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Time Rifters
July 30 - Proton Studio

For those that might be wondering, we're still waiting for our Oculus Rift DK2 to arrive. Our order was placed at 2:53 pm PDT on day 1 (March 19), so hopefully it'll be in the next shipment.

We've recently finished creating the images for our Steam store page. After trying out a few different concepts that didn't work, we created a dark futuristic image that we really liked but decided it was missing the brightness that our current branding has.



We took the futuristic and cinematic feeling from the dark picture and combined it with the brightness of our current branding, and created the new Time Rifters image:



~ Jackie

July 11 - Proton Studio

In the last update we mentioned that players are now able to record a play through of an episode as the first two time clones. We've now added the ability to record audio commentary, making the Let's Replay functionally complete.

As part of the audio component we added a microphone visualizer to show the Let's Replay recorder that their voices are being recorded. Those playing a Let's Replay will also see the visualizer as it is displayed above the head of the time clone that is speaking.



While playing through the game we noticed that it felt like something was missing at the end of the episode, since the other time clones where just standing around. We made a small change so that the other time clones will now time warp back to the clone room at the end of an episode.



~ Jackie

June 30 - Proton Studio

Just a quick update....

Besides the Oculus DK2 integration, the last big task that we have on our Time Rifters to do list is the Let's Replay system, which we've begun to implement. We can now record a play through using just 2 clones, as well as the ability to play alongside that recording using the other 2 clones. Our focus is now on the audio recording/playback as well as the Steam Workshop integration.

We've also spent some time recently performing maintenance and increasing performance on our NPlay[www.nplay.com] servers which host our games BeGone[www.nplay.com] and InvinciCarOnline[www.nplay.com].

~ Jackie

June 12 - Proton Studio

A recent Freakonomics podcast[freakonomics.com] said "... people fall prey to what economists call sunk costs, once you've invested a lot in something you hang on to it even though it's not worth anything".

With one arena left to design, we decided to make a zombie graveyard. We bought the assets and spent time designing the arena, modifying textures to match our style, adding features like bioluminescent trees and grass, ensuring the gravestones glowed, etc



The Freakonomics podcast[freakonomics.com] summed it up perfectly "... it would have been so easy to say, okay, it's not exactly perfect, let's just keep going".

We found ourselves with a choice to make; do we stick with an okay arena that we've already invested time and money into and try to make it work, or do we scrap it all and start from scratch. We chose to create a brand new, clean and simple arena, that we are excited about.



It's extremely difficult to walk away from something that you've invested time, money and heart into, but in our opinion, this is a skill that is required in order to be successful.

~ Jackie

June 5 - Proton Studio

We originally thought that Time Rifters would have a long gameplay style, where the player continuously levels up as they progress through each episode. But the more we worked on the game, the more obvious the limitations became, so we've switched to a short gameplay style.



There are still 3 episodes (each containing 5 arenas) but weapons and upgrades now reset at the end of each episode. Here's why we switched styles:

  • Balanced Progression - instead of trying to make sure the game is easy for new players as well as challenging for experts, we get to focus on balancing each episode (easy, medium and hard)
  • Let's Replays - Let's Replays will be broken out by episode, making it easier to record and providing players with shorter Let's Replays that are easier to consume
  • Leaderboards - each episode, as well as each Let's Replay, will have their own leaderboards, providing lots of opportunities to post high scores
  • Re-Playability - since the episodes are shorter there are more opportunities to try out various weapon and upgrade combinations

~ Jackie

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