progress update

things continue to advance for deus ex. a snapshot of the team last week would look like this:

the programmers just finished giving us a new version. included are numerous new features and game systems, large and small. plus this version includes a bunch of new characters and objects. since our game is really interactive, we need a lot of objects–things you can act on in the game with or without tools, with or without certain player-character skills. not just triggers and switches, but many inventory items, devices containing pieces of backstory and/or plot critical info, etc.

most of the artists have been cranking through 3d object generation–everything from security cameras, ATM’s and retinal scanners to various types of ammo and fire hydrants. some of the artists have been continuing the animations for our *huge* host of NPC’s. and a few artists are working with designers on some of the remaining textures for use in our 3d maps.

the designers meanwhile continue to build out the world, connecting maps with teleporters and travel map triggers. (our travel map, prototyped by norden and the programmers recently, is going to rock. it is functional now and already looks pretty damned good. the final version should be awesome.) also, designers are working to revise minor parts of their mission write-ups, doing things like ensuring that for each skill we support in our game systems we have enough uses for that skill in the actual maps. (not as easy as it sounds.) we are nearing the stage where raw map work ends and NPC and locational scripting begins.

in other sundry disciplines: christian, our writer, is working with individual designers to get the characters all saying the right things at the right times. not only is he writing the conversations, he is using programmer albert yarusso’s ConEdit (a really nice app) to put the NPC conversations into script form. peter is constantly tweaking the schedule based on what we accomplish on a week by week basis. and stan–the sound effects designer–recently came down to spend some time talking to us about the game’s sounds.

meanwhile warren spends most of the day working on this huge mashed potato sculture he’s got going in his office and racing his BMW up and down loop 360. **JUST KIDDING** he’s actually as busy as anyone on the team, managing this very slippery, many-headed development team, continuing to work with designers on their missions, making sure the plot still works in light of 3d location cuts & mergers, and ensuring that the design doc–the monstrous hog that it has become–does not get too out of date.

i was going to rant about a particular designer topic today, but i’ll save it for tomorrow, given the length of this update. (i came in today to work some on the paris catacombs map.)

ps–thanks to all the people out there–friends and strangers alike–who have recently expressed interest in deus ex and who have wished us well here at ion austin. you know who you are…

word of the day: gnotobiotic

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