Saturday, February 14, 2015

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #31

Hey all - back with the 31st development log. There's a lot that I want to talk about, and even more so that happened in the past couple of days.

Studio Development Method:

In the past couple of months, we've embraced our modified version of a SCRUM/Agile format for our studio. As our studio is used as a stepping stone for team personnel to be able to get the experience needed for the game or professional software industry, I want the team to go and learn some of the processes that they may not learn in college to prepare for other jobs in the future.

During the week, we have one nightly SCRUM where we talk about what team members were able to accomplish, set goals and guidelines for the future, and talk about what we need to improve on for the studio process.

We use the development day to execute these goals as best we can, and report the next time in the same fashion. We also combined all of the different checklists for each team into one. Previously, we had an Art Checklist, a Music Checklist, Programming Checklist, and so on for every team in a separate text file. We replaced that idea with a standard spreadsheet that everyone can see with different tabs for the different teams.

When work is completed, it's highlighted in green. This way if we are ever used as a reference, we can give the spreadsheet of all of the tasks the person has done for our company and our team and it would look great for them.

We are always moving forward. I think the process has worked very well and we work efficiently and everyone is on the same track to get things done.


I have been inspired to work and improve on some of the cutscenes and boss fights for Chapter 2. In the past couple of weeks, with suggestions from team members, we decided to revisit some areas we've hastily made or didn't have much inspiration at the time, and improved the quality of the cut-scenes. Though no one outside the team has played it, we want to ensure a quality experience is given to the player by the time it reaches them.

Jennifer W., who is our in-house quality assurance tester is also giving us very good feedback and suggestions on the pacing and bugs in the game. For this reason, we are able to work faster than before on the creation of new content.

Here are some preview pictures of Chapter 2-4. The name of the area is the "Abandoned Path" and it's filled with ghosts and undead monsters.The grass terrain and wall terrain is final, but some of the other terrain is subject to change. Art by Jennifer Gilliland:

Our method for creating undead monsters was uploading to FotoFlexer and making negative versions of them and re-exporting into the engine. Makes for a very nice look when we give them a ghostly semi-transparent fade! I hope you'll enjoy it.

 As for new characters coming up, here are some new faces that Deborah has been working on:


If you already have ANTics installed on your Android phone, you may have noticed an update posted about a week ago. We changed a lot of how the game works due to the feedback from IndieCade and other players. Gerren released a new version, and we're currently getting it verified on iOS. The release should not be too far off. Unfortunately, it will not be available on iPad yet!

Once the iOS version is verified and posted, we will be posting a new trailer and advertising the new release of ANTics. Enjoy it if you already have it installed!

We will also be working on a Windows 8 touch screen port of ANTics so you can enjoy the bug smashing at the comfort of your desktop or laptop! Expect to see these ports in the near future.

Some new screenshots (screenshots from upcoming iOS version will vary slightly):

Studio Break-In:

Perhaps the biggest event that happened yesterday was that our studio was broken into between our SCRUM meeting and Friday. The power was cut out when we arrived and all of our equipment that we kept there (a studio computer, a laptop, and all of our VA recording equipment) was taken, as well as our doors kicked in. There was extensive damage done to the studio as floorboards and wallpieces were ripped out. The studio is in an unworkable state, so we moved anything we could salvage and took it elsewhere to keep it in a secure location.

All of our project data that was on the lost computers are backed up not only on the cloud but on computers away from the studio as well as on GIT. Hardware and unopened software we planned on using was our biggest losses and set us back quite a bit. Not big enough to close permanently, but enough to make development difficult for a while. The Selatria team is working from home (including myself) and I turned my small place into a make-shift studio treating today just like I would have been working there.

I started Selatria from my room in my spare time four years ago, and now it has come full-circle. Who knows how long this will be, but we will rebuild, we will be stronger for the next time. We have the capability, w̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶e̶c̶h̶n̶o̶l̶o̶g̶y̶.

Until next development log!
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