So we're nearing the end of the second week and progress has been pretty surprising, even for us and our optimistic predictions. We have a playable test build working on the Zune HD, fully functional physics, working and rather intuitive gesture recognition, a heavily featured level editor and all the terrain sprites. We've also nearly fully finished all art assets, including npc's, environment props, interactive assets and terrain.
We're at the stage now where we need to iron out any level editor bugs and begin the construction of our predesigned levels. We decided to go old school with the level design, stapling loads of sheets of paper together so we can spread our ideas out and get an overall idea of progression. One thing we wanted to distance ourselves from is the obvious distinction between levels, with the player being pulled in and out of level select screens. We wanted levels and themes to feed into each other naturally with a subtle, but less immersion-breaking distinction.
Kate has been an art machine, producing countless assets and asset variations. I (Henry) have been focusing mainly on the technical aspects of the art, producing terrain sprites using as little pixel space as possible, but maximising the capability to reproduce nice flowing curves. It's been interesting and feels a tad like reverse engineering a jigsaw puzzle.
Ahmed has been feature stuffing the level editor so we can optimise using minimum sprites; which is coming along really nicely and a lot faster than expected. He's really going beyond the call of duty, often working from 9 until 11 which is pretty intense but super productive.
(Level editor fully working with some placeholder assets)
Greg has been nailing all collisions, physics and is now starting work on the functions of the interactive assets. He's also making sure that everything works as it should on the Zune (which it is).
Matthew has now also fully integrated the menu and HUD systems.
So far so good!