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December 4th, 2009

December status report

Update from our dungeons, the December 2009 edition.

Penguin DT's seasons present

Holiday season approaches and we have cooked up a gift to all you TAGAP followers. The gift should go online within the next couple of weeks, just in time for Christmas. It is something pretty damn awesome and hopefully will satisfy everyone saddened by the delayed Making of TAGAP 2 blogs and general lack of published media.

And to clarify things and stop false expectations; The gift unfortunately isn't TAGAP 2 itself, the game isn't ready to come out of the workshop just yet. But it's the second best thing.

Finally on to the next level

Last two months I've been working on one single level and finally I can get to work on the next. Well, actually now its two levels, since the thing got so massive I practically had to split it in two. This level has been a huge undertaking and featuring so much level-specific content. All-in-all I'm very happy how it turned out and I can finally move on.

Cinematics and loose ends

As we near what in the single player game will be 'the final stretch' towards the end, I decided this was a great time to look back and tie up loose ends and fill in the missing gaps, most specifically missing intermission cinematics. In the original TAGAP these were mostly just Pablo walking from one place to the next, but even when that is the case in TAGAP 2, we've spiced it up with plot-moving dialogue and great attention to detail. In other words we've added entertainment to the transitions.

Epic orchestrations

Speaking of cinematics, you can expect to hear pretty damn stunning music in them. From the beginning it was decided that the cinematics score and in-game action music would be composed in different genres, in-game music being videogame rock while the cinematic scores would be done in more traditional, pseudo-orchestral manner.

I don't know if has Petja been bitten by the same perfection-bug as me, but he went and bought a little software package called East West Symphonic Orchestra. It's pretty much what it sounds like, a virtual symphony orchestra compatible with the software Petja uses to compose, arrange and mix his music.

But why it's so big deal? Because, oh boy, it's not just good, it's REALLY good. Seriously, I listen to great deal of orchestral music (soundtracks, classical, crossover) and I generally spot these synth orchestra arrangements miles away, but this sucker could've fooled me big time. And the demos Petja played me weren't even tuned up compositions, but something he had put together while testing the software. I can't wait to hear him use this monster in TAGAP 2 score.

To-play list

I've finally beaten most games on my to-play list, only Kane & Lych: Dead Men remains. From all the games I've recently played, I have to say Batman: Arkham Asylum was the best. I absolutely loved it, as it's not only the best comic book game ever made, but also one of the Top-3 games for this console/computer generation. Yes, it's that good, even if it does suffer from serious lack of The Penguin (then again, I wouldn't want to beat him up anyway). Given the amount of great games coming out right now, it's too bad I can commit only an hour or two to the gaming per-day, but TAGAP 2 doesn't produce itself.

The Doctor

On watch-list side, there is only one show I love more passionately than Knight Rider I've already talked about, and that is Doctor Who. They never aired more than one season (EVER) in Finland, further proving my point that Finnish television and their TV license fees aren't worth a shit. We all are anxiously waiting to witness how the 11th Doctor turns out and in the meantime I started checking up the Classic Doctor Who adventures from the beginning, 1963. The series is perfect, and even though my money is all vanished into Time Vortex, I don't mind one bit. I'm currently stuck on Earth with the Third Doctor – and loving it.

But enough for now, Pablo is calling. Keep your eye on the site, there is indeed something awesome approaching.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin