Weekly journal – Happy Holidays!

Hey everyone,  

It is finally the holidays and we are more than ready to take a break and recharge before 2018 kicks in! But no rest for the wicked just yet, we still have a lot of work to do before some the team heads off to visit their families. We wish you all a very happy holidays and may you work your way through your backlog! We asked each team member to write what game they were looking to play over the holidays and we would love to hear yours as well. 

We also released some print-outs of We Happy Few paper snowflakes to add a little extra Joy to your holiday decorating!

Narrative Team - Alex and Lisa

Alex

This week, Lisa and I gave a talk at MIGS on “Dirty Narrative” in We Happy Few. Dirty narrative is my term for making the game into a bit of an unreliable narrator. There will be inconsistencies. There will be absences. There will be mysteries. There will be translucent lies -- lies that tell you as much about the liar as they do about the truth. Characters will tell you things you need to know only tangentially -- they are not there to serve your story, they are the heroes of their own stories.  

Our theory is that pushing information at the player pushes you away; we only want to answer a question after you’ve asked it. That way, you pull yourself into the story and the world.  

You may judge for yourself whether we have been successful in this approach.  

I’m also writing dialog for the great effort to rework the first two hours of the game. Right now it’s all robo-speech, which is horrifying to listen to, but works for the designers. Probably after the holidays I’ll turn that into recorded temp speech in which I do all the voices, which gives us a more accurate sense of how the encounters play out. And then, once everything is nailed down, I’ll bring our actors back and turn it into recorded final dialog.  

Now that we’ve given our talk, things as home have returned to normal (or, normal for us, anyway), so I can get into Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds and Witcher 3: Blood and Wine. There is also a Crusader Kings 2 game that I’ve had on hiatus for months, and if I give in to temptation, I might re-install CK2 and disappear from reality for a week.

Lisa  

Same as above, but over the holidays, I will be playing CUPHEAD!

Design Team - David, Hayden, Antoine, Adam, Ben, Eric, Roxanne and Benji  

Cuddly Eric  

After a few weeks of restructuring some things, planning, schedules, meetings, chats, bug fixes, design schtuff, and whatever else I was up to I’m back making some new content. I’m making a new bridge that is supposed to be a bit of an event. Think it’ll be cool, and hopefully pretty weird.  

Adorable Adam  

I’ve been working on a new transition quest for Arthur’s story. It involves some new areas, and some areas that you may have come across in early access builds. Also, I made a bobby spawner that bobbies actually return to when their alarm is over.  

So, if you guys haven’t heard of this game, it’s effing scary. Terrific sound design, and some genuine “oh f*ck” moments:  

http://unforgivinggame.com/

Antoine  

Hey there good people ! So the level design area is getting a tiny bit invaded. I’ve got two new neighbors (Emmanuel and Marc André) that are both doing a pretty hardcore job of arting up the sections I’ve created for the very first Garden District island. We’ve gone through a lot of iterations on those, trying to route the player into interesting locations, accentuate certain things in the environment. Having them closer made the whole process a lot easier. Trying to make sure the world is creepy enough, I’ve tried to push a little the creation of more “Wastrel art” into our garden district islands. What’s interesting about them is that, they are trying their best to be normal again (words from Alex our narrative director). So that’s why when sometimes they set up tea parties with mannequins it’s just a way for them to do something normal but with the wacky side effect of a brain messed up by Joy (if some of our early access players remember the giant cat with a hat sitting at a table with a bunch of tea cups it’s definitely coming back with more stuff).