It’s the time for polish! From awesome sound effects to crazy materials to not-running-at-10-fps this is the week where we work on making the game playable for other people besides ourselves!
We worked on sound effects and music, as well as how to actually integrate them into the engine (there was existing FMOD code in the engine prior to 125, but let’s just say it wasn’t exactly functional). We (and by we I mean Jeff) also worked on finalizing models, as well as adding materials to everything so that we don’t just see gray anymore! We also crafted (and built) one more final puzzle to flesh out the game. It’s less than five days to go, but we’re happy with our progress, and probably will only have to pull two all-nighters to finish things.
Here’s some of the audio we worked on:
Here’s some screenies and a video touring the facility with sound enabled (Mario and Zelda sounds will not be present in final game :S)
My goals were to fill in wherever necessary.
This week I designed and implemented two puzzles (the cargo hold, and the escape pod room), and made some changes to the AcvitvatorRegistrator to get their specific functionality working.
I accomplished what I set out to do.
Over this next week I plan to fill in wherever is needed to get the game finished.
My individual morale is great! Our game’s looking good!
The focus this week is on tidying up the audiovisuals. I’ve been living in FMOD-land, having a grand old time playing with sound effects and music (no more collision code, yay!) Elton and I spent all weekend fixing Sound bugs (and a massive memory leak.) Jason did a fabulous job turning my voice into that of a melodic and smug AI.
We have 3D sound! Sounds are also arranged into channel groups, which allows us to lower the volume of a particular class of sounds while a really important one is playing (e.g. the AI on the ship taunting our players).
Jason and I created an ambient music track today in Audacity. Audacity isn’t exactly supposed to be used for this, but we made it work anyway, and we’re pretty happy with the results (https://clyp.it/bgiwmavt). The music is heavily inspired by Metroid games (specifically Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion), and it loops cleanly without being overly obnoxious, which is really all we could ask for at this stage of the game. (Especially considering we are not really musicians…)
I love working on tiny little details that are barely noticeable, but improve the game as a whole. All of the lights in our scene give off a faintly audible fluorescent hum (turn up the bass d00d). I didn’t expect us to end up having a music track, so the lights aren’t as audible as they were before, but it really beats absolute silence. We don’t have a lot of objects that would passively generate sound in general, and I really want to take advantage of 3D sound wherever possible.
I also really like sound stuff, if that wasn’t obvious. By the time of the presentation, we’ll have all the placeholder UI replaced with something not-hideous, and our audio will be AWESOME. Time to get back to work!
This week I continued to work on the sound, to make it as robust as possible, and also to look at animation.
Dexter and I came in on the weekend and fixed a crazy memory leak (9 GB!!!) while trying to work on the sound. We fixed it using
git bisect which was pretty cool. And we fixed some bad FMOD code by making sure the 3D was working correctly and also so that we fixed the popping sound. Now the sounds are working most beautifully. Furthermore, after consulting some of the people who were working on this engine previously, we concluded that the animation would just work if we were to include them. I also recorded some sounds for the game and attended the voice acting sessions with Jason and Dexter.
I wish that we were at the point where all we’re doing is play testing, but unfortunately the map is still being constructed. So we will need to test later.
Last week… It’s the last week already… The goal of the week is to finish the game!!!! I actually have a lot of projects that need to be finished. I need to be on top of my game.
Hoo boy I’m really glad I used to do video editing for a YouTube channel with my friend. Otherwise I would have both zero experience with Audacity for sound editing and mixing, as well as Melodyne for autotuning. I spent a lot of time in both this week, recording Dexter’s voice and manipulating it to get the robot announcer voice depicted above. Definitely learned the limits of Audacity through this–due to Audacity not being a non-destructive editor with batching/layered effects, I spent a lot of time doing the same things over and over again. Ah well, get it done once and then get it over with forever!
I also spent some time helping Dexter with his ambient track. He had the base going, but I helped him with some of the effects (simulating spatial separation with reverb, playing with limiters) as well as adding the twinkly bits that intersperse with the alarm (or as Bert calls it, the whale noises). Lots of fun!
I also bounced around helping with some coding-related things (tuning up mouse movement, helping Dexter/Elton with sound code, helping Bert with level editor code). Not a ton of programming though, most of this week was sound editing.
This week I gotta finish the game, that’s pretty much it! I have some more sound work to do (including programming sound triggers), and I’m going to make it my personal goal to make the game “feel” good to play (when it comes to movement and such).
We’re going to finish clean! We decimated the big graphics issues, the big collision issues, and the big network issues. Things just work!
My week this week was a rush to try to get as many textures done as possible, while also making sure that the game performed reasonably well. I finished textures for the security room, main corridors, armory (+ props), pod room (+ escape pods), and containers for the maze. I also modelled the connector from the corridor puzzle to the security room and made other minor adjustments throughout the map.
As far as programming goes, I found out now that we are using the entire map, that naively calculating shadow maps for ~50 point lights is a little bit slow (OK more than a little)… To try and fix this I added both light and object culling for shadow maps and reduced the number of lights. I also made several other smaller changes to fix bugs, tweak shading, and improve performance elsewhere.
This week I will finish the texturing, create the few remaining models, and help fix any last minute issues that come up. I am on track to finish everything that I need to and feeling good about the project as a whole too.
Last week I worked on getting the master blender file to work correctly with all of the puzzles. I also implemented a crosshair that changed whenever the player looked at an object of interest. There were a lot of issues with linking multiple files through blender that I was eventually able to solve with Jeff’s help. For this last week, I plan to help finish the last puzzle to get into the escape pod room and put the finishing touches on our game. I feel good about the progress we have made last week and I’m excited to finish the quarter off strong!