Dev Blog 70 – Major News Soon (very soon!)

Welcome back PAMELA fans!

It’s that time again, the weekly Dev Blog is here and there’s been a ton of important progress behind the scenes at NVYVE Studios. Another round of testing has been done, fixes were implemented, gameplay tweaked and balanced and overall PAMELA is now a shinier and smoother game than ever before! Oh, and read on further to see just a tiny bit of news….

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Dev Blog 69 – Testify!

Hello and welcome once again to the PAMELA weekly dev blog!

Another week has gone by, we’re all a little older, hopefully wiser and PAMELA is just that much more polished and ready to hit the virtual shelves! As we’ve all been getting absolutely stuck-in to game testing, some major issues have been resolved, other major issues have been found and await annihilation and the game is in general even smoother and more enjoyable than just a week ago! Yay us :)

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Dev Blog 68 – All’s quiet on the western front

Well, well, well. Great to see you all back once more dear readers!

An eerie quiet has descended on the office as the majority of the staff here at NVYVE Studios are furiously concentrated on polishing this game so hard you can see your expectant faces in it! Another bunch of great performance enhancements have been made, a swathe of bug fixes have been implemented from various team members into the main project, more areas of Eden will now spawn appropriate items, combat got tweaked, NPC’s are more polished, Eden itself is better looking as a whole, the audio levels were given a sweep, new audio effects have been imported and a series of “Nanite” growths were made and are now being imported into Eden. Whew!

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Dev Blog 67 – The only good Bug is a dead Bug

It’s that time again – welcome back for our 67th development update!

This week has been a mad flurry of testing, bug fixing, polishing, and optimization. The features that will be in EA have been 99% locked down at this point, and the goal now is to make sure that everything is solid for launch. NPCs specifically have received a ton of love this week; a few highlights are improved visual randomization, animation randomization, and copious amounts of overall polish.

We made some solid progress onthe optimization front as well; Ian went through a ton of particle systems throughout the game and remade them to improve rendering performance, and Christian improved our back-end zone system which turns off objects when they’re not needed.

The last highlight for this week is that Alayna has started work on our next trailer! We’ve been holding off on putting this together for awhile, so we could focus purely on development. This means that there’s a ton of new stuff to share (which you already know if you’re reading the blog each week!), and we’re looking forward to putting it up… when it’s ready! Stay tuned.

Adam

  • Updated Item spawn lists to ensure all new items are spawning appropriately in game
  • Extensive testing, identifying and tracking down bugs
  • Fixed various bugs in main scene

Alayna

  • Continued work on writing datalog content
  • Planned out new trailer
  • Began work on collecting footage for new trailer

Christian

  • Tweaked scene loading system to improve load times
  • Improved custom zone culling system for significant performance improvements
  • Fixed various NPC bugs
  • Converted all NPCs to use smoother “blend tree” movement system
  • Added slow and fast combat movement sets to all NPCs
  • Restructured NPC animators to improve the responsiveness of combat
  • Tweaked Stage 2 Afflicted to have much more sedentary behavior, as well as more variation in their idle animations
  • Added footstep sounds to all NPCs
  • Added NPC animation randomization system
  • Fixed bug with subtitles

Patrick

  • Enhanced detail in certain areas of the environment
  • Finished Recylcer and Rehydrator models
  • Modelled specialized colliders for all stairs in world
  • Tracking down modelling errors througout the world
  • Fixing these errors!

Ian

  • Remade a huge amount of particle effects in order to improve performance
  • Various bug fixes

Mathew

  • Enhanced detail in certain areas of the environment
  • Continued work on props for new area to be added after EA launch

James

  • Properly integrated full map system; all areas of the environment are now included in the player’s minimap!
  • Improved stability of all doors
  • Improved broken bone/bleeding status effects, as well as implemented proper UI indicators
  • Many, many more miscellaneous bug fixes

Chris

  • Huge amounts of bug fixing on:
    • Datapad menu
    • Status menu
    • Kiosk menu
    • Options menu
    • Building Interaction menu
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Dev Blog 66 – Echo, Echo, Echo…

Welcome back! Has it already been a week since the last post? Time flies!

We made some seriously awesome progress this week on all fronts. Bug fixing and stability testing has been continued, and increasing with every week. This week in particular, the inventory, death, and Genome Point menus were the main targets of the bug hunt. In case you missed the post about Genome points way back in the day, this screen allows you to spend upgrade points gained depending on how successful your last life was. Even though death is final in PAMELA, you’ll always gain at least a few Genome Points to make some progress with every life.

