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July 25, 2014, 05:39:34 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsFinished[icefishing v] An Interactive Noise-Based Album
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Nate_G
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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.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 01:49:12 AM by Nate_G » Logged

icefishing v, a noise-based ambient game: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=28630.30
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Nate_G
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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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richardeflanagan
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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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Nate_G
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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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johnki
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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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Nate_G
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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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icefishing v, a noise-based ambient game: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=28630.30
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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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Nate_G
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« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2013, 12:21:07 AM »

Holy shit, two months since the last update. How did that happen...?

I need to wrap this up by the end of next month, as that's when I have to submit it. Aside from a few audio/technical issues, it's pretty close to being done.

So, if I can convince you to take a look at the alpha I'd really appreciate it!
Email me at v at icefishingmusic dot com and I'll send you the link!!



Here are some screens of how it's looking:





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« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2013, 12:30:51 AM »

Long time no see haha.

Looks like you've changed and improved quite a bit of the content.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 12:41:32 AM by johnki » Logged

Nate_G
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« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2013, 12:25:53 AM »

A little audio peek at how it's sounding: https://soundcloud.com/nathan-gallardo/icefishing-v-track-a-peak
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« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2013, 09:12:59 AM »

Nearly done. I'll do a proper write-up tomorrow, but for now:



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« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2013, 11:35:31 AM »

Whoops, that write-up didn't happen I guess. Super busy....

Did do this tiny, poorly edited trailer though: http://t.co/DMqQAmHTwl
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icefishing v, a noise-based ambient game: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=28630.30
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