alien gates and first tastes

10/29/2017 -

Chay ho, space hunks. We’ve been working on that sweet, sweet launch screen, fine-tuning ship flight dynamics/sensitivities, and just filling out content since last post. So that accounts for much of the radio silence.

Now let’s talk first tastes: the game’s opening sequence. The game opens with branding and title scenes, from where we try to jump right into immersion. Since the game itself is played within a simulated galaxy, we did a lot work with the loading UI to make it feel like an alien software is loading onto your PC. As nostalgia boys, we have a soft spot for those computer processing sounds of old (or like, from the mid 90’s) so we draw from that to get a “DOS-like” effect as the simulation boots up. We’re shooting for that feeling of having everything SEEM familiar, but not being our world. Kinda twilight zoney… toned down surrealism, maybe.

The alien software loads, and boom, you’re given a gate – the point of entry into the simulation. We wanted to create “default” feels to the UI. Like when you open a fresh new PC and everything on the desktop is kind of ‘lame’ and un-personalized. So yeah, we’re having fun with that. Check out the pics!

 

This here’s that monolithic title screen, in your face baby. You’re about to start a massive space journey. It’s gonne be epic.

lilith open

 

Some loading action as the alien software boots on your PC.

loading

 

Here we go, your personal gate. From here you can go ahead and enter the simulation of an entire galaxy. Of course there are translation glitches — this is bodacious alien software on your PC dangit!

Gate 4

 

we made your favorite galactic gas depot!

08/20/2017 -

Mugalo dudes.  We took a little detour from coding and what not and drove along the gamedev scenic route this weekend. We created some goofy content for the galaxy we’re making, including a gas station called J.T. Dickies and Cousins as well as a radio ad for it.

The concept is that these modest gas babies are located across the galaxy here and there, available for landing in case you need a quick refuel, food, or general supplies. I wish I could tell you that this gas station franchise is run by a professional… but well… just listen to the ad at the bottom of the post. Ole J.T. Dickie is doing his best…

The gas station as you approach it:

jtdickies[1]

The entrances have various billboards/ads for items in the galaxy. You know, like star-paste.

jtdickies_view2[1]

Once you land, you can head on in to purchase a refreshing Moop Light ™.

jtdickies_landed[1]

Check out the radio ad for this fine establishment:

 

Here are some other cool pictures (from lately):

mooplight

reticlemagic

screenjunk

A robot is in your spaceship — chat with it! (tell it your secrets)

08/13/2017 -

Chay ho (greetings), surfers. I bet you’re wondering what we’ve been up to for the past few weeks. Oh you know, not much, just trying to create a working version of a dynamic chatbot that’s supposed to mimic AI technology. Did we actually pull that off? Lol, umm, well let me tell you what we do have…

First off, if you wanna skip this reading crap, here’s a link to our website built for the chatbot. We’re using the site to log the different questions people may care about, but we can’t track who is using this thing. Just remember to add a username of some sort before starting. Ask/talk about anything you’d care to know about. Some chatbot answers may be a bit funky because it references game-related content and information, but hopefully that’s “shway.”

This chatbot, called  C.A.M,  is be the basis for your spaceship’s communications system. It’ll be an informational swiss army knife as it defines names, things, and places, and also reports on ship and weather conditions when prompted. We gave C.A.M.  a bit of a personality as well — think chill surfer with encyclopedic knowledge — because honestly that is what Jun and I aspire to be every minute of our existence.

Building the chatbot’s brain is a mix of coming up with prompts — ANYTHING someone may reasonably ask it — and then writing answers to those prompts. Kinda tedious, kinda fun. At it’s foundation, the chatbot has a call-and-response system and no, Elon Musk, it doesn’t have AI learning capabilities that will make it conquer all our human technologies. (yet). We added dynamic elements to the chatbot as well so it’s not just having a flat conversation over and over again, and we hope that creates an ~iLluSioN~ of an AI brain that is looking to learn. C.A.M. can ask you questions, react to your responses, and vary his own interjections and answers so they don’t all sound the same.

If you got a few minutes, have a chat with C.A.M.

We imagine the chat bot will work something like this in the overall UI:

COMM_CHAT_UI

And a video!


Ai Chat Interface! – Indie DB

bzeep bzorp – making in-game space sounds and such

07/09/2017 -

 

Chay ho (greetings), earth dwellers. We haven’t posted too frequently since the summer has us relaxing all over the place… the beach, the couch, the bed, the couch, the bed, the couch… you know, just living it up. We started digging into sounds more seriously recently, which is tough because it all has to be related to each other. For example, the sounds a spaceship makes has to all sound believably similar to each other, while the sounds animals, rockets, weapons, and resource-gathering all have to maintain their own “theme” or consistency. At least that’s our angle on approaching these details to the game.  We don’t want ship warp to sound like “blorp blorp blorp” when every other engine sound goes like “zazazazaza”, if that makes sense. It doesn’t? Whatever, I’m leaving it up on this public blog.

So what’s our process? All music and sounds are either created by us personally, like say, banging a spoon against a pan to get a nice “clink,” or we use sounds we have rights to from the audio-banks on the internet and further modify those to avoid any sort of creative copyright shenanigans. So nothing goes straight from source to game without some heavy modification.

How do we decide what sounds we need? Jun more or less keeps me up-to-date on what he’s working on and I support that with finding, editing, and sending him draft sounds. If he’s working on flight, I get to work on fuel burn or propulsion sounds. If he’s looking for a turbulence sound, then I try to get him that so we can really feel how the game is coming together.

Here are some draft sounds we may use:

This is the Chugboy (TM) suction sound — a tool that collects liquids and micro-minerals when gather resources. The picture of the tool is below. The sound is meant to encapsulate the whole suction process, from chug to finish.

chugboy1

 

 

The Fuel Burning sound here is meant to be looped, so it can go on and on and sound pretty consistent.

whynot

 

 

This simple ditty is the Mining Sound, a clean little clack and clutter from hitting rocks. Between you and me, it’s edited sound from glasses clinking.

tribesel1

 

 

Turbulence sound here. Rattling metal, deep drones — all things consistent with what other parts of space travel sound like.

full_smallscren