Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Visiting with old friends...

Out in Utah for the next few days, tuning and tweaking levels for Tm:Lost and Tm:Head On. Man, being with these characters, these cars, being in this world, it feels like visiting with old friends...again! I thought I was done with car combat after Black but I'm surprised at how much fun I am having! Lots of passion for this little port, I have to say. I really hope you guys/gals dig what we are doing! Here's some quick pics:


That's the car ROADKILL racing thru the Hollywood level of TM:HEAD ON. The team is in the processes of resing up the textures so it will look much nicer on the PS2 that it did on PSP. They are off to a great start!

Every TM game has 30-40 pages of tweaks. Here's just one of the pages, car dynamics. Today I was working with Scott to tune the car speeds, turn radius, decide how much skid/slide the vehicles should have. I am starting to feel when we made Black, we made too chaotic of a game. The ability to focus on the action and play in a more strategic way got lost for many players. On the port we are toying with dialing it back a bit, exploring the idea of getting back to what made the earlier TM games so much more accessable.

Here is just one page of the main menu of tweaks. It encompasses things like car dynamic tuning; weapon tuning (hit points,speed of weapon, rate of pick up regeneration,etc), AI, and lighting effects. Out of all of these pages, I usually focus on only about 4-10 of them. The others I never touch...cause I don't have a clue what the hell they do!

Art for the shell. Don't let all the Bonus Features fool you. We WANT all that stuff...not sure if we'll be able to get it all in. But we're going to shoot for as much as we can!

Lots and lots of play tuning going on these days, trying to get it just right. Here is one of the levels being tuned and tweaked. One of the most fun parts of this game is sitting with the level builders and pushing and pulling the 3d geometry around, adding a road here, putting up a wall there (well it's fun for me, I just ask for stuff and someone else does all the hard work)! I am always surprised by how one little element (a ramp, a wall, a blockade) set down in just the right place can make a level a blast to play. After all these years I still don't know how to make a great TM level. We can pretty consistently make a good level; but the great ones you just close your eyes and prey because they just sort of come together and end up great, and you are never really sure how or why. The Rooftop level in TM1 is- to me- one of the best levels we've ever made. But rooftops on BLACK is a pretty poor level to me, and we worked HARDER on the Black rooftops than on any other rooftop level in the series! Go figure! Shows what the hell we know! :)

New snazzy reflective, warbly water going into the Egyptian level. Lots of nice spfx touches going in the game- besides the upresed graphics- to make this thing really pop!

Ok, so there's a photo tour of my day. Had to get up at 3:45am to catch a 6:15 flight to Utah so I am friend. Heading to bed. Night ya'll!