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December 19, 2014, 05:38:56 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsFinished[icefishing v] An Interactive Noise-Based Album
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Schrompf
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2012, 05:35:42 AM »

I'm very interested in both Ambient/Industrial and abstract games... I'm eager to see how this turns out.

I also found the music on your site, but the download procedures are somewhat cumbersome. One asks me for an email address, the other one says "free" but doesn't accept 0 as a price. Is there a way I can download the whole package for a small sum? I'd throw a few € your way just to have all albums to put in a loop in the background while working. I don't want to split up this small sum because Paypal would eat most of it by multiple instances of its transaction fee.
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« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2012, 09:25:53 AM »

Jon, you're right about the objects not communicating well. All dormant things are grey, and they all change in some way once interacted with, but it's not consistent. Some things turn red, some turn white, and those choices were purely aesthetic. I'm going to rethink all this, because 'click on all the white things' or something similar is an easy rule for the player to decipher after a couple of experiments...

So maybe:
- Grey = dormant, shoot it
- Red = active, shoot it again
- White = active, go near it

Some things, like the big floating red crystals in track 1, can be triggered again and again once active. Others, like the big twisty shards that can be sprouted in track 1 are one-shots. I'll need to figure out how to communicate that.. I think sound can possibly manage that.

As for highlighting objects when you pass over them, my first instinct is to avoid that. Everything can be interacting with, nothing is purely for show. I also worry it's a little too 'gamey', though that's probably contentious!


Schrompf, that's very kind of you. Thanks for pointing out that issue with paying 0.00, it does indeed seem broken. I've gone and changed them all now so you don't need to go through that or even put your email address in. So if you're happy to just download each album individually it should be a much easier process now Smiley
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Schrompf
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« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2012, 03:05:26 AM »

Sorry, didn't notice that there was a response. Thanks for the changes, I downloaded all albums and left some money on the cupboard.
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Nate_G
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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2012, 04:48:05 AM »

Ahh nice one, thanks a lot Smiley
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johnki
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2012, 03:06:44 AM »

Man, I totally missed that tiny post about alpha testing. I sent in an email in case it's not too late.
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Nate_G
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2012, 05:45:29 AM »

Cheers Johnki, I've emailed you the link Smiley


Update 14

I uploaded version 2 of the alpha on Wednesday, so anyone else who's interested can email me for the link:
v  at icefishingmusic dot com

All the stages are built now, the game can be played through start to finish. I've rebuilt a load of stuff that didn't work, dropped quite a few things, and added a couple of cool things.

I created a kind of flocking system for the final stage. Up until that point, you interact with things by essentially shooting at them. In track 5 though, the sonic bullets or whatever they are pause in the air, and then begin flying around the level like birds. On instantiation a bird chooses a random flock, then flies over to the flock leader and proceeds to fly in formation. Each bird can also move freely within the flock, and periodically homes back in on the flock leader to keep the flock tight.

I'll be using Tazman Audio's Fabric plugin to handle the audio in the game. I've spent some time reading the manual and following tutorials so I'm ready to start trying to implement some sound!



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Nate_G
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2012, 02:54:47 PM »

Is it cool if I just put these here?







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johnki
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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2012, 12:27:58 AM »

Alright, here are some first impressions. I only played about 5-10 minutes in, as opposed to the whole way, because I noticed a few things right off the bat:

- It's really clear you're only getting half of the experience. While the visual aspects are coming together, it's clear that the game as a whole isn't there yet due to the missing aural aspects. And I think that, with games like this, the audio really makes or breaks the experience, given the walkthrough nature of it.

- Movement is really, really slippery. I often felt like I barely had control over my character at all.

- The shots are a little glitchy.

- Crystals of the same size will light up red after different amounts of hits, which is confusing.

- Not really sure what role the "gazebos," as I'll call them, have. Are they meant to mark the boundaries for changing tracks? Are they just meant to mark major events?

EDIT: I went back and read the page again. I see they're to mark the end of a track. Okay. I had assumed there would be a portal or a loading screen or something. It's definitely a smooth transition graphically, although I would like to point out that the first time a gazebo trapped me while something happened, I was pretty confused.

- When the floor comes out from under you at the one "gazebo," it's really obvious in the sense that the black plane that represents the floor seems to obscure some of the other objects in the background.

And that's it so far. I'll go for a more complete playthrough later. I want to see some of the more elaborate sights. Smiley
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 07:08:53 PM by johnki » Logged

Nate_G
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2012, 02:22:55 AM »

Ace, thanks

- Audio: Yup, totally essential and totally missing at this early stage. Had to happen that way unfortunately, but even in this state it's been really useful to show it to people, feedback like yours for eaxmple is invaluable

- The movement is something I'm constantly tweaking, it's meant to be slidey and fluid as you're not playing a human character, but I agree it's not quite right yet..

