Week 30 Sound

08 Apr 2020

Before Frans started on Monday I sent him details on how we will work together and what sound and music the game needs. We’re going to try running week-long Scrum sprints. This is more process than a two-man team needs but it will be good to have the structure while we are working remotely and it will be good experience for Frans.

Over the weekend I finished the job-indicators, ensuring they stay visible for at least three seconds and adding tool-tips. A long time ago I added “thought sprites” that appear above a Dwerg when they start working on an activity. (Jobs are made up of a list of activities, e.g. mining a piece of terrain consists of finding a route -> traversing the route -> mining the terrain.) These were useful for me while developing jobs as I could see what was happening quickly but they are useless to the user as the sprites are very small, get noisy quickly and don’t appear anywhere in the UI. I’ve now replaced these “thought sprites” with larger job-indicator sprites that appear over the Dwerg when they start a job. These are the same sprites on the toolbar and in the Needs panel so they are meaningful to the user.

Going back to the tutorial with the intention of providing meaning, the player’s Dwergs are going to be threatened by Direwolves, so the instruction to dig out a safe place needs to be explicit. To that end I’ve started a script command that will mark out an area for the player to dig out. On Tuesday evening I had this working but due to the worlds being randomly generated, it’s not guaranteed to work. I’ve parked it for the moment in order to support Frans developing the audio.

Frans Hipponen started working with me on Monday producing music and sound effects. Frans’ previous experience includes dialogue recording and sound design for radio drama aired by YLE (the Finnish equivalent of the BBC), live-engineering in Vastavirta-Klubi, an alternative music club, recording and mixing several EP’s and Albums, the latest being the debut album by Ongelma called “Todellisuus iskee”. Frans was also a member of the Finnish band “Vuosi Nolla”, a hardcore punk band making music about how modern society is heading in a bad direction. Frans was part of a team from Tampere university that won first prize in Bit1, a Finnish game development competition, with their game, Sockman. Sockman is still in development with the title Sockventure, which you can wish-list on Steam today. Frans has just finished the final year thesis of his Bachelor degree in Music Production.

We’ve decided to use FMOD instead of XACT because of the live update capability in FMOD Studio and the fact that XACT is no longer supported. Frans was quick to pull my initial list of sounds and music into a spreadsheet and note down a bunch of questions to figure out my intent behind each sound. We spent Tuesday morning discussing the sound and music. I’m ashamed to admit that the build I gave Frans crashed on launch because the TexturePacker code was parsing a float assuming it was in English format. I’m happy to say that the latest version of the TexturePacker code has this fixed.

For the coming week I’ll be adding in audio hooks and then going back to the tutorial. Frans will be working on the music and ambience.

- Jock




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