We have almost all of the locations for Rick Future
planned out now. There are still some small changes here and there, but it is
shaping up quite nicely. You can look forward to solving puzzles not only onboard
the Eric, but on space stations, alien planets and other exotic locations!
Before we start building the actual 3D environments we create concept arts for
each location. These concepts help to us visualize the locations and allow us
to make changes before somebody spends time building 3D assets. Such concepts also
give our 3D artists something to work off when they start building the 3D
We would like to share a few of our work in progress concepts with you today,
so you guys can see in which direction the game is developing visually. Check out the
concept art for one of the main locations of the game: the Skas’ka I space
station, located in the dangerous Gon’Dual sector.
This old mining station, once built by the Izlaak race to exploit the minerals of
the nearby asteroids has clearly seen better times. Only a small crew of miners
remains on the station these days. Most of the stations shops have closed down
and the majority of the inhabitants has moved away.
The Eric, broken and in need of repair, has docked on Skas’ka I after barely escaping
some very resilient bounty hunters.
The concept arts below show some of the key locations on the station. You can
see the promenade deck which acts as a central hub for the player to access
different places in on the station. From here you can visit the station's run
down security office, a rather dodgy space pub or visit an alien game arcade to play a round of ‘Whack-A-Human’.
We captured a few new animations this week. Basically a mix of all kinds of different animations, some for cut-scenes, some new idle animations for the heroes and some stuff for the NPCs. We usually do these capture sessions every few weeks and capture whatever we need. We have built our own custom pipeline which allows us to get the animations in game rather quickly.
It works like this: We rent time in one of the best and most expensive motion-capture facilities in town and have professional Hollywood actors do all the motions for us... NOT. Haha, who are we kidding, of course we do not have money for this. Being the indie team we are, we have to record everything ourselves of course. This is how our little ghetto setup looks:
Professional capture studio you say? Not quite! More like our garage hung with green stuff and a custom built camera setup :) Professional mocap recording costs you tons of money and you can easily pay 15$/second for animations. Needless to say we do not quite have that amount of money :)
We are using a markerless capture setup with 6 Playstation Eye cameras and use iPi software to record the motions. This is a pretty good pipeline for us, since it allows quick and easy recording of animations. We prefer the PS Eye cameras since they record with 60fps, compared with for example the Kinect cameras which only record with 30fps.
Our set up is pretty straightforward: We have our 'capture studio', aka the garage, set up with 6 cameras covering the whole room. The walls have been hung with green cloth which makes it easier for the software to recognize the actor in front of the camera. Then one of us simply steps in the middle of the cameras and performs whatever motion is needed.
Once everything is recorded the software maps the motions onto the 3d skeleton.
The software gets provided with 6 different videos of the same animation captured at different angles and can this way piece together what the real animation looks like. Depending on the length and complexity of the animation this can take up to 2 hours. The nice thing is really that we do not have to put on a special mocap-suit with markers on it but can just step in front of the camera and start recording.
Pretty cool, huh? Believe it or not but our biggest problem is that it is August in Florida and the garage does not have air condition...
We have been pretty busy this week with updating our 'Rick Future' development build to the latest version of CryENGINE. The code base we have been working on has been way behind the official SDK for a while. We finally took the time and updated to the latest version of the engine.
Sounds boring? Well, it kind of is :) But for Rick Future it means good things. Namely: Things will run a bit smoother, performance will be better and we get a bunch of new rendering features including full DX11 support. Overall this will help us make the game run better on PCs with older hardware.
Since Crytek also made a lot of great additions to the 'Sandbox' toolkit, a lot of things will become easier for us to set up as well. That is quite important for us because a lot of work goes into setting up each room and location of the game.Below is a screen shot of one of the locations of the game. This is how the player sees it in the game:
An here is a screenshot of how it looks when we are actually building the location in the engine and setting up all the game logic. Quite different from what you see in the game, isn't it? A lot of things like the areas in which our heroes can walk or objects which they can pick up or use, have to be set up here.
In the game you don't see any of this of course. Once we are done setting the game logic up in the editor we 'export' everything and it is ready to be played. Without all the crazy lines, boxes and shapes of course :)
Just a quick update with a few work-in-progress shots of the ERIC today.
The ERIC, Rick's ship, is an old but sturdy cargo ship which serves as a home base for Rick, Hubert and Evi. When traveling between different planets and system and in most cases you will use the ERIC to get there.
The model is far from being finished of course and is still lacking textures and shader setup. But we would still like to share it with you so you can see how it is developing.
