Hey guys! It’s time to share some progress pics with you! When we came back to work on Lake Ridden after the summer holidays we had a clear goal in mind: velocity! We wanted to really push the game and get things going. There should be a visible difference each week when we played the game together on Fridays.
We have now moved into a much bigger room in the Minc incubator where we’re located! Having a good work environment does wonders for the productivity and velocity!
There has just been so much other non-game development tasks to deal with since we started Midnight Hub nine months ago. Everyone who ever started a business or a company will probably agree when I say you have no idea just how much of your time will go to things like filling out forms, talking to the government, meeting important people, web page maintenance, solve computer problems, planning, move offices or recruiting new team members or just making sure everyone on the team got what they need and that people are communicating. AND then you need to make a game on top of this somehow!
We now have two rooms since Midnight Hub has grown from a team of three to six in just two months. We could not fit into our old room anymore.
To achieve velocity we iterated our project management process to focus more on game development and to get visible results. We now start each sprint on a Monday and end it on Friday. We focus more on results than on the tasks themselves. So far it has really helped us gain momentum! We would like to share a batch of screenshots from the pre-alpha version of Lake Ridden to illustrate what the game looks like now compared to a few weeks ago! Things are really shaping up even if it’s still heaps of work left before the game is done. As we’ve talked about before we have a very iterative approach when making games, which I think becomes very clear here. Let’s look at the Root Cellar and the Forest of Lake Ridden!
Iteration 1: Spring 2016. We blocked up the Root Cellar using a tool called ProCore. We started off with making a simple 3D sketch of the rooms the player will explore. This was done to get a placeholder of the Root Cellarto work with.
Iteration 2: June 2016. After we had a feeling for the space we made a few rough 3D props to populate the Root Cellar.
Iteration 3: End of August 2016. This is after the summer, when we started to focus on gaining momentum and getting a visible difference into the game each week. The room gets more and more items, but it’s still very much work in progress.
Iteration 4: September 2016. This pretty much shows the current state of the Root Cellar in Lake Ridden. We’re adding more and more items, as well as experimenting with some nice light effects and textures. This is a work in progress and you should expect things to change before the release, but to see such a big difference in the game really helps to raise the team spirit!
Iterating your work is super important. We’re consonantly evaluating our tools, processes and workflows. It’s demanding, but we’re strongly convinced that this will help us stay up to date with both the elusive video games industry and improve our skills as game developers.
Iteration 1: March 2016. This is some very early temporary spruces in a very early mock-up pf the camping scene in Lake Ridden.
Iteration 2: July 2016. Experimenting with moods and textures, adding ground vegetation. We’re using a tool called UniStorm to help us generate different weather conditions and time of day. Using awesome tools that someone else already built saves us a lot of time!
Iteration 3: August 2016. The placeholders for the trees are still in, and we’re in the middle of tweaking light values of the forest.
Iteration 4: September 2016. The forest continues to be a work in progress, but we’re getting there! We made a big overhaul of the overall lighting. The spruces are looking much better and we’ve begun to work on the ground vegetation. It doesn’t show in this picture, but we have added animations for both the trees and the grass which brings the whole forest to life!
As stated before, this is all work in progress, and the look and feel will change a lot before the release next year. It’s a bit scary to show you the game this early, but we want you to be a part of this journey.
The team playing card games together. We try our best to make time for analyzing other games and have fun together!
I hope you enjoyed this post about the state of the game. Feel free to leave a comment or follow our Facebook page or Twitter. Check out our IndieDB-page, if that’s your cup of tea!
Sara and The Team