The team responsible for bringing you The Poisoned Pawn has undergone a team restructure and rebranding. Given how advanced this game has become from a technical standpoint, it was important to revisit the team and streamline our members to ensure everybody had a grasp of their responsibilities and was willing to continue contributing to their full potential. While we initially appreciated all the offers for assistance, we have reached a stage where we needed only fully‐focused individuals with a strong grasp of their responsibilities and the technical expertise required to get the job done.
Mat Van Rhoon has rejoined the team and has hit the ground running with new responsibilities. He has come on board as Producer, and will ensure the team gets continued access to all the resources they need to develop the game. He will also oversee (see what I did there?) the quality, design and development of the game, offering valuable technical and creative feedback, as well as tackling the marketing, brand, social media and delivery of digital content.
So, as we stand, let me introduce you to the key development team and their official roles:
- Holger Kreetz – Design Lead, level / environment design, modelling, programmer and brilliant all‐rounder
- Darren Sebire – Scripting, lead programming, VR and UI development
- Karen Corthouts – 3D Modelling and 2D art
- Mat Van Rhoon – Producer, game design, marketing, FMV & VFX, music, and Big Finish Games liaison
Team name change!
The team has also had a name change! It was unanimously agreed that calling ourselves “The Poisoned Pawns” may cause a bit of confusion, being the title of the game also. After a bit of discussion, the core team has settled on a new name for our development collective: Chaotic Fusion. It seemed very appropriate as we are a team of individuals, each with their own unique talent, from many corners of the globe, fusing together to create something wonderful. This was also an important step to unifying our brand. Up until now, most of our updates and content released had been quite fragmented, inconsistent, and not befitting of a team with such extraordinary talent. By banding together under this new name, we are presenting a fully united front. We are moving from the small town to the big city, in a big way! There will be more information on how you can help us achieve this below.
We have already re‐branded our Twitter profile to be @ChaoticFusionTM, so be sure to use that handle from now on when mentioning us in tweets! It also sounds really cool of you say “Chaotic Fusion” in a Jeff Goldblum voice: “Chaotic, yes, uh, Chaotic… Fusion.”
United behind Unity 5
When we first started seeing Holger’s work on the Poisoned Pawn, we were in awe of the talent expressed in his work. For somebody who just picked up Unity shortly before commencing work on this project, he has made some amazing developments. Now with Mat VR back on the team assisting with presentation, they are a force to be reckoned with! Adding more to his ever growing repertoire of techniques, Holger has been implementing a vast collection of Unity technologies that have significantly improved the visual quality of the in‐game environments. For the techies, these include: Global Illumination, Ambient Occlusion, Advanced Lighting, and more recently: the exploration of Physical Shaders, HDR and Advanced Post‐processing. You will get to see some of these in this update. Keep in mind we are still at the early Alpha stage, but if the game is looking this good now, just IMAGINE what it will look like once it is ready to release!
You’re probably asking: with all this eye candy, will this run on my machine? Well fear not. Holger must be some kind of superhero. Even though we have not reached the optimization stage (the process of going over the environments with a fine tooth comb and squeezing every last drop out of performance from the game engine), it runs like a dream with all the highest settings on relatively modest hardware! He must be doing something right, because I have not seen a game run this well and look this good in the Alpha stage before! Granted, the system requirements are going to bit higher than they were for Tesla Effect, but we will not know the final system requirements until we a close to finishing.
“Enough of this fanfare! What’s in there?”
With all of that out of the way, let’s get to stuff you REALLY came for, eh? In this update, we are showing a huge collection of NEW screenshots, as well as FOUR new video updates. There are:
- The first official Teaser Trailer
- All new official gameplay teaser / demo video
- Full motion video remastering comparison demo
- A special message from Chris Jones and Aaron Conners
Firstly, let’s take a look at these screenshots….
First Official Teaser Trailer:
I know you guys have been waiting a while for this one. We originally promised it two updates back, but a LOT of things have been happening behind the scenes (as you have read above). However, as promised we are delivering the first official teaser trailer to you now. If there is anything you will want to start sharing to the masses, it is this video…
All new official gameplay teaser / demo video:
Ever since the band got back together (that is, the forming of the new core “dream team” for the Poisoned Pawn), some HUGE developments have been made in the game environments, graphics and overall look / design. We figured this was the perfect opportunity to show off some of this amazing progress. This almost 6‐minute gameplay demo video is jam‐packed with lots of NEW locations you have not seen before, so be sure to check it out! Presented to you in HFR 60 frames per second. Check it out here:
Full motion video remastering comparison demo:
Do you want the good news or the better news first? Well the good news is: ALL the FMV conversions are done. Finished. Complete! That is: the original goal was to remaster the Overseer FMV to HD 720P, which was completed by Mat VR just over a month ago (back in early April). The better news? Mat has just discovered a few more techniques which may be able to deliver the Overseer footage in full HD 1080P, and judging from this test video, the results are AMAZING. Check it out for yourself! At the moment this is just experimental, so fingers crossed he can implement this in all the final videos.
A special message from Chris Jones and Aaron Conners:
Or is it: Aaron Conners and Chris Jones? You’ll see what I mean when you watch the video. No update this big would be complete without an update form these guys! After all, they are the reason we all got ourselves into this mess, right!? In the video, they talk about some of the things they are most excited about for the Poisoned Pawn, and express their continued support and endorsement of the team, and the wonderful work being done. In recent discussions with Chris and Aaron, they have also fully endorsed the team restructure, and expressed the utmost confidence in the team’s ability to faithfully breathe new life into this Tex Murphy classic!
An important note on previous content (where YOU can help US!)
As I said earlier in this update post, one of the most important steps we have taken recently is to ensure a consistent brand so that we, the development team, may present this game from a united front. This included the name change, the development team logo change, as well as ensuring ALL of the videos featured in this update have the same brand / style. Although there have been a number of updates prior to this one, now we have updated our core team we consider this update to be our first and official step up to the big city. All prior updates are going to be archived on the Poisoned Pawn website (but still accessible), and all prior videos on YouTube are going to be marked as ‘Unlisted’. This means if you have linked to them before or embedded them, they will still work, but will not show up in YouTube or Google searches. This will ensure all content “in the wild” from now on can be from Chaotic Fusion.
You can help by ensuring that you share only the content from this latest update and onwards, and avoid sharing the OLD updates. While they are a great diary of the production progress, they no longer represent the level of professionalism and unity we now present as a development team.
As for this update, and the content contained within, please feel free to share it to your hearts content! Just don’t over spam forums, mkay? 😉
The sad news…
Because you can’t have an update this big without a little bit of bad news, right?
Getting to the point: it is crunch time for us. The project has reached a new phase, which means everybody needs to put their heads down and really start to focus on pulling everything together.
This means we will no longer be updating everybody as regularly. That does not mean there will be no updates at all. Mat VR will continue to keep everybody updated via social media, as well as Karen via the website. But the reality is: it is imperative that we focus and prepare for our first BIG PUSH which we estimate will happen around Fall 2016. This big push will likely include a full press release, first official trailer, and a series of MAJOR announcements to the word at large about the game, and what to expect in detail. Right now we simply don’t have all the answers to the questions the gaming community at large is going to want to ask. Which is why in this update: we are signing‐off by showing you we are making great progress, but now need to continue to develop the game into something that the gaming community is going to really be in awe of when the right time comes. And believe me, that time is going to be worth waiting for!
As for the projected delivery date for the game: we imagine this game getting a release sometime around the middle of 2017, if all going according to plan.
We are also not going to be using the Big Finish Games website and forum system to deliver any more updates after this one. Instead, we will solely be relying on the Poisoned Pawn Website and social media to deliver content.
And with that, we bid you adieu… for now.
Well, that’s all folks. THANK YOU for the support you have given the team so far. We look forward to delivering a game that is going to shatter preconceptions for what is possible with a community based development team, and look forward to raising the bar in preparation to hit a home run in fall 2016! Until then, take care!