Blog

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.

The End is Totally Not Nigh…

But the gears turn all the same.

So, due to some unforeseen circumstances, development got put on hold for a couple weeks. Nothing catastrophic, just a minor setback. This last week, I dusted off the previous save file and picked up where I left off. In case you forgot where that was, it was at mid construction of the final level. This level is really taking on some serious shape and is about 3 times bigger and 5 times more complex than the next biggest/most complex level. In typical overreaching me fashion, I am pushing myself to the limits of my abilities and really feel like I’m riding the edge of a cliff. Brainstorming and prototyping new ideas is very stressful. It’s very easy to burn valuable chunks of time by building something and then finding out it’s not fun to play. Little by little though, the level is coming along and rest assured that I will be taking no shortcuts!

At the moment, the structure of this final level can be broken down into five parts/stages. Of the five, two are done and the third is about halfway there. All in all, things are looking pretty decent so far, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

In other news, you may have noticed on the way in that I’ve done a bit of remodeling on the old website! Game development is hard, but web dev is straight up infuriating lol. I won’t go in to details, but believe you me, there were some vernaculars flying around here that would make a sailor blush. Buy anyway, yea, I persisted and I like to think that the place looks a bit nicer. I’ve also set up email subscriptions so feel free to join the party! If there’s anything you do or do not like about the new setup, please feel free to let me know. Just about every link on the site points to a way to reach out to me so take your pick. That’s all for now, sign up for email notifications and check back soon!

The End is Nigh!

Close…. getting closer!

I’m currently working away at the final level and it is certainly looking interesting so far. As of right now, the level is actually split into two scenes with the first being an intro for the player to explore before transitioning via cut scene to part 2. In part 2, the fun begins. The player will be having a show down with the final boss in a 3, possibly 4 (or even more, who knows!), part fight. It’s getting weird and wild and psychedelic! Here’s a  teaser for you!

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