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Othercide, One Year Later

By 28 août 2019 No Comments

On the 8th of August 2018, we revealed our project to the world: Othercide, a tactical turn-based game set in a dark and twisted universe. Some people from the team starting working on it way before its announcement, while some others joined the company a few months later. On this special occasion, they share with you their experience while working on the project, their ups and downs, but most importantly their passion and love.

Othercide, a tactical turn-based strategy game set in a dark and twister universe

Yoann, UI/UX Artist

I have been working on Othercide for a year – since November 2018! I’m the UI Artist (and UX Designer) on the project, and Othercide has been and still is a wild ride. I’ve been reworking the whole UI a few times already, trying to keep all the team’s feedback in mind for each iteration. Not an easy task!

Coming from projects made on Unreal Engine, working on Unity was a real challenge since day one for me. But thanks to my fellow developers, things are getting easier day after day. I’ve learnt a lot since I got into Lightbulb Crew, and there is not a single day during which I feel like going backwards. I also get to work on the code itself, which is something fascinating. Pure food for thought!

One year on the project, and it’s really impressive to behold the progress we’ve made as a team. And this is far from over!

Antoine, 3D Character Artist

It has been a year since we announced Othercide, but I’ve actually been working on it for more than two years, since we initiated the project! It feels like ages to be honest, but I feel like I grew a lot both as an artist and as a person since we started this project, thanks to the team and particularly our Art Director Alex. Working here feels like spending time home with family.

From a character artist perspective, I think that working almost exclusively without color is a learning experience ; it taught me how to focus more on values and shapes. (I have also been learning a lot doing non character-art related tasks, to help where we lacked people ; social media, environment art, marketing art…)

Sometimes it feels like it’s going too slow but eventually every now and then you get to see everything shaping up in builds with more and more content and polishing. The community response to Othercide has been incredible so far, it is very exciting and motivates us to make it the best game it can be. I can’t wait for people to play it and feel its universe.

Jérôme, Producer

My experience on Othercide began more than a year ago. At that time, I was only an intern but had the opportunity to quickly grow in experience while having more and more responsibilities. One of the most astonishing experience the past year was my participation at the 2018 Gamescom. It was the first time that we showed the game to professionals and the excitment was at the maximum level.

Eventually, everything went as planned and we kept going until the 2019 GDC, which were the second breathtaking moment in Othercide’s production. At that time, I handled all the QA to ensure that we delivered the best version of the game. I remember playing 10 hours a day for two weeks to track bugs and manage all the tickets to make sure the Game Design and Development teams were able to fix it.

The last significant moment of the last year was our partnership with Focus Home Interactive in April 2019. I knew at that time that the game would step up in quality. Therefore, the production flow would need to step up as well. I took it as a personal challenge and that is what currently motivates me daily.

Jérôme, Lead 3D Animator

It’s been six years since I joined Lightbulb Crew, I think I can say that I am one of the oldest members of the studio. Since the beginning of the project Othercide, the most important moment for me was the creation of the animation team. It may seem trivial, but after spending four years as the only animator on the previous Games Of Glory project, it sounded like a miracle to me.

My first padawan arrived one year ago (yes, huge team). This brought a new dynamic in my work. Being used to being totally autonomous on my pole, I had to rethink my organization again, learn to manage, structure my ideas, my knowledge, share it. Working as a lead animator is a real challenge, I keep learning and I really hope I will be able to contribute to the evolution of my team. I must admit that seeing the progression curve of my teammate is a real source of satisfaction (they grow so fast!)… Moreover, I am pleased to announce that we have recently welcomed a third animator (HUGE team, I told you!).

From a production point of view, the character panel and the variety of Othercide’s bestiary bring a great variety of movement: an expert in firearms, a swordsman, quadripeds, larvae, fetuses (wait what?)… An ideal playground for an animator. It has been a busy year, but there is still a lot to do. And the animation team is doing its best to make Othercide move like no other tactical!

Guillaume, 3D Animator

Arrived last year as a Junior Animator, I entered at a relatively quiet moment of production. The game still lacked definition in terms of gameplay, but the already well defined art direction had allowed the art pole to produce concept arts quickly enough. This allowed me to immediately start animating new creatures freshly produced by the Character Artists.

In addition and under the guidance of my colleague and Lead Animator, Jérôme, I was able to progress and improve the quality of the animations that I was providing. Othercide is a game I really enjoy working on. The lore (thank you Alex for this colossal work) touches me and is a genre I like to play. In addition, the team is really nice and strong, both professionally and humanly speaking.

I am proud to be part of this adventure and I hope that the people who play it will be satisfied with what we have produced.

Nizar, Game Designer

I started at Lightbulb Crew as an intern in Game Design, back in July 2015 ; it was approximately at the time when we (almost) rebooted Games of Glory.

It was a bit overwhelming at first and I had a lot to learn and little time to do so, but the team was very supportive. A lot a new faces arrived around this time, most of them still with us – and I quickly learned that this was the strongest point of Lightbulb Crew: the people behind the company. Talking directly to the players and even having some of them in the office was a highlight of this period.

