Once More With Gusto

Once More With Gusto

Game studio in the UK called OMWG. 

Update and info on stuff that we do YO!

Hello 

Hopefully by now you have had chance to check out our new dev video, and if you haven't - WHY THE HECK NOT!!!? What, you will go watch it and come back...? OK I shall wait. 

Back? Good!

So hopefully you got to see some of the new features we added and could see how the game is progressing. I thought I would spend this blog just talking about how we go about doing things. We want OMWG to be pretty open. I for example don't see why as a company we shouldn't share more of the design process and concept art and what made it into the game and what didn't. 

I find that stuff pretty interesting and I'm sure more Indie dev studios out there would love to learn those processes and maybe pick up some hints and tips. 

So this will hopefully be a start of something that will grow with us as we carry on making games. I hope we manage to because we have some really interesting ideas and we want to open up more and more of these ideas. 

The first step you're seeing is the dev videos, I believe I am pretty open with going through what we added and some tweaks we did etc and we hope to carry these on. 

 

So Eternal Step and concept art

I think possibly some people may see Eternal Step and notice a lack of any concept art or promotional art etc or sketches to show different designs and what not. 

The reason for this is that we simply don't do it currently and this is simply because we are only a 2 man team. Me and Paul have been friends since University so we work together well and have a clear idea of how we like things so we simply talk through a idea and get to making it. 

I personally feel as a 2 man team it would be lovely to concept draw every inch of the game but we simple don't have the resources or time to spend doing that, we would rather focus all our time on making prototypes and getting things into the game. 

This works to our strengths as it means we spend more time creating things and testing things and it's much easier for us to get those things in and tweaked. 

This won't always be the case - if OMWG ever does grow then we will need to do these things, but currently Eternal Step is very much go from an idea straight into a built and tested game, we don't spend a lot of time concepting. 

I, however, do draw out attack patterns etc and these are very roughly drawn using a Wacom INK and then sent digitally to Paul. 

Time it takes 

So the drawback of being a 2 man team is things don't get done very quickly 

For example the enemy we are working on currently - due to the type of animations we do, as they are all drawn out, this guy has taken around 4 days to animate and needs another 2 to 3 days to get working in-game without any issues. 

So that's a lengthy process and as such I have had to now think when creating enemies to give them no legs! Because the game has 4 way movement the longest animation by far is the walk cycle as it needs to be drawn out 4 times and we currently can have 11 frames of animation per walk cycle so that's 4 x 11 just to get the guys to walk! This is a lengthy process that takes around 3 to 4 days depending on the enemy. 

That is why one of the first enemies is a slime and another one floats off the floor - it's to actually keep the amount of animation work down. It's strange to think that but because we only have 2 people we need to try and find other ways around these things as the animation work is very time consuming. 

This is another reason the boss only has 2 direction movement because she's a complex concept in herself the amount of work needed would take a long time. It's also the reason the horse has no legs...

You might think it's being lazy but it's generally because we want to release the game this side of the decade and also it's about managing our limits - if we had 4 or 6 animators it wouldn't be a problem. I believe this a smart way to get around these hurdles and get the game done without losing anything. 

If we look at animation for the hero every new weapon we introduce needs 4 way animation for any attack he does. His running animations also need to add the weapon that wanders around on his back. This all adds time on to the final game. 

Programming 

This is less of a drain on time but still eats up a good amount. Adding the monster card system took the good part of a week to just add the few cards we currently have and with each enemy there will need to be a new monster card. Again this adds time and although it may not seem like a lot of work the background programming to get these things to work takes time. 

It's OMWG's main issue - me and Paul and not originally programmers and Eternal Step you could say if our first real go at programming. There have been some things we have talked about that we are unsure if we could even code but we tend to find a way. 

Thankfully the game hasn't had many bugs apart from the freezing issue we noticed and I watched Nathan have while streaming Eternal Step. We discovered this was an issue with the shaders and we have instead now taken these out and found a work-around. But this took a good week or two to sort out. 

Good Progress 

We feel we are making good progress - a lot of the game systems are in place and that's the hard part of programming, it's now about adding content which sadly eats up time with animations. 

We are now working towards doing a public demo in which we hand over the game to you guys to play and test out. 

Our idea is hopefully to allow this to go to early access via our website and then focus on Steam Greenlight and passing over steam keys to anyone who bought it. 

Why do this?

It's because we need this game testing by a larger audience and we hope this will be one way to do it - with a demo and early access we can hope to get what we need. 

Our ultimate goal will be to add a new mode to Eternal Step which is a mulitplayer mode but that's for after release. 

Anyway we hope you liked this little look into OMWG and us and some of things that go on behind the scenes. 

Me and Paul actually live in different towns and do most of communication via Skype with me visiting him whenever I get chance. So its a very 20th century work environment!

Until next time. 

Gusto out

 

Fighting on with Gusto!