Serious Business

18 Jun

A bit more specific, and fun, news to share:

Here, Jim Wiser can be seen explaining the rate at which infected spawn in the new Survival Mode.

Jim Wiser explains the rate at which Infected spawn in Survival Mode. Moments later, the entire board rage-quit.

So after a good two-to-three weeks off from our usual game-design gatherings back in Studio E, the Pumamen have assembled once, or twice if you count grill-outs, again to discuss, discern, and…*drum roll*…podcast! The first episode of our ensemble podcast (names are being tossed around) is currently in being edited and remixed for a bit of a spin on the usual “A bunch of of guys, a bunch of games” banter-cast. It’s going to take a bit of practice to get use to all the audio-hardware and fidelity control, but expect anyways to hear about our first gaming experiences, and how that’s matured with us over the years into modding and game design.

Additionally, in light of L4D2 and the recent beta for authoring tools, we have a more concrete perspective to thrust off of. Last semester felt more like pioneering because of how new the game still was when we started. We now recognize that that land is being surveyed, and pretty seriously at that.

For one, we’re seeing slices of the innovations Valve themselves have made with level design for L4D, which mirror some of our own ideas and realizations about the relationship the community has with the game’s nuts & bolts. For instance, to be ultra brief, our finale has a familiar approach in design as the one  [finale] Valve revealed at last week’s E3…but not quite. Additionally, David Ellis from 1Up.com mentioned on last week’s ListenUp! podcast that Valve might rely on the community to deliver content and populate L4D once 2 is launched…and while it’s just an assumption, I can see where he’s derived that thought and it’s not that far-fetched. To be honest, I hope this is partially the case because it’s quite a healthy situation for modders to be in.

So far we’ve each taken claim over individual chapters, but after assessing the situation and our availability, we’re going to shift gears and compile resources on one map at a time. We think this is a detour from our original process (large passes on the whole project) that we need to make if we want to realize this project. If we can get a chapter or two truly playtestable and visually focused throughout the summer we’d have somewhat of a preview to share, as well as the benefit of carrying more digestible playtest data throughout the rest of the project.

-Andrew

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