Things are moving very fast on Frozen Endzone at the moment and a lot of stuff is in flux, so it's still difficult to show the game in any meaningful way. I'll go through some of the things that people are working on:
- Particles and Terrain
Rich (Lead Artist) has been doing a lot of work on particle effects: these will really lift the game from the quite dry and clean look of the original trailer to something much more exciting and dynamic.
We will have two stadiums in the beta; at the moment Rich is re-working the "blocks" that make up the randomised terrain on the pitch. These will eventually look much more seamless: although the design of the originals was cool we felt that they repeated too much and were a bit too "videogamey" so a different approach to this should solve that.
I (Paul) have been working on the basic sound that will go into the beta. Most events will trigger some kind of sound, even though we won't have all of the variation and processing that I hope to do for the release version.
One difficult issue I have to solve is variable slow-motion - simply pitching or timestretching existing sounds to the parameters used by the engine won't sound good, so I'll need to do bespoke sound fo those situations. That's something I hope to work on over the next week or so.
I can report that, unlike the Frozen Synapse beta, the Frozen Endzone beta will have full level music! This will be pretty cool and will add a lot to the experience of playing the game. I still have to work on tracks for the "replays" and "round-up" segments that collate current highlights, but you will get a lot of interesting music to listen to while playing.
- Menus and GUI
This is always a ridiculously time-consuming part of development that gets overlooked. People form their first impression of a game from the menu so, even in a beta, it's worth getting the basics right here.
Similarly, shonky-looking in-game GUI elements really undermine the experience, so today we'll be working on getting final GUI art into the game and functioning correctly.
Ian is doing more work on paired animations, which is a big part of the game. We're pretty happy with the custom animation system we've built so far, but there is still a fair amount of work and bug-fixing to do before it will be beta-ready.
Back to the grindstone now - I will keep you updated over the next couple of weeks.