So, I finally finished recording the pronounciations of all the unique words/names/etc. in the game thus far. In the end, I was just procrasinating, because once I sat down and focused, it took a little less than an hour. As I recorded them, I wondered what Jason would think when he listened to them. I remember I had a Skype chat with Alex 'Hugie' Hugon a few years ago, and I was talking to him about Clopon.Not really thinking about it, I just said her name, and he immediately stopped me to say something along the lines of, "Wow, that's how you say her name?!". For years and years, I never gave it a second thought. Anyway, I'm sure Jason will have some of those moments. Oh, and speaking of Hugie, it's a shame we lost him from our community. Kid thinks he can graduate high school, go to Harvard, and stop modding. Who does he think he is? :)
After that, I did the unthinkable, the impossible, the improbable... I finally fixed bug #1, the one bug that was giving me the most problems, the one I just gave up on, hoping some solution would finally present itself. Well, damn near 9 months later, it has! It all started when I got on the train friday morning. I was just feeling motivated to fix it, so I just opened up the toolset, and got to it.
So, the bug itself was something tied to Craig Graff's Unlimitied Variable Storagepackage. Long story short, the package makes use of a placeable called, Invisible Object. The bug I was getting was this object spawning in certain areas, at certain points. Besides having this huge, invisible placeable blocking your way, it also mess up the variables I was storing somewhere later down the road. Excuse my language, but it was one huge clusterfuck. Now, lucky for me, I could reproduce the issue at will, as it always happened in the same spots in the game. After a bunch of DEBUGGING, it turns out that if I perform an autosave right after making a call to one of the library functions, it FUBARS everything. As to why, I didn't have the time to think it out. I just moved the autosaves around, and voila, no more bug.
I guess the moral of the story is, procrasinate for 9 months, and bugs will just fix themselves... Wait, what?
Today's music is Kilik's theme, from Soul Calibur.
6/14/11 -Monday: MORE MOVIE MAKING...
So, the movie making work continues. As I said in my last post, I wanted to give actors a more visual understanding of what is going on in a scene they will read for, instead of telling them about it. So, I've been spending time recording all the major cutscenes and pieces of dialogue using FRAPS, then using WinFX to convert it to a high quality quick time file, which is small enough to upload for others to download.
I was going to use Camtasia studio (and still will!), but for this part of things, I don't need it. Once I start putting together high quality trailers and such, where I need to edit multiple pieces of video, then yeah, it'll all be about Camtasia studio.
On the implementation side of things, I haven't done much, because I have been focusing on this. Though, as always, I've been designing various things in my head all the while. But, I don't want to lose the momentum of this, so as I said before, this will be my main focus.
Oh, and I still need to finish recording my lines of how to say all the names of places and things in the world. It's just been a little tough to do on the train, as, well, that's embarrasing :)
I clearly missed a lot of time, so I think I'll stick with Soul Calibur music. Enjoy!
6/6/11 -Monday: FRAPS...
Ah, FRAPS. We've had some good times, you and me, and looks like we're back together for another run. For those that don't know, FRAPS is software used to capture/record video content playing on your screen, whether it be a movie, video game, etc. I used it way back in 2005 to record various clips, spliced together to make the trailer for The Coming. Good times.. Fast forward 6 years, and the circumstances are a little different.
As I mentioned yesterday, the VO recordng process has begun, and I've integrated the first batch of stuff into this particular cutscene. Now, for particular scenes in the game, I was thinking about the best way to prepare the actors. Sure, you can write up some details for them, being as descriptive as possible. Or, you could just show them the damn thing! And that's what I plan on doing. I want them to know how things will look on the screen, as well as how it sounds with the music going on.
So, for this first scene, I'm recording it with FRAPS, using some software to compress it to some suitable format (Camtasia Studio?), and planning on sending it off to both Jason and the actor. This will also be good for lines that need to be redone, as it will give them the best context possible. For all the other complex cutscenes that include voice over, I will be doing the same thing. At the moment, I don't see a need for it for some particular standard issues pieces of dialogue, but you never know.
It should go without saying that this is my #1 priority at the moment. Besides actually integrating the VO into the game, and recording it, I have another huge task. Turns out, all the names I've created for this world (i.e. Aramus Galladoran) sound different when someone else says it :) In fact, during the audition, the actor straight up started by saying he didn't know how I wanted some words pronounced, so he just did what he thought they should be.
