In Philosophy… II

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Update posts too few and too far apart, brain and and hands jammed in a creation position… and and I’m out of coffee. Oh and it’s finally snowing outside. Definitely calls for a bit of philosophy… and a hammer. And more coffee.

But more on that later. First things first: status report. Construction of the actual game world has begun \o/. We finally migrated to our production scene structure, that is final enough to begin using as a creation tool. The animation system and related gameplay stuff is proceeding nicely, or as we like to say “slowly but uncertainly.” 😀 The game’s puzzles involve a lot of physics and tweaking them is tedious work as we have to and want to experiment. Work continues fiercely on all fronts and the end of the year is closing fast.

Which brings us nicely to the topic at hand; The Art of Progress Updates.

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In Theory… VI

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Hello folks!

This week (and a couple of weeks before this) we’ve been mostly eating acorns… I mean constructing the character animation system 🙂 We are paying the same kind of attention to it as all the other important aspects of the game. We believe that one key factor in deepening immersion in games is creating believable interaction between a character and the environment. Following this belief and combining it with our smart production methods guideline we have come up with a system that interacts with the terrain and other arbitrary surfaces naturally and without the need to animate huge amount of different walk cycles for different slopes and other special cases. Our approach adjusts basic hand animated cycles procedurally to the environment. So we get better results than in many games with less work.

Now you might wonder what we mean by smart production methods. This simply means that in order for us to achieve what we want we must not be afraid to make paradigm shifts from standard game development methods. We must question standard methods to find ways for us to achieve our vision with such a small team. Of course this is a bit of an understatement. Every company builds it’s own set of tools to get the job done, especially in the gaming industry. So we are not different, we are only very conscious of our need to think outside the box. In addition to trying to reduce workloads we aim to get better results at the same time.

As work continues we continue working 🙂 Keep it tight people.

In Theory… V

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Hello everybody!

It’s good to be back. Summer vacations and baby deliveries are over, thank goodness. No but seriously, a break away from the norm was extremely good, and now we are psyched and pumped and ready to rock. Actually we’ve been back for a few weeks already, furiously working on the gameplay. I’m happy to say that we’re making good progress and will be showing gameplay before the year is over.

If all things go as planned (which they always do, especially in the gaming industry 🙂 ), we are looking at a 2013 release. And we are preparing a crowdfunding project with some neat rewards for the last phase of the development. So all of you who have expressed the interest to become a part of this project and contribute can finally do so. But more on that when the time comes.

Enough blabbering, get back to work! (The voice inside my head is yelling, I must obey 🙂 )

In Praxis: Lighting

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The previous installment of In Praxis talked about how surfaces react to light. This post gives an overview of where that light comes from.

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In Praxis: Surface Shading

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In this installment of In Praxis I’m going to talk about how we shade opaque surfaces. Beware of extremely technical mumbo-jumbo.

Reset has a fully deferred renderer, which means that all information required for lighting is first rendered into a set of screen-space textures (collectively called the G-buffer) and then lighting is applied using only those textures without the need to re-render the geometry. This provides a clean separation between materials and lights and allows for a slightly simpler design than traditional forward rendering. Also more exotic features such as deferred decals can be easily implemented. Read more

In Praxis… I

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This article series concentrates on the technical side of the development. We start it with a look at the 3D content creation tool Blender and how we use it.

Why Blender you ask? I’ve previously worked with 3ds Max and XSI and found both packages to have their strengths and weaknesses. The XSI workflow suited me well and was planning to continue with it when we started on this project. The limited project budget however made me look at other options aswell. Did take a peek at Modo which looked promising and a few other smaller packages like 3DCoat. I had heard good things about Blender from different sources and decided to have a look at it also. Read more

In Theory… IV

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Back from Norway, big thanks to Angela Amoroso, Kim Baumann Larsen and Eric Hanson for the great Digital Storytelling seminar!

Enough of that, let’s get down to business. Some of you have requested for a high quality  downloadable version of the trailer and if you’re one of them, good news. You can download it from Game Front  (521MB, 30Mbps Avi h.264) You are free to share it or post it on your site as long as you don’t alter the contents. You can however transcode it to a more user friendly size if posting somewhere online.

Work continues on the game, slowly but surely. Today we are starting the more technical oriented series of articles we promised. The series is called “In Praxis…”, clever huh 🙂

In Theory… III

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Settling back to normal work routine tastes good. Our asset importing/handling has gained new features and game design has taken steps forward with thoughts of communication methods between different temporal versions of Zero-Two. Very exciting stuff.

We’ve been invited to speak at Digital Storytelling seminar in Oslo, Norway next monday.  We are honored to attend alongside Weta Digital and Fido. This short trip adds again a small bump to actual production work, but it’s definitely worth it.

Encouraging feedback still continues to roll in and one email we got from Jamie Counsell from Australia last week really stopped us on our tracks, in a good way. The reason is that the feeling we got while reading it was something that we couldn’t translate into words. We want to share that feeling and Jamie was extremely kind to let us publish the email. Till next week. (press “read more” to read the email)

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In Theory… II

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What a week! We are completely and utterly taken by the feedback we’ve got from all of you guys. Over half a million views on different sites and just over 400K views on YouTube alone in one week! It’s beyond anything we hoped for, it’s bloody ridiculous. Like @TriniBoyD pointed out on twitter “All eyes on you guys now #nopressure”

Well, we are not pressured but 110% committed to finishing what we have started. It wasn’t a question before but seeing so many like-minded people out there gives us strength beyond strength. Seems that many of you are also throwing money at the screen, so we’re looking into crowdfunding to possibly materialize the game sooner rather than later.

And now that the smoke has started to settle there is still a lot of work to be done, so we best get to it. Till next week.

Alpo & Mikko

Debut Trailer

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We are very proud to present the debut trailer for Reset. Everything you see in the trailer is straight from the in-game engine, no up-ressed textures, geometry or effects. What you see is what you will get. Except hopefully a little bit better since we’re not even in alpha yet. This is however a big milestone for us, and we are going to be concentrating more on the gameplay side of things next.

Ladies and gentlemen, Theory Interactive presents, Reset Debut trailer.