Narrative integration has also been progressing nicely, with “Echo” emitters being placed throughout the world and tied into dialogue. You’ll have to explore every nook and cranny in Eden to uncover all of them to learn Pamela’s full story! That’s all we’ll say on that before launch. :)

Last big note this week is Patrick and Mathew finishing up the low-poly Map geometry. This low res version of the world will feed into the AARM’s map menu and assist in navigation throughout the world. Almost 2 years to model the world itself, 2 weeks to model the map version. Not bad guys!

Full list below; there’s so much this week that I only mentioned a small fraction above…

Adam

  • Finished dirt pass on Promenade District props; this was the first area to be fully modelled in the game, and somehow became the last to be polished off before launch!
  • Cut up some new revised animations for Afflicted Stage 1, Stage 2, Reaper, and Seeker NPCs
  • Set up revised on/off lighting states for the world which can be toggled by using certain props in the world, if the district has enough power, that is
  • Assigned Pamela “Echo” emitter IDs throughout world

Alayna

  • Wrote voice lines for all NPCs, which will be undergoing a vocal overhaul in the next few weeks
  • Placed Pamela “Echo” emitters throughout the world; you’ll have to track these all down to uncover her full story!
  • Imported finished Pamela vocals into project, and set up subtitles in Unity editor
  • Began work on writing datalog entries that can be found throughout the world
  • Started polish pass on different power states for the world – each district can be turned on, off, or emergency mode, and each of these setups needs to be hand made for the best results

Christian

  • Converted all NPC animator systems from state-based to blend trees, making their movement smoother and less erratic
  • Implemented a major performance optimization into our zone-culling system for a nice framerate boost
  • Reimported all NPCs, now including rigged eyes and facial blend shapes, for huge improvements in NPC believability!
  • Performance optimizations on NPC rig set ups to squeeze out a few more frames
  • Created procedural facial blending system for NPCs to make use of new models
  • Finalizing NPC animators, and adding miscellaneous new animations

Patrick

  • Finished map geometry
  • Created “Echo” emitter model
  • (almost) finished new Recycler and Rehydrator props; I’ll let you guess what these do…

Ian

  • Made several improvements to the lighting/power system
  • Refactored interactive prop code for increased flexibility
  • Re-implementing Kiosk store props for improved performance and cleanliness
  • Several performance optimizations on keypad objects

Mathew

  • Finished modelling, and organizing all map geometry
  • Created large canteen, and purifying tablet
  • Starting props for a completely unique new area, which we’ll be working on soon

James

  • Cleaned up Death Menu and Genome Point menu
  • Implemented proper Genome Point collection based on player performance in-game
  • Genome Point screen now properly locks out abilities above the player’s level

Chris

  • Created Pamela “Echo” Emitter, and added functionality to play back Echos within Datapad once found
  • Fixed a ton of bugs on inventory menu
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Dev Blog 65 – The Bug Hunt

Greetings once again dear readers, and welcome back to the weekly dev blog! The bug hunt continues and intensifies this week with tons of new fixes and some truly impressive optimisation. So far we’re all still alive, with only a few minor injuries (mostly to computer hardware) but the hunt has only just begun… well not really but that sounds more dramatic than “ongoing bug fixing is progressing as expected”.

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Dev Blog 64 – Hello, 2017!

Welcome back to the ol’ weekly blog, for our first post of 2017! From the whole team at NVYVE Studios, we hope you guys all had some great time off with friends and family over the last few weeks. We were able to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation ourselves, and are excited to kick off a great New Year and get P.A.M.E.L.A. into your hands!

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Dev Blog 63 – So Long 2016!

Santa-Reaper is coming to town, and he doesn’t look happy…

Well, that year flew by. When you’re laser-focused on a huge project like this, day in and day out, it’s easy for the days (and weeks, and months) to start blending together sometimes! It feels like just yesterday that we were setting up our booth at GDC (pic below in case you missed it!) and putting out our last alpha gameplay trailer.

