UPDATE: Check out the video of the build we're talking about below -
Last night, those who stayed past 11 got rewarded with a first look at the first really playable level setup - this was a first for me. To see something go from bits and pieces to an actual game was incredible. There was a Ziggs, and you could control him (it even felt smooth). You could throw bombs and blow stuff up, catapult yourself over obstacles with his satchel, and run off a screen with no bounds into a game-crashing abyss. We still weren’t at a full game loop, but you could see a little glimmer of what it could be, and it wasn’t too far away.
This morning, the room is buzzing. We’ve made a lot of progress and we’re now speeding toward our feature lock at noon. Everyone has been working tirelessly on their contributions, and no one is ready to miss the cutoff and get voted off the island (features, not people). This is the day we burn as hard as we can, because tomorrow we have a deadline to hit.
We still have a lot of problems to solve. We have all 5 enemies rigged up and behaviorally coded, but not yet implemented into the game. Imagine we’ve got 5 guys on the bench just waiting to go, but we can only guess what they’ll actually do based on how they look. To compensate, VFX is making as many “plug and play” particles as possible, without fully knowing what these baddies will need - there’s no more time to wait.
_“I just fought our first character in the game ever - and killed myself with the first bomb I threw... haha, it's starting to be fun!”_
Some people are wondering whether friendly-fire from your own bombs is what we’ll actually end up with, others are certain that’s part of the secret sauce for making this fun.
_“Fingers crossed!”_ someone yells from across the room. We cut the build, time to playtest.
Our updates get shorter and shorter as we get more comfortable with what each team is trying to do, and more anxious to get it done. We all gather to watch Strokke, our production lead, [play through a level](https://www.instagram.com/p/BX6AZURDH_W/) and celebrate the miracle that is a working game loop, but don’t waste any time in running back to our own computers to download the build ourselves.
Half of the team immediately identifies problems and opportunities they’ve been itching to jump on and get right back into it, while the rest of us play around and try to progress through the fairly difficult levels. Many of the first comments that pop into our feedback document are about level design and tuning, problems that would have been incredibly difficult to spot without a fully playable build. We report in on everything from bugs, to UX and design, to things that just feel plain bad. We’re still not sure about friendly fire, but bumpers are exciting.
_”Getting bonked in the head with a bomb that bounced off a bumper is really funny”_ says one point of feedback.
Overall we’re happy with how far we’ve gotten in just one day. Everyone is having fun playtesting while singing along to _Take on Me_, which someone has started playing in the background for some reason.
With a massive list of what we want to clean up over the next 24 hours and a grab bag of enemies that still need building out, everyone takes what we’ve learned and hopes that today will magically become twice as long. 4 hours until the next check-in.