Another well-filled two weeks, which explains why I didn't have time to give any news last week. On the graphics side, Pierre is working on the inside set of the security center, which is one of the important places of Section 1 of the adventure.
Philippe is working on other characters of the adventure, in particular Uzal (the first incarnable character of the game), Uzal's office colleagues and a new character, Shenanda. As all the characters of the game can fight with Feet/Fists (like in Tekken 3), we had to agree on a certain number of modeling rules. The other technique we set up concerns the modeling of faces for the dialogue sequences (in facial Motion Capture). Here again a lot of work for Philippe, and impressive face textures produced by Stephane.
Neighbourhoods 2 and 3, started last month, are progressing normally.
The most significant progress of these last two weeks probably comes from programming. Fabien is continuing to prepare the integration of the Game Play, which we have scheduled to start for October 1. He has created various routines which allow the objects of the adventure to be placed directly in the game with the mouse, for example. Simon for his part has integrated the engine of the
game into IAM, our adventure editor. It is now possible to enter the script of the adventure using icons, and to test the result directly in the game. We are beginning to see the results of the objective we had set ourselves: to be able to program the scenario easily, directly, and without a programmer. Our first results are very promising. I could soon myself program the scenario I have written, just with the help of a few icons under Windows 95, immediately test the Game Play in a window or on full screen, and easily adjust any parameter. Bliss!
The Playstation version now holds in 1 VBL (60 images/second). The final game with the city, all the passers-by and the vehicles in the streets, and the script of the adventure should hold in 2 VBL (30 images/second), which would be a minor feat for a game of the complexity of Omikron. As for technical achievements, Fred, our PSX programmer, is among the very few to have created characters with skinning on PSX. He has also succeeded in gaining considerable memory space using a few tricks and a lot of work.
The other spectacular progress (at least as far as I am concerned) is the end of the writing of the interactive scenario. I was at last able to write the word <> at the bottom of the page. But that does not mean my work is over. In the coming two weeks, I will be doing some touching up depending on what Fabien has to say about the programming and Olivier about the
graphics. Then I shall move on to writing the interactive dialogues, which should keep me busy for a good month. Then over to voice casting, the recording sessions and afterwards the integration of the Game Play.
Writing the scenario will have been a particularly large slice of the work. I have tried to keep to certain elements which seemed essential to me : intelligently combining Adventure and Arcade, giving true depth to the scenario, with a complex and coherent universe in the background, always keeping as a priority the interactivity and the pleasure of the player.
Whilst telling a story is something relatively easy, with a little imagination and a lot of work, the conception of interactivity is considerably more complicated. Here again, lots of research, sketches, plans, attempts.The hardest is certainly still having to wait for more than a year to know whether the scenario is a success.
Something tells me I won't have time to get bored before then...
See you next week for new adventures.
Autor: David Cage
Source: Quantic Dream
11/01/1999 Eidos Interactive ships Omikron: The Nomad Soul
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