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Dev Blog 62 – Snowed In

Day 4 stranded at the studio – Snowstorms have been raging for days; we are no longer able to see through the windows. We have radioed in for extraction, but thus far our calls have gone unanswered. Mathew and Patrick have scoured the office for books and assorted paper products to burn, which has kept a meager fire alight. Food supplies running low; all we have left at this point are a few Nutri-Grain bars and some pepper-flavored Triscuits… so salty. Fingers are almost to cold to continue development. If you get this message, stay safe friend… and send help…

///END TRANSMISSION///

But actually though, it’s been a snowy few days in the Great White North! Short of some insanely long commutes home, we’re all safe and sound. And not a single book burnt yet! As if we have many books around… can you burn hard drives and old sticks of RAM for warmth? Anyway I’d call that a successful week, all in all.

As the end of the year approaches, we’ve been pushing full force to end on a high note. This week, some great progress has been made on both adding some last features before launch and polishing/tweaking existing systems. From an environmental standpoint, Adam and Alayna have been pushing to wrap up the bulk of the “finishing pass” throughout, well, the entire world. This means hand-placing thousands of props throughout all of the existing districts, as well as making tweaks and fixes to Eden’s architecture where needed. We’re pretty excited for you all to be able to explore Eden for yourselves soon; there’s a ton to explore and discover, if you can survive that long, of course!

Christian has been adding a few new “friendly” robot characters which we’re all highly looking forward to. I say “friendly”, because that part is sort of up to how you play the game… I’ll leave that for you to find out soon enough! James added our first working suit of equip-able armor to the game, which thanks to our full-body-awareness system, you’re able to see appear on your body when equipped. Feels secure.

There’s been even more polish and touch-up work done on Ian and Chris’ side this week, as they’ve been improving some existing systems such as our Ammo Counters and Looting menus. These changes serve to improve the usability and fun of these various mechanics, which we’ll be doing even more of in January.

Anyways there’s still more, as always, so please do read below if you’re interested. Drive safe, to all our friends in the North! See you next week for our final Dev Blog of 2016.

Adam

  • Created custom entrance doors for Origin Station District
  • Fenced out a large quarantined area in Oasis Courtyard District
  • Added a new Medical Clinic area to most districts, which contain powerful medical bays that can be used to heal your wounds… for a cost
  • Completed “dirt pass” through Garrison Security District props; meaning furniture has been scattered, trash and lootable areas have been added, taking the world from a clean state to a post-disaster state

Alayna

  • Upgraded effects on Warden’s Fist weapon
  • Placed props throughout new Medical Clinic areas that Adam added
  • Polished Oasis prop placement, and finished some previously unfinished areas within the courtyard
  • Worked on large quarantined area in Oasis Courtyard District
  • Polished Origin Station prop placement
  • Created new Container/Looting UI for more visual feedback when looting and storing items in the world
  • Created Recycler menu (gotta go green)
  • Created several new item icons

Christian

  • Rigged new custodial robot NPC
  • Set up animations on ” “
  • Set up AI systems for ” “
  • Created “look at system” for ” “
  • Rigged Medium Armor item for James to integrate
  • Started work on Observer, a security patrol bot that was hinted at in our Rebirth Trailer

Patrick

  • Modeled a ton of clothing (shirts, pants, sweater…) and shoes to flesh out the promenade area further
  • Created his own fashion line – Eden Winter Fashions 2016
  • Created pick-up-able versions of Medium armor pieces

Ian

  • Implemented new Ammo Counters on all ranged weapons
  • Implemented color-based Ammo effect on all melee weapons
  • Implemented new Player hand animations for Utility attachments and Pamela ability uses
  • Various bug-fixing
  • Started work a several remaining Utility FX

Mathew

  • Created large body-bag pile props
  • Created Observer model variants
  • Started dead hedge model

James

  • Finished up few remaining tasks on farming system
  • Added ability to loot dead NPCs
  • Implemented new Medium Security armor suit – you can find and equip a Helmet, Torso, and Leg Guards for improved survivabilty!

Chris

  • Finished first pass on tutorial system
  • Started to implement new Loot/Container/Recycling menu systems

 

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Dev Blog 61 – Wanton Destruction

 

Welcome back dear readers and have I got some cool updates for you! As per usual…

This week was a bit of a strange one in terms of progress as on the one hand we created some super lush looking and in-depth plant growing functionality courtesy of Mat and James, but then Ian shocked us all with a way to blow all that stuff up! I’m not sure what his problem is, as hydroponics is a hobby of his in real life. Maybe he’s just jealous of just how awesome looking our plants are 😉

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