Weekly Penguin
July 31st, 2020

TAGAP Day 2020

Happy TAGAP Day!

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the launch of the original TAGAP – and it has become a yearly tradition to celebrate with some TAGAP goodies! Whilst we don't have a new trailer this time around, we did prepare a selection of screenshots from TAGAP 4.

TAGAP 4 Screenshot 8 TAGAP 4 Screenshot 9 TAGAP 4 Screenshot 10

These screenshots showcase familiar settings from the very first TAGAP, completely re-designed and re-imagined for the new gameplay mechanics and HD artwork. TAGAP 4 is NOT a remake, mind, but you do get to visit some places from the past that are still standing in this timeline – as there was no Pablo to destroy them.

In addition to showcasing the settings and gameplay, the nerd in me likes how these showcase the special effects systems. From the new lighting engine to improved particle engine and gloss-masked reflections, it does look mighty fine – even if I do say so myself. The new gore system, too, gets to make splash – pun intended.

I've also finally dedicated a day of internet bandwidth to upload the 150 GB uncompressed version of the TAGAP 4 gameplay reveal to YouTube. The original encoded upload, though it was exactly as specified in the specs, was made blurry as heck by YouTube's compression algorithm – it really, REALLY hated our rain effects. The new version looks a lot better, though the download version is still superior in comparison.

Streaming version: YouTube  |  Download: Google Drive

In case you are wondering 'why didn't we make a new trailer', the reason is pretty simple; considering what's going on in the world, we made the decision to actually have proper summer holidays instead of working. Finland's situation is – at the moment of writing this blog – pretty stable, allowing me to travel to visit family halfway across the country. I took this chance, future being as uncertain as it is.

The next trailer is already 'mapped out' and it will be a character reveal. Yes, there is a brand new mystery character in TAGAP 4 and I can't wait to introduce him!

What am I working on right now?

As I mentioned earlier, I took a couple of weeks off from both the work and TAGAP. Well, not completely off-TAGAP; I might've left my PC behind, but I did carry my notebook with me everywhere and oh boy, the amount of scribbles and designs I had to scan! I can now say that I have every boss fight mapped out and designed.

Returning to TAGAP proper, I've started figuring out the lingering issues with the TAGAPs 1-to-3, while preparing assembly of brand new maps. I still have the map I mentioned in the previous blog to complete – it was hell to script, but is now 'gameplay ready', next up is the texturing pass.

Playlist

Playlist is a regular feature in our Penguin DT blog; A chance to highlight cool games both old and new that I've been playing. As always, I believe that in order to make games, you need to play them, preferably with a broad scope when it comes to genres, so each day I dedicate at least an hour to actually playing games. The rest of the free time? There is no such thing, it all belongs to TAGAP!

The theme of the month; Furies! I just finished Darksiders III and I'm now going through the PlayStation 4 version of the GOTY 2019, 3D Realms' and Void Point's Ion Fury.

Darksiders III was.... interesting. It is different yet familiar, having taken clear influences from Souls-genre of games, but combining them to the Darksiders formula. Some of these elements click really well, whilst others don't.

I did have a weird disconnect with the game at first. The latest Horseman, Fury, is portrayed as a hothead of the team, impatient and running into everything without thinking – but the gameplay is the opposite, requiring methodical approach to combat. I got over it after a while, but I still find it baffling why it was THIS Horseman in particular they decided turn into a more tactical character, despite writing her as impatient and hasty.

The game is still really good and I'd definitely recommend it – just know that it ISN'T a DMC influenced hack-n-slasher like the previous two. It's not artificially tough like some Souls-likes, mind, but prepare to be curb-stomped several times.

And Ion Fury? Yup, the game is still as good as it was last year and the port is sublime. From excellent controls to solid and stable technical side, there's nothing to complain. If you prefer to play your games on consoles or for some other reason haven't tried it yet, go do it. You won't be disappointed.

What's next?

On TAGAP front – finishing that monstrous level for TAGAP 4 by texturing it, whilst starting work on new levels and perhaps finally the bigger boss fights. This will be fun!

On playlist front – this is a tough one. Perhaps another VR game for a change? The Limited Run Games C.E. of Jak X also arrived, so I can finally do the Jak-marathon I've been planning on for ages.

Happy TAGAP Day 2020, everyone! Stay safe and stay penguin.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin

Blog history

11-06-23

Almost there

08-08-26

What's up?

08-07-02

Wrapping up

08-03-27

Gone surfing

08-03-14

Coincidences