I'd decided that when the email from BitSummit arrives, I'll do a reaction/unboxing/screamer for future reference. But when I lazily checked my phone, it was suddenly right there.
Still buzzing from the shock, I fired up PhotoBooth to savour the moment, but literally couldn't. For the first time probably ever I was completely speechless. Sitting there smiling like a dork for a good two minutes, giggling occasionally to break the silence and vaguely noting a newfound inability to even form coherent thoughts.
Those three weeks of public insanity got the job done, and now a demo that barely existed three months ago is actually going to the far east to nerd it out. Insane. I was an inch from posting without even opening the email, but embedded was an implication not to go public before the official announcement end of June. Thisss is where things went quiet on the social media side front. Not being able to talk about literally the only thing that existed in your head made it feel like random posts to keep people busy would be like lying to friends about something really important, so I shut it and focused on the game and the trip.
So what up
If I had to choose between real life or fantasy I'd have to go for the latter. I suck completely at micro managing tasks that aren't contained in ones and zeroes, so these few weeks have been tough. Bookings, man. Dates. Deciding on flights and places to sleep while keeping in sync with the people you'll be meeting. Defining your mission, typing it out in a press release for a company that doesn't really exist yet.
So I've been trying to keep up, and in doing so Aya Blaze has solidified even more. Questions like what the game's about, planned release date, team size, publisher or no publisher, budget, platforms - these all needed to be addressed and it's really helped get a grip of the game itself. Pretty much everything that was unclear with the demo at NGC has been addressed, here's a taste;
- AI works!! And it's a challenge! I was playing this with a friend yesterday, and I literally thought an AI ship was him while praising its maneuvers. I was so happy realizing it wasn't. It was me. I was racing myself..
- Obstacles don't completely wack you anymore. This required custom faux-collision where instead of PhysX kicking you straight back, the ship forcibly flinches towards the track instead without actually colliding with anything (cause stopping on a dime when you hit a wooden pole at 800km/h sucks.)
- Drifting has been emphasized and clarified with lights, effects, camera shakes, signs in the level, etc. etc. There's literally billboards now that say DRIFT!!!
- Heaps of visual refinements. Like, a lot. I was nervous about not having time to add juice inbetween all the tech but there's particles, 3D smoke, 2D smoke, light trails, pixel shaders, outlines, (vastly) improved foliage, ship colors, stuff in the sky, FMOD, details mannnnnn. So good.
- All the boring behind the scenes stuff that really excites me more than tacos. Optimizations; many. LOD meshes. Instances. Refined math algos. New and improved tools. Man. But the long term plan is really to condense all these tools for a community version of the editor in the future, so it's doubly worth it,
So damn happy with the game right now,
and everything points to not actually working on the game (much) this weekend, and instead doing mundane things like seeing if there's actually enough packing space, and finding my passport.