Week 17

The entire week was dedicated to finalizing our first playable version on CD-ROM. This had been requested with insistence by the first publishers to have seen the game. So we worked like crazy (16 hour days!) to get a first, presentable version ready. Fabien even succeeded in pulling off the integration of an initial version of the collision routine. The character in play can now collide with the scenery, move across tilted surfaces and climb stairs. About ten passers-by and vehicles have also been integrated into the streets, which makes the city amazingly vibrant. A first shot at the interface has been set up, with animated 3D icons. We have also added music to the sound track (read directly from the CD), and this contributes to the creation of a very strange atmosphere.
This initial demo (Release 1.0) is more or less satisfactory to us. It seems stable on the machines we've tested it on, the frame rate is decent with an excellent rendering (SVGA, 65000 colors, Gouraud mapped, Z-mapping), and we have integrated about 60 animations. A lot of things still need to be improved though.

Our next deadline is Release 2.0, set for 10 days from now. We will then be showing the prototype officially to English and American publishers. Here are some of the new things we will be doing:

- transition to square faces (the current engine uses triangular faces, which doubles the number of faces to control, especially in the urban settings where everything is square. Triangular faces also reduce the effectiveness of the object overlapping management). With this new option we hope to improve the frame rate even more.

- Management of transitions between interior and exterior settings: the character in play will be able to open doors and go into all buildings, take an elevator and go into an apartment (Pierre is currently finishing the modeling for this).

- Management of four playable characters, whereas version 1.0 offered only Uzal. In version 2.0, we will be adding Aroumsha, Katzeva and Betsy.

- Improvements to the city: more passers-by and vehicles in the streets, increased size of the city, integration of streets on a slope, bridges, etc.

The goal has been established and we will do what it takes to meet it. Even if the publishers that we've met with tell us they've never seen anything as advanced as Omikron, we want to set our sights even higher to prove that we can make a major hit out of our project.

Now to come back down to earth: we have completed, with the help of Anne, our production assistant, the production schedule and budget. These documents are now going to be sent off to publishers.

More exciting adventures to come next week....

Autor: David Cage
Source: Quantic Dream

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Week 17 Monday, January 27, 1997

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