- What kind of glitchiness have you noticed?

- That's an interesting one, I think part of that might be the speed at which the 'projectiles' move, confusing what it takes to activate them. I'll look closely at that..

- The gazebo's don't communicate clearly that you're locked in, and I can see how that would be confusing. I might try a few things to make it more obvious what's going on.

- Not sure what you mean re: the floor.. It does move, so I wonder if again it's not clearly communicating what's going on.

Thanks for the comments! Let me know how you get on with the later stuff.
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johnki
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2012, 02:34:57 AM »

- The movement is something I'm constantly tweaking, it's meant to be slidey and fluid as you're not playing a human character, but I agree it's not quite right yet..
Yeah, it's just that at this moment, it's at a point where it's slidey to the point that it's hard to adjust your movements. I watched myself in regards to the red line for a while and in terms of control, it just felt like I was at the game's mercy a bit.

- What kind of glitchiness have you noticed?
Midway through certain shots, the shots seem to "fold" a bit, and then straighten back out. I also don't know if this is related to the character speed and the shot speed being too close or not, but shots seem to be a bit slow about actually firing.

- That's an interesting one, I think part of that might be the speed at which the 'projectiles' move, confusing what it takes to activate them. I'll look closely at that..
Yeah, what I can say for sure is that once, I shot at two crystals of the same size that were right next to each other. The first shot hit one crystal and a red circle appeared around the shot. I shot two more at that crystal. After that, the second shot connected with the other crystal. That crystal almost immediately reacted, turning red. Then the other two connected with the first crystal in quick succession and lit that crystal up. It was a bit odd, and just sort of felt unintended.

- The gazebo's don't communicate clearly that you're locked in, and I can see how that would be confusing. I might try a few things to make it more obvious what's going on.
Maybe having a transparent red bar (to match the activated gazebo) appear over each of the ways out would communicate it better?

- Not sure what you mean re: the floor.. It does move, so I wonder if again it's not clearly communicating what's going on.
When it comes out, it obscures things in the background and just generally looks odd was all I was getting at.

And I shall get to the rest tomorrow. Right now, I really need to crash.
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2012, 01:27:01 AM »

Update 15

Shortly after the last update I decided 'Cool, that's the game dev stuff basically done, time to concentrate on the music'.

It doesn't work that way.

I've started creating sounds, and implementing them using Fabric, but it involves constant tweaking and iteration both in Logic and Unity. Sometimes, I'll spend hours perfecting the perfect sound, then place it in the game only to realise, it just doesn't work in that space. For instance, I made some glitchy percussive sounds I really liked and put them in the zero-g level. I discovered that, the same psychological effect behind the audiovisual contract, which allows the viewer to associate a sound cue with a visual, leaves you looking for visual cues for certain sounds. IE. I found myself looking for a visual impact or collision to accompany percussive sounds.

So this sort of thing has resulted in ditching sounds and rethinking the composition, as well as implementing new features in the game to support sounds I want to implement.

In other news, I'm finding Fabric very useful. It supports dynamic mixing, randomised sequences, randomised pitch and volume and all that essential stuff Unity should really feature directly in the editor. Taz is also really receptive to feedback, so it's turning out to be a great experience.

I finished uni for the semester on Thursday (I say finished.. classes are finished, I still have to work on my dissertation and this project), so to unwind I decided I'd spend a couple days just pottering around, implementing some non-essential features and tweaks. Some of the feedback I had from my tutor (a huge fan of this sort of abstract sound/visual stuff. He was Aphex Twin's lead visuals guy for years, so his input is incredibly valuable) was that he'd like to see the glitch element of the sound design carried over to the visuals. That was something I'd been hoping to find time for, so I decided to spend this weekend focusing on it.












I'll write a post about the glitch genre and aesthetic, and how it ties into icefishing v at some point this weekend. That should make a few things make more sense.
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2013, 03:54:22 AM »

Update 16





I was pretty slack over the past few weeks, XMAS and such all got in the way. I'm back on it now though, so I figured I'd talk a little about what I'm doing with the 'glitch' stuff.

So icefishign v is intended to be a glitch/drone album through which you move in a 3D space. What do I mean by Glitch? It's a musical style originating in the mid 90's. It's based on the sounds of malfunction, so skipping CDs, dodgy electronics, low bit-rates, noise, distortion and so on. Some of the people who really defined the genre were Oval, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Pan Sonic and Alva Noto. So here's a few good examples:

Oval - Gabba Nation (ironic name I promise, don't worry it's not gabba!!)
Autechre - Rsdio 
Pan Sonic - Telakoe

The other big influence is drone music, generally characterised by long, drawn out sounds, often with an emphasis on rich textures and noise. The two genres have a heck of a lot of crossover.

So I want the glitch aspect to be authentic here. There are countless plugins for audio programs that create 'glitch' effects and the like, but I'm trying to get Unity to create the glitch. One of the main things I'm doing to achieve that is playing with the doppler effect. So for instance, certain sounds in the game have stupidly high doppler values, far higher than what you'd actually use if you were aiming for a realistic effect. This means that when you move towards or away from those sounds, they start to pile up on themselves, transforming from gentle drones into strange, digital stutters. This would sound rotten in most other contexts, but here it can be really effective. And the thing I like is that it's 'authentic', it's genuine, real-time glitch caused by the player's involvement, rather than a .wav of a 'glitch' that plays when triggered. Now, some sounds don't translate well once processed like this, so it's an iterative process of creating sounds in Logic, dropping them into the game, and fiddling with the parameters to see how they sound.

That's good for long, sustained glitchy textures. Something else I'm doing to achieve short,sharp, percussive and rhythmic glitches is by jolting the 'listener'. The listener in Unity is basically just the microphone in the game world, and in a first-person game you'd generally attach it to the main camera. icefishing has a sort of 'gun' that fires sounds at far off objects. When you fire this with the mouse button, the camera shifts a random distance, in a random direction, and then back to it's default position. This happens in a fraction of a second and jolts the image. The listener of course shifts too, which results in a short doppler glitch in the audio.

The skybox in the game is black. Attached to the camera is a game object containing huge, layered, transparent planes that sit far enough away from the camera to not obscure any objects in the game, creating a sky texture. Rather than just using an image for each layer, they all actually contain the same one, but I’ve fucked with the tiling settings. I stumbled on this by experimenting one day. When you drive the tiling parameter up into the thousands, weird things start to happen. It starts to create unpredictable patterns and textures, I guess because it is trying to figure out how to display hundreds of tiles within a pixel. So layering these, fading them in and out, and messing with things like ‘shininess’, specular and reflection colours results in some pretty cool effects. By messing around with the values long enough I managed come up with a kind of palette of patterns I can then control in code. Additionally, messing with the transform.scale setting of these planes further messes with it. Like so:




The right mouse button is the main way to trigger this. It serves no purpose other than glitching the game, and for that reason is my favourite feature! The main camera features the sky planes’ that I just described, but I also have a second camera which features a similar set of planes, the ‘glitch planes’, although these ones are sat much closer to the camera, so sometimes they do in  fact obscure objects. Clicking the right mouse button randomly shifts the camera, randomly rotates it, and then enables it, overlaid on top of the first camera as long as the button is held down. So it doubles everything up on itself. This is of course accompanied by the doppler glitch, and will add a distortion DSP effect in time too. This is how the screenshots in the previous post, and in the following image were created:






The values of these planes are tied to a load of things in game. The first level for instance features shards embedded in that ground, that shoot up into the sky as you approach them.



Each time a shard is triggered, it adjusts one of the values in the plane (as well as jolting the camera), so that the pattern subtly shifts. By the time you’ve activated several hundred of them the sky has changed. As you transition to the second stage, the values change again, stretching the patterns out into vertical bars that better complement the abstract buildings of the second stage.


Erm, that’s a lot of writing and probably not that interesting so I’ll stop for now.
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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2013, 11:20:53 PM »

very cool and lovely, thanks for typing it! I like the discovery asssociated with it.
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« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2013, 10:34:15 AM »

this looks super dope
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- Richard E Flanagan    FRACT    FRACT OSC ON GREENLIGHT
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« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2013, 10:51:44 AM »

Subscribing to this :D
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« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2013, 03:42:15 AM »

Didn't know where you wanted feedback, but this is where I put the feedback last time, so here goes. Apologies for the feedback being so late.

Man, it's changed. I almost don't recognize it.

- The movement feels a LOT better.

- Transitions are MUCH smoother.

- The glitch thing that the right mouse button activates was cool but it made the game slow significantly on Fantastic at 1920x1080 on a good rig. It also felt like it should have had a significant change in music while active.

  - It would be really nice to see it have a "practical use" in regards to gameplay.

- The...third track, I think it was. The "city" one. I don't have the slightest clue how I got past it. I just shot at random things and eventually it all worked out.