To that end, Jason has compiled a list of all of these words, and I will record myself saying each of them in turn. It's funny how I've always known how these should be pronounced, but since I've never had VO, it's just been sitting in my head for the past decade. Time for a brain dump :)
Today's music is the theme for one of the most interesting characters in the series, Knightmare. Enjoy!
6/5/11 -Sunday: I'M NOT DEAD!!!
STATE OF THE UNION
Right, so first, I can say with certainty that I am very much alive :) I know I haven't posted for a few weeks, but it's been pretty busy at work lately, which has caused me to bring my work home more often than I would like. We essentially had a development complete date of last Tuesday, and I wanted to very much hit that date. Now, I have my life back!
So, what's been going on in the world of Rose of Eternity? Well, more than usual, that's for sure... Where to begin...
So, even though I haven't been able to do a lot of actual implementation, I didn't want the time to go to waste, so I've been doing a LOT of brainstorming on how to finish off the next and final sequence. As always, I had a high level idea of what I wanted, and usually, while I'm implementing it, all the other pieces start to come together. Well, this time, I've taken the more structured approach, but designing all of it before I even touch the toolset. How have I've done this, you ask? Well, I went back to my place of inspiration, the place where many current ideas of this game spawned from: Quiet Cove. It's this place that sits on the Hudson River, with many benches, places to fish, and best of all, a huge deck on the backside of a house, that faces the river. I would just sit in one of those chairs on the deck, turn my music on, and brainstorm away.
I have so many fond memories of this place, most notably during the summer of 2009, before Dragon Age: Origins had even come out. I know I would be making my next game using the toolset, so every day or so, I would just come here, and think up all sorts of ideas, many of which are in the game as we speak. It's most likely very mental too, as I just feel immediately relaxed when I get there, which is a good thing, considering the amount of stress I have in my life.
Anyway, I made a lot of headway into the design phase. As usual, I just put on the music that will be playing the during the scene, and everything else took off from there. Things usually start out slow, and I begin to worry that I won't be able to come up with anything, but soon enough, something comes to me, and things snowball from there. I'm looking forward to more opportunities to go there, as the weather continues to get better and better.
So, what else? Hmm... Oh, there's this little thing called VO! Yes folks, a year after I attempted to do it myself, the process has finally begun. Back then, I tried to do it myself, with my crappy mic, really just to get an idea of how the integration process works, and really, to see if I could do some of it myself. Yeah... Not a good idea. I'm many things, but a voice actor, I am not. I pretty much shelved the idea anyway, knowing that it was pointless, as things were just starting out, and the dialogue hadn't even been edited yet (hell, I don't think Jaosn had re-joined the team yet).
Fast forward 15 months, and here we are again, trying to do this VO thing. What's the difference? Well, the game's almost done. A lot of the dialogue is edited. Most important of all, Jason did some initial talent scouting a while back, which has paid dividends. A certain gentleman, whose name I can repeat on here, mostly because I haven't gotten his permission, had some generic audition clips that we listened to. We both immediately liked it, and soon enough, had an idea of what part he could play. Well, credit to Jason for taking the reigns on this, because I had been so busy the past 2 weeks, as he was able to not only reach out to this person, but also got them to record an audition for the role, supplying the exact dialogue text we wanted him for.
So, imagine my surprise when I received an email from him, with an attachment of the audition. My wife and I sat down to listen to it, and I was blown away. I was immediately thinking about how it would sound in game, with the visuals and the music. Later that day, Jason again took the initiative, and chopped up the one long audition into multiple files, one for each line in the scene. Then it was my turn to integrate it into the game. After some fiddling with google and Audacity, I was able to raise the volume of the files, and get them in game. Once I heard it for the first time, all the way through, it damn near brought a tear to my eyes. I had been brainstorming this particular sequence for well over 2 years, and the voice over finally brought my vision to life. I'm still amazed. And that was just the first take!
This week's music will come from the Soul Calibur franchise. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. While I was the biggest Street Fighter 2 fanatic back in the day, Soul Calibur is where it's at. The music is so damn epic, it's bordering on ridiculous. Enjoy!
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