July 5th, 2010
Status update, July 2010
The latest summer happenings from our (thanks to the summer heat) not so-icy dungeons;
I'm currently employed again. Not that I have difficulty staying on one job, but it's more about the nature of my field and the economy, forcing me to do short-term jobs rather being a full-time employee. Trust me, I'd rather be the latter, but there's little I can do about it.
That being said, the progress on TAGAP 2 itself is a bit slower than it has been earlier this year. I still hold on to my general rule that I have to create at least one thing for TAGAP 2 per day or I'll punch myself. I haven't beaten myself yet, so that must mean the progress is steady.
The Level 19
The final level of TAGAP 2 single player is shaping up and as I Tweeted earlier, it will be pretty epic. The amount of detail that goes into it is staggering; I haven't tried yet, but I'm pretty certain you can't take a single screenshot from that level that doesn't have some custom-made dynamic level element in it. This also means this is perhaps the slowest level to build in the entire game, but already it's paying off.
This level will be in three parts and I have already made the first one. I'm in progress of making the second and the most complex of the three. While the actual creation process may be slow, I already have everything drawn and designed. In fact, this is perhaps the most carefully planned of all the levels in the game, as though it might be straight-forward in terms of gameplay, I had to write down every single asset that needs to be made. And trust me; It's a long list.
Petja has started working on the cinematics score. Note that he hasn't been slumming around, but rather just waiting for most of the cinematics getting made before starting to work on the music. The score sounds excellent. The virtual orchestra he uses is amazing, being able to fool even an orchestral soundtrack enthusiast like myself.
In style the score is different from the in-game music. While the game soundtrack is videogame rock and funk at its finest, the score is cinematic and orchestral. But with clever selection of instruments and sharing the base character motifs, the score fits in with all the Hammond-infused penguin rock.
What does it sound like? Well, we are going to post some score snippets down the road, but until then, imagine Keith Emerson's score for Godzilla: Final Wars, except that in the role of electronic percussions we have rock drums – and instead of daikaiju-motifs the music is driven by the themes of Pablo, Pedro and Primo. Yep, it's pretty darn unique sound.
About Twitter implementation
Most of you must have noticed by now that PenguinDT Twitter is now implemented on the front page. The reasoning for this is simple; Since I devote my freetime almost entirely on developing TAGAP 2 and yet I want to keep you guys updated, the Twitter is the only way I can succeed in both. And by embedding the Twitter on the front page everyone, including those of you who don't have a Twitter account, can check out the latest updates.
In future we plan to use Twitter for even more frequent TAGAP 2 status updates, yet when everything bigger (i.e. new media, updates, release dates, awesome penguin news etc.) happens, it will be posted as news into our archives as well.
The Doctor Who Saga
I haven't had much time outside TAGAP 2, but I still have managed to complete my long quest; I have now own and have watched every darn Doctor Who story released on DVD to this date – with the exception of Series 5 / Series 31 / Series 11-1, you know, the Eleventh Doctor era that just started. I have purchased 'the new series' in full season box sets and I'm trying as hard as I can to stick to it, no matter how much I drool after the separate releases teasing me on Play.com.
The biggest positive surprise from the final few stories was definitely Doctor Who: The Movie, aka the Eighth Doctor's only TV adventure. Apart from the half-human premise and the Dracula-alike one-dimensional The Master, it felt apt continuation to the the story, much better than its reputation suggests. Paul McGann is brilliant as the 'romantic Doctor' and I would've loved to see more on-screen adventures with him. I have ordered several of his audio adventures from The Big Finish and it seems they'll have to do.
But that's it for now, the lunch break is over.
Until next time,
Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin