development has been as usual – a combination of
– figuring out what later areas should be in specific (we have an outline of each place, or at least I do – but as you implement some areas on the level design level you somehow get some better vision of what a later level should be – this is also in part to finding coincidentally useful inspiration from outside of my room-office).
– actually making levels (level design)
– programming new entities (traps, ‘enemies’ ,etc), implementing features, fixing bugs, tweaking previous entities
– writing a variety of music for the game
and it will likely be like this for quite a while since there’s still a fair number of areas to finish. and that’s only for The Ocean part of EtO, but they are basically two games so we’ll finish the ocean first, then move on to Even (then release, I guess! so far away…)
i’ll post music later …maybe, or screenshots, but http://seancom.nfshost.com/songaday.html has some stuff though most of it is like WIPs or scrapepd things
happy halloween (well, belated…), if you celebrate it. i ended up streaming anodyne while using the bitmap cache scrambling thing.
room insulation is an annoying thing. i was hoping to save a little on heating by insulating the windows with film, but I did that and I’m not sure if it helped, but then I had to put stuff on the bottom of my door because there was a draft there. maybe insulating the other apartment doors and windows will help?
oops, look, i have forgotten to write anything recently..
still working on even the ocean most of the time, and then a small SECRET side project, hm, i can’t say much about it, but it is releasing in japan first in a very uh, different way, which should be interesting. that release won’t be for a few months though.
another side project is on the backburner, but that’s okay, since i’ve hardly done anything for it (it’s a small adventure game i want to make).
so, maybe the most recent bit of news is that anodyne android finally released! well, it released through the HUMBLE BUNDLE. This is great exposure wise for anodyne and also financially for jon and I! I had to make a few fixes though and push another build (barf). thus ends the anodyne saga forever, which makes me happy because i’m fucking sick of working on it (I was sick of working on it since like i started fixing the mobile version and bugs). it’ll be out on google play when the bundle sale’s over, anyways.
more to the anodyne postmortem is coming (never) whenever i decide to (never) write it(.)…
ANODYNES DONE FOREVER!!!
even the ocean
development’s fine. it has just been programming features and then staring blankfaced at the level editor (when you stare into the empty level, the empty level…)
didn’t decide to enter the igf, there was really no point because we’d have to spend all this time doing ‘glue’ stuff making the game playable in a coherent way (right now it is just transferring the coherent world design in our heads into levels. so we are building levels now, for the most part, which is time consuming! i stare at an editor quite often, – the level editor or code editor)
we decided to spend most of our time working on THE OCEAN and once we finish that, do EVEN. so that will be a long time i guess, but i’ll keep myself entertained with development on even the ocean , side projects, and musical projects. i have this thing of needing to release stuff every now and then so the long development cycle of ETO might drive me insane otherwise (but when it’s done it’s gonna be so so good!).
with THE OCEAN, we’re in a “early/mid july” anodyne state…i.e., we are building out dungeons and levels and tilesets and sprites and music and have all of the main dungeons/levels planned, with some interstitial stuff that will be thought of as we go. so realistically…there is like 5-6 mos of work left on The Ocean. I will try to work harder though to get it done faster…
this post gets more miscellany/boring/personal after this point, so you could probably skip it.
in a secluded northern place
I wrote this for the indiestatik kickstarter and also even the ocean. it’s in an even-the-ocean melodic style (even the ocean music is tending to fall into a melodic or ambient style, both being sort of supported by use of sound effects as instruments at times).
i’ve been using the free Carbon2 NI synth for some of my sound effect instruments and leads/pads/etc. It’s nice, i guess, but I like to balance it out with snes/genesis instruments to not give the music too much of a ‘modern’ feel, because i feel that would overly clash with the art style.
luckily, my production is quite bad so i would probably have trouble giving a modern feel to the music, whatever that means
Little Neurotic Space Station Vignette #1
This is a non-game music project I’ve been working on. you can listen to the first song here (i need to fix it, it clips in this.) The title is mostly meaningless but seems to describe what it ended up sounding like. I’m trying to work on a series of sort of upbeat, melody-driven/traditional structured electronic stuff that kind of focuses on describing an abstract scene or short series of events. i’d like to add lyrics in some way but i don’t know how to do that / setting up recording is a huge pain / mixing is hard / i should practice more at writing something that is electronically interesting without the difficulty of lyrics anyways
So, yeah. I’d like to nail down a personal style for my non-game music, but it may take some time. Ideally a style I would be able to do a live show with. It may be cool to sing or whatever, but I don’t know what to sing about…I don’t really have any emotional crisis or thing worth singing about – my outlet for that is often talking with friends – what would i sing about? hm. maybe i’ll just not sing. I think I have an okay style for my game stuff – it will get better as i get better production skills, I think – i would like to experiment more with incorporating sound effects into the music)
i’ve also been listening to a lot of perfume’s LEVEL3 and capsule’s CAPS LOCK. the first is nice dance/techno/jpop fare from yasutaka nakata, the latter is also by him but more of an avant-garde/electronic self expression album, which is more interesting i think.
outside of that,
…it is starting to get colder. chicago weather can be like that, fall ends so quickly and then you get this sort of mediocre muggy wet/freezing period that goes on until half-ending in april/may and then summer. i am also trying to get contact lenses. i got some last fall as a test (they charged me like $200-$300 without telling me to ‘get them fitted’, what a load of shit), and i can’t get them in. my eye hurts after trying, but whatever, i will figure it out eventually/
Well, for one, Anodyne will be out on Android next week.
I was thinking about creative control and games.
There’s an initial perception you have when creating areas in a game. My goal is to get the realized area as close to your mental image as possible.
Of course, it’s impossible to replicate this unless you are skilled in all mediums that the area requires – in my case, I can’t quite cut it for art .
So every sort of compromise you make is going to distance you in some way from the initial idea. Something is “lost” when you are communicating what you want to the composer, or artist, etc. But it’s sort of necessary…but should be minimized.
Is it possible to realize the idea in a pure-form with no compromise? I’m not sure. And there are likely things that benefit from compromises (discussing design decisions, letting someone else do something else…)
The reason I like a small team is because we have the most control. And I think this is why it’s important to know the person you’re working with if it’s sort of a game where you are coming up with environments and a story and stuff. Because when you have an idea for an area, and how it fits into the game world, you want to get the best real approximation of that idea, and the best way is if the person you are working with you can trust – since they kind of get used to what you’re going for with the limited expression that words afford us.
I think this is why larger-than-necessary teams often suffer (though of course large teams can still work out well if there is great management and a strong creative lead). There’s a lot of cross-communication and stuff gets forgotten, and there’s sure as hell no way the creative lead is going to remember every detail they had in their head or whatever.
And it’s also why I think knowing the artist and musician is important, and letting them know about your world design or whatever, otherwise the music comes off as out of place or not very “personal”.
Communication is key, I guess.
This entry was rambling.
not too much to report, I’ve been running around with family stuff the past two days. i did implement a few new entities for the game though. (even the ocean).
Anyways, yeah, more work will continue tomorrow, hopefully some level design.
I am in the process of writing yet another…Anodyne postmortem that I won’t finish writing, eventhough I’m trying to cut this one up into pieces, sigh.
Additionally, I’m going to be working on a secret project! It’s small and maybe I will talk about it soon a little bit.
did you know chocolate wafers are really great? they are the greatest thing. you can buy packages of them for $2.50 from the super market and they are like almost 1500 kcal, and make a great snack. i forgot what brand they are.
While working today, I decided on something sort of interesting with one of the entities in the game. It arose accidentally.
In Even the Ocean, there are entities which launch water very quickly. It’s magic water though (…or something!), and when you touch it, your velocity becomes the same as the water – so the bullets launch upwards, thus, you kind of get boosted upwards into the air when touching a bullet.
I can choose how many “bullets” each entity launches – I set the default to five. The bullets all launch at the same time, but have staggered velocities (i/n * max_vel, where i = bullet index, n = nr of bullets). The way I set the velocity of the player is: if on a frame of the game, the bullet touches the player, then increment a “push velocity” counter which will be added to the players velocity in player’s physics routine, before the position of the player was updated (whew , that was a mouthful).
Anyways, what this basically amounts to is that if you are touching multiple bullets at once, the velocities end up being incremental. So if the bullets launch at velocities 90, 60, 30, and I touch all of them, I get a boost of 180 (whereas my desired behavior was only getting a boost of 90)
for each bullet:
if bullet overlaps player:
player’s velocity += bullet’s velocity.
What usually happened was, only the fastest bullet touched the player anyways (since this usually hits you on the ground or the air), so things behaved normally.
But sometimes, multiple bullets overlap the player in one frame, so instead, we get the effect of shooting the player up REALLLY fast.
I couldn’t reproduce it consistently, likely because there is some random factors I added into the initial bullet velocity. I instead now choose to use the fastest velocity of any number of bullets touching you.
But that interaction with boosting you too far was interesting, so additionally, I decided to be able to make it consistent, and sort of a “skill” thing. So now, when you press jump within a certain time frame, the bullet velocity that affects you, it is doubled (and then some). To sort of visualize this, just look at the GIF up there. If you jump *right* before the bullets launch, then the effect is doubled.
This isn’t physically realistic or anything, but it’s interesting and allows for various scenarios (needing to time it correctly to get some secret, needing tot ime it while avoiding other stuff, etc.)
Bugs can be great!
Was moving around a bit today, so not much done, but story is definitely-finally ironed out as well as some other details. I’m going to try to work on some level stuff later today.
I think a good place to get ideas for levels is train stations. They are often varied, and usually funnily juxtaposed with streets or whatever. There was one train station today (Rosemont Blue Line) that I think would work well for a place in Even the Ocean, so I’m stealing it. Maybe everything in Even the Ocean was just stolen from train stations and some pretty landscapes, maybe not.
I also unpacked this tiny space heater I bought. It was only $20 and I think it is a good investment. Mornings are often very cold for me and the heater heats up really fast. The power rating is 1.5kW , so I think that’s only like $5-8 a month if I run it in the morning for an hour. Worth it, compared to before where we left the entire apartment A/C on all the time and our bill was like $300-400 for electricity. Never do that.
I swear I’ll finish that Anodyne Postmortem…later. I’ve decided to do shorter blogs to kind of talk about development and life in general, a public facing journal, I guess. A mish-mash of development and other stuff. We’ll see how long this lasts…
Development on my end this week has been sort of slow. I spent the first half of the week sorting out my flooded apartment (I live in a basement) and getting our carpet cleaned and dried out. That was stressful, but now the apartment is dry, so…things are okay, for now.
However, Jon and I did some e-mailing and have come to a pretty good set of plans with respect to the world and story design in “The Ocean”, as well as a system for rewarding “better” players. Before, I had a lot of areas planned out and a rough world to put them in. Now, things are falling into place better, so we can continue to design the levels with a sense of where they will be fitting into the game, and write music and create artwork accordingly.
So, the hard part starts now…
I recently listened to COLTEMONIKHA, a project from 2007 or so by Yasutaka Nakata and Kate Sakai. I think they only released a few mini-albums, I’ve been listening to the 2nd one. It reminds me of sort of a laid-back fashion runway show, with a lot of white colors. Anyways, it’s good. I’d like to make such music, but it’s considerably difficult. I’ve been working on various pieces that aren’t for Even the Ocean, but they are all pretty terrible. I have to write something for the IndieStatik Kickstarter album, too – I have a song for Even the Ocean I’m considering submitting, but maybe I should write something unique. Hm.