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  • Baba Is You will be out March 13th!

    (Alternatively, check the official Nintendo version here: Yeah)

    Right! Baba will be released very soon, and that’s great. I’m a week or so late with this blogpost, but eh, I’ve gotten some evidence that some people actually follow this blog from time to time, and I want to support that.

    The game will cost USD $15, or 12.50€ if you prefer that. Wishlisting the game on Steam would be massively useful at the moment, so consider doing that if you haven’t yet.

    I’ve ordered some Baba t-shirts! They’ll probably be gone after GDC.

    I’m really excited about seeing videos & streams of the game – even though seeing someone get stuck in a game you made can be really frustrating/discouraging, there’s always some entertainment as well, plus I really hope I get to see someone appreciate some of the more inventive moments of the game.

    I’ve also been slowly putting together the OST of the game. Due to various reasons, some of which were discussed in that earlier Baba post, there has been need for a lot of tweaking to make the music sound nice for the official soundtrack. The side-effect of that is that the in-game music has improved some as well, so while the process is exhausting, it hopefully increases the overall audio quality, little by little.

    Anyway, there’ll be more news coming soon – I really need to remember to update here because I’m very fond of this blog. Slowly getting used to this block system of WordPress’, too!

    Another Discord link

    Here’s a link for 10 people: https://discord.gg/JRvpvsU

    Updatedsds

    Hello!
    There have been a couple streams since the last time I did a “”””weekly”””” update, but for whatever reason I couldn’t muster the energy to make proper blogposts to commemorate them.

    Anyway! Things have been going semi-swimmingly, Baba-wise – the game is now feature-complete (to an extent), and we’re just handling some final timing and business stuff related to releasing a game. Baba will be on Steam, Humble Store, itch.io and Nintendo Switch™, and it’ll support Mac and Linux on top of just Windows! Huge thanks to MP2 Games for making this large a selection of platforms a possibility (by porting the game). An inevitable result is, of course, that there’s way more stuff to be handled before release. We’ll see how everything turns out.

    A cool thing about Baba is that this time I’ve made the OST by myself! This resulted in a huge mess right before finishing the game, but has otherwise been pretty cool and confidence-boosting. It also means that I’ll get to set up a Bandcamp page! (And deal with “mastering” sound, what does that even mean)

    As for the “huge mess”, we were a couple minutes away from calling the game done and sending it forward for further approval when I notified Mathias (the person behind MP2 Games) about worse audio quality on other platforms. Pretty soon it turned out that the issue was in my computer only, and the culprit was the AudioWizard program on my control panel having been set to Music Mode by default. I had spent a bunch of time trying to remove any involuntary audio enhancements from this laptop back in 2015 when I got it, but apparently I had managed to miss this utility that actually did affect my audio output rather heavily. Music Mode in this case meant some combination of equalizers and compressors that e.g. heavily (*very* heavily) emphasized bass. After turning the setting off, the sound quality wasn’t necessarily “worse”, but certain songs had ear-hurting sounds in them that had been smoothed over by the Music Mode, and some songs sounded much thinner without the bass boost.

    I went into full emergency mode and contacted some very talented audio designer friends in seek of help. In the end we realized that I can just run the audio through the Music Mode effect and re-record the adjusted sound using Stereo Mix to get the bass-boosted result. However, the earlier bass boost had also brought some uncomfortable audio elements of its own that I had mostly ignored until now, so even with the relatively simple solution I had to spend some 3-4 days editing and re-mixing everything, especially since the effect also affected SFX. Mathias very kindly implemented a batch tool for me so that replacing the SFX wasn’t quite as time-consuming as it otherwise would’ve been.

    But that’s now history, and there haven’t seemed to be any new massive hindrances to handle. I’ll be going to GDC in March both for Baba and as a part of the Nolla Games team to promote our upcoming game, Noita. I’ve also ordered some new Baba-related merch to celebrate the occasion. I just wish flying wasn’t such a planet-hurting move. Same for the merch on a smaller scale, actually.

    I’d kinda like to do an image-heavy update as an apology for continuously not managing to keep this blog alive, but this new WordPress system is a bit scary and I have a headache so that might have to wait for a later necromancy post. I’ll try to keep the blog updated with new Baba info, and ESA2 once I finally get that far.

    P.S. I’ve been enjoying Cultist Simulator by Weather Factory a whole lot again. Very inspiring, beautiful-sounding and -looking!

    Ludum Dare 43 results!

    Trying to learn to use this new block system of WordPress’…

    So! LD #43 ended last weekend, and the results are in. My game, Ludum Dare Simulator, fared fairly well, all things considered! There were 765 Compo entries in total, and my entry managed top100 in 4 categories:

    • 15th in Humor
    • 23rd in Innovation
    • 58th in Overall
    • 88th in Fun

    I guess I really banked on that humour value. Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the results! It’d be fun to make another overly ambitious LD game one day a lá Apocalypse Adventure and Badland Quest, but we’ll see when that happens; it’s not like I don’t have well enough stuff in the works already.

