Transcript of RuneScape Behind the Scenes #89 - Developing the Giant Mole

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Developing The Giant Mole
[00:07] Each week, Behind the Scenes talks to RuneScape's developers about their upcoming content.
[00:12] But what do they actually do? With the Giant Mole about to make an re-entrance, Behind the Scenes thought it was time we found out.
[00:20] A new piece of content begins with a set of 'core aims' that'll be written by a member of the design team and then passed on a content developer.
[00:26] These core aims define the scope of a project and its purpose and they might say "we don't have enough low level bosses, why not rework this old one?"
[00:36] I'm currently working on the Giant Mole which is the lowest level boss in the game, it's also one of the oldest.
[00:42] So we decided that it would be good to give it a new coat of paint and introduce some of the evolution of combat mechanics and give it some new rewards.
[00:49] The Giant Mole is the first boss I did in RuneScape, I did it in a large group as part of a mass
[00:54] and I wanted to make sure that the new version was still enjoyable in that setting.
[00:58] After the initial ideas have been come up with, I'll sit down with a design reviewer who'll look over what I've come up with
[01:04] just to make sure it fits with the core aims and will maybe suggest some alternate things themselves
[01:09] And at the same time, I'll be talking to a concept artist and we'll be figuring out what we want the boss to look like.
[01:14] Working together is very important to try and develop something that's both a part of me and a part of what he wants
[01:19] and we come up with something that combines the best of two worlds - art and gameplay design.
[01:23] Can we have something that's a bit more fantastical that looks a bit more dangerous?
[01:27] Dirty, white fur, more of an albino? It looks ugly but it looks repulsive at the same time with teeth that are there and bloodstained.
[01:36] Things that show this is a dangerous beast.
[01:38] Once we're happy with the concept graphics we start bringing those characters and those locations to life.
[01:43] First of all we do a sort of clay version in a software called Z-Brush and in that it's very easy to tweak the character proportions and get it exactly how we want it.
[01:54] Then we take that into 3D Studio Max where we build the game version of the model.
[02:00] We take the model into photoshop where we do all the texturing work for the character.
[02:04] Then we take it our in house tools to rig it and do the final polish and then it's passed on to the animation department.
[02:12] Once the animations for those are coming together Audio will take a look to see what it might sound like to get slapped by a mole.
[02:19] We talked about what kind of sounds, what kind of character the mole would have
[02:23] If we can make the big ones sound sort of tougher, maybe meatier...
[02:28] and then I looked at the artwork.
[02:31] I mean the Giant Mole's a really nasty, ugly looking thing so I could imagine some really horrible, growly, guttural sound effects.
[02:40] And then I have to come in and make sure all of those things are working together properly in the script.
[02:44] Once we've got all of the assets we'll round up members of the team that didn't work directly on the update and get their opinion on it,
[02:51] what did work, what didn't work, what could be communicated better, what they enjoyed.
[02:55] Then we'll address some of the obvious bugs that came up before we send it to QA.
[03:00] They'll hammer on everything until it breaks just to make sure that in the live game, it doesn't.
[03:04] They'll also have suggestions as to whether something's too hard, or takes too long or whether a weapon or reward is too powerful.
[03:11] Once a piece of content has gone live we're not quite finished with it yet.
[03:14] I and the community team are still looking at what people are saying about it on the forums and on Reddit and on Twitter and elsewhere, just to see what the players think.
[03:23] When the Giant Mole finally goes out, I will happily ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.
[03:30] January's been a pretty big month for RuneScape and it's going to really take something to top it.
[03:35] No pressure for Mark then who's here next week to tell us what's in store for the coming month.