In our ongoing series introducing you to the members of Mobius, we talk to our wunderkind programmer, Jeffrey Yu, about what he does for the studio!
So you're a Software Engineer on Outer Wilds: What does that mean you do on a day-to-day basis?
If I'm not hunting bugs (often of my own making), I generally get stuck on developing new systems for Outer Wilds. It often starts with a long discussion with the game designers, with me trying to suss out the parts that are important to me in terms of software design. Once all those requirements are sorted out, I get to implementing it in game:
*insert Hollywood hacking sequence*
*insert rage sequence*
*repeat above as many times as needed*
*insert Houston Mission Control Center celebration*
Inevitably after some play-testing, the game designers will come back with tweaks or fixes they want to make, and the whole software development cycle begins again. It's a story familiar to most programmers, I'm sure.
Our artist Alice has a preternatural skill at finding the strangest, creepiest, most humorously disturbing images in the solar system. We thought we'd share some of her favorite images of Hearthians looking creepy from afar and up close!
Greetings from Outer Wilds Ventures!
We hope y'all have had a lovely start to the New Year! El Nino may be pouring down on our studio here in the Arts District of Los Angeles, but we're still feeling sunny from such a magical 2015: we've grown out studio, ran an amazing crowdfunding campaign, and now get to finish Outer Wilds. What more could we ask for?
State of the Project
Avimaan here. As the producer of Outer Wilds, I wanted to let give a higher level picture of where development is as we head into 2016. As anyone who's been part of a long-term creative and/or technical production knows, the playing field is constantly changing during development, but I wanted to share with y'all where we currently are.
1. We now have the full-team to complete Outer Wilds: Though we already had the creative team from Outer Wilds working here at Mobius, Outer Wilds was a big step up in scope from the mobile games that had been produced by a team of five. Going from a team of 4 full-time workers and 2 part-time workers to 8 full-time workers and 2 part-time workers can be a potentially huge shift in culture & quality, and I feel tremendously lucky to say that the people we've brought on have really strengthened who we are culturally, technically, and artistically.
How did we beef up the team? We brought on a a full-time art director, a technical artist/gameplay programmer, a 3D generalist, a producer, and a part-time writer. The addition of team members started in June and went through December, but I think we're finally locked in. When you're a manager/leader, you know when you have a special team on your hands: I'm really hopeful we can keep this team together beyond Outer Wilds, because it's been wonderful to see this project grow from Alex's vision to something the whole team creates.
2. We feel good about where we are in our production schedule: Again, there were a lot of unknown variables when we started pre-production and our Fig campaign. Beyond not having filled the whole team, we had to get several team members comfortable with Maya & Unity, then transition from Unity 4 to 5, while still trying to innovate and create new experiences & art. There were a lot of variables.
Now--more or less halfway through production here at Mobius--we've figured out the pipelines for various processes in the game, such as creating a markup language in Maya scenes so artists know what's important to the designer's greybox and what they can play with. While I'm not putting pen and paper to any release date, I feel really good about where our production is and where we need to go.
A large part of our remaining production now centers on the heart of the game: the designing and modelling of locations across the solar system. All of the ship systems are also going to be redesigned, which will lead to the ship itself being redesigned as well. And while we focus on all the big systems and needs of the game, we also make sure to have Alice, our artist dedicated to props, go back and add depth and beauty to the world. In the image below you can see the flowers and interior to the sleeping bag she put in.
New Year's Resolutions
In 2016, Mobius will...
In the News!
We've gotten a couple of awesome accolades to start the year! First, we were named to Polygon's 100 Games to Watch in 2016! The other games on this list are amazing, and we are super humbled and excited to be included with such great games!
Secondly, Alex was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list for being the wunderkind behind Outer Wilds! Congrats, Alex!
Alright, that's it for this update. As always, remember you can discuss the latest update on the Outer Wilds forums. Thanks for exploring with us!
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Updates on our games, our process, and the joys of being Mobius Digital.