A couple of years after that, we finished the very last patch for Games of Glory and I moved to Othercide in full time. I was already involved in the very first pen and paper prototypes before that, but most of my time was still on our first game.

Othercide had another name at the time, within a completely different universe. It’s quite fun actually to return to our initial documents and the very first concept arts, to see what Othercide could have been (it’s better now, trust me!). So here I am, four years later, once again close to show our work to our players. Exciting time!

Matthieu, Game Programmer

I have been a gameplay and tools programmer at Lightbulb Crew for two years while studying game programming at ISART Digital. I started working on Othercide as soon as I joined the company and it has been an extremely valuable first professional experience.

I learned a lot technically and professionally, both from my fellow programmers and the whole team at Lightbulb. I’ve had the chance to work on a variety of aspects of the game, from not so thrilling bug fixing to very neat features I’m impatient for you to discover! Today I’m confident that as a team we will deliver an engaging and polished experience for all gamers.

Clément, Game Designer

I heard that we announced Othercide to the public one year ago. I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise since time goes by so fast!

If I remember well, last year at the end of August we were still in the post-Gamescom mood. We showed the game to journalists and they received it globally well. We worked hard to make the build for the event so it cheered up the team a lot. People loved the art direction and were curious about the gameplay while on our side, this last gameplay point was still foggy past then. We had our key features of course but a lot of game design still remained to be determined plus a lot of team members – me included – were in this well-known development phase were you begin to question everything and lose faith.

All this to introduce what we did in game design during this short year: we nailed down stuff. We (I say ‘we’ because I can’t actually remember on a daily basis what I did during this year and we kind of have a hive mind in the game design team at Lightbulb Crew) did meetings after meetings, tested the game again and again, produced a pile of documents, fixed the macro loop of the game, did a tons of level designs, reviewed and cleaned almost all of our systems, designed enemies, daughter skills, boss patterns and finally helped with the integration.

I (I speak for myself now since the hive mind isn’t that powerful) am now more confident with the game design of Othercide than I was one year ago and I’ll try and keep up the good work so I can still be proud of it when the game will be released.

Amine, Lead Game Programmer

After working as a Lead Programmer on a previous project for four years, I had the chance to join the Lightbulb Crew team as a programmer two years ago. It was a whole new experience to me, as it was the first time I had to work on this game genre. 

A year later, I had the privilege of managing the team of very talented programmers as a lead programmer. Othercide is a tactical game full of advanced gameplay mechanics, and so it is a real challenge considering the size of the team. This implies that, technically, everything must be thought of in an impeccable way so as to produce a game that is flexible enough to support all game design changes during the whole production. 

One of the main challenges was to create an almost entirely modular game. For example, the designers can independently play and combine different gameplay mechanics on the playable unit skills. Of course, the challenging part of it, is that all possible combinations must still work correctly. Learning to play the role of transparent filter between our game editor queries, game design, artists, and sound designer intentions, and the programmers, is an unintuitive skill, which must be acquired little by little, in which I continue to learn every day. 

Finally, it is very important for us to guarantee a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience to the player. For that, as project creators and delivery man of the final game build, programmers also need to keep an eye on the game’s performance and everything that is done in the project. 

Alexandre, Art Director

Two years ago, I was finishing a three days freelance contract for a small independent company. A few sketches and illustrations, depicting the first visions of a strange world, where whiter haired fighters were fighting atrocious creatures on the backstage of reality…  
I didn’t know, back then, that those few pieces would be the beginning of a long journey with the Lightbulb Crew pirates, and a massive change in both my career and artist path.  

On my very first day as an Art Director, I remember saying to the whole team: “We are doing a game, not an artbook. I will never be satisfied by beautiful drawings; I want this game to have a soul”. Since then, I try to stick to this rule. I truly believe great projects need strong visions, fed by passion and work. That’s why I pushed so hard for radical choices, like the black-white-red mood of the game, the thin, agile, deadly women fighters or the long red scarves. I strongly believe that a cool universe “deserves” a nice identity, and Othercide was one of those projects I wanted to invest in.  

I think the very moment everything changed for me on this project was the day I finished designing the “Scavenger” creature. I like putting parts of my own traumas and fears in monsters I create, and when I presented this design to the other leads, I explained that it was based on a rare blood sickness I had on my 18th. The response surprised me: “Please, use the same technique for the rest of the art direction, put yourself in the game!”.  

I warned everybody that it would be a one way ticket: if I engage parts of my fears (and by extension those from the art team as well) in the project, it will have repercussions ; in fine, this small decision modeled the game, both graphically and in the hidden parts of the lore.  
I would like to quote here the master Stephen King: “We are all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it better”.  
I am really happy I could find some fellow inmates to share this journey through Othercide. There were some ups and downs, and there are still to come, but I hope we will be able, in the end, to all look back on what have been accomplished and say “well, at least we are proud of what we’ve done”. 

Happy birthday Othercide, thanks for the nightmares and I hope I’ll explore your dark, cold, gruesome realms a bit further.  

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