The developers of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, The Chinese Room, has provided an update of the upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive title.
/// Official Update
Since E3, we’ve been working hard to get the game up towards alpha and we’re nearly there. This means the game world is now locked – after many revisions as we’ve worked getting things like pacing, signposting and transitions from area to area, and around the areas right. There’s a lot of backwards and forwards during this process, especially on a game that’s not delivering its story in a linear, corridor fashion. There are six major areas in the game, each of them needing a distinct identity whilst hanging together as a coherent whole, and getting that right needs in-depth iterations between design, audio and art.
Alongside that, the art team have been incredibly busy churning out the volume of assets a game like this requires. It’s really made us realise that the way we’ve always talked about the game, not as an ‘indie’ title, but a short-form AAA, is definitely the most accurate way of talking about it. Making sure everything produced is historically accurate, to really sell a complete and compelling fictionalised version of rural England in the 1980s is a big challenge, but we’ve got an absolutely wonderful art team, including three amazing young artists all working on their first professional title, so we’re very lucky. Alongside the environment art, our resident VFX genius has been creating some extraordinary visuals that are really unique and create a stunning layer of mystery in the game. Behind them, there’s a lot of complex design and code, keeping a large open-world running at a steady frame-rate without compromising the visual quality, and creating an AI system that balances its mechanical role with really communicating a sense of life and agency. Often, the behind-the-scenes stuff is difficult to identify, but it’s the spine of the experience and takes a long time to get right – usually something that is still getting tinkered with right up to beta.
There’s a lot to do still. The first part of making a game is hugely exciting, but you need to settle into a long process of driving the quality up, kicking bugs into touch and tweaking the minutiae – it’s what really makes a big difference to the overall game. As we move into a process of regular QA builds, working through the bug database, pushing hard on lighting and colour grading, making sure we are balancing the process of adding depth and complexity to the art… this is the hard stuff, the real craft of making a good game. There’s not loads to report, no shiny new things to show off. But – it’s the part of the process where a great team makes all the difference, and we can definitely say we’ve got one of those…
The developers have also confirmed that the story is not linear as it is all coming together in a way that is really powerful and engaging. So what can you expect from here on in? Don’t forget to comment below.