Well, things have settled down a bit here at OtherSide HQ. A much needed weekend off for most folks, some time to gather our thoughts and shift out of Kickstarter mode and into development mode.
Now, as things start to energize again, it's important to start laying out the plans for the future. As producer of the project, it's part of Chris' job to start molding that future into a workable schedule for the game's development. Here are some of his thoughts as we look ahead.
Oh, and he also went to PAX East this weekend instead of relaxing like he was told!
Chris Talks Development Outlook for 2015
We made it! What a strange and wonderful ride the past few months have been. What an amazing community we have. It is so refreshing to see a community full of positive energy and genuine excitement about what we are embarking on over the next couple of years.
As producer guy, I now have to step up to the plate. My job, well my primary job, is to keep the whole thing on track. I know people have already been asking for release dates for the game and alpha builds. There is no set in stone dates yet. Let me explain why.
We will use agile principles for development. Everyone on the team is familiar with them already, so we should be able to jump in pretty quickly. Also with the size of our team we should be able to stay really lean when it comes to some of agile’s busy work…i.e. I’ll be doing the paperwork.
Now according to agile principles, the worst day to make a decision is the first day. Why? Think about it; This is the day we have the least amount of information. We know what the project is, but we don’t know much else. We don’t know peoples workload, we don’t know all the systems we need to build, etc. etc. The more you know, the more concrete a decision you can make.
Makes sense right? That is not to say a line in the sand is a bad idea. Of course it’s not. If you don’t have one you end up in the dreaded endless development cycle. That is no fun for anyone.
So, I’ll put two lines in the sand:
Prototype build sometime during Q4 2015.
Pre-Alpha build sometime during Q1 2016.
Now, I can hear a couple of my developers going ‘pfft, we can be ready before that’ but my job is to plan for every eventuality, including the unexpected and unknown. The prototype is at the end of this year because I want the team to not feel any stress while in pre-production. This is one of the most important phases of development. What are we building? What are we trying to achieve? What is the backstory of our races and how does that effect development? 1000 exciting questions we have to answer in the next few months before we put pixel to program.
And going forward we'll try to keep you in the loop as much as possible about just what those answers are.
Chris Talks PAX East
What a good show. I met a number of backers which was really cool, some which then showed me their projects, some of which are still super top secret. There is this device that….
Anyways, two things stood out at the show: VR/AR is going to be a game changer, and indies are the future.
This was the first time I’ve been to a game show where the indies had more floor space than the ‘big guys’. Sure EA, WB, and Blizzard were there and the games looked good. But 2/3rds of the show was indies. Platformers, driving games, interesting takes on FPS shooters, point and click. The variety was amazing.
Also in the indie space- and in their own booth- Oculus Rift was a very noticeable presence. And it works. Well, it mostly works. There are still some very big questions about control scheme, and being able to play for any length of time without feeling sick. Promising none the less.
If I am going to call out any single title that looked very cool, I’m going with Gigantic. It’s a 3rd person competitive MP game that oozes personality, great character classes and frankly is really fun to play in Alpha state. That team should be very proud.
'Til next time!
Thanks, Chris. Now get some rest!
As part of moving forward with game development, we want to nail down the art direction of the Lizardmen, a new intelligent race added to the game via an unlocked stretch goal. Just as we did with the Shamblers during the Kickstarter, we'd like YOU to help us decide just how the lizardmen will appear in game!
Above are two different looks for these crafty reptilians. Which do you prefer? Head on over to our forums and vote in our online poll for your favorite. We'll close the voting in a week or so and announce which look has won. Head on over to the forums and vote now!
Forum T-Shirt Contest Winners
As we announced last week, we are giving away Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Exclusive T-shirts to 50 random forum members who signed up as of 9am EST yesterday morning (3/10/2015). Well, we've drawn the names from a (virtual) hat and now it's time to announce the winners!
Aragato AvatarFACE baltham BobRudy crloken D-Rock Darish DMKW DonnelPerk enderandrew ET3D EvilTwin Faravid gjbmb1946 Gooler hvsa Jerry Blade jm11744 JoelF847 Juris Storm Kainshibo KernelPanic Krisko lifk markitect MasterOfVDL Maximlyalin MonkeyFinger Morisey nakori Pentreion pseudodog Ringtraeger Ryu T. Seafort Skrivener Skullduggery Sounge Specimn spoken_starfish swooshxx tgmiker theForgotten Timlorde Tralen Tybress vandermar Wintermute_of_CoF Yogi zod000
Congrats to the soon to be swankily clad! And thanks to ALL our forum members for making our boards a fun place to hang out and discuss our favorite game (and some other stuff too)!
If you haven't signed up to our forums yet, be sure to do so! Lots of fun stuff going on over there. And who knows when we might have our next forum contest?
(If your forum name is on this list we will be contacting you soon-ish for your T-shirt size and mailing address.)