Happy February, The Last Time fans!
It’s been a little over a month since I last gave you a progress report, so to make up for lost time, I’ve got a big update for you today. It will include news about upgrades to the game’s sound and graphics, an all-new screenshot, and, as if that wasn’t exciting enough… a BAR CHART!
The Last Time gets musical
Sound designer Tom Byrne spent a whole weekend over at Big Cow Studios (aka my flat) coding the music and SFX into the game with me. The audio’s still in first draft stage, but it’s already very promising, and adds a huge amount of emotion to the scenes. The prologue, for example, feels much more immersive now – even though there isn’t any music until the climax, there’s a build-up of background SFX which raises the tension throughout. I’ve got to give credit to Tom for the ideas he’s brought to the table – I’d originally just been thinking of looping background tracks, but he’s come up with so much more than that.
I hinted back in November that I was planning on upgrading some of the game’s art; if you have a look at the picture below, you’ll be able to see an example of how I’ve been doing this. The top image features the newer graphics; note how I’ve changed the hue, brightness and saturation of the bricks and cement, changed the texture of the ground, and added more depth and detail to the doorbell, house number, window frames and doorframe. I’ve got to admit, doing the game’s graphics by myself has been more of a challenge than I anticipated, but I’m pleased that I’ve been able to learn and make improvements during this time.
The bar chart you’ve been waiting for
You may remember that, in my Kickstarter video, I revealed that I used to work for an ‘evil corporation’. That was my way of saying that I used to have a dull office job, spending most of my time doing data analysis. While I don’t miss that work, I will confess that I do like a bit of number crunching every now and again – to that end, I proudly present you with a bar chart quantifying the work that remains to be done on the game:
Each bar represents the number of high-, medium- and low-priority tasks I need to complete, plus some ‘optional’ tasks, with the different colours indicating whether these tasks are big, medium or small. As you can see, there’s a fair amount of work that remains to be done – but it’s not as much as it might look. Almost half of the remaining tasks are ‘small’, which means that I’ve estimated that they won’t take more than a couple of minutes (it might be something as small as ‘make camera fade in two seconds later’). ‘Medium’ means they’ll take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, and ‘big’ means upwards of an hour. The main tasks I need to get out of the way before I can release the beta are the high-priority tasks, though I’ll probably want to complete a bunch of the medium-priority tasks as well. In terms of what this means for the beta release date – I’m looking at a few weeks from now.
Finally compiling my very long to-do list into Excel form serves two purposes – not only does it allow me to show you visually how I’m progressing, but it also allows me to break down my remaining workload into small, manageable chunks, which psychologically makes things a lot easier for me.
Still reading? I’m honoured! As promised, here’s a never-before-seen screenshot for you (I managed to find a scene that doesn’t give away anything you didn’t already know!):
Big Cow goes to a convention
Two weekends ago, Big Cow (that’s me) went to the London Anime and Gaming Convention for the second time – the first time was shortly before the Kickstarter last year. It was a lovely opportunity to show the game to some more people, meet some new and old game developer friends, and reflect on how much has happened since last year.
Well, that’s all for this update! Please do get in touch through comments, messages or social media if you have any questions 🙂
All the best,