Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Moviestorm 1.3.1 just got too big for its britches

For the last few weeks, we've been packing more and more new stuff into Moviestorm 1.3.1. And now it's got rather bigger than we were expecting. So big, in fact, that it's completely outgrown 1.3 and will henceforth be known by its new name, Moviestorm 1.4.

As we developed the character shop, we came up with all sorts of new ideas. We started with basic decals, and rapidly expanded that to cover not only make-up in the sense of a little bit of lipstick and eyeshadow, but also cyborgs, Ziggy Stardust or KISS style face painting, scars, tattoos, and all sorts of fun stuff. After playing with those for a while, we decided this was just too good to leave out, so we opted to go with the flow and create more details. We also added in more morphs, and more ways to make characters look good when you film them. We've been paying particular attention to things like how shiny the eyes should be, so the characters look properly alive.

We also came up with a few oddball ideas in testing. We mentioned the "create random character" button a while ago. We ended up with three random buttons, which give us different basic parameters. One's fine for generating normal characters, one gives you more extreme characters, and one gives you completely random ones. This was really helpful for testing the morphs, and making sure they all worked together successfully. We then realised that this would actually be a useful feature anyway: you don't really want weird freaks when you're just trying to set up a restaurant scene. So yeah, we rather like the idea of a bunch of "create a sort of random character along these lines" buttons.

Whether this will make it into this release is very much open to question. As of now, we've stopped adding new things, and we're aiming to wrap everything up and get it through QA and out to you as soon as possible. There are several features in the category of "if it works properly with minimal effort, it stays, otherwise rip it out and ship it later."

Does that mean the character designer is finished now? No. There's still plenty more that we're planning for the future. Last week, for example, we figured out how to do some neat stuff with skin shading and tinting that's not going to make it into 1.4 for sure. And even today we were coming up with more new ideas, and everyone in the team is finding things we'd want to do differently if we had the time. The priority is to get you what we have, and see what you make.

So when's 1.4 coming? You know the answer. When it's ready.


Unknown said...

Very very very very very very very very exciting!

You know the old joke about kids on a car trip? Is it here yet? Is it here yet? Yeah, very annoying ;)

Anyway, can't wait for this, and thrilled to see the excitement on your end as well!

primaveranz said...

Just the tonic for the jaded naysayers ;)

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