January 2016

Created a build number script to The Lost Adventures title screen

I was sick of guessing how recent the installed version of The Lost Adventures was on my iDevices. So I made an Xcode pre-build script that writes the Git commit number plus a date/time  to a simple txt file.

This is picked up and shown on the main title screen.

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I thought I did more commits last year… But maybe I didn’t commit at the start of the project…? That could be… Vacation….? Anyway, nice…!

 

Screenshot Sunday Game Development

Screenshot Sunday : When you gotta go, you gotta go

One of the rooms in The Lost Adventures will be the mens toilets. If I tell What Dave needs to do here I would  spoil one of the puzzles of the game. No spoilers here !.

You can obviously try to “use” the toilet, but supporting this action would take me hours of animating those 9 frames to sit down and what to think about those frames for pulling the chord to flush?

But who knows? When I have some more common animations for Dave, maybe….

Oh and do you see that white crosshair? I was watching the GUI of the Fate of Atlantis and this was still missing in my adventure game. The default action will be the “Walk to” action (not a button on the screen, but still an action). When you hover over the items, the label of a POI (Point of Interest) will be shown.

This presented a problem on the iPad though… Your hand blocks the visibility of the label, so I need to place the label to the left or right. Or I will place the label-bar to the top especially for the iPad.

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Enough tasks left to improve though. I am still in the preproduction stage (and this is actually good!!). Polishing a game and making content  is much harder and more tedious! Luckily all rooms are in draft now, to support the entire story for Level 1.

When the work on the adventure engine is finished and I have made one playable level, I will be in production stage. One of the main task is passing the list of actions to the Lua scripting engine.

I have greatly improved the way the scripting works. The drawback of an earlier approach meant timing the various actions exactly before the next scripted action started. I needed to solve this because the time taken by walking through the room was not predictable. Now the character can walk to a certain tile, then proceed to a new action like picking up an item (this is calculated by number of frames * frame-delay). These walking and animation actions are handled completely in sequence. Playing a sound can be a simultaneous action. The next blog post will be entirely about this nifty system.

musicBanner Game Development

Ambient Adventure Music

One of the problems as a hobby Developer is in-game-music. This is a tough nut to crack for any developer. A proper musician will cost you a lot of money.

Luckily there are some solutions to this problem. Generative music is one good example. Recently some good tools have been made available. One of them is Ujam. It’s amazing to see how quickly you can make a decent sounding beat or melody. It converts you voice into a melody and after that you can choose an arrangement based on music style. It’s made completely in flash, so won’t work on iOS devices.

I have also tried Noatikl2 and Mixtikl but they are too hard to use and have a steep learning curve, and I have some more things to do. For an adventure it has to sound decent enough.The most important thing is that it should not distract or annoy the player.

Another possibility making music is whistling the tune, converting it to midi and make it into a song in Garageband.

Here a list of commercial tools that can do such a thing :

Free tools

  • Whistlemagic (can’t provide a good link, windows only)

iOS tools (all Paid, but not)

One tools fits in both categories and it’s my favorite (for the moment).

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Casio Chordana Composer is absolutely fabulous. It used a short melody (keyboard,whistle or voice) as seed and generates a song after you have chosen an arrangement and music style. The best thing is that it doesn’t sound like it’s generated at all!

The following music was generated with Chordana, played and recorded this midi file with Roland’s iOS Sound Canvas (it’s quite an expense app but worth it). Well enjoy the music…

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