Ok so today is December 4th and we go beta in 16 days. We still have a lot of work to do, but nothing I don't think we can't complete. It is going to be a rough next few weeks, but there will be a nice mini break for the holidays to recover from the final rush to the "almost" finish line. After the holidays we will be doing the final gameplay tuning and orb/economy balancing as well as finish up any last minute stuff we were unable to get to for beta. We still got a wild ride ahead of us.
But as for now...the game is looking great. We had another full game playthrough last week and the gameplay time was a little higher than last time. In fact the playtesters did not even finish in the alotted time we had for the playtest. The grouping we got this time was more leaning towards the casual players. I thoiught they were going to be a bit more fo the casual hardcore players, but it didn't turn out that way. But there was still a lot I learned from watching them play and work through the various combat scenarios and puzzles. the good thing is we are pretty locked on all the games puzzles...there really isn't much we need to do with them besides finishing up the final implementation and art...which is sweet since there is still many combat scenarious that are in need of some attention to get them to 100%.
Let's see what else is going on...amidst all this chaos of making beta I had to move into a new apartment. I was bidding on a townhouse but the deal just went south and I decided to cancel it and go with the renting for a year or so more. The market out here still sucks anyway so it is for the best. The only problem was I had to find an apartment, pack and move in basically 24 hours. That...freakin....sucked. But in the end it got done and now I don't have to worry about it. Though I am feeling like I rasn myself down so much last wek that I am getting sick this week. I feel the beginings of a cold...that drowsy stuffed up thing. I hate that.
Ok enough about that boring crap...more about God of War 2. Ariel edited together a collection of footage from God of War 2 for the Sony gameshare show in London and we screened it for the team on Friday. She did the thing in a night and it looked freaking great. It really did a lot to fire the team up for this last push. Well at least I hope it fired the team up since it got me psyched. We used a piece of music that was recored over in the chezch republic (or something like that) last month. Very cool live choir and orchestra...really gives a sense of power to the movie.
Saw some more progress ont he GOW Kratos figure last week. They sent the painted version of the sculpt which looks great. We are getting pretty close to finish it up. Hopefully it will be comepletely done by the end of the month so I can show off some pics.
Finally got to play some Gears of War this weekend. Not for long mind you, but at least I got some time with it. Spent about 30 minutes playing and it does look good, but I am not totally sucked in yet. I am sure it will get better, but it feels a bit generic right now. Could just be that I really didn't get to sit and focus on playing it though, or it could be the whole prisoner who has to save the world thing is a bit too Tango and Cash for me. Ok well maybe not Tango and Cash...I was just looking for a way to force a Tango and Cash reference in there because Tango and Cash RULE!!!! I do like the idea that you can choose to skip the tutorial section...that is really sweet. I also really like the one button cover system though...clean and simple. Seems many of the designers hate it because they never know what you are going to do...it made sense to me though. After about 5 minutes I felt fairly comfortable with it. The Grenade throwing thing is a little odd for me though. I keep throwing them short. Anyway...hope to get to play some more. Probably after this game ships. :)
Also...just a reminder for the other who commented...the demos will not be out until the end of January at the very earliest. We are focusing 100% on making the game great right now...so the demo will be the first task when that is done. But I think it will be worth the wait though.
aight...gotta get to work now.
Europe rocks...I was in a tribute band before I was in the game biz...this is a recording of one of our more rocking shows. We rocked that county fair like nobodys buisness. Asses were kicked. Thats dave Jaffe on the keyboards kickin the mad solo. hahahahahahaha...