Monday, May 16, 2016

Checking my notes

So, I finished the new VR module (it's not terribly complex, but it wasn't completely straightforward either, so it took me a while, especially when it came to the pictures and thinking up some of the text that went with them), but I didn't do much else. I spent a little time on my side projects, and I tried to figure out if there was something else I really need to put in the game for the future 1.0 release. I think the most under-developed system is the relationship-meter with your crew outside of the romances. I did track down the stats, but other than the little scene with Darenzia, there really isn't anything there. There is also a side-quest I still need to put in the game (maybe I can push this back to a 1.1 update), something to do with the house you can buy (at least 2-3 events, I would imagine), and some form of revenge from Malena if you dump her for Jane. The last one is a minor thing, but I really feel like this should be in the game, I had plans for it for a while. I guess I could have it be a thing in chapter 2, instead, but I am not sure it would have the same impact... On the other hand, maybe that's for the best, because I can avoid the weird scenario where people deal with the romance after they tackled most of the main quest, and then finish the game and dodge Malena's ire that way.

I am feeling a little tired (because of how long the game is taking, some IRL stuff, and a lack of sleep that has been haunting me for a while now), to be honest, but the idea of taking a break doesn't sound appealing, this close to the end. The main problem is that a lot of this stuff was left behind to focus on other priorities (sometimes years ago), so now it's hard to get back and find the inspiration I had back when I first got the idea. I generally don't move forward until I am done with a section, and this is a good reminder to never do that again, I guess (this is turning out to be more of a rant than an update XD).

Anyway, I might just take the easy way out and post-pone all that is non-essential, which would leave the house and the relationship system update to tackle (I figure those are the biggest offenders as far as obviously incomplete content goes). That seems a reasonable compromise, although the relationship scenes might require some time to write (I am not sure what I would like from them, so I would have to go in blind).

This should be it for this week. Since there wasn't much to say, I am going to leave you with a little teaser for one of the side-projects (which might become my next project after TOTDC is done):

This is some stuff I am toying around with, to put together an intro for a game (even the terrible audio track is mine, although I'll probably have to find something better, possibly by someone who actually understands music).

I have nothing else to say, so, as always, see you next week! ^_^


  1. "Oops, we couldn’t find that track."

    1. "Oops, I had accidentally set it to private"... XD

      It should work now.

    2. Was going to say something about Q-Tips, bleeding ears, and a rave at your moon-base-home... but I got distracted when someone AWESOME gave me a bowl of strawberries! Yum!

      Guignol, wow, talk about foreshadowing from just from the name alone! Mdqp, by now, we think we know what themes you like, lol! ;P We like them too! Woo~!

    3. Despite the ear-bleeding (or maybe because of it :p), do you think the track was good an instilling the horror "vibe" I was going for?

      I wanted a name that was a bit more evocative than TOTDC, a lot of people told me they skipped the game at first because of the title alone. XD

    4. As quality is the name of your game (sometimes I wonder how you do your notekeeping and keeping track of it all), I'll always be honest with you. No, not really, in answer to your question. The opening track didn't leave me with any sort of impression of what you were going for. It just didn't instill any sort of "horror vibe" with me. I kept imagining something with clowns and or circuses. I felt like that piece might be more appropriate in a movie like "Mirrormask". I hope I didn't deflate your mojo as the effort, perseverance, and drive that you put into your projects is nothing short of amazeballs! Take note also that I'm not much of a horror fan--I prefer happier or thought-provoking endings (not cliff-hangers!) in print and movies--so take my opinion of how other players might perceive that piece with a grain of salt. ;) [Currently drawing up a blank for alternatives... I'm sorry!] Hugs?

    5. Ah-ah, don't worry, this is actually fine. It's just an experiment to see if I can strike the right "chords" with the audience. I can always go back to hunting tracks on the internet, or try to get the help of someone else (there was an artist which offered his musical talents to game's author a while ago, free of charge).

      It's always better to do things myself, though, at least that's what I believe, so I wanted to see if despite my limited technical knowledge I could create something that allows me to better share my view of the game.

      It wouldn't be a horror flick, but definitely dark and horror themed (unlike TOTDC, there would be dead bodies, and some risks for the protagonist herself, although you'll have time-travelling powers in this one, so dead will only be a minor setback).

