September 21st, 2016

Hey all,

A quick update as to how things are going with the build. They say that the last part is always the hardest and yep, we’d have to agree. Since the last update we’ve been a bit bogged down in bug fixing, which seems to be par for the course at this stage:

  • Small changes, fixes and updates – there’s a ton of these we have yet to get to. Most of them are pretty quick and include things like tuning the new surfboard physics we’ve added to the game in recent weeks, adding some logic to the AI audio, and fixing issues in our shop area of the game with saves. We also need to restructure the opening flow for Sony specific save game functionality. In short, there is a whole list of small fixes but in saying that these jobs are nothing compared to the…
  • Crash bugs: oh yeah, we have got a few nasty crash bugs that we’re slowly overcoming. One of them was particularly tricky and has taken nearly two months to figure out and fix. It was a bit of a nightmare and we had a lot of trouble with this one. The game would crash coming back from a particular level to the main menu and as it turned out, it was simple animation bone in one of the characters hair. It was small, innocuous and very, very  annoying as there didn’t seem to be any reason that we could see as to why we were crashing. Thanks to Tom at Sony for the assistance on this one. So now, we working our way through a few other pesky bugs relating to the Brazilian language version. So at the moment we can basically run end to end in the English version (most) of the time and we are working through any extra small issues there now. But with the Brazilian version we’re crashing in odd spots. Our French version seems to run more or less in a similar fashion to the English version, but for some reason the Brazilian version is giving us a hard time at the moment. Bugs are exasperating but we simply can’t afford to have them – especially crash bugs and they need to be fixed. We’ll get there and once we do we can start to work toward a release date
  • Water: We are also trying to improve the look of our water again by improving our specular effect on the surface of the water and adding foam to various parts of the waterplane to try and bring out a bit more detail in the surface of the water, particularly via the undulation. So far things are looking promising, so touch wood we can achieve the effects we’re after. We have a programming intern with us now, Paolo Ferri who is helping Matt out and is doing a pretty good job there.
  • Levels: we have started to make some refinements to our Fernando’s Brazilian level. Part of this was to alter the plant setup we had which was okay, but not brilliant. We need to reach a visual benchmark that is acceptable, so that meant ripping out all of the old models and replacing them with new updated models. We also had to fix up some of the modelling and optimize what we could because we were getting some unacceptable framerate drops in the level. Thankfully these issues have been overcome but Jack is toiling away now working through the list of fixes.
  • We have still to get our game localised properly and get ratings approvals. We are working toward that and this is likely to happen over the next four weeks. It’s mainly PEGI and the OFLC that we need to address on the ratings side and we’ll need to select a suitable localisation partner in the coming weeks who can do an accurate rendition of our Brazilian and French versions. We’ve currently got “Google” localised versions running at the moment which is good for us in order to make sure that text and images are lined up as they should be, albeit it’s inaccurate.
  • Congratulations to Ming Bong, an intern artist who did a little work with us early last year. Turns out she’s just score a job at Havas in Sydney – awesome stuff Ming!