Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Happy Holidays Everyone!


So we missed the last Blog.

We have been VERY busy, both with Late Panda and personal lives. I would have posted this blog yesterday but I’m in the process of moving house.

We have been working hard on the development of the game, gameplay features have been added for our combat system. Although they are currently all backend and no visual reference that they occur but we are getting there. Our artwork is coming along nicely as well so I thought I would show off our “group photo”. From right to left we have the Riŋ, Parua and the Skrig.


We have also been filling out paperwork to attend GDC (Game Developer Conference) March ‘16. We are using the #GoDo award from Entrepreneurial Spark we talked about last time, to fund our trip to San Francisco and attending under the SDI (Scottish Development international) Pavilion.

Unfortunately our game will not be released for the holidays but I’m sure you already have your gifts planned. We thought you might like to see what our office xmas tree looks like. I took this picture from the reception and it stretches all the way to the second floor. Do you think it’s too much?

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We hope you all have a great holiday, we will be working hard on our game and keep you all updated on its progress and let you know when we plan to release the first version.

Facebook: - LatePanda

Thanks for reading,
Stephen.

“See it as it is, not worse than it is just so you have a reason not to try” — Tony Robbins

Monday, 16 November 2015

Winning Money Feels Good

Hey everyone, we managed to make this blog on time!

So like I said last time we are looking for people to test our first version of the game. The game will be in a pre-alpha stage and we are seeking to test the playability of the core features of the game.

If this is something that interests you email beta@latepanda.com with subject "Early adopter". It is totally free to participate we just want feedback from what we have at this point so we know what others think of our core mechanics.

Onto the good news now. As you may have heard, after our many Facebook posts on the subject, Late Panda received £2,000 from the Entrepreneurial Spark #GoDo award. Entrepreneurs who showcase that #GoDo attitude and spirit are given this award. We're all super grateful to receive this reward and to be honest we did not expect it. We all highly recommend that you enter the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator if you have a business idea that you wish to grow as they not only help you with the business but there are several chances that you can win prizes. You can apply here.


Andy (Right) holding up a giant cheque 

With the award money Late Panda received from acceler-8, we plan to attend 2 tradeshows in 2016. The GDC (Games Developer Conference) in March would allow us to expand our network within the games industry well beyond it's current limit. The UKGE (UK Games Expo) in June would allow us to directly and effectively market to our target audience spread the news about LPG even further.

While I'm talking about the LPG how about a quick update about our progress.

Andy is currently working on the combat system for the game, she's developed a basic version of the combat UI and has some of the minor features already implemented.

Leo has been creating the models for the game, we currently have a completed 1st version of a player character and the 1st version of an enemy type.
A sneak peak of the enemy model.

A sneak peak of the new character.

Joe is working on the 3D models of the environment to be featured in the first city of the game.

and finally me, I've had to go back to older sections of the game design document after a major change to the game's story and characters.

I'll wrap this up now as I don't think I have any other important news to share with you all.

Website: - www.latepanda.com
Facebook: - LatePanda
Twitter:- @latepandastudio
LinkedIn: - Late Panda Limited

Thanks for reading,
Stephen.

“Don’t focus on the victory, focus on the task” — Coach Erik Spoelstra

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Conventions and Expos

Hi again, I know this Blog is a little late we had quite a lot on yesterday and Blogging fell through the gaps.

However don't worry Late Panda is back with yet another update, let's start off with the Vlog. We were going to keep doing a bi-weekly Vlog just like this Blog however, they take much more time to produce and it didn't receive as many views as the Blogs do. We will instead produce a Vlog whenever we release an update for the game and describe what has been added to that version.

Now we will move onto the progress with our game codenamed "LPG", as I said last time I have been working on the level design for the first in game city. Currently I am using assets from the Unity store to plan the layout of the assets that we will create.

Andy has been working on the character controller class, this allows us to directly control each character in the game and what their actions will be. Andy has also implemented an animation controller for the character animations which really brings the game to life.

