BLOGCAST

The fine folks over at ilovedust, have done it again. On top of helping us with our initial keyart, Sunset City art, and doing the boxart, check out their awesome Chaos Squad art.

This is based on the Night Defense section of Chaos Squad. It’s definitely darker than the boxart, but then again, it’s night! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Also, if you are looking for wallpaper sizes, we have a 1920×1080 version here and a 1920×1200 version here. Or you can get the full size here.

Sunset_Overdrive_Secondary_Art_Horiz_Final_forWeb

Ahoy ahoy, humans! I hope you are all well. If you missed last week’s stream, Alex did an in-depth look at his composition process. If you have any interest in game music, or music in general, check it out! This Friday we’ll be looking at some testing and tuning processes, so the more design-inclined of you should stop by then.

We also had a fun time with all of you last stream collecting suggestions for names for the bullcatcher. You had some fantastic ideas, and after sorting and discussing and debating (and checking with legal, of course), the team decided on Annette! Because, afterall, that’s what she uses to catch you. Don’t get caught by Annette!

annette

In other news, our other artist, Denae, is now on the project! She’s going to be doing a lot of animation and production art as we start wrapping up all the places where there is still temp designer art. Because there’s so much to do and only Denae to do them, we started with as low framerate animations as still look good in the game. This way if there is time left when everything is done, we could do more in-betweens, but if not these animations still work. The paper cutout style makes low framerate cycles fit in with the overall aesthetic, so we’ll be in a good place.

SDBVaseCarrier

SDBCat

pax

PAX Prime! Set in the magical land of Seattle where games and gamers of all types come together to celebrate games and gamers of all types! Well, Sunset Overdrive’s going to be there, too! With figurative bells on! Although, we’re not ruling out the possibility of some bell-inspired attire.

Let’s run through what we’ve got in Sunset store:

  • Sunset Overdrive’s 8-Player Co-op experience, Chaps Squad will be playable on the show floor! So, stop by the Xbox booth and get grindin’!
  • Volpin Props made amazing life-size replicas of the Captain Ahab and High Fidelity weapons from Sunset. If you want to grab pictures with these beauts – simply head over to the Paramount Theatre (911 Pine) and smile.
  • We are also a part of Pinny Arcade! We’ll be giving out limited edition Fizzie pins at the booth (limited number available each day and only for Chaos Squad group winners) and at the Paramount Theatre (if you get your picture taken.) Now Fizzie has a reason to stab you in the chest repeatedly!
  • But, that’s not the only thing we’re giving away! We’ll also be passing out limited -edition Kuturu shirts for the first 75 people that play the game every day. So, best be early!
  • On Saturday night, Sunset will be taking over the GameSpot Metrople (820 Pike Street.) Everyone is invited to attend and Sunset Overdrive themed drinks will be served. Plus, the first 250 people to arrive will receive “Fast Passes” which let people skip to the front of the line to play the demo at the Xbox booth.
  • The infamous Sunset Bus will be carrying people from the Convention Center to Lil’ Woody’s on Capitol Hill. There you can order yourself a Sunset Burger (read: Sexburger). Between the hours of 11-1 we’ll even supply free drinks and fries with every Sunset Burger you purchase! And, yes, there will be lots of chilled Overcharge on the bus.
  • And, finally, Sunset Overdrive’s composer, Boris Salchow, will be appearing on the Maestros of Videogames panel on Saturday from 5:30 – 6:30 P.M. Wanna learn more about the music in Sunset – or the music of games in general? Here’s your shot! It’s in the Sphinx Theatre.

Whew – we think we’ve covered everything. You could literally spend your entire PAX time just doing Sunset Overdrive things. That would flatter us, but there are plenty of other amazing games to see, as well. Still! Get your fill of Sunset. There are some awesome exclusives!

Aight – if you see us around – say “Hi!”

*salute*

Sunset Overdrive is all about being who YOU want to be. Sure we are making the game, but we are giving you the tools to craft your character’s look and feel. We have been screaming this from any mountain top we can get our hands on. We recently partnered with Polygon on a contest to create your own design. The winner will get to come to Insomniac (Burbank) for the day and get their winning design in the game.

We weren’t sure what we were going to get. Especially considering Sunset Overdrive is a new IP. It was a pleasant surprise to see SO many awesome submissions. Too many to even pick our favorite.

It is because of this (and many more things) we just wanted to take a second and thank you, the Community. Thank you for your submissions. Thank you for your passion for Sunset Overdrive. Thank you for just being awesome! THANK YOU!

With help from Polygon, we were able to narrow down the field to 11 finalists. You can vote for your favorite here.

You will also see a few honorable mentions. These were awesome designs, that likely would have made the final 11, but for various reasons, we couldn’t get them in the game at this time. All of these folks will be receiving signed copies of Sunset Overdrive and some other swag. It is up to the Community now to determine who the grand prize winner is though.

Honorable Mentions:

Russel Frey: The dress presented some real significant rigging challenges that would’ve made it incredibly difficult to look right in the game.
Russell_Frey

Aaron Small: Again rigging issues with the shirt and pants make this one not very feasible at the current time.
Aaron_Small

Alexis Fromm: We really like this, though already have samurai shoes and a cat mask, so they sort of won anyway!
alexis_fromm

Finalists:

Zhengyi Wang
zhengyi_wang

Chase Nichol
chase_nichol

Raquel Kidd
Raquel_Kidd

Grant Ervin
grant_ervin

Rodney
rodney

Tyler Rivers
tyler_rivers

Adam Fey
adam_fay

Austin Kowitz
austin_kowitz

Scott Gagnin
scott_gagnon

Michael Combs
michael-combs

William Falk
william_falk

Think you have enough skill to utilize the advanced traversal moves in Sunset Overdrive? Sure you do! You’re a cocky bastard! There’s nothing you think you can’t do – except for not thinking you can;t do something! Also, get a look at amazing life-size weapons you can play with at PAX and billowing capes! That’s right. I said it. BILLOWING. CAPES. Get excited.

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Be sure to send your questions or comments to sunsettv@insomniacgames.com to join in on the fun!

Hey everyone, several of you have requested another audio-focused dev stream and we are happy to comply! This Friday, Alex will be working on some music on-stream, so come check it out and bring along your game audio questions. We’ll go live Friday at 2pm PDT on the Insomniac Twitch Channel.

Also bring along your name-ideas. We had so much fun discussing names for Esteban that we want to do it again, this time for our primary antagonist, the wily Bullcatcher.

bull-catcher

She is bound and determined to catch Esteban and kick him off her lawn, and nothing stands in her way! Except maybe water. She doesn’t like water. Like we did with Esteban, we’ll gather up suggestions in stream and the team will pick a name next week.

Other Developments

As we get further and further into development, we’ve been revisiting some earlier art concepts now that we’ve had a chance to play with them in game. The transparent water walls of the beach area weren’t working out so great – making them look good while overlapping was problematic – so we redid the beach walls as sand dunes and macaroni shells. To get water back into the beach, we wanted to be able to see the ocean around the perimeter

This effect is done with two things:
1. A script to translate the offset of a tiling water texture so it moves around
2. An alpha mask shader to block out the area of the level where we DON’T water to show. The level mask images come in handy once more!

Speaking of level masks…

Pixelated Rorshach Test

What did Twitter see in this level mask?

SpeedBitTraining

@leelo124: Pea shooter from Plants vs Zobmies Garden Warfare :)
@TechyZeldaNerd: An awkward thirteen year old girl who just had a guy run away when she tried to kiss him.
@SugaoKC: I see Qbert
@audiosprite: a minimap and I wanna go left
@syntheslice: Looks like a bad idea for a Super Soaker that just might accidentally spray water back in the user’s face.
@AndyGainey: A frightened and very worried elephant. With an inexplicable spot on its forehead.
@darthbator: Doom 1, Hangar, overhead view.

Follow @SlowDownBull to see more!

As we continue towards this Fall, we wanted to spotlight various members of the Sunset Overdrive team with some questions you hopefully haven’t seen answered elsewhere. Get to know the Sunset Overdrive team. This week we talk to Director of Project Management Bryan Intihar.

brianiHow did you end up at Insomniac?

Ryan Schneider (our Director of Marketing and Brand Development), that’s how. During my days at Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) I worked very closely with Ryan whenever it came to writing about Insomniac titles. Ryan—along with Ted—always went above and beyond whenever I had a request and I really enjoyed visiting the studio.

When I got the itch to move into game development, Ryan was the first person I called and was fortunate that he had a position open on the community team. After about a year I moved into production with Ryan’s blessing (if you can’t tell already, he’s one awesome guy).

I know it might sound cliché, but I truly do have the greatest job. That doesn’t mean things don’t get tough/stressful at times, but it’s still amazing to see on a daily basis how these games come together.

How did being in games media help you in your position now?

Well, let’s start with how it didn’t help—I COMPLETELY underestimated just what goes into making these things. I’ve written a lot of articles and been on numerous gaming podcasts, and when I think about at some of my comments/criticisms I’m like “wow—you really had no idea how difficult it can be to do what you’re asking.”

However, I feel like being part of the games media did allow me to give the dev team some insights  on how people might react to , say, a new game feature or initial impressions of a demo build through the eyes of a journalist.

Sunset Overdrive Character Grouping by Julien Renoult

Sunset Overdrive Character Grouping by Julien Renoult

What’s the biggest challenge when guiding roughly 200 people making a game?

Communication, communication, and—oh yeah—communication. Sunset is easily the biggest game we’ve ever made at Insomniac, which has led to us staffing up appropriately. But when you have team size this big, it’s a constant challenge to keep everyone in the loop. Luckily, I have an amazing production team that keeps the flow of information going throughout the studio.

Any “ah-ha” moments on Sunset Overdrive?

I would say the first time we got actually shooting-while-traversing working in the game. Early on Steve Ryder—one of our animators—did some pre-vis work about what it could feel like running through the city like in those parkour videos yet blasting away OD with such unbelievable style. The day I grabbed the controller and said “it’s just like Steve’s video,” I knew the team was on to something pretty special.

How many different departments go into making a videogame?

Lots! You have the ones that you might expect: Design, Programming, Animation, Audio, etc. However, there’s also several that I like to call “unsung heroes” that go into making this game (and studio)—tick, such as our QA staff, community team (who are rocking it these days with our weekly Sunset TV episodes), and yes—even HR. Our HR group is always doing something special for the studio to keep things fun even at the most difficult times at the project.

OneHandedDragon_E3trailer

How is Insomniac managing Sunset Overdrive differently than other projects?

The sheer size of this game has forced us to improve our tracking methods. There are so many features/assets/etc. that you really need to be buttoned up as a production team so things don’t fall through the cracks. We’ve made some tremendous headway in this area on Sunset, but it will continue to be a point of emphasis on future projects, as well.

What are your three most vital tools that you couldn’t do your job without?

  1. My legs: People always laugh at me I’m usually seen speed-walking around the office trying to track someone down. I’m not a fan of communicating via e-mail or IM; it’s all about the face-to-face.
  2. My team: The production team (Heather, Kevin, Peter, Scott) along with my QA leads (Doug, Joe, and Ricky) make it possible for me to do my job. I ask so much of them on a daily basis and even when I put new stuff on their plate they always find a way to deliver.
  3. My Insom family: Insomniac is more than just a job for me. I’ve always described this place as a second family and I’d do anything to help it succeed. For as much time we spend here making these games, you better really like and respect the people you work with—and that’s exactly the case here at Insomniac. It’s an amazing place to be.

I hear you’re a Browns fan. How’s that going?

Such a loaded question! No matter what, I will always bleed orange and brown. #Believeland

What faction do you honestly think you would be a part of in Sunset City?

Hmm, great question. If it were up to me, I’d be a rebel and try to be part of TWO factions at once—Troop Bushido and the Fargarths. And thanks to our customization system, in Sunset I can sure look the part!!!

The Sunset Overdrive team dresses up to storm the green carpet at the Xbox E3 Media Briefing in 2014

The Sunset Overdrive team dresses up to storm the green carpet at the Xbox E3 Media Briefing in 2014

Check out all of our Before Sunset interviews here.

Greetings all! If you missed last week’s stream of Dave creating the art for our matador character, you can watch it here. As a reminder, there will be NO STREAM THIS WEEK as our entire Community team is off in Cologne for gamescom. But we’ll be back the week after and hopefully with a much-requested audio stream. Follow our Twitch Channel and/or @SlowDownBull on twitter to keep notified.

Current Status

We continue to stay very busy on the project as we balance assimilating feedback from our weekly builds into our schedule of work that still needs to be done. It can be somewhat of a juggling act, especially when great ideas show up that are just beyond the scope of the time we have left. Sometimes we’re able to find ways to incorporate the core of those ideas without using them in their entirety, but some just have to be let go in the interest of getting things done. It’s always a tough decision!

This week Dave finished up one of our last environment concepts, check out the pieces:

area4

This is intended to be the last week that Lillian puts in any new big systems, and she just hooked up some more macro-facing things, like a way for me to set up tutorial screens in levels with new mechanics, and a big iteration for how we present in-level progress to the player. Most of it involves a lot of UI hookups. UI is one of those things that always takes up way more time than people tend to plan, so if you are an aspiring game developer, keep that in mind! Never were there so many edge cases that need solving as in UI! That’s my opinion, at least :)

More Pixelated Rorshach

I continue to probe the minds of the Twitterverse to find out what people “see” in these level mask images:

ArenaWithSpikes

@aptigertheory: key with a tail
@edlago: a key with some kind of cloth/fabric tied in the head o.o
@MikeTiv: A key with a shadow.
@CholidSnake: a mutan fetus with a key attached to his forehead
@syntheslice: It’s one of those “glasses with the fake mustache underneath” things. But horribly deformed.
@jakesones: The dragon from Adventure on Atari 2600. http://t.co/6a79i68TmM
@csgeorge: An unnecessarily intricate key.
@leelo124: An elephant with a weird trunk on a planet with 2 moons :D Or.. Some sort of mech pointing his machine gun arm at something.
@zhiwiller: Key on a bazooka (Sorry everyone is saying key).
@SleepyBeeMon404: Overhead view of a person cooking an egg in a pan.
@IndieKylo: Definitely a phonograph.
@tolicious: A key that somebody smashed head first into a wall. Why would you do that :(
@naveen_pcs: A key with something come out of the bottom right corner of it.
@SugaoKC: A slug smiling dementedly?
@TechyZeldaNerd: A river key.

With this one I did a couple of artist interpretations of the… interpretations

PossumTrainingNew

@syntheslice: Definitely a dragon. Head is the right bit, extended wing to the left, and the tail curled up in front.

dragonrorshach

@danielsound: first thing that came to mind was platformer level with wall jumping, before actually reading the tweet
@leelo124: I got nothing on this one :P …ET and a praying dinosaur back to back maybe ? lol

ETrorshach

@regisRquoi: Waw, this one is hard. Maybe a desk with a computer on it I think (with a 90° rotation). No? :O
@csgeorge: Ok, that’s a snail. Total snail.
@llnesisll: A squirrel sitting down, it’s tail off to the left. Brain, I don’t even.
@Infinit777: a face… Am I a psycho?
@TechyZeldaNerd: A headshot of a two headed dragon.

Abdul Bezrati (Senior Engine Programmer) presented “Real-time lighting via Light Linked List” as part of the Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games at SIGGRAPH ’14.

Description:
This is a brief description of a new rendering technique developed at Insomniac Games called Light Linked List or simply LLL.
The LLL technique stores dynamic lights in a linked list accessible per-pixels for all the elements in a game scene.
The LLL not only speeds up real-time dynamic lighting it also makes it possible for transparent effects and particles to receive both lighting and shadowing.

Light Linked List.pptx

This week on Sunset TV, delve into more details about our brand new enemy – the Fizzco bots. How can you kill them? How can they kill you? Why is their opinion on 18th century Russian literature? Most of those questions will be answered! Oh, happy day!

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Follow us on Instagram for more Sunset TV and all things Insomniac.

Be sure to send your questions or comments to sunsettv@insomniacgames.com to join in on the fun!