Seasons demo dev diary : Week 1

Posted on August 4, 2010

Hi all,

Next month, we will exhibit at the Festival du Jeu Vidéo 2010, a major videogame event that will take place in Paris from 10th to 12th September. These days, parts of Seasons will be playable at our stand, and you will be able to talk with us in english (and french, of course).

So, during August we are building the demo and, week after week, we will share this quite frightning adventure with you.


> New features :

A new gameplay element has been programmed for a naturel object the player can only find in one season. You’ll have to play this to discover which object it is.

First lights integration : now we can create dark levels and set an ambient color on parts of the environnement. Right now, we light everything that is behind the light (but we have all the information we need, so if we want to reduce the lighting on some objects we can do it).

Light in Blender (top) and light ingame (bottom)

A new type of material to set different colors on a same object depending on seasons : we don’t have to use multiple textures anymore. It is made possible by using textures with grey levels and applying colors on it (multiply).

The superb user interface of Blender used to set materials (top) and the result

> Bug correction :

The most we use Blender, the most we find bugs. Among them :
– bad sorting of transparent layers
– new feature == new bugs… the “multiple colors materials” bring bugs to old ones

An interesting combo : bad sorting + a material that shouldn\’t use multiple colors + problem of texture\’s filtering


> Level Design

The average length of the demo should be 15 minutes long in order to allow players to see a lot of things without losing their whole day on Swing Swing Submarine’s stand. Thats why the demo will contain 4 various environments for 12 game screens.

Where is the 12th game screen ?

Once the level design is set and the collision map created in Blender, the only thing left is the graphic part (is that all ? well then it’s not a big deal !)

> Art

At first, we make the ground, then we start to “decorate” with the main visual elements and the background. At sketching stage, we still have stars in the eyes. But when we’ve done the first try, there’s no more stars : it’s just ugly, white on white, we see nothing, please help us and give us a proper artist ! Few minutes later, we are done with the depression and we start again, back on the battlefield. The second try is much better, enough to let this game screen behind and start working on a new one (we will polish it later).