Hi everyone! It’s time for the weekly development update, although I must admit that we haven’t been very weekly lately. Nevertheless, let’s begin with the Black Pants office; or better: with its representation in On Rusty Trails. As the production is in its final moments, we started adding rooms that are spread throughout the game and can be found by secret-loving players. Some of the rooms are easier to find, some harder. One of the rooms is the Black Pants office with some trademark furniture and decorations in it. In our featured image, Elvis has just discovered the secret office room and can find the signature “Markus” IKEA chair – a chair, 50% of the Pants hold in high regard. Essential items like the coffee machine and the esteemed sofa are also in there.
Here are all the pieces taken out of the room. On the left, we have the build monitor, which informs about broken game builds with a red warning light. Left of the level board, where all levels of On Rusty Trails are visible in their entirety (in the real version), we can see Jones’ Sepultura flag, which has always had a place on his wall, no matter in which iteration of the office. Obviously, the representation is not 100% accurate. Essential missing parts are THE LAMP, some awards (wink, wink) and finest assemblies of garbage: energy drink cans, pizza boxes and mountains of ground coffee beans, carefully placed BESIDE the garbage can.
With new secret rooms – and other content – come new achievements. I will not spoil how many secrets the game has, that would take all the fun out of it. Suffice it to say, you will need some endurance to find all of them. The achievement icons have received an overhaul and are one of the last thing to be added to the game. As I said before, we are almost done. We will decide the final release date in tomorrow’s team meeting and are testing the 99% finished game.
Slightly technical talk – but keeping it superficial for your (and my :D) benefit:
Another thing that we have added, which makes the game look very good, are lightmaps. Lightmapping is a method of pre-calculating light in levels. This means, the game will look at every object in a level, receive information on how light shines on it and then calculate where to create shadows. The “downside” of this method is that it takes very long to “build” the finished game with complete lightmaps, so when we create a new build (version) of the game, our build servers have hours of calculating work to do. To give you an idea: every version of the game that is built receives a version number and we are currently at #2255 – so our servers have built 2255 new iterations of the game so far, each due to something being broken or new features being added. The aforementioned “downside” of lightmaps is an upside in reality. What our servers have calculated in advance, and added as information to the game, is stuff your computer does not have to calculate anymore, so you get a nice-looking game with proper light and shadows, with an awesome performance.
That’s it for this week. Make sure to check back on the blog next Sunday!