Task 6: Music


Finding Music

So after attempting to help with the coding I found out I am completely useless at it, I’ve since moved onto finding some music for our game.

I don’t have the equipment or skills to produce our own music from scratch so over the last few days I’ve been looking over open source websites for music that suites our game, once I find the perfect track I will edit it to fit our game and it will be looped for those who take longer than expected to complete a level.

Any tracks used will be stated in the credits along with their creator.

I found six tracks that have potential:

  • Attraction – Alex Mason
  • Fallen Stars – Alex Mason
  • Hydroculture Gardens – Lobo Loco
  • Peace and Calm Now – Lobo Loco
  • Insight – Lee Rosevere
  • Morning Walk – Lee Rosevere

After my team mates had all listened to these tracks it was clear that Attraction was the favourite, it starts off slow which suits the earlier levels and gets more loud and emotional for the woof confrontation.

From my teams opinions I took small 35 second snippets from four of the tracks and tested them out on 3 classmates, they were to tell me how the music made them feel and what environment they imagined.

The findings were as follows:

  • Attraction

Spooky and emotional, set in come kind of creep environment, kind of sad. Hopeless and full of dread, but also calm, set on the edge of a cliff. Creepy and childish, set in some big Victorian mansions nursery.

  •  Fallen Stars

Dramatic and emotional, in a situation where some truth is realised. A celebration for a hero receiving a reward, (was compared to the ceremony at the end of Starwars A New Hope). Relaxing, something is revealed, serene, scifi, in the open.

  • Hydroculture

Happy and relaxing, in a wilderness full of trees. Running through and field towards something, happy. Cheerful and upbeat in a garden in the countryside.

  • Insight

Ethereal and magical, maybe discovering a place of great importance. Set in space, feeling of infinity and calm. Mysterious and hazy, set in a surreal dream or underwater.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 12.36.22

Attraction – Alex Mason

After this I decided that the first stage of the game, where you discover the controls and the world, should have the calm and mysterious tones of Insight. I edited the track so it would loop flawlessly back into itself when the player spends a lot of time in that zone, upon entering the second stage it would fade out and be replaced by the next track.

The second stage of the game is to use the more quiet part of Attraction looped for the duration of that stage. It would then fade to nothing when entering the third level, this is because you can see the woof and hear the sounds around Able more clearly. When the woof wakes up and starts to move the third track, the louder more emotional part of Attraction will start to play and loop until the woof is defeated.

Update and Constructive Criticism 1:

  • Add nature sounds to the backgrounds of the tracks to help it suit the environment more. Make it sound less stagnant.
  • Make sure the transitions are smooth.
  • Stage 3, the confrontation with the Woof needs to be more stressful and fast paced to make it seem more like a boss battle.

Update and Criticism 2:

  • Add wind sounds
  • Birdsong is cut off in a few places
  • The music jumps where it loops

Changes made 1:

  • Birdsong, wind, crunching leaves and snapping twigs are all added to the background to make it seem more like walking through a forest.
  • Added a fade in and out to the tracks.
  • Stage 3, the track is faster with a few lower tones to make it seem a bit more dramatic.
  • I’ve added fade in and outs to some of the birdsong clips to make them seem more natural.
  • I’ve edited the point where it loops, lowering the sound and deleting a few bits to make a smoother transition, still not perfect though.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 12.33.43.png

Stage 1 Multitrack 

Task 5: Sound Effects Continued

 

The next weeks are to continue my research into sound effects and to produce a sound library, this library will consist of footsteps, various background noises and a few crashes here and there.

I will need sounds for:

  • Footsteps on grass, stone and wood (fast and slow).
  • Jumping sounds (standing jump and running jump).
  • Kicking wooden posts, trees and fences.
  • Kicking rocks (kick and impact).
  • Bird song
  • Wind blowing
  • Leaves rustling
  • Various other background noises.
  • Boulder crashing.

So far I have created a small library of:

  • Footsteps for stone, wood and marshland.
  • Jumping for stone, wood, and marshland.
  • Kicking posts and gate.
  • Birdsong
  • Wind blowing.

Large rocks to kick around are scarce around Uni so I haven’t been able to collect any sound effects of that kind but I may end up having to use an online sound library if I can’t get those noises. Other sounds I have not been able to gather are boulders crashing due to the lack of boulders in Winchester and footsteps on grass because the day I went out was rather wet, will have to wait for a dryer day.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 13.04.03

 

Easter Holidays

I still have a number of sounds to create so I’ve started with a boulder, I have to simulate he noise of a boulder falling into a small pit which is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I’ve started by going into my garden and collecting a large brick, a small bit of rubble and a bundle of weeds and recorded all sorts of sounds from them by hitting them together, hitting them against the table and scraping them against the table. This gave me just over two minutes of sound footage to play with, my end goal being a small file of about 2 or 3 seconds.

I’ve created a six track multitrack file that includes the impact of what sounds like a heavy object and the short aftermath in the undergrowth, the file is 0:02.503 seconds long and has been exported into an MP3 file. I may want to edit the file in the future if I obtain better objects to use as instruments or more knowledge in this subject as I’m not entirely happy with it, it sounds a little hollow.

Update:

The file sounded a little hollow still and I wasn’t sure how to make it better so I downloaded a sound file online to add amongst the rest of the noise, it rounds it off and makes it sound way more natural.

https://www.freesound.org/people/BW_Clowes/sounds/128126/

 

Update:

I have created all of the sounds I can think of for the level, this includes kicking rocks, all of Able’s footsteps and even footsteps for the wolf, which kind of sounds like high heel shoes. Having uploaded them onto the group onedrive for all to use, I move onto my next task, the coding of the UI menu.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 13.01.30.png

Boulder Crash Sound

Task 4: Sound Effects

This week I’ll be continuing with my previous task of researching sound effects and starting to create them.

I will be heading over to the Moors nearby with some sound equipment rented from the Uni media stores, there I will collect a variety of sounds ranging from footsteps to trees rustling. I also need to get a recording of someone speaking so I can reverse it and edit it a bit to create the lost child’s voice.

I have been looking at sound editing programmes and so far the one that I’ve found available to me is called ‘Adobe Audition’. I’ve started to experiment with it and I know the basics of using this program.

Illness

During this week I haven’t been able to do very much due to being rather Ill and in recovery. However I did manage to get over to the Moors nearby to collect noises like footsteps and background noises, this has also allowed me to create a small sound library which I have started editing and creating the sound effects for in game.

 

Task 3: Sound Research

This week I will start research on sound effects for the game. My tasks are as follows:

  • How they can be used in games.
  • Other games and how they have been used in there.
  • What could influence the sound within a game?
  • Forests/Mossy areas and the sounds associated
  • Children’s voice
  • How sound effects can be made for games e.g. foley artistry, using stock sound.
  • Think of every possible noise in the game e.g. jumping onto a log or rock.
  • Read through Syl’s noise essay.

How Sound Effects Can Be Used In Games

As a complete novice to sound effects in games I think that sound effects can be used to create immersion, atmosphere, tension and generally make the game more enjoyable to play. It also helps you understand whats happening within a game and what the surroundings are made of. For example if you hear a growl in the distance you might wonder if it’s an enemy that you are going to face soon and it creates tension, or if the level is very dark and you can’t see what the character is standing on, the sound of the footsteps will help you determine what material you’re standing on. You can create immersion in games by making realistic sound effects to draw you in and add to the atmosphere, sounds are very important in gaming and can change the whole mood of a game. If a game were to have a series of twinkles and happy sounding chords instead of realistic footsteps and rain it would make the game happier and a little surreal.

Sound effects can also be used as sounds of success and failure, like passing a level on an older game might get you a happy like tune and failing would get you a sad one. The same can be used for gaining new equipment, like in the Legend of Zelda games, getting a new weapon would result in a nice little exciting tune.

Sound effects can be influenced by many things in the game world, most will be caused by the protagonist moving about and interacting with the world, for example they might kick a rock which could roll down a hill and crash into a tree at the bottom creating lots of noise. However some sound will be happening regardless of whether or not the character is nearby, maybe a noise like a horn or pulse on a timer that would go off every minute or so. Other NPCs can also trigger sound effects.

Other Games – Inside

Inside, by Playdead, is an excellent example of good sound effects, every small movement is realistic and can be heard with ease, due to all of these sounds and very little music an eerie ambience is achieved. Inside is a dark game about a young boy in a dystopian future on a seemingly unknown quest, he has to evade many different deaths like men with guns, dogs and even falling, he has to solve puzzles and continue on in a line to his goal.

inside

To make the sounds seem realistic, layers upon layers of different sounds were added on top of each other, for example, to make the young boy sound perfect they have lots of layers like clothing rustling, breathing and footsteps. These sound effects would also change depending on the situation, e.g. if the boy was running his breathing would get heavier and maybe let out a small whimper if he’s being chased, whereas  if the boy is standing still his breathing is quieter and gentle. On top of all the noises in games, except breathing, if the boy is underwater everything is muffled and quieter.

The death of the boy can also provide some interesting but cringy sounds, for example, if the boy falls from a great distance you can hear a crunch as he ragdolls against the ground, or my favourite, hearing the crunching and whimpering as the boy is mauled by a dog.

Notable sounds within the game:

  • Foot steps in water
  • Heavy Breathing
  • Shockwave
  • Dogs barking (sense of peril)

Fun Tidbit: The music for Inside was enhanced by playing it through a human skull.

Other Games – Bioshock 1 & 2

Bioshock is a game with a huge range of sound effects, most are creepy and eery with the occasional calm moment mixed in. These games are set in a massive underwater city way past its day, most of the residents are dead or mutated and insane and the city is falling apart often leading to underwater scenes. The first game is about a man caught in a plane wreck and pulled into the cause of a citizen and the second game is about one of the mutant creatures trying to find his “daughter”.

bioshock_collection

First notable sound effect in the game is one that you hear all the way through, the
footsteps, Bioshock one has the usual sound for footsteps within a game as you can here them change their sound depending on what you’re standing on, for example wood sounds different from water. However, in Bioshock 2 you play a mutated person in a massive metal diving suit so your footsteps are louder and actually sound like a very heavy object is hitting the ground.

Next are the NPC’s, in this game the enemy characters are raving lunatics that are aware their world is crumbling around them, this means they are constantly fighting amongst themselves and talking to themselves, the Splicers. Because of this you can usually hear them a mile off which gives you plenty of warning for what types of enemies are in the next room and how many of them are there, this also adds some background stories into the game and shows the struggle of the previous citizens of the city. This is also the same for the massive creatures who are considered mini bosses, The Big Daddy’s, you can hear these creatures a mile off with their whale like groaning noises and heavy footsteps, this is important because defeating these creatures provides you with the means to increase you’re abilities and powers. In the second game you play one of these creatures.

As the game is set in a decaying underwater city, water is an important part of the sound design. Water is constantly present, dripping through the ceilings or pouring through cracks, creating plenty of background noise to set the scene, it also provides an alternative for your footsteps as you wade through pools of water. In the second game, if there’s a small waterfall or water pouring through the ceiling you can stand under it and hear the water hitting the metal of your helmet which is a nice, immersive effect. In some scenes you are completely submerged under water, every sound is dimmed almost so you can’t hear it so these levels are very quiet, all but your breathing which can be herd constantly and your light footsteps.

Appropriate Noises For The Game

In this game, all of the sounds will be associated with Forests, Woodlands and Marshes.

In the background there will be quite a lot of different noises including but not limited to:

  • Birdsong
  • Bug sounds
  • Rustling leaves (dead leaves on the dirty ground)
  • Animal noises (foxes, wolf, general creepy stuff)
  • Breaking twigs
  • General undergrowth disturbance
  • Falling trees?
  • Wind chimes (wooden or metal)

Able herself will need movement sounds:

  • Footsteps (Logs, grass, stone, wooden bridge, leaves, soil, mud, moss)
  • Falling and landing (same as above)
  • Kicking (Wooden fence, tree, stone, rocks)

Environment:

  • Kicked stones hitting the ground (wood, earth/grass, stone)
  • Boulder falling into ditch
  • Kicking dandelion (puff/poof noise)
  • Breaking branches/twigs

Child’s Voice

In the game we will have 2 NPCs, one is the Big Bad Woof and the other is a small lost child who has suffered a similar fate to Able. This child will offer a small cryptic warning and Able will be able to give them a flower, not much interaction at all.

The child will have a very synthesised voice. From our discussions so far we have figured out that it might sound something like someone saying a sentence, then reversed and electronically altered.

Finding Sound Effects

In order to find sound effects I have two options, use stock sounds online or record them myself. The first option is pretty straight forward, I can search for different sound effects on various sites but for originality I will attempt to record my own before resorting to stock sound.

I have found a few useful websites just in case I need them

The second option will include some field work, I can rent some kind of sound recorder from my Uni and head over to the nearby Moor to get the sound personally.

Useful Links

 

Scrum Meeting

  • Tom, continue as before, researching sound and start recording.
  • Sam, finalise UI
  • James, coding stuff and what not
  • Rhys and Syl continued on what they’re doing

Task 2: Story Boarding Mechanics

My tasks for this week are to story board the game, to show what obstacles will be in the level and where, and to show what mechanics will be used to traverse the levels. I also need to list all the different mechanics like run or jump, but also the more complex ones like running and jumping or what would happen if one was to press the kick button while Able is jumping, spoiler alert, she falls over.

These tasks are very straightforward so I have also been given the task of looking into how one makes the sound effects for a game, ready for next weeks task.

Story Boarding & Mechanics

Story boards of each level with a walk through saying what mechanic has to be used and where.

Mechanics Storyboard Section 1.jpg

Mechanics Story Board Section 2.jpg

WoofLevelLayout.jpg

The last image is the three possible designs for the last level, we will use the 2nd design but it will probably be changed up a little for aesthetic reasons.

Animations List

Had to list all of the animations for each mechanic, including mixing two of the movements together.

Animations List.jpg

 

Possible Sounds Effects and Stuff

I’ll start by listing down all of the different sound effects I think we’ll need to use, this is subject to change when I think of more or review it later on.

  • Footsteps (Earth, Grass, Mud, Stone, Wood/Logs, Leaves)
  • Undergrowth, Twigs snapping, leaves rustling, animal noises,

 

Scrum Meeting

  • No issues
  • Tom (Me) working on researching sound effects, how they’re made, how they have been used in other games, check out wildlife in the environment and find out any destinctive noises.
  • Rhys on assets, colour schemes.
  • Sam on assets.

Task 1: Incorporating Mechanics

The first task of this Development is to look at the more complex movement mechanics in game and create environmental obstacles to help the player learn how to use them.

The mechanics are as follows:

  • Jump
  • Sprint
  • Kick
  • Pickup/Put down
  • Crouch
  • Crouch Walk

For example for the Jumping Mechanic I will design a series of platforms or extrusions shaped like rocks or fallen trees or for the Pickup Mechanic maybe a series of platforms on pulleys effected by weight, one would have to pickup rocks and move them from platform to platform to effect how high the platform would be.

 

The game will be separated into 3 sections, the first will be dedicated to basic movements and narrative, the second will focus on teaching the more advanced movements and actions and the third will be the “boss fight” where able will confront a big enemy.

I’m focused on the second section which I have divided into 4 parts:

  • Part 1 – Jump
  • Part 2 – Crouch/Kick
  • Part 3 – Pickup/Dash
  • Part 4 – Test

For each section I will create 3 or 4 different options for use, upon making the game we can choose which one will be best for the time constraints and play-ability.

MechanicsCompilation.jpg

MehchanicsLevels.jpg

Scrum meeting and Feedback 10/02/2017

  • Happy with progress on level layout design
  • Syl, story boarding game
  • Sam, UI designs
  • Rhys & James, Coding basic moves
  • Rhys, Assets on side
  • James, Outlines of animations
  • Tom (Me), Narrative, How able will do what, story boarding mechanics, list conplex animations

After meeting

  • Kick fence to break and crouch under.
  •  Pickup flower at start, place in inventory
  • Pickup stick, use as leverage
  • Jump to get across rock
  • Able gives flower to lost child in background
  •  lost child just before wolf area
  • arrows for move, space for jump, q for pickup, w for dash, e for crouch, shift for inv, esc for menu
  • Dash cool down, flower petals