      I want to use the track and the image (along with other images) to create an intro similar to classic horror point and click adventures, with a view of a mansion-like building in a storm, then cut to the rain on a window, then cut to blood on the floor, cut to close up shot of a dead person (if it was a movie, the body would probably be light up when a lightning strike outside), then finally the title screen, with the music abruptly coming to a close.

    6. "dead will only be a minor setback"
      Hell of a line.

    7. ... an intro similar to classic horror ... blood on the floor, cut to close up shot of a dead person (if it was a movie, the body would probably be light up when a lightning strike outside), ...


      The opening low notes and darkness set the tone, the focus onto the hand and then the carpet of bodies set it further, the silence contributes a lot, Bill's reaction to the lightning is *too* fast (there should have been a pause with Zoey staring and starting to raise the light) and Louis is an idiot (all he had to do was start shooting and they'd have heard the shots).

      Low notes for the creepiness.

    8. Is Left 4 Dead really horror, though? I think it has a thin veneer of it, but even that trailer strikes me as being too action focused, in the end (it might also be that I overdosed on L4D2, and now even talking about the series makes me grumpy XD).

      I do agree you need low notes, but the effect probably improves with contrast, so high and low notes (I think of Toccata and Fugue as an amazing example). I think you need to work to make everything just a little "off", but sadly I don't really am skilled in any aspect of music making, so we'll see how things will pan out.

    9. The first one's more horror than the second. The first one's intro opens with that low, ominous note in a barely-lit alley full of corpses at night. The second one's intro opens with bouncy, fast-paced music in broad daylight. The first thing they find in the L4D1 intro is a Witch. The first things they find in the L4D2 intro are a grenade launcher, a sniper rifle, an auto-shotgun, laser sights, a pistol, a road map and a chocolate bar. The second one introduces adrenaline shots, defibrillators, melee weapons, more powerful primary guns, the Deagle, more powerful specials, wandering Witches and panic events. L4D1 on expert is horror survival with your choice of an underpowered M16, a Mini-14 with a small magazine and low rate of fire and an autoshotgun with a low sustained rate of fire and an effective range of about eight feet plus two pistols that just don't do the job. Too much of the L4D2 content is panic events and requires the players to know in advance to save their bile jars for particular spots.

      If you want something else that might set hairs on end, try disharmony. Choirs sing in harmony, and it's beautiful and can raise those hairs:

      The impression is of one or two very big voices, though, isn't it?

      If your extended family wants everyone who hears them to know how many of them there are, it's more effective to sing out of harmony.

      Actually using those sounds would be a cliche, but you could exploit that effect by merging jarring soundtracks. Might want to leave out the asthmatic one from the second vid though. :\

    10. Well, I am not going to argue with your knowledge of the series, I am just going to say that I didn't find the visuals nor the sounds in the L4D trailer to be unnerving enough for me to really classify it as horror.

      I can't really put together a Choir for making this, can I? XD

      And how did we get to howling wolves, exactly? Anyway, thank you for the links, they were interesting to listen to.

    11. The choirs were just there as examples. I wasn't suggesting getting choral, because choral music isn't unnerving. The wolves were there as an example of a sound that probably gives a lot of people chills. Some of those chills will be from fairy tales about the Big Bad Wolf (irl Red would have been safer with most wolves than with some woodcutters) but some of them probably come from somewhere deeper, and I think you could probably exploit that for your intro music if you have multiple tracks, maybe starting at separate times, that get further and further out of harmony as they go.
      The other sound effect that gets people is the (insert technical term here) of birds' alarm calls, going out of range and breaking off sharply. Soothing birdsong is smooth transitions.
      That's more a Deimos thing than a Phobos thing, though, and Deimos is for action. For horror you want Phobos.

      Actually, you probably *could* put together a choir for this, believe it or not. Performous and Ultrastar are free software. Users can create scripts for them. You can probably find examples of some I did. ;) If you can write the choral parts I can make the script files for them and if enough of your fans record enough good versions of each part I could blend them with Audacity (more free software so yay) into a single track.
      Bass and tenor left, alto and soprano right, or bass both sides, tenor and alto left and soprano right, or bass and soprano left, tenor and alto right or whatever, you can decide later.

    12. I'd like to keep this to either "things I can do myself" or "leave it completely to someone who knows what they are doing", so the choir idea doesn't really appeal to me.

      As for going out of harmony, that's probably what I would aim for, knowing my limits and the tools I have available, but we'll see if I can pull it off.