blog we can resume Making of TAGAP 2 series.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin