In the first post of a developer blog over at IGN, Andy Sites, the producer of Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom for the PlayStation 3, has been explaining some of what's been happening during the first twelve months of the game's development.
Sites reveals that the core development team only came together in June 2005, and that being one of the first developers to tackle the PlayStation 3 has been challenging.
"We're at the forefront of an entirely new generation of gaming system, notes Sites. "We're like a team of test pilots figuring out what works, what doesn't, and what our limits are.
In April this year, around ten months into development, the team felt that something just wasn't right. As it turns out this something was the character design for the Brute character. According to Sites he simply "wasn't cutting the mustard," and looked too "cartoony" for his surroundings. Sites explains: "It was at this point, and as painful as it was, that we decided to scrap the months of work we had put into our original three characters and start over."
The decision to scrap the original character designs came only five weeks prior to E3 and gave the team little time to cobble together a demo for the show. Despite the time constraints the team did mange to create an E3 demo, which according to Sites was received very well.
In the blog post Sites goes on to discuss how the programmers are now finally realising the real power of the PlayStation 3.
"The latest element that we've moved from the PPU (main processor) to an SPU has been our flora system, which is what generates all of the grass, shrubs, and other ground cover. By doing so, we essentially made our flora *free* (the asterisk denotes a programmer assaulting me after reading this), from a processing standpoint," writes Sites. "Other things that will be moved to SPU in the near future are particles (spells and such), audio, and our animation system."
That's a lot of 'free' stuff going on. With the PlayStation 3 launch now almost in site, the work rate goes through the roof in order to meet the deadline, but Sites is confident he has "the right people with the enthusiasm and tenacity to get it done."