Leonardo has been working on our other character models and their animations which are all looking great.

Christopher has been able to complete the current version of the soundtrack and the sound effects that we require for our first version. However we will be expanding on the soundtrack later so if you feel like you want more, do not fret more is coming.

Now we need to ask you all for a favour, we are looking to get a small group of early adopters included in our development. These early adopters would get exclusive access to the game before its release to help give us feedback on the core mechanics of the game. However I should make it clear now, this is by no means a finished game; there is no story, assets are limited and gameplay is simple. That said we wish to include this small group of early adopters throughout our development time, this group can give us feedback on the game, telling us what we should add or remove and what does and does not work.

The main point of the early adopters to help us make the best game possible for our target audience, so if you enjoy playing games on your console with Fallout and the Final Fantasy series and wish you could experience an engaging narrative on the mobile platform please email us at beta@latepanda.com with the subject "Early Adopter" if you wish to be included in the development of the game.

So back to the update, we have expanded our team with a second artist.

Joe is a friend from University that is now involved with Late Panda, he helps us to develop the concept art for game characters and environment as well as creating the 3D models of the environment itself. Joe is an excellent artist and we are looking forward to working with him on this project.

We have also planned to attend several gaming conventions and expos such as GDC (Game Developer Conference) and UKGE (UK Games Expo) however these are strictly at the planning stage so don't go buying your tickets to see Late Panda, we might not actually be there.

We also recently heard of the 4 The Gamers Convention in Aberdeen in August 2016 which we may also be attending to promote our game.

That's all I have to say for now, see you all in two weeks!

Website: - www.latepanda.com
Facebook: - LatePanda
Twitter:- @latepandastudio
LinkedIn: - Late Panda Limited

Thanks for reading,
Stephen.

“The biggest challenge you have is to challenge your own self-doubt and your laziness. It is your self-doubt and your laziness that define and limit who you are. If you want to change what you are you must take on your self-doubt and your laziness” — Robert Kiyosaki

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Codename LPG

Hi again, I thought I would talk more about our game this time rather than our business. This content should be much better than the last blog post.

So to start off, Late Panda is creating a RPG designed from the ground up for modern mobiles and tablets. Let’s call this game LPG (Late Panda Game) for now, but that’s just a codename. I don’t want to give too much away about it but we have a pre-alpha coming very soon, so keep checking the blog and our social networks.

I’ll give you a rundown of our development progress on the LPG so far, for starters we have the template game design document (GDD). Created by, well me, I started with a template GDD and improved on it significantly adding more sections and creating notes for me and other future designers, this way it’s easy to create GDDs in the future.

I then started working on the GDD for LPG, this was quite a difficult task to achieve since I had other business related work to perform at the same time. However that said I was able to put together enough detail to allow the team to begin working on the art, sound and programming.

Since the GDD is completed for the pre-alpha version of the game I will be focused on creating the first city based on the level design in the GDD. Currently we only have basic blocks and basic collision in a testing area where we test all the game’s mechanics. This updated version of the city will allow us to test many more features that are to be added in the future.

Andy has been working on the programming of the game since we started development in August. They’re using the Unity3D Game engine and have recently been focused on refactoring. This is something programmers do to make code run as smooth as possible. When programming this way Andy can make the code easier to maintain and update later in the LPGs’ development.

Leonardo has been creating 3D models for each race to be included in the game, so far we have a fully modelled and texture Parua. Which you may think looks familiar.


This model has been animated to walk and been implemented into the current build of the game to test how large the cities should be and what would be a normal walking pace.

Christopher has been working on our epic soundtrack for the game, and I can’t praise this soundtrack enough. When the game is released I would be shocked if you mute the audio, and a little bit offended! Seriously it is that good.

We are also looking to expand our team, we are seeking a Unity Games Programmer and a Concept and Environmental Artist to allow us to create the best version of the game before our current deadline. If you know anyone that might be interested leave us a comment and we will get back to you about it.

Final little bit of news, however this falls outside of development news, during the Entrepreneurial Spark programme you are giving the chance to pitch to mentors which is followed by 45 minutes of questions (Entrepreneurial Spark call this a Piranha Pit). This would be similar to an investment meeting so it is very helpful to not only get pitching practice but also test the waters of an investor situation. We have heard nightmare stories about the Piranha Pits however ours was very helpful, the mentors we saw told us that we were doing everything very well and had a great handle on the business itself. The general feedback was “The idea is great, keeping doing what you are doing.”

I thought I would finish this blog off with a little boastful attitude, hope you didn’t think too low of me for it.

I know we just released our last blog three days ago but we thought we would be best with a standard “development blog day” so from now on we are going to post a new update every two weeks on Monday to catch everyone up, maybe even get a sneak peek at our progress with development!

Website: - www.latepanda.com
Facebook: - LatePanda
Twitter:- @latepandastudio
LinkedIn: - Late Panda Limited

Thanks for reading,
Stephen.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it” — Michaelangelo

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Hi from Late Panda


Hi there, Stephen here from Late Panda, I wanted to chat with you and thought a Blog would be the best way to do that. I don't want to bore you all with our business jargon so this isn’t going to be formal. As far as I see it you’re here to find out what we’re up to so I'll try to keep these posts to the point.

Intro out of the way I thought I could lead our first post with a little Late Panda history lesson. Now I know what you are thinking, "You just said that they wouldn't be boring us with formal chat and now I’m in a history lesson?" Well yeah pretty much, this is the first post after all, I want to talk about what we do and who we are. The best way to start a new relationship is to introduce yourself.

So Late Panda is a Glasgow game studio, that's right we are not based in Dundee! We started when Andy (Our CEO) and I were in university. We were in a group project together. The project; design and develop a game in one year.

First semester focused on the design of the game while the second was pure development. The game was called Spy Green, and... we didn't finish it. We did however end up with a demo of what the game was supposed to be and many lessons learned. Don't jump in the deep end until you at least find out how deep the water actually is.

During the following summer we took Late Panda more seriously, we incorporated our name as LATE PANDA LIMITED and the company was born. We hired a student team and tried something new, we worked on a title called Brick Breakdown, which was going quite well until we started our final year at university. In Honours (fourth) year the academic workload had increased dramatically over previous years so Late Panda was, for the most part, forced to the side.



Fear not wonderful reader as our focus was poured back into the company after we left university. We found Leonardo (Artist), Christopher (Sound Engineer) and Joshua (Unity Developer) and began working full time. We updating our logo, began dealing with HMRC, development of our first official title codenamed LPG (Late Panda Game) and joined the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator.

For those who are unfamiliar Entrepreneurial Spark, is an accelerator based all over the UK and recently expanded to India. They offer free mentoring, office space and business development. Pretty much everything we were looking for. Since joining we've legitimised and focused our business goals, spoken to dozens of wonderful and interesting people, and turned Late Panda into a business we’re proud of.



Currently in our team :

Leonardo
Our artist who can create beautiful environments and chilling character models.

Christopher
Our sound engineer , he can create professional complex music and sound effects for our games.

Andy
Our developer and CEO who has worked with SMEs since 2010 building web apps, games and developing software.

and finally,

Stephen
Game designer and COO, I focus on the operations of the company making sure that everything that we do is in the best interest of the business as well as work on the game design itself.

We recently meet with the wonderful folks at Innovate Scotland, they specialise on giving advice to aspiring or current entrepreneurs. They created a profile on their website that gives more details on our history in a slightly more formal context.

Now you’re all up to speed! I have left out a few details but keep your eyes on us I'm sure you will find out soon enough. We have big plans!

Website: - www.latepanda.com
Facebook: - LatePanda
Twitter:- @latepandastudio
LinkedIn: - Late Panda Limited

Thanks for reading,
Stephen.

“The person who has the guts to ask themselves ‘Why?’ at least once a week, and be totally honest with themselves about the answer, is already twenty steps ahead of their smarter, more experienced rival” — Mark Bouris