This is the first developer diary for Team6, a Dutch game development studio located in Assen. Over the coming months, they will take us through developement of various games as well as other studio matters.
In this first diary Game Designer Ronnie Neils takes us through the last days of Scooter War3z development and talks about Music, Scripting and more.19 June 2005:Introduction, customers opinion, and music.
Team6 game studios are a rather small company. Smaller than you would expect, and because of this size we are flexible and projects are often moved to give priority to other projects. Lately we have done several projects that are more fun to develop and take a lot less time than our time-consuming Manhattan Chase. (When you work more than a year on a title, this is bad for your motivation...). Our latest title is ScooterWar3z, a game about some punks who enjoy illegal scooter-races at night. Since our game studio is located on a street where every 10 minutes 'white trash' drives by on a scooter, we were thinking this was going to be a lot of fun to do and make this game 'over the top'. For example, when you win a race, you can earn typical scooter-war3z like a new mobile, golden teeth, golden jewelry, and other "bling bling". It is a parody or tribute to scooterfreaks?: we don't know neither.. ;)
Scooter War3z is almost completed. Since we are asked to write a Developer Diary today, I'm afraid this is not going to be a very long diary. But perhaps we can continue this diary about Team6 instead of just Scooter War3z? At least there are plenty of exciting days here :) Yesterday we released some early screenshots for SW, and so far we had mostly positive comments. When Team6 releases news, we always check on sites, forums, what people have to say about it. In this case the comments were even more positive then for Taxi3: Extreme Rush! There was only one site where everybody complained about ScooterWar3z (a Dutch one..) but I think that's more because of the site than our title. The previews for our games on that particular site always start with "I don't think this crap is any good, but let's try anyway"... so how serious can we take something like that? There were a few other people who complained, and we even fixed some things because of that feedback. (The particles that come from your scooter when you hit something look far better now: this is the fifth shot on our Team6 website)
Next to the "customer feedback", we still have some nasty bugs left in Scooter War3z. But more important is that we don't have any music at all for the game. (Which is very late to find out, I know.. ) Just as we were going to look for some older music tracks from our in-house musician Niels, I got an Email from Grahame. Grahame offered his music for usage in our games. You should know that I didn't know Grahame at that time, it was just one of the many emails from people who want to work for Team6. At Team6, we get daily emails from people who want to work with us: Usually these emails are from Eastern-European companies who offer their "cheap" modeling and animator services, but this time it's from a musician for the UK. I replied to him as we were interested, but are in a real hurry. Within several hours ScooterWar3z had 12 excellent music tracks: for free. Talking about good luck! It took only a few hours more to select the right tracks from Grahame's collection, and implement it in our game. (Convert it from mp3 to ogg, and type the right name of the track in our game-editor.) We ended the day with some SW multiplay tests and found plenty of bugs for the next day :)
20 June 2005Scripting bugs.
The last couple of bugs and we're rid of Scooter War3z! While testing multiplayer, we found out that traffic cars were behaving like scooters: Bending over in corners and such. Next to that, we found out that 2 player multiplayer went all right, but when playing with 4 players, the 3rd and 4th player had strange spawn positions. This is not that difficult to fix, as our scripts have become much more efficient compared to our previous title, PizzaDude. (See the screenshot to the right for an example of Scooter War3z's scripts vs. PizzaDude's scripts in the image at the top of the page). It's too bad we don't have time for an in game track-editor, because our current editor is very easy to use and it would not take -that- much time to make it look better so gamers could use it. If this would work properly, gamers can define their own tracks in the city. (Note: it's still possible with the retail version if you know how to activate the editor, he he). But then again, we need the money that comes in when we deliver the master CD to Germany, so once again speed is of an essence. As with "Manhattan Chase", our editor doesn't have icons or text on the buttons. The mission editor is 'blank" and Niels, one of the scripters, likes to say we always create our scripts with our eyes shut :) Now you know the editor-buttons are blank, have another look at the incredible Pizzascript which has been made by poor Ronnie! 21 June 2005Last steps: Installer, localisation and more.
While some of Team6 are testing ScooterWar3z one more time, the installer and the first localisations are being made. To make the installer work properly, poor Ronnie's computer is set to "Russian Language" again, causing most of his program's to now display nice Russian words and characters instead of the English texts. Every time the switch is being made, things seem to get worse. (And are harder to reverse when setting back to English). Once the installer works, quick icon and installer images are being made. Also, preparations for the next project are being made. This is for you, our readers, probably the most interesting part: Decisions being made, gameplay being added, etc. But I can't tell you much about this new, secret project yet he he :)
Meanwhile several bugs for SW are being found: and fixed. Especially multiplayer has some nasty bugs, but it all works fine at the end of the day. Now ScooterWar3z is ready to go, we have to find publishers for the territories that are "free". We have interest from several publishers, but we should be careful because we have had more deals with non-payers, than deals with actual payers. We can't use any names in this diary (I think?) but one of the largest publishers out there once purchased Manhattan Chase and they never released it, nor were going to pay for it. The more popular the name of a publisher is, the more they can get away with: so it seems... Next time in Team6 diary:
- Decisions for the SW demo, and the SW demo itself.
- Our next project: Concept and project preparation
- Pictures of the team. (It's really worth looking forward to!)
For more information about Team6 and thier games, please visit thier site here:http://www.team6-games.com/