    GET THE GAME

    Also check out these other entries:

    Anyway, happy new year! Now back to work on Baba, once I’ve played some games…

    Weekly-8 progress posts #116 & #117: Polish, polish, polish

    Streaming continues to be more of a thing! Great! I streamed yesterday and today, and both streams were quite similar in that most work was done on fixing small issues, implementing audio, and picking at the remaining ending sequence effects. The “must-have” to-do list is getting pretty short, but there are a handful of scary-looking things left that potentially require a good amount of work (or just overcoming the fear of implementing them.)

    SFX has been ignored for a while now, so getting some of that done today felt great. The various “fanfares” for achieving things is especially scary, but at least there’re only a handful of those to make.

    Music-wise I’m missing at least 2-4 songs: I want to have a remix of the theme song to play in the credits, + there are three areas that don’t have their own themes. However, at least one of those areas could technically do without a unique theme, so I’ll have to try to prioritize the less-optional songs/features first and see if I have time and/or energy for the remaining songs.

    Everything related to the ending of the game feels scary to make for a variety of reasons, but as long as my ambitions regarding it stay relatively small, there shouldn’t be all that much left to implement.

    It’s been a pretty wild year – maybe I should do a separate end-of-the-year post?

    Weekly-9 progress post #115: Audio, part 2

    Yay, two streams in a row! Today’s stream was very similar to yesterday’s in that I concentrated on fixing issues and polishing things, along with implementing audio-related features. I implemented a system that makes repeated actions have smaller visual/audio effects; this makes the soundscape less oppressive and improves performance in cases where a lot of stuff happens across several turns. Yesterday’s stream showed that overlapping audio is a surprisingly large source of lag, so it’s great that this new system helps with that issue as well.

    Happy holidays! There’ll probably be more streams once we return from our Christmas holiday trip; we’ll see.

    Weekly-10 progress post #114: Audio

    Yay, more streams! I got a bunch of bugs fixed, along with implementing a new system for creating particle effects. However, there were a couple complications. I intended to “figure out” a new theme (or two) for the game’s OST, but while I got some nice tunes made, I got kind of stuck with my ideas and the results weren’t very usable. I might be able to tease out something nicer from them, though. Another thing was that the aforementioned new particle system didn’t turn out to be quite as useful as I’d hoped. My hypothesis was that the particle system was a bottleneck behind the slowness of certain in-game interactions; it turned out that the sound that plays during those interactions has a larger effect on performance. So again, my efforts weren’t fruitful, but I got some potentially-useful new information to apply for later optimizations. The chat was very active and I’m very happy about that :)

    Happy holidays, everyone!

    Weekly-10 progress posts #112 & 113: BABABAB

    I forgot to write an update last time I streamed!! Anyway, I’ve managed to keep a more active streaming schedule (at the expense of sleep, unfortunately) and progress during streams has been pretty good! I’ve pretty much finished not one but two new songs and that’s great; SFX will need more looking at. Today’s stream was spent largely on little graphical & audio tweaks along with trying to polish the ending. Can’t wait to have that last item off the to-do list.

    Weekly-12 progress post #111: Rules

    Huh, WordPress looks very different now. I kinda miss the old system. Anyway! After a month+ of no game development streams, I managed to implement some Baba rule changes on-stream today. Progress was very smooth, although at the very end I realized a rather unfortunate implication of the system I was implementing that I’ll have to mull over. Still, very nice! I also played a couple Ludum Dare entries to close the stream off.

    The end of the year is closing in on us, and that means I’ll have to get Baba to its finalized state sometime soon! Especially the audio is something I’ve been overlooking for too long now – gotta have to concentrate my efforts on that.

    Ludum Dare #43: Sacrifices must be made

    Ludum Dare #43 was last weekend! I have some exams coming but really wanted to participate; the theme didn’t initially give any inspiration and I was ready to call it a studying weekend, but then an idea struck and I ended up creating something.

    My entry is Ludum Dare Simulator, a game where the sacrifices come in form of allocating time and resources to finish a game under the 48-hour time limit. This is done by placing blocks on a grid where every cell represents a single hour of Ludum Dare. The game is heavily inspired by the boardgame Patchwork that was recently shown to me.

    The game itself is fairly simple (although the underlying scoring rules are way complicated, oh well), but for me the most interesting bits come after the player submits their game and goes to the scoring phase. I wanted to add some funny stuff to liven up the experience, so there are some surprised to be seen after finishing. It felt really good to finish an LD entry, considering at least two of my previous entries (Sublunar Vessel and Super Metabolism Bros) were left in a somewhat unfinished state. I even had time to compose music!

    Ludum Dare page

    Download the game