I'm a sound tech and co-project lead at Ignition-Point Entertainment, where we're currently working on the space-shooter Eternal Silence.
It pains me to announce that I've stepped down as a project lead for Eternal Silence. It's been a long and very fun process, but to be frank my time is beginning to shrink and it's been impossible to invest the amount of work I would've liked. The last think I want is to see ES suffer from the lack of my attention, so before my time becomes too sparse I've decided to focus on what I was meant to do in the first place (but have had very little time to do lately): sounds. Our highly skilled and committed writer and PR-lead GMan will take over after me. I wish you the best of luck and I'm looking forward to developing under your competent lead :)
Eternal Silence is moving into the summer period. We've recently done a meeting with all the team-leads and laid out the plans for the different departments. To sum it all up the focus of the team is slowly shifting away from the third version of the game and onto the fourth. This is where the show truly starts.
First of all we need to look into Eternal Silence as we all know it. The game is nothing without it's multiplayer-logic, so we're going to port the entire game to the new Orange Box engine first of all. We're very determined not to just copy-paste everything. We're re-visiting each and every part of the game mechanics, looking into the game-modes, changing the classes, sharpen the UI and polish the visual edges. Suffice to say that we've got enough on our hands, but just last night Sghiratë was jumping up and down out of pure excitement, so I'm guessing the code-base is about ready.
I'll be doing my part of course. Both as a project-lead but also as a sound tech. Due to some technical compatibility-issues with the older sounds I'll be redoing all the voices. All? Yes. All. Except for my baby ADA of course :) I'll be sure to explain why in the next blog-post. Until then: Hold on! We're going to have a helluva ride. Under any circumstances it involves a lot of work.
So this is just going to be a quick status-update. I'm - surprise surprise - really busy at the moment since I must be the only person left on earth not yet to finish his exams. It'll all be over the 28th.
Eternal Silence is hitting the summer-period. I can easily tell this by the amount of stuff that's getting done. We're having a huge amount of creative input and we're nearing the monthly release, where we'll (finally) make the class-limits public and do some carefully measured balance-changes to the game. There's much more to read about everything on the forum (fx about weekly game days, recruiting for trailer shooting and the active logo contest for Ignition-Point Entertainment).
I've been really busy lately so the blogging has been quite sparse. The reason has mainly been my exams which aren't done until the 28th of June (sigh). But also - and more relevant - due to a huge amount of activity on the team. As I mentioned earlier, we've had a lot of applicants for the arts team. As expected one of them didn't show and one was particularly keen to work in the Unreal Engine - which we have no plans to port to btw. The ones sticking though have prooved incredibly skilled and persistent. ES has been lacking a serious art-department for a while, but I really feel that it's starting to get back on track. It's definitely a necessity if we're to complete just a fraction of our current ideas. So; To those involved: Awesome awesome work! :)
Apart from that our main focus is starting to shift to the new Orange Box version. I've caught myself sitting quite a few times until way too late, toying with details and looking into the possibilities. I'm really thrilled by the tons of options here! It's going to be great, but let's just say my exams aren't benefiting from this port :)
But we really need to be careful here: The Eternal Silence multiplayer is a game with lots of potential and many new things yet to be discovered. In the coming port there's a inherent danger of overlooking the multiplayer. But with a split team we have to face the facts: We can't put our previous level of commitment into two projects. My job here is to make sure that there's still continuing discussions and visions for the current multiplayer, while making sure that the port get's the attention it deservers to avoid the Duke Nukem Forever-trap. Recently released. Under development since 1996. That's 15 years! I know ES has a pretty good support. But there's no need to push it that far.
The May update has been delayed some time now. It's mainly due to difficulties with the class-limits. It's a huge restriction to the game, so we really want to do it right the first time. That's why we chose not to release it in this update. It's simply too unpolished in relation to the maps which have some very different gameplay and some very unique features. Well in short we're just not ready for it yet. Right now we're looking into some changes in the Ion Canon to see if that'll do anything to the class-limits. We have a mild suspicion that the weapon has a pretty big impact on the current balance. I'll keep you posted!
Anyway.. As we speak Valve is (hopefully) evaluating our newest update. It should be out asap. We'll notice you on the forums. I promise you'll be in for a treat!
As a last note I've tried to kickstart a weekly play-day for Eternal Silence. The game is just much more fun when the servers are full, so I really think we should start gathering for some awesome matches. If you want in, drop but the thread here to vote for when is good.
So it seems the news is out. This is the goal I was talking about and our future land of possibilities: A unified team, working together like an oiled machine towards a commonly desired goal. This truly is what I had in mind for Eternal Silence.
