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Spoiler A Machine For Pigs, As It Should Have Been
DarkPearStudios Offline
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RE: A Machine For Pigs, As It Should Have Been

(09-13-2015, 09:42 PM)PathOS Wrote: That's pretty informative thank you for sharing. I too was disappointed with the lack of showcasing the actual Processing part of the Mandus Processing Plant. The industrial-age Butchery aspect was not really shown at all.

The only part we see is the Iron Butler which is pretty tame. There was nothing at all that reached close to the levels of discomforting Horror that was in The Dark Descent torture scenes. Would have loved to see rooms like the Sausagery or the Vacuum Eviscorators and other hinted areas of the Pigline.

Hey there,

Yes I know, I wanted to see all those pigline parts in-game too, but it wasn't TCR (The Chinese Room) fault. So, I will tell you (and to anyone who read this) what Peter told to me, and you might become more disappointed when you read what I will write here, because it makes us think what the game could have been. Although, for you understand better everything here, you must read the postmortem first, if you haven't.

you can read it here: http://gamasutra.com/view/feature/218372...rooms_.php

So, let's start with the infection system.

Unfortunatly, he don't have any gameplay footage, but he gave to me more information about the system.

"We don't have any gameplay footage of the system in use unfortunately - it never really got to a visually complete state. The main problem was that it was very difficult to get across to the player exactly what was happening (dark environments, fast moving pigs - it was difficult to see and realise, ah yes, I'm being puked on right now...). With Mandus then contracting disease/illness, we would have had healing items available to the player to find in the environment and apply - failing to do so would eventually lead to Mandus dieing as the infection spread. This part of the system worked well and added some sense of urgency to proceedings - but, because we didn't want these scenarios to interfere with storytelling, making them feel like cohesive parts of the game was difficult. Sorry there isn't any other footage - I would have happily shared it!"

As you can see, some parts of the system were very much like the sanity system. The "healing items" were like the sanity potions, and when the player discover that if they didn't find a discontamination chamber or healing itens, they would die. This would make the player explore the enviroment much more. But so, here's comes the enemies' participation in the system.

The pigs infection based attacks was simply the pigs vomiting on Mandus. As Peter wrote in the postmortem. And this was how it was done.

"we had vomit particle effects that were spawned during run time and attached to the Pig animations Wink"

"These were obviously only placeholder particle effects - we would have made them much more 'vomit-like' if we had continued with the mechanic. But yes, that was the main problem - we just couldn't get it to look scary and intimidating which was a bit of a problem!

The particles being attached to the pig animations was hardcoded into the engine, so it isn't accessible through script. I'm not a programmer so I don't know the technicalities of it I'm afraid! Smile"

And about Mandus vomiting:

"we moved the camera to look down, crouch, then spawn more lovely gushing vomit particle effects!"

I think that, if they had the time to work in the system, I think that it would provide a very good gameplay, and it would be a much better system than the sanity

Say to me what you think about the infection system.

Now let's talk a bit about the color grading of the game.

A lot of people hated the "blue fog" but the game was never supposed to come out with the color grading in that condition. I also talked with Sindre, the guy who did the color grading of the game. But first, this is what Peter said:

"Yes the lighting, as discussed in the post-mortem, was a bit of an issue! TCR did a lot of work on colour grading the entire game - our lead technical artist spent a month with our engine programmer incorporating new game editor components to allow us very fine control over the lighting, much moreso than was available in HPL2 previously. In the handover to FG, our builds of the game got mixed up somewhere along the line, and the final release build had a very broken colour grading system (hence the 'blue fog'). This was fixed in a later patch by FG, although this fixed lighting is still not the same standard as our original build."

And this is what Sindre Groonvol said.

"In regards to the “blue fog”:

It was rather simple, the lighting that shipped was a beta lighting that I supplied containing a visual class A type bug in it.
What happened was pretty straight forward: my monitors had at the time of the submission a corrupted LUT/look up table due to an issue with my monitor hardware calibration, which basically just means that the saturation in the blue spectrum was too low on the monitor used for grading. This resulted in the colour grading being off, and the intensity of the blue being way too high in the game.

When I reviewed the build again after fixing this hardware issue, which was in the final polish weeks of the project, I quickly flagged up this issue and created a fix for it that removed the overly blue fog. This also ment that the lighting overall needed to be rebalanced and unfortunately this fix came in too late for Frictional, so that we couldn't get it into the released version of the game. We fixed it in 80% of the levels, but unfortunately a fix and change like this needs QA and testing before it can be implemented and it was a risk to include it as the game had already been tested and the bug was a of a visual nature.

To sum it up, it was nothing more dramatic than us shipping with a bug, which can unfortunately happen at times."

I would have liked to see the mansion without the blue fog. Although I still prefer the color grading used to record the Halloween Trailer, I think that that one was incredible.

Share your thoughts!

Now talking about a simple thing. But, aesthetically, made difference.
I'm talking about the butcher curtain in the tunnels level. That is present in the halloween trailer but it's not in the released version. This is what Peter said:

"The curtains - ooh, they were a pain! They worked well aesthetically, but they glitched out quite frequently when the player walked through them, again because of the limitations of the physics engine. The pigs didn't interact well with them at all either!! "

It would be cool passing though them in the game. But again, it's was not TCR fault.

And to finish, Let's talk about the pig music.
I think that all of us that played ATDD, found strange, at least in the first encounter, that the pigs don't have a danger music. (they actually are in the game directory but they aren't used.)

I asked Peter why all this and this was his answer:

We initially intended to use larger spaces for pig encounters (similar to later section of Dark Descent) in which search and danger tracks were used. In the end, the closer quarters encounters didn't need them. However, we intentionally used slightly different music for some encounters so that players couldn't rely purely on music cues to predict where enemies might be Wink"

I think that the later section of ATDD that he is speaking, is in the sanctuary, where the player is constant hunted by Brutes.

This is all that we have talked until now. We still talking, so when he share more things I will post here. Oh, and in December, Peter will post his PhD thesis in his personal website (http://www.flux-digital.co.uk/) which will contain a much more detailed process of the development. Much more in-depth than the postmortem.

Share your thoughts with me, and if have a question, say to me that I can ask him!
09-14-2015, 01:47 AM

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RE: A Machine For Pigs, As It Should Have Been - by DarkPearStudios - 09-14-2015, 01:47 AM

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