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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsEiwee - play and learn music
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2018, 07:57:08 AM »

Hello, long time with no news.
Sorry for that!
We are really working hard on a vertical slice of the game so it kept me a bit busy ^^’

Learning music
Let’s talk about music a little but, especially the learning part.

As I mentionned before, we have a skillset with 3 skill domains : rhythm, pitch, harmony
Skills in each domain are linked with a prerequisite system. Well, just think of a graph like this

So skills on the bottom are the first to be mastered.

For example in the rhythm skill domain we can have skills such as « holding a pulsation », « reproducing a beat with a quarter and a half note » or « learning a simple rhythmic loop »

In each musical activity the game tries to assess the associated skills. This is used to calculate the current competence state. So we get skills that are mastered and skills for which the player has mastered the prerequisite. These skills will be those we focus on to propose challenges (or quests) that are just in the player flow zone (actually it's maybe more what we call Zone of Proximal Development: you use competences you already master but there is a new one you have to train for, so let’s do it Smiley

In the rhythm fitness mini game, we have to repeat a rhythmic pattern showed by Mike.
We have a 9 steps leveling and with an increasing difficulty and of course, skills related to each levels.
This is how the music teachers we are working with have designed the levels

In the end it’s a simple game but helped us to polish many of the little features of the game, like the way the avatar and the NPC interact with each other, the feedbacks, the HUD.
We have made these animated emojis, what do you think by the way?

Latency issue
It was hard to notice until we make fast paced rhythms, but we have a latency issue. It seems it comes from both Unity’s touch handling and Unity’s audio processing.
We are currently trying to figure out how to fix this, but I guess we’ll probably have to make our own native touch and sound handling (or get a plugin that does it for us)
Yes, I know, this is an issue we should have fixed a long time ago Smiley

I make games at Kiupe // check our future game: Eiwee - a game about playing and learning music
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2018, 04:47:41 AM »

We have conducted some tests to measure precisely the latency.
This is a really boring issue even if our game is not a professional audio tool and there is a good tolerance to latency.
I have read a bit about it on some forums where some guy write they can hear a 6-7 ms latency. I think that up 20-30ms would be a pretty nice score.

But [spoiler] there is no way we can achieve this performance [/spoiler]

Some tests
We have made a basic player with buttons and many options of compression, file type and playback mode.

We have recorded the smartphone on an audio editor while taping on the different buttons.
As you can notice we have a first sound with the finger taping on the screen, and then the sound playing.

Actually no solution was really different or good enough.
With the options provided by Unity we have approximatively 110 to 150 ms latency between touching and playback on iOS.

On Android it’s worse : we have an awful 250 to 300 ms

Let's go native audio
So we have found a Unity plugin and discussed a bit with its author.

The good new is that he is currently working on the same issue and was about to deliver this plugin when we get in touch with him.
And he finally released a first version of his native audio plugin! Grin

With a new test scene in unity we get a good performance boost

On iOS : 60 - 90
Not bad   Gentleman

on android 120 - 150
Better but still quite noticeable  My Word!

The author of the native audio plugin has also released a native touch plugin. We have not tested it yet because it seems a bit longer to setup and is not hassle free: it overrides completely the unity touch handling when activated. We’ll investigate later on this Smiley

The Native Audio plugin is on the Unity asset store if you need it and the author is quite responsive for

We are currently integrating it into the game and made a simple keyboard to have a basic instrument using it.

Next step is implementing it into the existing activities

I make games at Kiupe // check our future game: Eiwee - a game about playing and learning music
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2018, 11:43:12 PM »

I realize I have not shown much about the avatars. Let’s fix this.
We have currently 4 different characters you can choose and we will make more, of course, for the release.

We are using spine because we are starting to get a nice experience on this tool.

An interesting feature is the ability to override multiple skins. Here we have 4:
- the character itself
- the hat
- the trousers
- the top (t-shirt, jacket, etc.)

Also, we want to limit the impact of having many clothes and skins in term of image file size in the project.
Spine allows you to color an image slot and save this information in the skin, which means that I can only have one image for many color variations, ie a red and a blue t-shirt will actually have the same image file.
The only limitation is that your base image should be white, so that it does not override the image slot color with another color. So all of our pictures are white, except the lines that we want to be always the same color (a kind of dark purple). It was a bit time consuming to separate lines and fills but in the end we have a precise control on colors.

We use this technique for skin colors and all the clothes.

Patterns and pictures on clothes are just separated, and used in a skin when needed.

So here is what the sprite sheet currently looks like, with a few clothes and hats already in the project. I have just added a grayish background color so you can see the white elements.

I spine you can play several animations at the same time on a character using tracks. This is useful if you want to handle different parts of the character in parallel.

We have made a good use of this for the rotation of the character. So we have 8 main directions in which the body can be oriented and animated which we play on track 1. This track is mostly used for the main animations (running, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.)

Over that we have 16 head direction for a smoother orientation of the head, that is also even smoother when we activate the mix animation feature: a short transition between to animations. This is on track 2

Another track is for the character emote, so the character can smile or be angry while running.

We still have some difficulties with the layer ordering sometimes with this system : when setting up the layer order on the body animations, it can sometimes interfere with the layer ordering on the head orientation animations. We have asked the Spine team if they could add a feature such as layer order groups where you could define changes in layer order in one groupe and not another.

So, this is what the avatar looks like in the game (from a gif already shared)


I make games at Kiupe // check our future game: Eiwee - a game about playing and learning music
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2018, 01:04:09 AM »

Hey everyone,

We have recently made a first playable with a few activities already playable.
I get a more clear idea of what the game should really be like.
You know, when developing a game especially in such a long period of time (the very first concept came up like 3 years ago), your idea of the game evolves a lot, and you might end up with something very different from the original idea.

Actually I don't think it's bad..

Except for the cost.

It's ok to be drifting in a creative process if you can allow this
When I do this I keep my original game concept on sight so I can always look at it, because maybe it was good enough at the beginning and maybe how it is now is is not...

In this case, if the game looks really different: the art has changed, and the game world was more poetic, and even the core experience is different. But I think it captures better or original intention than the original game concept.

What we are building is a musical playground at the scale of a village, where you hand around and play music. Some activities are really free and fun, you play whatever you want, and try to make it sound nice, others are just simple musical interactions, we have challenges to train your musical skills, and others where you play music with a NPC that tries to teach you something.

2 pictures to share with you today

The fist one is an NPC that will play some kind of wind instrument. It's Miss Tea (don't know if we will keep this name).

And these are characters that you will meet in the village. The will sing in choirs.

thanks (^_^)/

I make games at Kiupe // check our future game: Eiwee - a game about playing and learning music
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2018, 05:21:49 AM »

I am excited to show you the first trailer

We also have updated the website if you want to check

There are still some work to do but a first version of the game should be ready for this autumn.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 11:30:10 AM by utkiupe » Logged

I make games at Kiupe // check our future game: Eiwee - a game about playing and learning music
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