NEWS
Project Update - April 2018
21 Apr | 6:44 pm

Some time ago we promised to invite you all to a virtual tour of our office, so without further ado, here goes:

First stop - Budapest, 13th district

Our office is located in an edifice built in the socialist era but kept in fairly good condition compared to how others fared. Back in the day when programming meant punched cards, the whole building housed a prominent company developing 'software' on those.

Passing the receptionists, who are extremely nice and helpful, we usually take the stairs as our office is located on the first floor.

In the larger room (cca 30m2) we all have our separate little workstations set up, with one 'flexi-desk' for external contributors in case they come in. The  smaller room we use to 'step-out' for calls and meetings that do not concern everyone, so we don't disturb the rest of the team.

 

 

With the large desks we've got decent space for everyone, even for two-monitor setups.

 

Second stop - Tools & equipment  

Everyone has non-branded, custom built desktops. Nothing fancy, just to get the job done. The exception is Gabor, working on a 2:1 Lenovo Yoga device, which he can take to off-site meetings, and also to test how it feels to play the game on a touchscreen.

For graphic design we use Adobe Photoshop, which is pretty much the industry standard, and the same goes for Szonja's Wacom table and pen.

After some consideration, we picked Unity as our game engine, which we have not regretted - even if some quirks crop up from time to time. Nobo uses his custom code platform instead of Visual Studio.

For animations, which we have a limited number of in our game, we opted for Anima2D. So far, it has satisfied all our needs without having to pay big bucks for features we don't utilize.

Obviously, for a narrative game like ours, there's quite a lot of text to be read and even more importantly, all the choice and consequence parameters have to be maintained. For us, after reviewing the tools available for such purposes (like Twine or Inklewriter), the verdict was to develop our own, integrated with Unity. Not only does it allow to build the choice and consequence trees of our events but also manages all the game objects (supplies, crew, movement points, etc).

In terms of project management, we started off with Asana and Evernote but then soon realized we have art, music, and effect assets, as well as gameplay parameters (like character and skill stats) to manage in such quantity that we also needed a tool to deal with those. Something with a speadsheet format, but with more functions than Google Sheets could offer. Eventually, we selected Airtable for the task, which proved to be a really good decision in retrospect. Making parameter adjustments in the hundreds via Airtable sync to the engine instantly, instead of administering those in Unity one by one, is a huge time saver.

 

Third stop - Collaboration and communication

We started with Slack not just for the core team's communication but for the wider team and contributors as well. Then, later on, we introduced Discord as a channel to communicate with our followers and at the time we also considered switching our internal communications to Discord, but this never happened. Simply put, we're too much used to Slack, which has all the integration in place, so we just stayed with it.

As a small indie team following the path of open development - which means sharing our progress continuously in order to build a follower base and gather vital feedback early on - we have to be present on all media channels. Yet we have to admit that the amount of time social media updates eat up is just baffling. Not without results though! We are proud to have posts that reached 1.2-1.8 thousands upvotes on Reddit and have a slowly but continuously growing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram follower roster. Unlike Thumbler and Imgur, which have not got much traction as of now.

 

Fourth stop - Gaming platforms

This part is future-oriented in the sense that we are yet to register our presence on Steam, Itch.io, Brightlocker or any other gaming sites. The reason is simple: first impression matters; and so we decided to wait until we have a well prepared teaser video - something we have just started to work on and planning to finalize in May.

With that, we've come to the end of our tour. We hope that you enjoyed it! Let us know if there's a topic you would be interested to read up on, or learn more about.

 

The Lost Pilgrims Team

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