Oh boy, it’s been nearly four months since my last post. Quite a bit has changed since we entered Greenlight and it’s been an odd ride. I know a lot of people like to do a Greenlight post-mortem, but really there’s very little to say so I’ll just give you a brief run-down before I move on to talk about the recent changes to the game.
When we first started Greenlight we knew we were making a niche game in a smaller genre and that interest would be limited. We weren’t wrong. Ultimately over the last three months we got little over 200 yes votes with only a 40% or so yes rating. We were more or less resigned to the fact that we were going to have to relaunch the campaign to show the more active game elements and the new visuals when we were Greenlit out of nowhere. I had heard it was possible to get through with low vote counts, but it was still surprising. Overall I feel Greenlight is too much of a black box for any of the information it shows to be of any use. You have no idea what you’re being compared to or exactly what metrics are used. We repeatedly saw games with less votes than us in the top 100 and even in the top 20, so other than a pass / fail we couldn’t really draw any usable information from the experience. All we can do is be grateful we’re through and can stop worrying about if the game can be sold and move on to put out the best game we can.
Shortly after we launched our campaign (because of course it had to be after…) one of the people giving us feedback mentioned the game looked much better in colour. Originally the night vision had come about partly as a way to blend the colours of our props a little better and to cover up a few graphical issues we weren’t happy with. As I had grown tired of staring at the problem areas and was planning to redo most of the props using new techniques we opted to switch back to using a regular colour camera. As a result we dropped the soft camera filters, added a torch and adjusted bloom and light distances to account for our new ‘darker’ house.
Over the next three months we managed to redo most of the assets and finish off the majority of the code for our ghost so he can actually chase you around. We’re just finalising the AI for his low level functions and hopefully will have a video of the more active game elements in the next couple of weeks.
One big change we noticed after the revamp was how much darker the house looks. Between new wall textures, new panels and the new torch based lighting we found we had to adjust our light intensity and adjust some of the game elements so visibility was more than a couple of metres in front of the player. We’re still tweaking to find the right values so the images below might not reflect the final light levels, but they are quite close to what you will see. As a result there are no images of the ghost in action as we need to reevaluate the particle systems that support him. Currently when the ghost is around you can barely see one metre. Whoops.
We did keep some of the old look, though. The CCTV feeds still use night vision and we think they provide a nice little variation from the colder, harsher feel the torch light provides.
Take a look a the new images of the house below and let us know what you think.
The next couple of weeks for us include recording dialogue, finalising the ghost particles and AI and putting together a test build with several endings as we start pulling all the threads together into a cohesive whole. We’ll keep you posted.
Until next time.