Thursday, September 11, 2014

It takes a Village...

During my first video game release party, five months after I had begun working in the industry, I approached the lead designer of Saints Row 2 to offer him a compliment, "You made a great game." He corrected me, "No, we made a great game." If I still harbored any illusions of a superstar designer driving a game's creation, they were shattered that day.

Even if Kurt and I are the only full-time developers working on Hellenica, we've had the support of a plethora of talented people. And since we've gotten even more help than usual lately, I thought it'd be good to recognize the different people involved and the help they provide.

Within the past week alone...

Numerous friends and family have played through an alpha build of Hellenica and given great feedback with regards to usability and difficulty, and the occasional bug or grammar mistake.

My friend, Topher, also found a particularly rare bug, where a line would be repeated if you took a very specific story path (3 in 58 chance). Additionally, he provided feedback about how our UI reads to his color blindness.

My friend, Bergy, provided Greek culture consultation, discussing the finer points of the Oracle at Delphi, the river Styx, and Athenian politics, as we worked to mold these elements into great conclusions(plural) to our JRPG-styled story.

Our writer, Siobhan, helped edit new bits dialogue we added to improve narrative flow where playtesters were confused.

We worked with YDY on our last set of character portraits.

My brother explained to us why one of our character's muscles were physically impossible, and helped us give feedback for YDY to iterate on.

My friend, Maja, advised us on the mechanics of female poses (also for a character portrait). My girlfriend also allowed herself to be thusly posed as we iterated towards a more reasonable stance.

We conducted a combat artist search and asked a wide array of gamer friends to give us feedback on the final candidates we had selected.

And honorable mention to my mother, who has (before this week) proofread all of Hellenicas 4800+ lines.

Another honorable mention to Daniel Thomas, who the week before last finished up his work on Hellenica’s backgrounds, which drew nothing but praise during our playtest.

Hellenica wouldn’t be where it is without them, and Kurt and I are very grateful.


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