Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Progress again.

Well, I have a song for the first area started. Ended up sounding like something out of donkey kong.
I think it works pretty well.

As for the rest of development (not just music), I wonder how long it's realistically going to take me. It took me days of making music, downloading instruments, and trying a bunch of stuff before I finally had a song I was satisfied with. I learned a bunch of mixing techniques, sure, but it also took me days, which in development is a lot of time.

And it's..11 days until the end of the month, again. My brain keeps going back and fourth between "that's plenty of time, you can finish it before then" and "who are you kidding, it took you 3 days to do one song."

11 days would be enough if I just used what I had. But I keep taking the time to change a few things here, learn a couple of new things there.. It's too easy to say "I'll just take a day to add better hit sparks", only to say "I'll take a day to make hits have more impact" a day later. They start adding up pretty quick, and I have to wonder how capable I am of working for 11 days without doing that. Even then, It's too common for me to finish something in half a day, only for the rest of the day to be spent testing, and adjusting it until it finally feels right.

At the very least, I can release a demo before the end of the month. There isn't much left to do in that regard. But I'm really starting to feel the time constraints overall. It sort of feels like every problem has a simple solution, and I know what they are, and yet I also know that to pursue them would be pushing my luck.

One of the reasons this game has taken so long is because I basically made something simple, and then spent more time redoing most of it. If I had just set out to make a medium sized game from the beginning, I would have come to this point much sooner, and with better results.

*Takes a deep breath*
....
....
....
....
*SIGH*

Next time, if I set out to make a simple game, I need to stick with it. Better to have a good simple game than a normal one that takes too much time to fix into something playable. And if I do a normal game, I need to do it from the beginning.

Anyhow. Gotta go make souundssss....


Monday, August 18, 2014

"presentation" issues.

Gaaahhhh....

For around the last 3-4 days I've mostly been trying to do some music. I've mentioned this before, but the problem with music is that sometimes you can work  for 5-6 hours straight and come out with nothing to show for it. It's really slowing me down, to the point where I've been spending too much time on it.

A big part of the problem is that the tone of the game is... all over the place..

video


So what kind of music do I make? Do I make it fast paced to match the gameplay, or slow and moody to match the atmosphere? Some kind of weird balance? In the past few days I've done a few songs, and none of them work. Some will be fine for other levels, where the player is supposed to feel empowered, but I just can't seem to make something that feels right for the beginning.

And even when I feel like I'm on to something,  and I start something that seems like it might work,



I listen to it in-game, and it just doesn't mix. The melodies aren't subtle enough, or the non-digial instruments don't fit, or it's too dramatic, or too sad, or the in-game sounds don't have enough reverb...etc...etc...

And the most frustrating part is, I was already in this situation with Kurovadis. What did I do then? I winged it. I just took a couple pads and bells, and made a song from beginning to end in about half an hour. No problem -__-.

Sometimes you're just feeling good, and you make something that works by chance. Other times, it's like hitting your head against a wall until it breaks. The time pressure doesn't help either.

I guess I'll give it another day of trying stuff, and if I can't come up with anything, then I need to just move on.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Streaming random work

I'm currently streaming some random work. First I'll be doing some minor spritework, then maybe some sound or music.


EDIT: Aaand the stream is over. Went on for about 7-8 hours -__-

Powerups, map progression..

Right now I'm in the process of adding the tiles to all the rooms, and choosing the locations of certain powerups.

It a little hard to decide where to put certain powerups, because of how much of a difference it makes to the game's flow and length. There are more or less two different ways of placing them,

The first extreme, is that only certain powerups are essential to the game's progression, and everything else is just optional.

This kind of progression would more or less be based around the idea that there isn't really a "wrong" way to go. Every optional path rewards the player's exploration. 

The other extreme is to make it so that most of the powerups are essential, meaning the player can't really go off the beaten path. Instead, powerups would have to be acquired in a certain order, and there would be frequent backtracking


In this case, rather than backtracking being a possibility, it becomes a necessity, since the player must obtain the right powerups in order to progress, some of which might be far back, and yet inaccessible in the beginning.

So the question is..how much do you want the player to backtrack? Is there a satisfaction in seeing a blocked path, and then finding the solution? That image of something unobtainable in the back of your mind until finally you have the means to acquire it? Or is it better to give the player the freedom to explore? Does the player lose the satisfaction of finding the right way if there are too many "right" ways?

*head explodes*

Obviously, the answer is probably somewhere in-between. For instance, every powerup may not be essential to "progress", but you could make them essential to "explore", that is, finding certain non-essential powerups. Or, powerups that are essential to progress could also be used to find certain optional powerups.

Anyhow..

With the current game, I went a bit too far towards the first extreme. Since I focused so much on alternate paths that can all lead you towards progression, there aren't many blocked paths that you see in passing. There are very few "Ah-ha!" moments wherein you obtain the means to enter a blocked area that had been constantly tantalizing you to that point.

Oh well, I guess. There's always next time -___-


Also, I'll probably be doing a stream somtime soon. Dunno what I'll be doing during it. I'll probably be tiling rooms, I could work on some sound, or some other stuff. (I still need to do music, but music would probably be really frustrating to watch..)