Ray's the Dead - Truckin' Right Along
What's this? Just over a month since our last update? Well we just finished off another milestone so now is a great time to update you on our progress. Lets get right to it shall we?
We had a rather intense June, delivering major updates and improvements to Chapters 1 and 2. Not only did we improve the overall presentation of the two chapters, but some new functionality went in as well.
New UI added
Last month we showed a preview of our new UI. Well, now its in the game and working. All elements have been updated. Here are a few screens to show our first pass placement. And yes, this is the first real look we've given you at Chapter 2!
Here are the revised energy bar and 'level bar' UI elements. We are experimenting with moving the Energy bar to the bottom center of the screen.
The Level Bar can serve many purposes. In the above shot, it represents the health of the group overall. In this flashback level, the group is trying to avoid bullies on Halloween night.
In the shot below, the level bar is a meter for a boss fight. The icon on the top will change to represent what it currently represents. Here, Ray and crew have to take down the Devil Cat in the Pet Cemetery.
Here we have the updated dialogue box and font. We will also have large character portraits on the side, but those aren't ready to show yet.
We also have a Tool Tip box. It will appear when tutorial elements, or gameplay goals need to be made clear.
And here is a shot of the placement of the new health bar. Also notice, the energy bar here has a bulb and is green with decay. That's because this is a level where you are playing as Ray the Zombie. Notice in the top screenshot where you are playing as Ray when he was alive, the brain is healthy and doesn't have a bulb jammed into it!
All of these elements were revamped for a variety of reasons, most notably so they easily convey the necessary information. We are still playing with their interactive elements, and placement on the screen. We'd love to get your feedback!
Another new feature we added is the tracking of collectibles. The game will now save the information related to collectibles across levels and between game play sessions.
One thing you can collect in Ray's the Dead are Batteries. If you collect a certain number of batteries, Ray's energy meter will get a permanent increase. There are 24 batteries hidden throughout the game, and it takes 6 batteries to increase the meter. So if you are persistent enough to collect all of them, the meter can be upgraded a maximum of 4 times.
When the player collects a battery, the brain will shrink down and a radial meter will scale up behind it. The yellow/green lights indicate how many batteries you need before the next upgrade.
Its very cool to have this functionality in and working! This will also be useful for the Backer graves. There will be just short of 200 of those to collect in the game!
Character VO and New Music Tracks
Our new sound guy has been kicking major butt and added a ton of new character VO. Chris has been frantically hooking all this up along with our constantly evolving game dialogue. The dialogue and character VO are joining forces to add a tremendous amount of life to the world.
Additionally, we have been receiving new music tracks and have been dropping them into the game. The soundtrack is definitely going to be ace!
For the next several weeks, in addition to improving Chapter 3, we are also concentrating on making major improvements to the combat. This includes experimenting with a new control scheme, and major revamp to the enemy AI.
You will likely hear from us again once we get past that milestone which is currently targeted for mid August.
At this point, all backer rewards should have been mailed out. The only exception being the Concept art and Backer likeness prints. If you are expecting a physical reward and haven't received it yet. Please drop us a line.
That's it for this update. Thanks for your support!