'Hold on!' you might say 'This is not what the ERIC looks like!' and you might be right, since we decided change some details to make it fit better into the game world. If you compare it to the old concepts of the ERIC used in the show you will see some differences.
Here is what the old ERIC looked like:
And here is the work-in-progress version from the game.
Very nice, isn't it? And you can see that we tried to keep the main elements like the bridge and the hyperspin elements in there.
Once we got some textures on that baby we will be able to provide you with a few in-game screenshots.
Today it is time for our first development diary entry! Waiting for a game to be finally released can be quite boring, so we will try to make the wait a bit more interesting for you - and give you some new video material to watch (Hooray!).
It is all about dialogs and conversations in the game. Check out the video below and get a glimpse at how all this stuff works and how it is being made.
We are making good progress on the game and are about to finish work on the dialog system. Our first development video will tell you a bit more about this feature.
It is all about a custom system we wrote for the game and its job is to take care of everything needed to set up in-game conversations. Since 'Rick Future' is a traditional adventure game, there will be lots of characters to talk to and having a stable system in place for this is quite important for us.
But enough of the bragging. Have fun and enjoy the video.
Questions and comments are always welcome of course!
Being an adventure game, there will be lots of dialogs in Rick Future (naturally!), so we have been busy writing a dialog system from scratch. This week we finally finished the automatic cameras. These automatically show the speaking character from a good angle, so that Sven and Dane (our writers) can simply write the dialogs and not worry about camera placement.
Yes, we know, quite some time has passed since we made our last post. It's been almost a year! Real life got in the way of things and slowed everything down. But don't worry: Expect to see more (and more frequent) updates in the future! View full thread with comments »
We just finished our first development video. It shows a few game features, a little bit of the dialog system and a few gameplay scenes.
Everything is of course heavily work in progress! :)
So who are you actually playing when you embark on this adventure in outer space? Well, meet Rick, Hubert and Evie, the crew of the spaceship Eric!
If you are a longtime follower of the Rick Future audio play series you will probably know who those guys are. But don’t worry if you don’t, because in the next weeks we will try and provide you with a bit more information about this ragtag bunch of space adventurers and how they ended up together in this adventure.
All three characters will be playable in the game. Yes, this means you do not only control a single character but can switch between all three of them. You might be able to solve certain puzzles only using Rick’s skills, while others might need Evie or Hubert to actually progress. Some puzzles will even need all three work in a team to overcome a problem. This will mix things up a bit and give you a lot of ways to actually experiment with the individual skills of our heroes.
So stay tuned for more updates on each of the heroes, their skills and abilities. We will provide you with much more information in the course of the next weeks.
First of all we got a brand new forum! You are invited to discuss all game related topics there and comment on any news posts. We hope to see you there - just click the 'Comunity' button on the right. It's still a bit empty at the moment, but it will hopefully fill up somewhat as we get closer to release.
Almost to the date we have been in production for one year now! Hooray!
28.06.2012Puzzle design and caffeine
In case you ever wondered how puzzles in adventure games get designed...
Answer: On a napkin in a coffee shop.
Sometimes good ideas just pop up when you are away from work, like in this Starbucks in Vancouver, where we were spending a weekend earlier this year. We don't know if it was the caffeine or coincidence but we came up with one more cool logic puzzle for the game.
We don't want to spoil anything, but the puzzle is already implemented and working well in the latest version of the game. We hope you'll have quite a challenging time with it when you help Rick figuring this puzzle out.
07.05.2012Erdenstern will create the soundtrack to the game!
Erdenstern, the music label who also have been producing the music for the 'Rick Future' audio play series will also be creating the soundtrack for the game!!
Erdenstern is known professionally for their music productions for roleplay games. They recently published the latest piece of the “The Library Of Fantastic Music”, the album “Into the Light”. The label is also responsible for composing the music for the popular Cthulhu roleplay campaign “At The Mountains Of Madness” and the “Chronicles of Aventuria” for the 25th anniversary of the roleplay system “The Dark Eye (Realms of Arkania)” . Here is a link to the Erdenstern website: Official Erdenstern Website. We are super happy to have them working with us!
Welcome to this new website for the upcoming Rick Future adventure game!
Over the coming weeks and months we are going to use this site to give you insight into the development of the game and post regular progress updates. You can fine some general information and a small F.A.Q. with the important facts about the game here.
We will update and extend this regularly.
Since we are aiming at an international release this site will be maintained in two languages. You can switch back and forth between German and English in the menu on the right.
"Rick Future - the adventure game" is a commercial game for pc. All rights of the shown images and content are reserved. Feel free to contact us and follow our production progress.