Another good week on Echo Terminal! I’ve somehow been managing to keep up with my schedule so far this year, so I’m really happy with that. The next week will be a tough one though as I’ve been putting a few of the harder bits and pieces off that I can’t put off any more.
This week I’ve mainly been working on characters! I now have the full cast developed and in game, and all of the models are rigged and with basic animations. They are also all in the right places throughout the game, so there isn’t too much left to do on them other than level specific stuff, and polishing them up more.
Here is some new artwork
The story is now all planned out, along with at least a rough version of all of the levels. It’s possible that this will change still, as I have some cool ideas that I would like to put into the game, but they are all time dependent, as I don’t want to extend the development time if I can help it, and with game dev it is always very possible that I will hit something unexpected.
Although it wasn’t listed for my tasks this week, I made a start on the different areas of the facility. I don’t have much to show for this just yet though, so I will keep these shots for next week.
Schedule / Release
I’ve had a few people asking me the question I should be able to answer, when is the game out? Really, I would like to say that it will be done in February and released in March, but most likely I should be able to release the game some time in April. That is assuming that everything continues to go according to schedule, and nothing unexpected happens. That means that I need to get my Steam page up and ready for wishlists by the end of the month, which puts a tight deadline on getting the trailer and environment artwork finished.
Over the next week I have three main priorities. Firstly, I need environment art for each game area. This won’t be complete, but enough to let me show how they all look, with some props and enough to put a level or two together with the right look.
Secondly, I need to revisit my level designs. They are fine but I think the game will feel much better if I take proper care with how I lay everything out. I want the facility to feel like one place, rather than distinct levels. This means that I have to reuse sections of one level in another. In theory this is great, as I can reuse artwork. But in practice this is difficult, as it means part of one puzzle will need changing to be usable in a different puzzle, which will get really confusing. Like the best metroidvania games, the world should feel alive and meaningful, and that takes way more work than separate levels.
Finally, I want to put the environment art and revised levels together in game, so that I’m ready to record some footage for a trailer. I do also have one other task, programming the AI for an enemy that I’m not going to talk about, but let’s not go into that now…
Have a good week! Find me on twitter @jamogames if you have any thoughts.