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The Stars Our Destination Developer Log #6 Art and Music making

June 23, 2019

[Click here for the video version]

 

Hello everyone and welcome to this weeks gamedev log on The Stars Our Destination, a turn-based strategy flight game. Taking a break the programming side (relatively speaking), and working on the other disciplines this week. Let get into it

 

ART & ANIMATION

 

 

 

Hello animation brick my old friend. I’ve spent a lot of time working in one mode out of three for the intended game. The strategy screen already has workable art, but not the hub world, it’s still just cubes and the regular Unity sky box.

 

So I made some temp assets in Aseprite, polish will be coming later in development. Just made a tileable background,  floor, and the AI character. The AI serves to start the current mission when the player is ready. It just has some eyeball animations and will look down at the player if the player is in the interaction box. It has to finish it’s animations before moving starting the mission.

 

Speaking of the player, I also made a temp player character. After a few flubs, the idle and basic run animation were implemented, which is fine since the hub world isn’t mechanic intensive. To refresh myself on walking/running animations, I had to go back to The Animator's Survival Guide by Richard Williams, the animation director of Roger Rabbit, very handy book, every animator has to read. Point is that the player moves and activates the strategy screen.

 

 

STRATEGY SCREEN

 

The intended gameplay loop for the basic demo goes as follows:

 

  • starting with the hub, and going to the supercomputer AI and start the mission.

  • Move your pilots to achieve the mission goals in the strategy screen. When they engage with enemies, that’s when flight mode activates.

  • Win battles to get back to strategy screen.

  • Repeat strategy and flight mode until mission objectives have been achieved.

  • The Player will be transported back to the hub world where the narrative moves along. Then the next mission will be available.

 

 

 

Within that cycle I’ve gotten tutorial dialogue in the strategy screen, and when you select the enemy it shows the conditions to victory and difficulty. It also transitions to flight mode when colliding too.

 

Still need to implement lose conditions though. Which is to keep the mother ship from being destroyed or losing all your pilots. Moving on.

 

 

MUSIC

 

The other big thing the game was missing was of course audio. Music is currently my weakest discipline, but I’ve been doing a ton of research through various sources (youtube, books) for the last few months. Even participating in month long events from time to time. So I thought it’d be best to over the process. Maybe I’ll cover music more in depth for what I have planned later on.

 

Using whatever musical theory and composition I know, I start in MuseScore and get it down in sheet music. I like starting in sheet music so I can get a look at the motifs I’m using, and how I can add variations to them while still being consistent. We like repetition in our music after all.

 

 

 

After the first iteration, I bring it in for feedback (again weakest discipline), and after I get it over a minute and loop-able, then I take it into actual music software to make it less like a piano recital and more like science fiction.

 

After getting the proper notes and beats per minute in, I’ll just add it via importing the midi file, and all I did was add a synth VST. Then getting it into the game, if you like what you hear, there’s a longer version below. I’m still learning a DAW or Digital Audio Workstation as I go. Next time I’ll be sure to separate each staff into separate files so that it won’t be sharing the same VST settings.

 

[Track Link]

 

 

NEXT TIME

 

It was actually nice to work on something different, but back to the number crunching next week. Polishing the enemy AI, getting more logic in the strategy screen, and continuing to learn blender to make actual planes ... eventually. That’ll be it for this week, let me know if you have any questions or feedback take care of yourselves and have a good week.

 

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