General Discussion

If you have any general comments, bug reports or such that don’t really fit below any of the recent blog posts, feel free to say them under this stickied post! A forum might be necessary at some point… Also:

  • All comments will eventually be visible, sometimes they might end up marked as spam by accident and I’ll have to retrieve them. Using the same username/e-mail combo makes commenting much more reliable and less prone to give false positives, so please do that :)

Guess I’ve got sound problems

To be honest, work on ESA has been really smooth lately! Joonas “Kissa3″ Turner joined our team to make sound effects, and against my fears his sounds (which are amazing) work really well with Roope “Noby” Mäkinen‘s musics (which are amazing). Amazing!
Multimedia Fusion can play sounds either “on its own”, shuffling them to empty channels without the user having to worry about it, or on specified channels. I’ve usually played music and looping ambient noises on a specified channel, and other SFX without a specified channel. Usually this works well, since I can adjust the volume levels of the channels to make some fade effects etc, and don’t have to really care about what happens to the “generic” SFX.
However, now I’ve ran into a bit of a problem with this system (although I’ve been aware of it before). I can’t properly alter the volume of the samples not played on a specified channel, and thus the only volumes I can adjust are the Main Volume (affecting both SFX and music) and Music Volume (affecting the channel the musics are played on). In my older games I’ve just ignored this and put only “music” and “general volume” options in the settings menu, but in ESA the sound effects and musics are pretty different in style, and thus need to be balanced more carefully (not to mention that I’d like to do my very best with this game!)
Fortunately I think I’ve found a way to manually work around this, by making a system where every sample is played on a specified channel so that the game is always aware of “free” channels and only plays SFX on those. This is somewhat cumbersome to do and will require some extra attention to stuff like several sound effects playing at the same time, but I think it’ll be worth it.

  …So I guess the point of this post is that I’ve got some work to do!!
(Also working on a new trailer)

…Actual LD30 results

The voting phase of Ludum Dare #30 ended last weekend, and my game fared pretty well considering that I entered it in the ‘jam’ category with teams allowed and generally more lax rulings. In the end, I ranked

9th in category “Fun”
11th in category “Mood”
57th in category “Audio”
(The song in the game was made by Cotton-in-law, so this is very much his achievement!)
70th in category “humour”

…and 10th overall!

 

I was really surprised at how much people liked the game! Maybe I should keep working on it…?
Anyway, the download link is in the post below, here’s a timelapse/gameplay video:

LD30 results

My weekend was pretty busy so I didn’t make it in time for the compo, but I wanted to get out some kind of a version of the game so I made something at the last minute for the Jam (less strict rules, one extra day, teams allowed). I’m pretty happy with the result and will probably combine what I made now with some engine things I’ve experimented with to get a really smooth base game! :) A person called Cotton-in-law was inspired by the game’s visuals and made a song for me. Thanks a lot! Here’s his SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/cotton-in-law

 

GET THE GAME

Ludum Dare #30!

Taking a short break from ESA to work on an LD game. Yay! Theme: Connected Worlds.


ESA’s current situation, part 2


(Trying out new logos for the game)

So, I promised some news to give you early this week. As usual, things weren’t quite as simple and dandy as I thought, so I can’t give as certain updates about the situation as I hoped last weekend. Anyway!

– I’ve discussed the soundwork stuff with Noby, and we’ve agreed on a deadline at the beginning of september! This means that by then the game will be in release state, and in the meantime I’ll keep polishing and adding new optional content.

– Once again I’ve started thinking critically about how to publish the game, and considered some options with my workmates. When I made the release date estimation announcement, I hoped I’d have a definite plan for this by now, but it turns out (unsurprisingly) that before even considering approaching a publisher of any kind, I’ll have to do some (a lot of) extra work. I’m really lost when it comes to who to contact and when, but I’ll try to get this settled down as soon as possible.

I’m terribly sorry about all the missed promises and deadlines, but most of them were made with a freeware game in mind (and without thinking about things other than “how quickly could I theoretically be done with this?”) I really hope I can get over with this post-game stuff fast, because it’s really not my field.

CRYSTALS

CRYSTALS

CRYSTALS CRYSTALS CRYSTALS

CRYSTALS

Stream recorded

Thanks for everyone who participated! Here’s a link to the recording: http://www.twitch.tv/hempuli/b/555974189

ESA’s current situation

Earlier today I finished the last “obligatory” things in ESA. There are some tweaks I want to make and polish to be done, as well as a load of bugs I haven’t noticed yet; I’ll be sending the first “final” version to testers tomorrow and hopefully the final missing things will be tweaked to some kind of a final state in the coming weeks.

So, what’s missing? Why’s there no release date?

There are two reasons for me not having decided on a release date yet and in general being somewhat confused and/or worried about the game’s release:

  • Audio: When I say that the last obligatory thing is done, I mean the last obligatory thing I can personally affect; there’s some sound missing and we’re working on getting the rest of the soundtrack done. Due to several good reasons the composer has been very busy for some time now and has thus been unable to work much on the soundtrack, which I completely understand but which means that the release will have to wait. In the meantime I’ll be trying to build up a placeholder sound system, so that adding the audio will be as quick and painless as possible.
  • Publishing: For about half a year now people’ve asking me about whether the game will be freeware or not. To be absolutely honest, I’d love to release the game for free, and even promised this some time ago at a moment when I felt completely overwhelmed by life and didn’t feel like thinking at all about founding a company or any of the other things that go into successfully publishing a game.
    However, I’d definitely need the money, and know some amazing people who could help me a lot with the more confusing aspects of publishing a game. It also seems to me that these days people are much less willing to download some random freeware games off a website, and instead prefer Steam and other such platforms due to the ease and a hint of quality control. So in the end, I’m really undecided on this issue, which kind of awful because going through the publishing ordeal would affect the release date pretty drastically.

 

So there; hopefully these two things will be figured out eventually, but right now they’ll continue to be obstacles for releasing the game. I guess I’ll try to spend whatever time is left to polish everything as much as possible.

 In other news, I’m working on a comic! I’ll post it here once it’s done; it’s pretty terrible but it feels great to be working on a larger art project after such a long time.

Streaming!

I just finished pretty much the final thing left in ESA yesterday :) unfortunately the soundwork is still in development so it’ll take some more time to get the game out.

However! There’ll be a new stream this Friday at 11 PM UTC/GMT! If you have any specific things you’d like to see, tell me :)

No More Sweden 2014!

Last year NMS was quite a disaster for me due to some personal problems, but this year has been a ton of fun! I even managed to finish something. Other indie developers are mostly really cool people and it’s cool to be able to follow the creative processes of other people over the weekend. Also instead of the usual pizza’n’burger -type diet, the local shop sells relatively cheap salads, so the overall atmosphere has been surprisingly healthy!

My game is called PILARI, and it’s a two-player arcade thing where the players fight against each other using bombs. I got a sudden inspiration to make a pillar-based topdown platformer engine, but couldn’t decide on where to take it, which made me end up making a simple deathmatch thing. It might still be fun? At least it looks somewhat cool.

~CONTROLS~

ESC – enable gamepad
Control/Q – drop a bomb. Hold for a moment to drop a more powerful one. You can only have two bombs at a time, and when you’re charging a new bomb the other one wont count down. You can use the explosions to propel yourself and your other bomb to the air, since you can’t damage yourself. Landing on the enemy’s head damages them.
Shift/Tab – Jump. Kind of useless mostly.
Arrows/WASD – move.

I think I’ll use the same engine for something in the future. :)

Download the game at Unicorn 7!