May 26, 2006

Prey Weekly Update #20

I'm writing this amidst the dust and piles of unopened boxes of our new offices. That's right, Human Head has moved offices -- not to a new city, just across town. We're still here in Madison, Wisconsin.

Why did we decide to move now? Well, there were these stalkers... no, just kidding. We decided to move office space about a year-and-a-half ago, because we wanted a larger space and a better layout for our workflow. That, and we were just getting sick of the old place and wanted a change. We tried to schedule the move until after Prey was complete, but due to various timing issues as the place was built, the move was eventually scheduled for this week.

Overall, it's going smoothly -- we packed everything on Monday, the movers moved everything on Tuesday, and then we started the process of unpacking. There's still a ton of stuff to do, but we finally have the server back up, and we all have internet access again.

Only a few annoying moments so far -- they didn't have the air conditioning up until late yesterday, so the movers had to move everything in the sweltering heat. Glad that none of them collapsed from heat exhaustion -- it was pretty rough.

Two nights ago it rained horribly -- turns out they hadn't completed everything with the roof yet so we were getting leaks in about seven places here in the office, including directly onto my desk. So now I'm typing this with a very large bucket sitting on my desk to catch anything should it rain again today.

Still, the new offices are considerably better. Our old space wasn't optimal, because it was divided in half (the reception area was in the center of the space, so the team was split up). Interestingly enough, we divided into artists/animators on one side and programmers/level designers on the other side. So, Human Head was unconsciously split into a right brain/left brain arrangement. Weird.

The new space has no more cubicles. We have decent-sized offices, in which we have 2-3 people per office. Sliding doors adjoin many of the offices to facilitate cross-discipline communication.

And, of course, there are the nice amenities such as a large breakroom, multiple conference rooms, showers, and a theater room (of which the inaugural movie we watched was BloodRayne.)

Once the space is finished and we're all moved in, I'll post up a bunch of pictures of the place.

Anyway, on to stuff about Prey: The move ate into our development time, of course, but we are doing our best to not let it sidetrack us too much.

Venom is cranking on 360 bugs and tweaks -- they fixed a couple of pretty heinous bugs relating to memory management, and they are working their way through their bug database, eliminating bugs or throwing them our way should the bug turn out to be in the PC version of the game as well.

We're also still working on the PC demo. Nearly everything is together for it, we're working on the intro and exit screens for the demo. Once we have everything together, all the text in the demo has to be sent out for translation, and the demo itself has to go through QA.

Venom will be working on the 360 demo, which should be pretty much identical to the PC version.

And, let me say, it's a pretty big demo. It's not exactly like the shareware days of old -- we aren't giving away a third of the game, but there's still a ton of content there. I estimate it should take the average person an hour or two to get through it.

I'm very much looking forward to everyone's reactions to the demo. Not that much longer now!

Anyway, I need to get back to unpacking and going through my mountain of email. Until next time, stay out of trouble!

Chris Rhinehart - Prey Project Lead
Human Head Studios

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Posted by Joe Siegler on May 26, 2006 at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
News Categories: Prey | Weekly Updates