Happy belated new year from everyone here at BillyGoat Entertainment! The end of the road is getting closer, to quote our programmer Paul "you know, if you ignore all the bugs it kinda feels like a game."
A ringing endorsement if ever there was one! We're not quite there yet but, personally, I'm very happy with what we've managed to achieve in the last 12 months. Of course, it all means nothing until Her Majesty's SPIFFING is resting in the library of your digital distribution platform of choice! I can't give you a concrete date for that just yet, but rest assured I won't be writing an update entitled "January 2017"!
I used the same heading last March in our update unveiling the design of the main promotional poster/ image that we intended to use for HMS. However, we feel we've set the bar for how we want our game to look somewhat higher than would be expected for a team with our resources, we felt that our promotional material needed to meet the same standards. As such we decided it best young Darren have a look at this image again and this is what he came up with:
A huge improvement from before and something that I believe is now up to same visual standard as the rest of the game.
Sewing up loose ends
A lot of work throughout December and January has been stitching together pieces of the game set onboard the HMSS Imperialise. From an audio visual point of view this has involved replacing a lot of placeholder animations, recording sound effects, ensuring all the approbate dialogue plays and that it is all properly lip-synced. On the code side of things this has meant more work on the saving system, creating a few tools to help with implementing new sound effects along with a host of other small improvements to ensure that nothing crashes horribly.
In the past I remember hearing a saying that "the last 10% of development time is when 90% of development happens" and I certainly agree with that now! A lot of the work we're doing now isn't stuff you'll see front and centre onscreen, but it is essential to ensure that HMS gets to a state that is playable by someone outside of our development team!
As such the screenshots that I'm sharing (somewhat randomly throughout this update) may all look very familiar but, hopefully you'll take me at my word when I say that, when you play the game now it looks, sounds and feels more like a proper game and less like a prototype.
I said in our last update that I wanted to share with you some footage from a new mini-game we're working on. Unfortunately that isn't quite ready yet and I wanted to share the news at the bottom of this update as soon as I could. I'll definitely have that ready for our update in February, so hold tight!
We'll also have some news next month about our plans for GDC in March. Again we'll be joining the lovely folk from UKIE in San Francisco during the week. We'll keep you informed of our plans, we're planning on bringing the latest build of HMS with us for folks to play, hopefully we'll have more information we can share about this soon.
Prior to GDC our focus in February will, again, be in refining what we've already got and filling in some gaps (missing SFX, animations, models etc). The plan is to have all the content we have so far 100% complete, with no gaps or placeholders, by the end of next month. I'll inform you at the end of February if we achieved that or not!
Another Upcoming Adventure, Wailing Heights
Another Belfast based adventure game developer Outsider Games have recently launched a Greenlight campaign for Wailing Heights, a new musical adventure game set in a world full of ghouls, zombies and hipster vampires. Check out their Greenlight trailer below:
Penned by Kevin Biemers, the creator of Schrodinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark and Hector: Badge of Carnage, Wailing Heights has some decent talent behind it. If you're a fan of adventure games (and I'd like to think if you're reading this that you are!) be sure to visit their Greenlight page and help get Wailing Heights on Steam.
Until next time!..
Thanks as ever for your continued support and interest in Her Majesty's SPIFFING, I'm hoping to be able to share some really great news with you over the next couple of months so keep checking back here! Until February!