Hello everyone, I’m Lidoria with the first post of the year. In this Developer Diaries post, I will share with you details about what we are working on.

First challenges


Our first few months as a development team have been challenging as we are trying not to overwhelm ourselves. Trying to distill all the ideas we have into something pure and exact is hard. Another big decision that we need to take was regarding the engine of choice. We started with Unity 5 but quickly switched to Unreal 4, we just felt more at home with Epic’s engine. So what have we been up to these past three months? Well for starters we finished the story for Project “Mojo”, a first person action adventure currently in development here at Hotgates. We really can’t wait to tell you all about it. The story and the universe are so big that we decided it will be told in more than one games. We finished prototyping our levels, there will be at least fifteen of them for you to explore. I just hope they all make it into the finished game. The inventory and UI systems are in their first version. We had to try many  different designs to decide which one would provide a better user experience. Next we will be testing more game mechanics, refine the UI, add dialogues (in text for now) and many more.



How we make games


As you can see in the screenshots from Project “Mojo” we are taking it one step at a time. What you see is the game as it looks during Pass 2, were we have our “boxed out” levels with some placeholder graphics here and there. Pass 2 is still in progress so some of the screenshots are from levels we haven’t touched yet. I mentioned passes, let me explain what that means. We are developing our games working in passes. In Pass 0 we designed the game on paper. Next came Pass 1 were we used BSP brushes to block out the levels, fast and without details.



In Pass 2, where we are now, we are adding some more detail, replacing most geometric shapes with final assets. We also add some textures to colour code areas, game mechanics, puzzles, doors, chests etc. whatever the player will interact with. Also some basic lighting is needed so we can see what we are doing during play test. After this pass is done, there will be three more passes. At Pass 3 we will polish the gameplay, scene dressing and UI/UX. Pass 4 will be all about Sound, Lighting and FX. At Pass 5 we intent to play test our game until we are satisfied it is good to go Gold.



With this in mind, remember that what you see in the screenshots is not the actual game, far from it. What you see will surely change in the coming months. The reason we work this way is because once a level has most elements in place it’s very hard to make changes. It is better to make mistakes or redesigns while your levels are in basic form rather than late in development. We still use the occasional tree or car but usually if a game works as a prototype, it will work with everything in place too.



That is all for now. I hope you enjoyed this small peek behind the scenes and are as excited as we are for this game. Come back soon for more on project “Mojo” and project “42”. Until next time you can read all about our workflow in Introduction to Level Creation and on facebook. Bye.