Last two weeks we were busy optimizing map loading and streaming process on Xbox 360. XNA on Xbox platform has some serious restrictions. Previously, upgraded maps were loading up to 30-40 times slower than on PC. Now, it works perfectly!
Yes! We have completed game’s map editor! Now we can build huge maps and load every small piece of them separately. Earlier, loading a game map on the Xbox360 has taken quite a while – up to 5 minutes, now it takes less than 10 seconds. Also, we have completed background sprites for different types of game environments.
We have completed the translation of dialogues and cutscenes to English! We started by hiring a freelance translator to make the initial change from Russian to English, then had the script corrected by a native English (American) speaker. Now, we’re working with some talented voice actors and everything is very exciting! We have found the perfect voice for the stern hero, Kurt; as well as the voice for The Dictator (the main evil character). In fact, most of the recording is already done!
Work in progress! Several days ago we remembered how cool it was to play on console with friends. The two player mode in games like Contra is extremely funny! So, we have decided that it is a good idea to save this classic feature and have added a single screen cooperative mode in our game. Player two can join as Sly to help Kurt on the battlefield. In the helicopter he will be replaced by Bot (the autopilot). Of course, we can’t redo all our in-game videos, so we decided to leave them without changes. As a result, Sly’s character will not be expanded any further. To compensate, though, we have added some additional in-game dialogues.
Sly: Well, I decided not to leave you alone.
Kurt: Like the good old days!
We have our very own blog set up, and we are ready to publish information about our project. Ok, let’s get started!
We are two middle-aged guys from Russia. Two years ago we started development of our 2D game.
The working title was “Soldiers”. Initially, we planned a simple multiplayer shoot ‘em up game without any kind of storyline or script. The main feature was (and still is!) completely destructible terrain and environment. Unfortunately, network-only games are not popular nowadays, so… on came “Muscles And Bullets”!
We decided to create an original single player campaign and several simple network modes. The main heroes are veteran commando Kurt and his friend, Sly the mechanic. They infiltrate a tropical island to fight a dangerous dictator and his army. The action takes place in jungles, deserts and even underground!
The player controls bad-ass commando Kurt, who is assisted by a computer-controlled character called Sly. He drives a helicopter and helps Kurt with air strikes, weapons and medicine.