Archive for Indie

Deadline extended?!

Posted in Game Features, General DevLog with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/06/22 by Evan Sammons

So Indiecade had some problems with their submission forms, giving us an extra couple of days to fine-tune and get more new graphics done. Great! I can’t wait to get it submitted.

I’m also pumped to start working on the rest of the game. It’s been so long since the start of this project (maybe nearing 3 years now) and it’s gone through so many iterations that now that it’s in the state it is, I really want to see how it’s all going to fit together. There are a lot of concepts and functions of the game engine that aren’t explored fully in this first level, Upload Complete, I’m itching to see it unfold in the levels to come.

There are around a dozen tracks, meaning a dozen full levels totaling at least 40 minutes of gameplay. This does not include parts that aren’t set strictly to the music, for example ambient free-roams and possible looping sections – and even that may bring total time to a little over an hour. The key will be in the replayability…

The game engine allows any part of a level to be altered in real-time, and the triggers can vary greatly. They can be as simple as being closer to top or bottom of the game area to determine if the level goes upwards or downwards in the next section. Triggers can also be complex, and depend on what happened earlier in the game, a whole combination of factors, and goes right down to affecting the game ending. The scale of changes can also vary a lot, from the aforementioned game ending changes right down to what formation a group of enemy drones takes to attack you. This should all create a visceral experience that flows seamlessly, and always tests your ability to adapt and survive.

It’s old-school shooting action with a twist on classic linear progression.

Current Features: Music Details

Posted in Game Features with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2010/02/10 by Evan Sammons

Yesterday I talked about features that give the game a dynamic, free-flowing relationship with the music. Today is about how the music will be integrated in detail, and how music really is involved with at least 90% of the game features.

There are some parts that just need to be choreographed in detail with the music – events on-screen happening with a specific guitar strum or crash of a cymbal. Solo sections in the music will make great use of this, particularly for the inevitable boss battles and other epic climaxes. This is where the story of the game can be told, acting as a more intimate and interactive kind of cut-scene, where you’re truly part of the music.

Vocals are also very linked in with the game. Several sections will have their own lip-sync to go with it. Hordes of enemies will sing and roar lyrics at you, bosses will scream at you their objectives, how and why they’re here. Entire levels are alive, they are the music, and as I’ve said in a previous post, you will be fighting the music. Trust me, it’s badass. I recently just finished a section where both the enemies and the background sing in chorus. In terms of gameplay, it’s a fairly simple section (actually, it’s a lot like Asteroids… that’s kinda cool), but with those singing effects it’s seriously cool.

As well as the features above that are chosen for specific parts of the music, there is a more general method of detailing the game using the music. The game goes with the beat and the tempo of the music using a number of counters set to activate events at 1/16ths, 1/8ths, 1/4ths etc. – changing the frequency of certain actions like enemies shooting guns. For example, a large enemy with a powerful gun might only shoot every 1/4 beat, whereas a drone with a machinegun might shoot rapidly every 1/16 or 1/32.

This tempo control is spread across many things, from the frequency a transporter spawns a group of drones to things like a platform moving back and forth. Since tempo varies from song to song, each level kind of gets it’s own character from it. For most levels it will be a subtle difference, but the fact that the game takes tempo into account for so much will really draw you into the song, and make the levels come alive.

I believe that covers most details of the fusion between music and game. My next post is a mystery, even to me!


“Upload Complete” lyrics

Posted in General DevLog with tags , , , , on 2010/02/05 by Evan Sammons

Hey everyone! Evan Sammons here. I play drums in Last Chance to Reason and I’m also handling the lyrics and a lot of the graphical assets (sprites, backgrounds etc) for ‘LEVEL 2.’ I thought some people might be interested in checking out the lyrics for ‘Upload Complete,’ the first track/level from ‘LEVEL 2.’

Upload complete

Pixels form to violent limbs
I am born, the end begins
I stumble,
physics format to this operating system

A system update glows in this directory

Erase or you will be erased
Erase. Do not miscalculate

Critical: File transfer required

Orbs of light scan my surface like curious children

Erase or be erased
Load. Execute.

Like Tom said you can check out the song here: