Wednesday Night. 11.15 pm.

About to start the night-push.  NotCoD is in crunch – less than two months until we launch – and as the projects only coder the pressure in ON!  I get more work done overnight so, although the whole team’s been at it for about 11 hours already they’re currently all here and still going…

teaStatus of Team at start:
Kate: Alright.  Nick: Yeah? I’m alright.  Alex: Banging.

Jobs that need to be done tonight:

  1. Stop the squads from attacking the civilians… They’re not US troops (gaffaw).
  2. Get the NPCs facing the right way when they walk, give them adjustable walk speeds, and the ability to lead the player (like a gimp).
  3. Squads and tannoys have to go into the checkpoint save routine so I don’t have to play the whole f**king level every time I want to test a bit of dialogue..
  4. Vehicles must stay dead.  When they respawn next to you and all fire their missiles it seems a little unfair.
  5. Mutant Denis… Can’t say more.  No spoilers.
  6. Sound has to limit when a character talks.  This needs to be similar to TV and be smooth.  Still undecided about what to do with tannoys when this happens.  Should they repeat?  Or skip to the next one?
  7. Charging and fleeing sounds shouldn’t loop – it’s extremely annoying.
  8. Add NPC jump to path stop point to allow the player to skip over the long but hilarious monologues once they’ve heard them once and they’re not so hilarious any more… This will actually be the beginning of a scene making routine which will allow the game to take control of the camera and do a pale imitation of a cutscene.

So, that’s the one’s that have got to be done.


ashtray-1545972-639x460But what I’m actually gonna do next is…

Add all the dialogue to the ghost train, graveyard, and church.


So why am I ignoring all the very important jobs above?  Because…

  1. If I don’t finish fiddling with the rooms today no-one else can get in them until I have.
  2. All the dialogue is recorded and I REALLY want to hear it in the game.
  3. Tomorrow night my girlfriend gets back after three and a half weeks away.  At that point, my productivity may well drop, so if I can get the whole plot in, however roughly, I can do the list above in bits and pieces.
  4. I’ve been doing scripts all day and I’m on a roll….


So, I have my cuppa, my smokables, and a full team around me.  I will try and log all important things that happen until I pass out…


picard riker laugh11.40.

Pushing day’s work to Source Control.  Several large audio files so it’s not gonna be quick.  Can’t continue until it’s done.

Got StarTrak TNG on.  That’ll get us through the wait…



spockThe push is finished.  I have no excuse.  Back to the desk.  Sad, really, because Spock hasn’t even appeared yet (and before you all write in it’s the TNG double ep with Spock in).



Nick just yawned.  My money says he’ll be first to die.

The yawn particles have flown across the room and hit Alex… Oh no… It’s contagious.

And TNG just finished.

I recon we need tea… But Nick doesn’t drink tea.  He may be lost to us.



Alex, who I often describe as my Anger Translator after the Key and Peele character, just told Kate she was a traitor and a disgrace for going off back to her old job (even though this was always the plan).  When I told her this was his way of saying he’d miss her I earned the title of Alex’s Compassion Translator.  We are now a functioning pair who can handle most social situations.

Also, all the Ghost Train sounds are loaded in.



I made the tea myself.



The Enterprise has reached Galorn D’An Kor (christ knows how it’s spelled) and we’ve decided to make the actors that work in the Ghost Train run away from gunfire.  The one that’s chained up is going to hop.



No.  They won’t.  Cos they’ll run through the loop points and spoil the whole system.  We’re going to make them cower instead!  Or maybe leave them as they are.  Less than two months to go after all.



I have made a first pass through the Ghost Train.  This includes getting it to count new enemies.  I’m not sure this will work.  Doing a backup/save/compile now (hence have time to type).  If everything I’ve done works first time it will be a small miracle and I shall be a very happy chappy indeed.  But I’ve just done a whole level’s worth without testing it even once so it’s unlikely!!

Sarek_and_PicardBackup’s taking forever.

Star Trek finished.

Everyone survived.

Except Sarek.  It was bad for him.

Sorry to spoiler, but it was out in 1991.  Surely there’s a statute of limitations on these things.

Backup’s done.  Compiling now…



Yup.  It crashed.  First time it hit the start of a loop.  Probably a typo.  Gonna check now.



Classic coding mistake.  Wanted room but put “room”.  Putting it in quotes makes it no longer a constant.  Game doesn’t understand and crashes instantly.  Fixed now.  Compiling again…



First bit works.  If I was better at actually playing the game I could find out if the second bit works!  However, the sounds are too quiet.  This means nipping into Audacity, turning them all up, and re-adding them to GM:S.  Grrrrr.  Wish we had a full time sound person.  Or at least some money so we could pay them,



First, the good news… there wasn’t a problem with the sound files.  I was a victim of my own cleverness and yet another nasty typo.  Typos are so much more devastating when you’re a coder.  The difference between ghosttrain and ghostrain is a crashed game!

Also turns out there are six loops and I only prepped for five… Hmm…



I had such a simple idea – each time the player hits loop 5 (or now 6 as well) they hear one of six random sound files (to add variety while dying a lot).  This has involved writing a whole new command into the MasterController.  The simplest things lead to the maddest developments.  It’s compiling now…

Also, no-one on the Enterprise can remember who they are (we’re chain-trekking in the background like a familiar radio play).  I know how they feel.



Well, the ghost train, as far as I can test it, is working (as far as script is concerned – save/load has thrown up a whole new problem to tease me with next week).  Going to save, backup, commit, and see if I can persuade anyone to make tea… Then it’s on to the church.

Just persuaded Alex.

It was easy.  Just asked if anyone wanted to make tea.

Nick looks like he might pass out any second.  Kate’s still going strong.  Deanna Troi thinks she knows where they should look for The Essex.  Or maybe just Essex.  It’s hard to say.  I’m not really listening.



Started on the church.

Sounds are in.  I’m tired.  Everyone’s flaking.  If we stop now we can still do a 2pm start tomorrow and get 7-8 hours away from the office.

Looks like that’s what’s gonna happen.

(Kate made the tea by the way).

So… let’s look back on the list we started with…

Of the original jobs list I have done… NONE!!!

Of the intended jobs list I have done… ABOUT HALF!!  Still got the graveyard to finish and the church to construct (although that’s a pretty easy one, comparatively).

So… when someone asks you why it takes so long to get a game out, just remember that EVERYTHING in game development takes twice as long as you think it’s going to.  Guess there’ll be a few more late nights before NotCoD comes out.

cute-cat-fell-asleep-1407706-640x480But, the feeling of watching the game come together…  All the beautiful parts which have taken so long in separate churning development cycles are integrating into this beautiful whole that is so much more than the sum of its parts.  This game is a big, beautiful, incredibly silly and frightfully offensive creation.  I think people who played NotGTAV and are looking for us to have moved on a bit from Snake will not be disappointed.  This game is really something.  It’s that pride that pushes you forwards when you’re tired.  It’s that wanting it to be the best it can be.  That’s what keeps me at the keyboard.

Anyway, I’m rambling, my nurse is here, and I want to get some sleep.