I must admit I've been worried whether we could pull this off. It's not only a completely new game type, it's also unproven grounds for the coders who have to port the entire game to a new engine, an enormous amount of work for the mappers to design the levels, the concept artists to develop entirely new never-seen-before artwork to a story our writers have worked on for almost a year now (and others since the beginning of Eternal Silence was developed), modellers to create the characters, ships, gibs, probs (...), the sound technicians to record, edit and mix the thousands of lines needed for the game and the betas to make sure that you as players gets the experience we wish for you to have.
Lately though - contrary to what I feared - this hasn't driven us apart or scared the team. It's created a sense of unity and drive I've rarely seen before. As I wrote before we've got a huge intake of applicants and we're already well under way to creating a great base for the first baby-steps for the game. For now we just need to focus on sharpening our efforts even more and bringing it all together in a nice, polished and complete game that'll take Eternal Silence to the next level and that you hopefully will enjoy!
It's been a while so I thought I'd let you know how things are coming along. Recently I've been extremely busy. For various reasons I've started working once in a while to earn some cash. Apart from that my bachelor thesis is due in a couple of weeks, so my real-life schedule is - as you can probably tell - packed.
There's no time to relax though: ES is running fast! First of all we've got a lot of new applicants in the last couple of weeks. No fewer than two coders, two modellers and one concept artist have been processed so far. They're already somewhat integrated to the workflow, and I've gotten a lot of great response from these guys. Welcome to y'all!
It's no secret that we've spent loads of time on ghost applicants, so we've taken our measures. Right now these people are working at their trial-tasks and the little secret of this post relates to one of these. It's a piece of concept art made by StormOfBladez (his DeviantArt page can be viewed here). The full story of what I'm about to tell you is all going to be released very soon, but this particular image is extremely important for the future of ES. We've been planning and plotting. And soon the veil will be liftet. But for now I'll show you this drawing. He's beautiful and he's called Sorn :)
It's out! It's been out for a while, but now the final polishing patches have been released, and everything's set and ready. Our PR-lead is soon rolling the big public news-efforts out.
Also I'm writing to let you know that our coding lead omnicoder stepped down as a lead. Fortunately he'll still be around for coding, but he decided the lead-thing was slightly much (I'm only just starting to feel the full effects on my own body...). Luckily we've had another coder on the team for some while that's the perfect candidate for the job. So as of yesterday evening, Sghirate has taken over the position. He's incredibly productive and has loads of brilliant ideas. Among a lot of other things the spectator system came to be only because of his hard work. So he definitely earned it! Congrats man! And good luck :)
It's taken a while but I'm finally starting to feel that we've got a solid grip on things. Every single department is active with several members working and dev'ing away, every department lead is digging into their own separate ideas independently of others and the project leads have got the overview of the tasks and milestones in the horizon - in short everyone is active and taking initiative; the optimal condition to me, and the most fun!
Furthermore we're starting to look forward and plan for what's to come. This is something I've been thinking a lot about for a long time. Even the best games won't develop anywhere unless the whole team work together towards a single, united - and appreciated - goal. If everything stands still no developers can motivate themselves and nothing new will arrive for the players. In short: bad news. For quite a while Eternal-Silence have been developed in the shadow of what has been accomplished before. For a few years now we haven't really had any particular goal, and honestly I think it has shown. This is starting to change completely though, and we're now working towards some really really interesting things. One might say we've moved from the shadows and into an endless landscape of possibilities: Where do we want to go? Who do we wish to target? What kind of style are we aiming at? What is the measure of the quality? Game-concept? Etc. The list goes on (trust me) and this is going to be our next big challenge: Keeping track and keeping real (if you have answers this is the place to go!).
Again I hope for your support and I'm thrilled to show you where we're getting at and what we're accomplishing. In a few days the next release will be out, and from there on much much more content are coming. As always I promise to keep feeding you with information :)
Wish us luck!
It's now past a week ago I took over the project lead position along with Kage. I finally feel that many of my initial "who's who" and "what's what" questions are thinning out and being replaced by a clear image of the status of the project. I wrote in my previous blog post that this game is going to evolve greatly. I still stand by that fact, but it's become more diffuse to me in what way. So far we've been spending a lot of time on the multiplayer game ES started out to be. I'm becoming increasingly aware, though, that we need a goal to aim at. A few patches and fixes here and there aren't going to help us get in the way we want. Take a look at ES: It's got a unique story, a unique blend of fps-combat and space-flight and it's got a unique possibility to reach new players since it's free. So to me it's still crystal clear the the ES as a concept has plenty of potential.
We just need to find the best way to realize it...
Suggestions/comments/solutions are welcome :)