Week One - First Meetings!
Today we had our first ever weekly stand up, with myself and our 3 amazing artists: Georgia, Tabbie and Conn. We started by sharing plushies we had in our rooms, although I am surrounded by boxes having just moved house, but luckily I had a giant pikachu to hand!
We had one initial call a few weeks ago just to go over the game overview, what it's about and the rough plan for the next few months and started work on an art bible and finalised the asset list (although I'm planning to be quite agile with development, so it has already changed slightly).
I also had a call with Kirsty, our voice director just before Christmas and went through a lot of detail in relation to casting, all the information she might need, and got some really great advice from her, such as giving a slightly longer passage for voice actors to read at the audition stage. This can help to give more time to hear if they really embody the character. Kirsty also said the lines don't need to be straight out of the game, they can be written just for the auditions, so I have taken one passage for the main character that was originally just to be read on screen as text, to be voiced for the auditions. I just finished the Casting documents a few days ago, and Kirsty has gone through and made some edits to help the actors. Super excited to start hearing things come to life!
This week we also allocated all the art assets to each artist and Georgia has kindly shared a painting example to keep everything consistent, as well as agreeing on a scale. I tried to make sure everyone had a roughly equal work load. While we are currently working from a spreadsheet, a job for me this week is to put each asset into Jira so we can track progress that way. I'm also keen to finally understand Jira memes. Tabbie has made a start on "Wolfie", and he is looking super cute, and Georgia has sketched out some key art. Art always inspires me a lot, as soon as you start getting visuals it can be really inspiring to everyone else in the process (and vice versa I think!).
My main job this week is to try and do everything in Unreal that I previously did in Unity. My original prototype was built in Unity, and I haven't done much in Unreal before, other than follow a few tutorials so I have to dig deep and put some time into that. The good thing is the game mechanics are not hugely complicated, so I'm not too worried about managing to build a fairly basic interaction system (famous last words). I have also been considering applying for the Epic grant as they have some funding available for game devs to move their games from another engine over to Unreal, so that's another thing on my to-do list.
From the roughly finalised art asset list I can now start building an asset list for Kevin to work from. There's nothing major to do at this point, it's mostly room tones, a bit of ambience and the usual sound effects such as footsteps, opening a drawer, picking up an object etc
Conn asked during our meeting if there would be music playing in the bedroom, and to be honest I'm not fully sure if music would add to the scene or take away from the dialogue too much. Games like Gone Home are mostly quite silent, but it perhaps feels quite eerie, then games like Life is Strange have a lot of music, often licensed tracks, which we naturally can't afford but I'm curious how a bit of guitar moody music might sit, or perhaps something christmassy as the first scenes are set at Christmas? Something for me to think about!
That's it for our first ever post, and thank you for reading and being a part of our progress too! :)