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As we progress into almost a year of production team leader Matt Canei discusses the state of the mod, what's presently being worked on and the hopes for the coming months and final year of production for the Hanako.

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Hanako has been a dream in the making for six years, starting with planning and initial concepts along with deeply rooted personal life struggles and wars tied into the narrative conceit of the game. This eventually will be discussed but for now the true nature of the narrative will be kept under wraps.

Basically it's three warring clans in a geographic triangle fighting for territory, honor and supremacy in feudal Japan. One clan is typical (Matsumoto), another is serene and graceful in their approach (Hanako), and the last is struggling and brute (Tumitsu). Don't discount the fact that the latter clan often resorts to hiring assassins and ronin for battle and those two entities also interfere with battle on their own accord at times.

The mod itself is nearing a year of production, the concept has been in the works for six years but official documentation was not completed until Summer 2008 and has been in production phases since that time. We have one level complete and past the polishing pass (Matsumoto Village), and two levels presently in production, Bridge of the Kamo River (CTF) and Hanako Village being done by myself (Matt) and Connor McCarthy (co-lead designer, environment designer) respectively. The latter level looks GREAT I'm really really happy with it Connor has put a ton of time into it and I CANNOT WAIT to give you guys screens of it, we're just waiting on textures from our texture artists (they're a little slow and most of the team has 3 game design studio classes that take up almost all of our time).

On the technical side of things all the weapon models are done however the Yumi is the only weapon working in-game right now. We had the initial import where it just worked but was really crappy and hardly worked how we wanted it to. Since then it has been fixed along with implementation of Armor and Ki (for healing).

The katana is next on the agenda and the entire combat system will be constructed using this weapon, then we will take code for the katana and base all the other bladed weapons off of it, just changing basic damage and speed vars and re-referencing the new animations.

We also have the Kengou character class model, but getting this in the engine has been the most difficult part. We're having loads of trouble ironing out the custom character/custom rig/custom animation pipeline but we're experimenting and trying. This model is also getting re-worked but if any of you have knowledge of this pipeline please send me a line so we can discuss this.

Overall, as expected due to classes and other variables we are a lot further behind than I initially anticipated and as the leader I take full responsibility for that but we're trying hard to step it up and get you guys a great mod to play on time or at least in a reasonable time period afterwards. Either way, Hanako will be completed at some point even if I have to take on everything myself - it's been an almost life long dream and it won't be abandoned like so many other mods regardless of what bumps come our way.

In the mean time, back to work I'll have screens of our present progress soon.

-Matt

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