We’re a couple of weeks out from beta, which is incredibly exciting and quite scary in equal measure. There’s always a point in every game development where you start counting down the days and hours, and everything gears itself around the question of “right, we’re shipping this thing, are we ready?”
Everyone’s time is split between chewing through those and carving out time for as much polish and finesse as we can. And of course there’s always something that can be improved. Late tweaks to design, signposting, player flow, discovery – this is all still happening. Rotating a prop by a few degrees can make a dramatic difference to how you navigate a space, or the likelihood of encouraging an area to be explored in more detail.
Small adjustments to things like audio volume, or the area boundaries of ambient or procedural sound, can have an impact on the emotional tone of a space or moment, which has a knock-on effect to things like pacing or the interpretation of a story beat.
There are some big exciting changes too. This month Jessica (our talented studio head and composer) went to Air Studios to work with a world class team of musicians and engineers and came out with a soundtrack that is going to be one of the highlights of game music this year. Actually, I think it’s better than that, it’s one of the best game soundtracks ever created.
We’ve spent a fantastic week implementing it into the world and it’s transforming the experience, adding a huge jolt of warmth, depth and humanity. These are the most rewarding moments in development, where the game leaps forwards and just transforms around you. It’s really exciting and makes all of the grunt work worthwhile.
So the end is in sight. We’re going to announce a launch date shortly, so stay tuned. I’m so proud of the team and the game we’ve made. Rapture is going to be really different, an apocalypse like no other, and we think it’s going to be good.