14 Mar

Newsletter 9

This week for Prisoner’s Cinema was full of events. We have finished the rough version of the intro scene last Sunday and from the game perspective were mostly working on fixing bugs, but despite that, we had a very large amount of tasks to accomplish.

First of all, it was our playtesting week. We had three days dedicated to testing different aspects of our game, such as emotion, UI and general experience and had 10 players who shared their feedback with us. As always, getting outside opinion was extremely helpful, from both design and QA perspective.

We also have been preparing for GDC. Since Prisoner’s Cinema is going to the biggest game dev conference, we decided to make a trailer for our game and start working on our web presence. This is our trailer, by the way, we hope you’ll like it!

We are also launching our social media accounts, and will soon upload our game to a Concept section of Steam Greenlight. We will publish the link afterwards, and will be looking forward for your feedback.

Besides this preparation, we have already started to think about best ways to present on Halves (which will be the week next to the conference), and about the next scene we will be implementing in the next sprint.

Thank you very much for tuning in once again, and hope to see you at GDC!

07 Mar

Newsletter 8

Week 8 for Prisoner’s Cinema was incredibly busy. Not only it is the last week of the Intro scene development sprint, but there was a lot of work done as a result of the experimenting nature of our technology.

As for our regular process, Nathan’s primary task outside of filming process was working on the script and applying feedback he has received from the team and our outside sources. Also, we are still looking for an actor for our protagonist, but for now as a placeholder we decided to use Nathan’s voice, which they recorded with Arseniy in the sound booth.

Casey was finishing up the models of the environment and texturing it in a highly pleasing way, and you can see some of the results of his work on the screenshots from this newsletter.

a more casual screen shot

But besides our usual duties, this week our primary focus was on filming. As we mentioned in the last newsletter, in order to match our art-style the best and save time on modelling and animations, we decided to try a very daring approach of including characters in our game – to use footages of live actors inside the 3d environment.

 best screenshot

1 2

Although that potentially saves us an incredible amount of time, this was our first experience with implementing such an idea – a lot of lessons were learned and in future we are expecting to improve the process significantly. But on Tuesday we had a successful filming session with an actress (Laura Gray), after which the whole team was swamped with making this footage become a playable interactive experience. Alex and Arseniy were very busy with editing video and the sound, trying to find an optimal way to make this work, look and sound interesting and natural.

It was a very busy and productive time, and next week we are planning on concentrating on playtesting and preparation for GDC.

07 Mar

Newsletter 7

The 7th week of the development was fruitful for us in terms of the deliverable and iteration on our high-level plan. We are still in the middle of developing the intro dream sequence, and so far we are making good progress.
The intro turned out to be an incredibly important part of our game for multiple reasons:

•It is an introduction to our narrative-driven game
•It serves as a tutorial
•Since insomnia will affect our protagonist’s feelings and reactions a lot along the game, we need to demonstrate that he is actually a good person, and this dream sequence has to show him in a likable way.

As you can see, we have a lot to accomplish during this sprint, which we will try to achieve by carefully revising the content and playtesting.

After completing the beat sheet for the scene, Nathan wrote the first draft on the script, and right now is working on revisions based on feedback from advisors and faculty.

Clock Interaction

Casey is continuing to work on the environment for the dream making key objects and important small details which will help to convey the mood and the story, and Alex has implemented the first draft of the object interaction system, which already looks pretty amazing.

Arseniy, after a conversation with the team and Nathan specifically, has created a Conversation UI design document, and soon the conversation system we have right now will be significantly improved.

Next week will be mostly dedicated to recording voice-overs and shooting videos for the in-game dialogue with our lead actress Laura Gray.

In the end of this newsletter, we wanted to mention that this week we sent out a survey to ETC members with some important questions we wanted to get opinions on, and received very valuable feedback. Thank you very much for your initiative, ETC community! We greatly appreciate your help.