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502 Bad Gateway

As much as it doesn’t feel like it, I think I am making some decent progress. I’ve been working away on asset preparation for the 6th cut scene for a couple weeks now and have just begun piecing it all together inside the engine. So far it’s not quite as I imagined, but that doesn’t mean it looks bad. If anything, I’m actually pretty happy with how things are looking so far.

For those of you who are unaware, which should be just about everyone, this particular cut scene has to do with networking components; one of which being a router. Just about every router in every home is a little ordinary looking plastic box thing with some cables popping out of it. It’s responsible for routing data back and forth from devices on your network to the internet. It’s not very exciting to look at, and surprise surprise, the one I modeled for my scene was equally as boring. So I got to thinking… or rather, googling.

As I mentioned, the router serves as, and is often referred to as a ‘Gateway’. Of course I wasn’t looking for some lame wrought iron fence or something, I needed something epic. After some deep digging, I came across a very interesting piece of ancient architecture. It’s called The Arch of Septimius Severus in Leptis Magna. I don’t know about you, but to me there is something eerily powerful about it. I really can’t put my finger on what it was, but I was drawn to it and so decided to use it as the inspiration for my network gateway. Here, have a look:

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Hypoxic Blackout

Hey friend,

I’m officially burned out on media and life stuff for the the day so figured I’d make a little update for you since it’s been a while.

Things are moving along. All the levels are pretty much done (though I’m expecting some bug to rear its ugly head or for a tester to point out some issue that need fixing). And I’m making some good progress on the cinematics. So if things continue along at the current rate, it might be possible for me to have the game ready for… beta testing? in about 12 weeks.

It’s exciting, albeit, exhausting work. There’s just a lot of moving parts and sometimes its hard to know what’s missing if it doesn’t feel right. Nevertheless! I’m pretty happy with how they’re turning out so far. Anywho, here’s a screen shot from one of them. Thanks for stopping by!

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Late Into the Night

Welp! Here I am at 1AM writing to you, the reader (you ever elusive thing you!). There’s been some developments, both in and outside of the game. I’m not gonna go into too much detail on the outside stuff because it’s not really my business to share. But on the bright side, I’m killing it in the audio department!

For those of you who missed my last post, I had mentioned that I quickly discovered that there was no way in hell I could voice every character in my game (surprise), so I started recruiting all the trustworthy folks I know.

You wouldn’t think it, but voice acting is hard AF! You don’t think so until you’re in the hot seat and then WHAM! “Can we do another take?” x 5… So far, most of the volunteers (friends and fam), have given valiant efforts, for which, I am eternally grateful.

I did my last recording with my mom on Wednesday. She did great and that one will be very special to me.

So anyway, now that the in-game voices are done, I’ve been getting on to the soundtrack (music). It took a lot of deliberation because I know a couple very talented peeps, but in the interest of following the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid), I elected to just do the damn thing myself. Nothing personal guys, it’s just the path of least resistance (be like water my friend).

So anyway, the grind continues. See you one the flip side!

 

Voice

It’s kind of a weird word if you say it enough times. But then again, I suppose most words are like that…. Anyway! A recurring question that pops up when people play my game is: “Are the characters gonna have voices?”. It’s something that I had been kinda hoping to skirt around for whatever reason but it became glaringly obvious that it was something I could not avoid.

So! Over the last couple weeks I’ve been hitting up my closest friends and getting them to cough up a couple lines. Voice talent is something I seriously underestimated. It’s not like you just say your lines once and away you go. It actually takes a lot of effort and a number of takes before you can come up with something that barely even qualifies as acceptable. I myself did a couple and found myself bending my face in all sorts of weird shapes to try and produce the nuances and vocal tones that I was looking for. It can be hard to not feel silly. I also found that some people struggled with the concept that they were taking on the role of a character and not just reading lines out loud. Overall, a very interesting and enlightening experience. I actually feel like a bit of a hypocrite now because I assumed that voicing characters wasn’t that difficult and was somewhat dismissive of the art. Kind of like how some people I’ve encountered are dismissive when I tell them I make video games. Life sure has a funny way of showing you what a butt hole your are sometimes.

But I digress…

After the recordings are done, the fun is far from over. There’s a lot of doctoring that needs to be done in order to make the sound quality acceptable. Some of the recordings I received where taken with a cell phone outside on a windy day, or with the microwave beeping in the background, or some other innocuous noise that people normally don’t notice but are a pain to deal with. Although having to repair these sounds was challenging, it also forced me to step up my audio game and introduced me to, or at least helped me hone my skills with, new and different audio editing tools such as the equalizer, high/low pass filters, amplification, normalization, etc.

And nope, fun’s still not over! Since the setting of my game takes place in a bio-digital fantasy land, I wanted my characters to have ‘not quite human’ voices, which of course required a whole different set of tools! For the most part, I changed the pitch and/or speed of the voices and would then hit them with a rapid echo or delay. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how a lot of them turned out. There’s only one character left to do and then it will be on to the next phase, Music.

That’s all for now. Have a nice weekend!

The Roller Coaster Rides On

Life is a journey man… I’ll tell ya. For the last couple years I’ve been toiling away on this game. I mean, It’s a full time deal, but when you’re going balls to the wall at a project, i.e., devoting your full time, attention, and all the resources you have available, the shit will shake you.

I’ve sunk about three years into this project now. I’m hoping that I have less than a year to go, but there’s no real way of knowing. Life has been throwing me a couple curves lately. I’m ducking, dodging, and doing my best to move with the flow. Nimble as I may be however, there’s no way in Christ’s cold Hell that I could get by without the help of my friends and family.

My friends know who they are and are cool enough to not need validation through some lame blog post, but god dammit, I love the bastards.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of some recent stuff… Make of it what you will:

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Never say nigh!

Nigh.

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Hello again. Just wanted to check in and let everyone know that the grind continues. Slowly, but surely… Excruciatingly, but inexorably! Development limps forward as I push towards glory and liberation.

Did I mention this last level is five times bigger, five times more complex, and five times more intense than any of the previous levels? Well, it is. It has to be. It’s the piece de le resistance! But that also means it’s taking five times longer to get done (probably longer if I’m being honest).

So far it seems pretty fun though. As you can see in the GIF, this particular section is pretty fast paced. Anyway, that’s it for now. Back to the grind.