Hey everyone! Thanks for reading the 43rd development log, the first one for the new year. Most of this month's update will be regarding Selatria and it's ongoing development.
We started off the year by opening up the studio to new interns for the new year. We've received more internship applicants this year than we've ever had. Professors and coordinators from both CSUSB and the Art Institute of the Inland Empire have been very helpful in sending us their talent. They get experience and college credit and we get additional help for our projects.
Meet Timothy Blanchet (Left) and Hamza Khan (Right) below!
So it's easier to report it to their respective schools, we assign the interns to work that's not spoiler related, and on features and additional content we would have otherwise scrapped in order to make the reasonable deadline on the game. Here's some examples below on what they've worked on.
Centered battlers! If the party has less than four people, the remaining battlers will set up in a formation that is originated in the center, as opposed to the left with extra space to the right. Makes for a much cleaner battle interface.
When the player completes Selatria fully, they'll be able to access an extra window where you can manipulate voices and play through the game with edits varying from chipmunk to slow-mo. The above features were developed by Timothy.
Paul volunteered to play through some of the new content that's being worked on. Hamza is currently designing the Selactic monsters for Part 2.
|Fighting a Selactic monster with only two party members? Probably not the best idea...|
We have had unimplemented blueprints for a lot of ideas, and we pair them up as Hamza fills in the blanks and implements and balances the difficulty.
|Our E3 picture from last year is also immortalized in the studio. Small cameo from Matt and Paul to the left, there.|
As for the main team members, we've been coordinating between Las Vegas and San Bernardino. As two of the fellow Selatria developers now live in Las Vegas, we're now able to collaborate on some Sundays when I'm in town, primarily with the battle system and the mechanics of the final two characters. Unfortunately, there are still tweaks and art/sound assets that need to be implemented before that's at a state we can show, even at a development phase.
For me, dialogue. I've been implementing dialogue into the engine line by line, adding in appropriate face art to go with the context of the line, and putting in context and direction. Before December 2017, we were developing cutscenes at the same time we implemented the dialogue and it caused considerable slowdown when we find that we were blocked by lack of context in the scene or missing voices, so I've since put in the following hierarchy:
1st - Implement all dialogue from section
2nd - If there is implemented voices, put in the section
3rd - Check to see if unedited recordings exist for missing implementations
4th - If recordings exist and were recorded/edited elsewhere, cut and implement. If not, send to Shadoe and update task management system
5th - When lines are edited/cut, go back and place in the sections.
|Implementing Chapter 5-5A dialogue. Swapping in the implemented voices after pasting in the dialogue and adding faces is the best part.|
To give an idea of where we were, we were only at the beginning of Chapter 4 the last time we had a development log, and now we're nearing the end of Chapter 5 in implementation. This method is much smoother and efficient. Once all of the dialogue and context is implemented, we will be cutting and pasting blocks of the implemented dialogue into the areas themselves and turn them into actual cutscenes. It's going to take another month or two to be able to get the dialogue fully implemented in-game so you will start to see new cutscene previews after that point. It's the "boring" part of the development cycle, but it's getting done.
Last but not least, we're going to be resuming the behind-the-scenes series. In this episode, Shadoe, our sound engineer on the team talks about their challenges with recording, editing, and implementing voices as well as editing the sounds we already had.
That's all for this development log. Until the end of February!