So what can we tell you? There’s plenty you want to know, to be sure. But here’s what we can say and fill you in on.
Spring is here! To coincide with the studio’s official 2nd birthday we took the team out to see Ready Player One and hit the local pub after. Good times were had by all. It was cool (and a little surreal) to be in the company of so many ex-Bungie vets and (SPOILER ALERT) see a bunch of Master Chief and Halo references in the film. Does this count as the first Halo appearance on the BIG screen? We think it might.
You might see some familiar and unfamiliar faces in the image above. The point is, there’s more of us! We’ve been very fortunate to welcome new talent across multiple disciplines recently. Everything they’ve brought to the table so far is pushing the rest of us forward. You can check out more about them, here.
Otherwise, as you might imagine, we’re “all hands on deck” on the game project. We’ve got some plans in the works about when we can start showing you bits and pieces, as well as formally announce. We’re working hard and having a lot of fun discovering what’s gelling well with what exists and what’s to come.
Special shout-out to the folks at Private Division, who have been so supportive and open to what we’re doing. We’re very lucky to have such a collaborative relationship with them and the freedom to do what’s best for what we’re making.
So to give you guys something more than, ‘be cool and wait’ -- we’ve taken the liberty of adding a fun segment in this post (and ideally, future ones too) that you might be interested in;
-Five Questions for a V1 ‘Mechanic.'-
Feat. Rick Lesley, V1 Designer.
1.) "What was the first game project you worked on professionally and what sort of lasting impression did it have on you?"
My first professional project in the industry was on an MMO called ‘Marvel Super Hero Squad Online’. It was based on a kids show about all of the Marvel characters, and on it I was a Mission Designer, designing and scripting unique story content that players could play through cooperatively.
My biggest takeaways from my first job would be learning to work within the constraints of your game’s universe, but to also being free to push the limits of what fits within that universe. We were given a lot of freedom to prototype and toy with custom mechanics for each of our missions, and it was blast to have a chance to shape a part of the game like that.
2.) "What are you playing currently in your spare time? What sticks with you about it?"
I’m playing quite a few games at once, but The Witcher is my main focus right now. The aspect of The Witcher series that impresses me endlessly is their dedication to their world building, and how rich a history the world FEELS like it has. It is one thing for their to be a lot of lore in a game world, but it is something else entirely to have that history represented in almost of interaction in the game. CD Projekt Red are some of the best in the business, especially when it comes to narrative, and I’m thoroughly enjoying every drop of story the game has to offer.
3.) "In the vaguest, non-NDA breaking terms possible, can you tell us a little about what you're working on currently?
The vaguest way possible? I’m in the middle of a lovely sandwich, in-between environment art and engineering (where I prefer to be), working to help the different parts of our game compliment each other nicely, through some pretty exciting gameplay systems. I love seeing what other departments are working on, and working with rest of design to come up with the connective glue that combines it all in a fun way for players.
4.) "Give a quick piece of advice to someone who maybe wants to get into what you do."
The first thing that I think aspiring designers should ask themselves is “what do I want to do in game development?” What excites you, gets your gears turning? Do you love creating interesting spaces for players to use as a playground within a game? Look into Level Design! Are you a number fanatic who would enjoy spending their time balancing weapons, multiplayer modes and other gameplay systems? Do some research on Systems Design! Would you prefer to craft experiences within the game world, that people want to keep playing over and over? Mission Design might be right up your alley!
After that? Make something. Anything. Just makes something small, that you can have other people play, give you feedback on, and then you can iterate on. Learn to soak up all of the feedback and use it to keep improving on whatever experience you are crafting.
5.) "What's your plan for this weekend?"
My weekends are sacred to me, and I prefer to keep them pretty low-key. This weekend will mostly be walking my dog with my fiance, cooking delicious food(s), maybe bowling-and-a-movie, then some video games to round things out. Yeah, that sounds pretty great right now.
Despite these missives coming few and far between - it often feels like when we do put one of these together not much time has passed since the last one. However! The calendar would have us believe otherwise. It’s safe to say at this point we’re feeling the need to increase the regularity of these updates. Things are getting more exciting on our end. Every. Single. Day.