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May 21st, 2010

Status update, May 2010

Time for another status update from the icy dungeons of PenguinDT.

TAGAP 2

TAGAP 2 is going on really strong. I just recently finished the Level 18 (of 19) and I'm now working on the intro and outro cinematics for it. Yes, this means we're closing in on the end stretch of the single player campaign, just one more level to go. The trick is it's the most complex level to produce, not so much in terms of gameplay or level design, but in terms of assets. The level is a unique setting and practically requires everything in it being built from scratch. So, yeah, producing the last level is far from cakewalk.

And without spoilers I can say that the Level 18 is pretty interesting. I'm pretty sure when people have played through TAGAP 2, it will be one of the things they're bound to remember.

Release schedule

So yes, we're getting closer to the release, but don't start holding your breath just yet. After the single player campaign, there's the co-op portion to complete. The co-op is a bit of a wild card really. We haven't done anything like it before and we have no idea how long it's going to take. We theoretically have everything in place, so it might be a matter of weeks – or it might force as to do more re-engineering and take months. I'll keep you posted about which one is it, or something from between.

And yes, this essentially means the release schedule I said we had in the beginning, that this would take less time than with the first TAGAP, is pretty much out of the window. It will take a little longer, but not decades. Don't worry, dear penguin followers, TAGAP 2 will be out sooner than later and it won't become 'Duke Nukem Forever of freeware games'.

Website and the community

Like might have noticed, I haven't been around maintaining the TAGAP forums much lately, but this doesn't mean I have given up on TAGAP – the very contrary in fact. Since I'm currently unemployed, I consider TAGAP 2 my 'dayjob', meaning when I wake up in the morning I start to work on it and won't quit until around 7 PM. This means TAGAP 2 is going full speed ahead, but it also means that when I take a break, it's exactly that; A break from all things TAGAP, preferably spent in a TARDIS. And that's why I don't pop up on forums as much as I really should.

That being said, one community feature I keep updating multiple times a week is Twitter. If I recall right, I've Tweeted most of the major development milestones we've hit recently. And I'm going to keep doing that. In fact, in very near future, PenguinDT Twitter will be embedded on the front page to keep everyone, even all you non-tweeters, up to date on milestones, Weekly Penguins and everything else in almost-real-time.

Non-TAGAP happenings

Not much else has happened, really. I now have every single Doctor Who story released so far on DVD, all three DVD shelves worth of it. I still have four last stories to go (three Seventh Doctors and the Eighth) and I've been kinda saving them. These approx. 18 months have been so much fun I don't want to end just yet. Oh well, at least there are four more classic stories coming later this year, as well as the highly anticipated Eleventh Doctor DVDs.

And no, I haven't watched Series 5 yet, mainly because I can't do it in any legal way. Besides, I watch everything on DVDs these days so I'd just better wait for the official releases. I did check out the title sequence on YouTube though, and it is awesome. Murray Gold's latest arrangement brings back the electronic rhythm and it works great; It has become one of my top three arrangements of the tune, together with the original 1963 version and John Debney's orchestral arrangement from the 1996 TV movie.

On gaming front I've been playing early 2010 releases, mainly Aliens Versus Predator and Darksiders. Darksiders is true 'gamer's game' trough and trough and great one at that, I strongly recommend picking it up. Aliens Versus Predator is back in Rebellion's hands and it shows in a positive way. The moment I started the marine campaign I realized how much I had missed it all, especially the well-implemented motion tracker.

But I'd better stop now, Pablo is giving me some angry looks. I'll just post this and get back to mixing sound streams for the cinematics before he reaches for the Uzi. :)

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin