Hope everyone is well and keeping safe in this strange time, it’s hard to believe that things have changed so drastically since our last update. Like most people we moved to remote working and we’re grateful that it has been easy for us to do so. It is sad that we didn’t get to enjoy our last few weeks in the Pixel-Mill because of the lockdown. It was a great place with great people in it and we’ll all miss the space.
Adjusting to the remote working has been smooth thanks to Discord and our morning and evening stand-ups.
It means we can keep up with what people are working on, chat about how people are doing and participate in corporate ice-breakers. It’s important that we all look out for each other for each other in this difficult time and just chatting to people is good for yours and their mental health.
Work is still being done on MaMM, and we’ve made some significant progress on Stargazing which we hope to share with you in the coming weeks.
!!Super Major Important Announcement!!
OK, now for the REAL blog post. Sooooo, sometimes at Whitepot HQ we can get carried away with a conversation and end up creating what most people would think is the greatest game idea of all time. Some naysayers may not agree with this use of company time (the bosses) but we – the artists, Amy and Matt, and programmer, Robbie – think this is vital company Research and Development.
So while the management are off pitching to the publishers at the virtual Games Finance Market today, here is our pitch to you (the fans) for a trilogy of action-adventure games starring Vin Beesil (a character with no connection whatsoever to the actor of a similar sounding name), and his hunt for revenge in a city overrun by Wasps.
Honeycomb City has been overrun by swarms of criminal mutant wasps! These villainous vespids get a buzz out of causing chaos and has the whole city cowering under their sheets while the wasps run riot in the streets.
Only one man can hold back the swarm – Vin Beesil, the charismatic rogue and former black ops agent turned beekeeper! After his adopted brother is tragically killed, Vin Beesil vows to wreak vengeance on the insects that have destroyed his family. Inspired by his beloved bees, he uses stinging-edge technology to enhance his body and bring the war to the wasps. The only thing sweeter than honey… is revenge.
The Player Controller
With the player controller, we wanted to mimic the weight and strength of our main character, as this would allow our players to feel more connected and empowered by the hero they are playing as. To achieve this, we decided to slow the player’s movement slightly and increase the model’s size and gravitational pull. Unfortunately, this was at odds with the fact that our character has bee wings which he can use to fly. We found out that the character was now too heavy to fly any higher than two feet off the floor. We took to a local bee farm to study, hoping to find a way to make bees displace air quickly enough to allow them to fly higher than two feet – but we came to the understanding that this was probably because bees are not muscly six-foot men. And thus, we decided that a flying limit of two feet would be the highest that we could go.
We didn’t want to sacrifice the player experience for the ability to fly as high as a bee. The downside of this is that the player’s main antagonist in the game are wasps and the character not being able to fly limits their ability to catch these wasps. However, we were again able to overcome this issue by utilising our character’s sports car. This gives players the necessary speed they need to be able to catch the wasps. You can see this outlined in the gameplay loop below:
Enemy Artificial Intelligence
We are utilizing the latest flocking algorithm technology to give our enemy wasps the fear factor they are truly worthy of.
Players can expect to face up to 300 wasps at a time as they attack you in colonies and attempt to swarm. When in trouble a social wasp will emit a pheromone that sends nearby colony members into a defensive, stinging frenzy. Higher-level wasps can make use of their Vespa’s to escape tricky situations, players will need to adapt to these situations quickly as a wasp on the run spouts trouble.
We hope that you have been blown away by our pitch today and we hope to hear from you all soon in the near future about the next big gaming franchise, VIN BEESIL
Apart from beeing buzzy bees here’s what we’ve been reading, watching, listening to and playing the past month.
Adam: “This month I’ve been playing loads of games and not getting very far in any of them. I’ve played Metro Exodus, Halo (from the master chief collection), State of Decay 2, World War Z and Cod Warzone to name a few. I haven’t actually been watching much other than whatever Youtube rabbit hole I end up on that day. Shout out things like Theme Park Crazy (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFbb5v6I-bxiQfZumWn2S2A/videos) for now making me an expert  on roller coasters! My next isolation project is to get through some more of my unpainted Warhammer collection, look for updates on that in the creative channel on our discord.”
Vicky: “Not much to add other than it has become starkly apparent that I was already living some sort of ‘self-isolation’ lifestyle before all this went down. This month I’ve still been playing too much Minecraft, and been listening to a lot of lofi chill music and‘smooth jazz’ stuff so I can feel like I have a very big brain as I work very hard at home. Check out the Spotify playlist!”
Matt: This month I’ve been playing Animal Crossing (calming when there are no tarantulas about), Lego Lord of the Rings and Pikuniku. I’ve been watching Brooklyn 99, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal and I rewatched Knives Out (Still great). I’ve been reading a book on legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby and why he’s a genius. Haven’t been listening to much this month apart for the Weekly Planet podcast and Novara Media.
Amy: “This month I started playing Animal Crossing and got destroyed by wasps and tarantulas whilst having an otherwise peaceful time, would highly recommend playing as long as you have quicker reflexes than me! I’ve also been listening to some good but old albums, Kingsman: Secret Service ost and Rising by Tiasu.”
Robbie: “This month I replayed A Way Out, it’s a great co-op game that’s you can currently get with Xbox Game Pass for free, an excellent time killer with your quarantine buddy. I also started Far Cry: New Dawn which has so much content to fill your long days at home. As far as watching stuff I cannot recommend Tiger King more. It’s an insane docu-series currently on Netflix and is a must watch. Seriously, it’s mental.”
Whitepot Chillout Playlist
We thought we’d create another playlist of tunes to help you get through the lockdown.
Bye for now,
PS: Keep Safe