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  • Writer's pictureKadin White

Helldivers 2 and SoulSync City Alpha

Just like that February was here and gone in a flash. Welcome back to my blog where I talk about topics within the games industry and give my thoughts, questions, and concerns. Since production is what I'm most passionate about in the industry I try to slide in my views on game production when I can :) Because SoulSync City was going into Alpha, more to come later, February didn't leave a whole lot of time to play any games. That wasn't for lack of big releases though. Final Fantasy Seven Rebirth, Nightingale, in early access, and of course Helldivers 2.

I haven't been able to play Helldivers 2 myself, but I must say I've loved watching the game, explode, for lack of a better word. I've enjoyed seeing people post some awesome gameplay clips of moving around in the world taking out bugs, literal bugs, as in insects for those that may haven't seen. It's also just a joy to watch people have a good time with their friends playing the game.

The price of Helldivers 2 is awesome, games while amazing, can't be bought by every single player. The price tag being more affordable for people, myself included, makes for a compelling case to pick up the game. Especially considering the fact it has a positive word of mouth. From everything that I've seen and read it's a game that knows exactly what it is. When that is the case it's no surprise the game is a success.

It did get me thinking from a production standpoint though. What now? Arrowhead Studios has a hit on their hand. Considering they seem to have figured out their server capacity and as stated in the article, reached almost 800,000 players a few weeks ago. Do you instantly plan more DLC expansions once the smaller patches are pushed? Do you move on to the next project because, by the time you get the DLC out, the game may die down and players move on to something else? In my mind, it comes down to, working with the team to see how, when, and where they want to continue. Then working with the publisher to see if they're willing to continue supporting the team.

Whatever happens next I'll be keeping my eyes peeled to what might be the next big online shooter in the making for years to come.

Now some exciting news to share as a part of SoulSync City. That is the official name of the Senior Game Capstone project I'm working as the Lead Producer on, in case you missed my last blog. In that case, what are you waiting for? Go check out last month's blog! After you're done reading this of course. ;)

As of mid-February SoulSync City has gone into the Alpha stage or has reached the code complete status and we're on our way to Beta. As a team, we made a bet at the end of last semester and shifted from an open world to a linear-level format. We were able to build three levels from the ground up with a completely different design philosophy in about 5 and a half weeks.

Just as Lost Water Studios expected, the game is much better off for it. The level design supports our gameplay in a much more effective way than it previously did. Based on multiple playtest sessions players are no longer getting lost in the levels themselves, and enjoying the core gameplay itself. Which is always great to hear.

However, we did hit a bump. The level design of our game needed another week to be locked in before alpha. We had major art assets to get in for the levels. A compromise had to be found. As a result, our levels are mostly grayboxed in our alpha build without any major art assets, but through the options of the main menu, there is an art showcase scene, to show what SoulSync City looks like.

Our art team is awesome please check that scene out.

It just goes to show that the team, myself included have learned from a lot of our mistakes last semester. Keeping up with documentation, working with the roadmap, and adjusting when needed. But we are still learning, and I'm still learning, and pushing myself to be the best possible producer I can be. Working to make sure the team knows where we are, what needs to be done, where we are going, and when we're going to get there with the game.

We still have improvements to make in our AI, revise some level design, and implement our core art assets. However, our base is there. From now the team builds from here. We won our bet on our level design, and now we are well on our way to Beta, coming at the end of March.

Our Alpha build is up on the itch page if you want to check it out.

I'm thankful to have this opportunity to produce this project and I'm so excited for everyone to check out SoulSync City in its entirety when it launches in May. #Escapethecity #Takebackyoursoul

For now, it's back to work.

Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves,


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