Montreal is far too little for Ludivoice’s ambitions! Saleem and Joachim are at the Game Developers Conference (GDC). Of course they’ll be learning, discovering, socializing, party…working…but between all that, they’ll be showing the latest build, Ian’s prototype and concept art. Come back later this week, maybe we’ll have pictures (if only digital pictures could bring the warmth and temperature of San Francisco…)
Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
The December Ludic Voice presentation is now online. It hasn’t been long, but it is amazing to see how far the game went since then. The presentation is divided is 6 parts, one for each departement as well as an introduction and conclusion toboggans gonflables.
This is but a small taste of the great things that are to come for Ethereal! As you can see, by pressing the avatar, the player can create a bubble with his voice. The voice controls the speed at which the bubble grows, while the pitch controls the color. Enjoy!
They said it was too hard. They said we wouldn’t be able to do it. They said we were fools…
and they were wrong!
The team has finally managed to make PureData (audio software to detect pitch and make sound effects) talk to Unity, which in turn talks to the iPad. What does that mean? Let met show you.
Voice -> iPad’s microphone -> Unity -> PureData (sounds gets processed here) -> Unity -> iPad -> Human hears!
We should have a voice-controlled demo pretty soon!
As for the other departements, well, the programmers are working on stabilizing the bubbles, the artists are testing visual stuff in a way that we’ll know exactly what to do once the programmers are ready to incorporate art assets and the designers are updating the GDD and taking a backseat to see how things unfolds.
We did it! We have a first puzzle!
It’s not too hard, yet not too easy. It showcases most of the mechanics, but yet do not “burn” them for the rest of the game. We feel that this puzzle is a good example of how the game will be played. Let us walk you through it. It goes without saying that there are spoilers. You’ve been warned 😉
The player comes close to the puzzle. He sees a core that is surrounded by sharp and impenetrable blocks. There is an emitter nearby. What should he do?
Art & sound : everything is quiet. The puzzle elements are on a black and white color scale.
By activating the emitter with a bubble, the player finds out that, where the bubble would get repelled by the blocks, the ripples can actually go through it. At the ripples contact, the core activate. Yay!
Art & sound : the emitter gets colored and emits a sound based on the bubble that activated it.
Now the core’s pretty mad. Mad enough to send some of the blocks surrounding it around the emitter, so the player can’t change its color again (which he may need to do to transform the core’s color again and solve the puzzle). The thing is, by moving around like that, the blocks get less strong. Thus comes the manipulation part.
Art & sound : the whole puzzle starts activating, giving a sense of livingness to it. The environment gets louder, but the sounds are not harmonious at all.
By moving the blocks away from the emitter, the player will be able to throw a bubble on it, thus changing its color, which will transform the core and solve the puzzle.
Art & sound : visuals stay the same as in the previous phase. As the player gets closer to solving the puzzle, the sound get more harmonious.
The core is transformed. The whole puzzle gets harmonious, the conflict is resolved and the player can move one.
Art & sound : The visuals and ambient sounds are all harmonious, showing the the conflict has been resolved.
Hello? Is there anyone here?
Joking aside, the LudicVoice team is back to work. We’ve settled on a new art style that really resonates with each of us and makes the game look very distinct from anything else on the market. This art style is based on these concepts arts.
With that done, the design team has been redefining some of the game’s fundations so that it reflects the new style. We answered some of the questions we had before the holidays. Here are in bullet points some of the decisions (though they could be temporary) that we have made :
– Pitch is going to determine a bubble’s color, which in turn will determine whether it gets affected by a ripple or not. If they are the same color, the bubble will pass through like nothing happened. If it is a different color, then it gets pushed back. Also, a black ripple will reject every kind of bubble.
– Bubbles will come in 3 different colors, according to the pitch (low, medium, high) The color will shift in realtime and reflect the pitch on an analog scale, but the color will snap to the closest of the three chosen colors (which will be determined soon)
– Puzzles will be divided in three phases revolving around the idea that to solve a puzzle, you have to open some kind of “shell” and transform its “core”. The first phase, called Activation, will have the player move around the shell and activate it some way. There will also be some kind of additional voice interaction that is not related to bubbles. The second part “Manipulation” will have the player change the environment with tactile input (as we felt we needed more tactile input in the game) Finally, the player will have to change the core’s color with a bubble or by activating it. This gameplay phase would revolve solely on the dragging, flicking and creation of bubbles.
– Finally, there is some kind of layered progression (hopefully) through the game. At the highest level, there will be the overworld which would contains the different levels. Each level will contain 3 to 4 self-contained puzzles that will be accessed just like the levels were in the overworld. Even though it is a “higher” level, progression will always be made downwards, since the individual that is dying never gets “closer” to being awake, to the contrary.
As for the other departments, art is updating the visual style with the programmers, who are also working on the dynamic camera and the prototype. The audio is going very well as well, since we are getting closer to having the voice input on the iPad and we have created a neat layered audio effects engine. Basically, when a puzzle is unresolved, the music and ambient noise is very unsettling, but as you solve the puzzle, each sound variable gets more harmonious, until every sounds good and natural.