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Eat Them! Developer Diary: Part Two

Hello again readers! This is Ana (the producer) from FluffyLogic. We’re the developer of Eat Them!. We’re here every couple of weeks to chat about the development of the game in our developer diary. If you missed the first part of the diary then click here for part one.

Eat Them! on the PlayStation.Blog

So where are we? Well we have obviously done a fair amount of the game, since we demoed it at E3. Prior to this point we had spent a lot of time getting the basic structures of the game in place. We use Sony’s 3D engine PhyreEngine as the basis – it’s a great engine and it gives us the important nuts and bolts of a game system, which frees us up to focus on making special graphical effects and gameplay. One of these is the cartoon -shader effect which we have spent a fair amount of time developing and refining. We are using it to create the game’s distinctive visual style. This was a time consuming process that involved our main graphics programmer and a couple of artists working together, trying to get the art tools into the PlayStation 3 and looking good. The basic system takes the 3D models of the landscape and the monsters and draws a black line around them, as if they are flat on the page like a comic drawing. What makes it a complex process is that it’s not a flat drawing, it’s a 3D world that moves constantly, so our graphics tools have to draw this look on the fly.

Thankfully, we’ve managed to get this just as we wanted it – it’s got a great comic style, but still keeps a sense of 3D movement, it’s fun looking, but still powerful enough to render out the action we want to happen. We’ve also been busy building editors that allow designers to add and tweak things like monster body-parts and missions. In Eat Them! the player can build their own monster, so each pair of legs, the torso, head, backpack, left arm and right arm are created as separate objects, each with their own stats, graphics and sound effects (if needed). It’s much better from a development point of view if the designers can add and edit this sort of information without needing to get a programmer involved each time. We don’t like to let them out of their cages too much as it’s hard work getting them back in by nightfall.

That, and it also frees up their time to work on other stuff. Here’s what that looks like:

Level Game Editor for Eat Them!

Eat Them! Level Editor

Mission Editor for "Eat Them!"

Eat Them! Mission Editor

So here’s the first thing we’d like a bit of feedback on: Race Missions. We wanted to have race missions where you (and your fellow monster/s, if 2 player or more…) have to race around the city going from check-point to check-point. It’s like the Tour De France but without the bikes and with big monsters. Is this best done where you need to be skilful in avoiding damaging the city (in contrast to the rest of the game) so speed and control – or should this be done in conjunction with doing lots of damage to the city? (so about being fast and messy)? What do you think?

Thanks & happy monsterin’

13 Comments
3 Author replies

looks awesome man !!!

plus i was 1st !!!

3

I’d prefer to see the race missions differ from the rest of the game, by focusing on skill and avoiding damage to the city, while trying to reach the goal as quickly as possible. Particularly for multiplayer, it would make it better for a fun, competitive element to mix things up like that.
Because your game also supports local co-op and splitscreen, then you can introduce the potential for added chaos from people playfully trying to distract each other at crucial moments! :D

Thanks for requesting our thoughts. I look forward to finding out more about Eat Them!

Ana Kronschnabl 17 November, 2010 @ 11:05
3.1

hi cindershadow :) thanks for the feedback…we will see what we can do about your suggestions!

cheers
ana

I like the idea of a skill-based race game better, since you can already wreak havoc in the main game. But you can still add another competitive mode where the goal would be to destroy more stuff than the other player. Although if I had to keep only one mode, I’d like the race one better.

Ana Kronschnabl 17 November, 2010 @ 11:06
4.1

thanks bilouze…you seem to be of one accord :)

Release date?
Online confirmed?
Looks great, It looks like A game I’ll really enjoy.

Hey Fluffy logic, im LOVING these dev diarys on Eat Them! as soon as i saw that first trailer i knew i was going to be hooked. Its great to finally see the guts of the game as it were.

As for your question, i think the skilled contrast of not destorying the city is good, people like variety right and i think having that would give players some focus and concentration.

Nevermind the logistics about them being monsters NOT damaging the city, i think what your getting in the long run (skillfull gameplay) is much more rewarding then smashing everything in sight. We have the main game to do that anyways.

I hope this was good feedback for you F L.
I cant wait to get my hands on this game!! All the best.

Ana Kronschnabl 17 November, 2010 @ 12:00
6.1

thanks silent_gig, we really appreciate the support and the comments :)

I’d like to see both systems… perhaps an option that can be toggled for multiplayer…

in fact, a combination of the ideas would be pretty cool where destroying a building has a temporary effect on your speed (like stackable 1 second penalties or something), so it’s best to avoid doing so, however, it opens the valid tactic of knocking rival players into buildings to get a sneaky advantage.

The visual style looks great by the way, so major kudos on that, though, as a bit of, hopefully, constructive criticism, the HUD looks a little difficult to read over the business of what’s going on, and I imagine that this might get worse with everything in motion…. this could be easily rectified by applying a dark underglow to all HUD assets to assure that they always contrast with what’s going on on screen.

Great job guys!

It mentioned level editor in one of your pictures above. When I was a kid I used to like buying those cardboard magazines with flat cut-outable houses which could then be made into 3d houses therby planning out a whole town. I used to use my lego roads as well and even had had a highway cutting around the town so travellors wouldn’t disturb the residents by speeding down the town’s high street. I’m surprised we havn’t seen this feature on console, tho lbp does allow this type of production albeit in a flat platform and a hell of a lot of work. I hope your game could allow town building so the monster can come along & destroy it, then the good monsters(sometimes us)can come along and fix it up again…

Ana Kronschnabl 17 November, 2010 @ 11:20
9

currently, unfortunately….for some, the monsters seem to be hell-bent on destruction!!…we may have to introduce a few more ‘buildy’ robots and a few less ‘destructy’ ones ;)

This. Sounds. AWESOME.

parasite_sound 17 November, 2010 @ 14:26
11

Eat Them! game music is sounding BIG thanks to a bunch of Bristol producers and a few far-flung ones too!

Hi guys, I had a go at the beta at the Playstation Beta Rooms earlier this year. It clearly needed more development (after all, it was an earlier beta!), but it was enough to get me really interested in the concept and the comic-style artwork in it looked great, so hopefully the development continues along that line!

13

I really like the look of the game so far, its art style and animation is excellent and it looks like a much higher quality alternative to the Rampage series. I’m curious is the final build of this game will have a feature to allow players to create their own cities. If I could an few ideas out there I think that it would widen the variety of modes if one game mode put you as a monster trying to defend a city against other monsters, if one had each player had a monster and had to wreck their opponent’s city before they wrecked theirs (each player could set up defenses before the match began). As for the decision between the two race modes you could give the player the option to do both (one randomly selected if playing online matchmaking). Finallyy, I believe that it would improve the game if it had a theme or at least a minor story behind it to justify why the monsters are rampaging – an idea could be that the monsters are on a movie set (each transition between the screens could ...

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I really like the look of the game so far, its art style and animation is excellent and it looks like a much higher quality alternative to the Rampage series. I’m curious is the final build of this game will have a feature to allow players to create their own cities. If I could an few ideas out there I think that it would widen the variety of modes if one game mode put you as a monster trying to defend a city against other monsters, if one had each player had a monster and had to wreck their opponent’s city before they wrecked theirs (each player could set up defenses before the match began). As for the decision between the two race modes you could give the player the option to do both (one randomly selected if playing online matchmaking). Finallyy, I believe that it would improve the game if it had a theme or at least a minor story behind it to justify why the monsters are rampaging – an idea could be that the monsters are on a movie set (each transition between the screens could have one of those ‘cut’ things if that makes sense), much nicer than slaughtering vilians for the fun of it or make it an alien invasion :P

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