- I really liked the track where you have free 6DOF movement. It was cool watching it come together.

- The last level was confusing. I wasn't ever really aware that it was the last level. I just wandered around aimlessly. Just some sort of large visual..."thing" that signifies that it's the end of the game, the way seeing the pagoda signified that there was another track ahead, would be nice. Something to let me know that I'm not doing something wrong.

And I think that's it.
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« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2013, 12:21:16 PM »

Thanks for the comments chaps. Richard, I'm super frickin psyched for Fract!

Thanks Johnki, I took your comments from last time seriously, feeling like it paid off!

Good to know about the right-mouse button slow down. I might calm that particular glitchiness down a little. The idea is that it lets you 'fast forward', ie. move faster through the world if you are way far from the gazebo. I need to communicate that...

The city track... That's been mentioned a few times, that people aren't always sure if they had something to do with activating the gazebo, progressing etc., or if it would have happened anyway. Now, I personally am ok with that, there's no puzzles here, simply an experience, and people don't seem to get stuck or frustrated any more, so does it matter? But the feedback seems to be that they want to know how/why they were able to progress. Is it really that important when each segment is only a few minutes long?

Last level is kind of a mess really, I know it doesn't end yet, that's easily sorted, but the longer I live with it the less happy I am. I need to think of something cleverer...
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« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2013, 12:48:05 PM »

Good to know about the right-mouse button slow down. I might calm that particular glitchiness down a little. The idea is that it lets you 'fast forward', ie. move faster through the world if you are way far from the gazebo. I need to communicate that...
Ah, so it DOES make you move faster. I had thought it might, but I couldn't tell. It does glitch out and all, so it throws the depth perception off a bit.

Maybe speed the music up a bit and add a bit more variation in noises during the glitch?

Now, I personally am ok with that, there's no puzzles here, simply an experience, and people don't seem to get stuck or frustrated any more, so does it matter? But the feedback seems to be that they want to know how/why they were able to progress. Is it really that important when each segment is only a few minutes long?
I'm not sure that it's all that important in terms of the experience. I mean, there are doubtless going to be people that just sort of stumble through it, never knowing what they did at any point.

But it is nice to know, after wandering around shooting at things, what did the trick. I thought maybe it was [spoiler]shooting the "train"[/spoiler] that did it, but I'm not 100% sure that that happened, much less that it actually did anything.

Last level is kind of a mess really, I know it doesn't end yet, that's easily sorted, but the longer I live with it the less happy I am. I need to think of something cleverer...
Well, there were two things that really got me in terms of the last track.

First, it seemed like the shots were coalescing at a point that I was supposed to go to. At one point, and it was probably just me seeing something in the far background, it looked like they were circling some sort of pillar, but that turned out to not exist so much as I thought.

Two, I thought that the length of the game was determined by how many of the "platforms" there were in the overall ring. When I got to the last track, there still appeared to be another "platform" between it and the first track.
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« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2013, 01:03:31 PM »

Quote
Ah, so it DOES make you move faster. I had thought it might, but I couldn't tell. It does glitch out and all, so it throws the depth perception off a bit.
Yeah agreed, it should be glitchy but still clear what is happening.

Quote
Maybe speed the music up a bit and add a bit more variation in noises during the glitch?
That's the plan yeah, it'll be very obvious sonically that something is different.

Quote
I thought maybe it was...
No it's a certain number of the other things that trigger it in that level.


Quote
First, it seemed like the shots were coalescing at a point that I was supposed to go to. At one point, and it was probably just me seeing something in the far background, it looked like they were circling some sort of pillar, but that turned out to not exist so much as I thought.
I really need to work on this bit... the shots do coalesce, but into 'flocks' that move about randomly. Hm.. I think in typing that sentence I came up with a way to end the game... Hmmmm........

Quote
Two, I thought that the length of the game was determined by how many of the "platforms" there were in the overall ring. When I got to the last track, there still appeared to be another "platform" between it and the first track.
That's interesting, because there are 5 platforms and the whales one is the fifth one. I just thought of a cool way to handle that better too. *fires up Unity*
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« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2013, 04:50:10 PM »

No it's a certain number of the other things that trigger it in that level.
Alright, cool. Maybe I'll go back and figure it out.

I really need to work on this bit... the shots do coalesce, but into 'flocks' that move about randomly. Hm.. I think in typing that sentence I came up with a way to end the game... Hmmmm........

That's interesting, because there are 5 platforms and the whales one is the fifth one. I just thought of a cool way to handle that better too. *fires up Unity*
Curious, I am.
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