Update #79 - I Yam what I Yam
This week the team continued working on the November update. This week we have finalised all of the new content/changes to the existing encounters, and next week we begin on QA/bug fixing. It’s pretty exciting, because as part of the refactoring, we were able to go back to some encounters and significantly improve the experience you will have (eg by adding better animation, voice overs, or more interesting quest logic).
Before we get into this week’s journal, we have a PSA for the current players of the game. It will be very important that you start a fresh new game with the November update as it WILL break your save file. Previously, save files have had partial compatibility between versions, but with the wholesale changes to the quest and save systems (for the better!), this will not be possible this time around. However, in the future, progression should be saved between updates much more reliably.
This week I'll take you into the exciting world of Brutalist architecture and the importance of it in our world. Brutalism is one of the most iconic architectural movements of the 50s and 60s, and it was particularly prominent in England. It symbolized a loud, obtrusive stance against tradition and history. It's notoriously "ugly", usually made out of economic cement. The minimalist, futuristic designs were developed to abrasively clash against the environment, and take up an unnecessary amount of space. Brutalism is important in We Happy Few because it symbolizes our society’s underlying desire to reject their history. Brutalism was often used for municipal buildings, and in WHF we've used it for checkpoint bridges, government buildings, and buildings the bobbies and government workers occupy. Buildings that represent the modern society.
This concept is a design of one of our Brutalist check point bridges, strongly inspired by the high school down the street from our office (Montreal is also full of Brutalism!). In this concept, a protesting Wastrel is trying to get past the Bobby and back to society. It was important to me that the bridges keeping the wastrels out of the Village were as intimidating as possible.
And here is an older concept where I explored various Brutalist designs, testing to see if they would even fit into our world. The shape of the top right image has become iconic to the bobbies.
At the beginning of the week, I continued to work on the Village house layouts and lighting. I received a lot of feedback so I focused on making the rooms more coherent. I also updated the lighting (and fixed lighting bugs) and added some subtle fog. Here are a LOT of screenshots for your enjoyment:
Then, I went on Jira (our bug database) and did a bunch of small tasks.
- Added decals to the Altar of the Yam that appear when you’re tripping on mushrooms
- Fixed the old fountain roundabout layout so that it spawns seamlessly in the world
- Added some of Sarah’s signs and paintings to levels
I also did some tweaking to old assets, such as the German signs and shutters, so that they integrate better in the world. I did a few new props such as the doll doctor variant and a full chess set.
This week has been mostly bug fixes, global lighting tweaks, advancing some story locations and creating some new really strange environments…
This is a picture of the newly improved encounter “Altar of the Yam”
This week I cast two important characters who are, of course, part of the story, so I can’t tell you anything about them. Except that the words “Hammer villain” may have been in the casting breakdown for one of them.
Last week I recorded almost all of my unrecorded encounter lines. This task, of course, is never done. I need eleven lines from our Mad Scotsman for some revisions we’re making to a scene in the Train Station. But an actor’s minimum call is an hour. So I’ve been writing barks for him – 225 of them. That should round out the hour, eh?
I’ve been working on rethinking the playthrough for She Who Must Not Be Named. G felt she was not in enough jeopardy, and that her motivations weren’t lining up enough with the player’s own motivations. So I’ve been reworking the story logic and the characters involved. This will involved a fair amount of carnage – animations we have to throw out – but it will result in a more powerful story and better integration between gameplay and story.
And, I’ve done a pass on the journal text. You are reading your journal, right?
Hello everything. This week has been crazy. Lots of issues to tackle, lots of hours in front of my computer, which is why I am the only level designer writing this week! Everyone else is focusing hard on improving our encounters.
It’s paying off though, big time. Faraday’s Encounter is looking amazing, and includes some nice new updates on conversations and animations :) Look forward to those.
Apart from that, I’m fire-fighting other issues to help out my fellow level designers when they need it.
This week I made some animations here and there. One of them involving your favorite duck!
Thanks for tuning in!