It is Wednesday, my dudes.
SO WE GOT AN OFFICE
We've all been feeling the isolation of working remote for over two years, so this is a welcome change. While the initial setup took its toll, we're already seeing substantial productivity gains in having everyone here to communicate and work.
We've shacked up with the lovely 17-Bit. They recently just had part of their studio ship off to Japan, so they had half an office available for us to use. This isn't the final destination for Giant Enemy Crab but it is an excellent home for now, and we're very grateful to 17-Bit for hosting us.
A COMMUNITY MANAGER APPROACHES
We also have a community manager now, Grant, who you've likely yet giving you the brief on the game at PAX. Vince and I have known Grant for years and have spent many hours gaming with him. He's helped us at every PAX, has attended nearly all of our game tests, and has showed an unparalleled devotion to the team and the game, and we owe so much to him already. You find him on our discord as @Vheela.
As you may have seen in those videos, we've integrated the new killhouse level art as pictured in Ben's mockups. We're busy finalizing a background scene for our killhouse, as well as doing some polish work on getting the interior scenes up to snuff. Ben was only working part time but we've been fortunate enough to snag him to work with us full time up in Seattle.
Many of you have asked if there will be other levels for Due Process. The Killhouse is our testbed for all other maps. Just as special forces mock up operations in a killhouse, so do we. We're learning how to create the most interesting spaces with our level generator through the killhouse, and the plan is that we'll take the lessons learned and spaces built within it to other level pallets. With this process, spaces are designed first and then given an art pass second.
As we discussed before, the bomb really helped focus the planning phase. Before, attackers had to form a plan to clear an entire structure. Now they have to form a plan to seize a particular room. It takes far less time to create a plan and the plans are much more deliberate and predictable.
Fortunately, what this has enabled us to do is reduce the overall time of a round. Planning went from 3 minutes to 2, and execution was reduced by 10 seconds. Due to a 20 second grace period after a round ends, the total time of a round is 5 minutes and 10 seconds.
This reduction in time has brought the pace of the game much closer to the loop of the original prototype, and our intent is to find ways to tighten it up further so the game loop hits the same stride.
Also, the MAWP, our sniper rifle, is getting a nerf. It's just too good! The answer to any tactical problem is the MAWP. The MAWP also occupies a role too close to the Cart Technical, which is to lock down long lanes of fire.
To nerf weapons, you never want to reduce their core strength, in this case the 1 hit kill. What we need to do is identify the desired game loop for the weapon and then introduce limitations to reduce the capability of the weapon to only that playstyle.
For the MAWP, we want you to pick a guy off, fall back, repeat. In order to achieve that playstyle we need to add a couple of limitations. First is an accuracy penalty for movement. This is a weapon you need to hold with, never peek.
Second, is this:
We need to substantially increase the cycle time of the weapon, so we're going to strip the magazine out of the MAWP and make it a single shot bolt action rifle. The slow cadence of fire should encourage players to choose distant positions they can retreat from rather than going for a 5k on a team while holding their ground.
ROAD TO THE ALPHA:
The design of the game is there. We're ready to start testing the depth of the game, which is what the alpha is for. All that's blocking us from going alpha is a means to distribute and control builds. In other words, Steam integration. We need to make a hire to make that happen, so we're still TBD on a date.
I'll leave you with this: