Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday July 13, 2007

A slightly belated Good Evening to all! I've been away doing a bit of reorganization, and preparing more content for the game project. Yea, yea, it's an excuse, but life if full of those and I'll try not to exploit them too much. The topic for this week is audio and focus will be on sounds and a short musical loop for our computer game project. Last week I went over the creation of some graphic elements, and in keeping with the theme and genre (simple puzzle game), I'm likewise going to stick to only a few choice sounds and a very brief bit of background music.

I used the Audacity sound editor for the sound effects. Audacity lets you generate a number of different tones, including saw, sine, or square waves, plucked string sounds, or random noise. You can then trim the sample down to a suitable length (I made mine about half a second), and apply a few effects and export it as a WAV. I made 3 samples to use as sound effects in the game and saved them as WAV files.

Click on the picture to get a full-sized view.

Right click on a name to download the WAV file.
---- Blip ---- Boop ---- Bump -----

Now let's see about a quick musical piece. My favorite “all in one” application for making music is Orion Pro. I created a series of patterns, little one-measure musical snippets, for 4 different chords; C, Em, Am, and F. I assigned 4 different software synthesizers to the each of patterns; A drum machine, vintage additive engine, bass emulator, and plucked string. I slowed the tempo down to about 110 BPM (beat per minute) to give it a less frenzied pace. Effects were applied, and the patterns were strung together (sequenced) into a short song of roughly a 1 minute duration. This rough mix was then exported using the “Stream to WAV” option.

Click on the picture to get a full-sized view.

We're almost through now. I used Sound Forge Studio to do the finishing steps on our song file. The main steps were adjusting the volume level using the “dynamics” and the “normalize” functions. I also applied a small amount of “reverb” to the song and exported to OGG (OggVorbis) format.

Click on the picture to get a full-sized view.

Right click on the song name to download the OGG song file.

----- Chroma -----

The name of the music file is also the name I've settled on as the title of our demo game. Chroma. That has a nice ring to it. And that's it for this week. Next time we'll have a look at the initial programming steps in Euphoria.

This game project has turned into something far larger than the original scope of this web log, and I'd like to know if my few but loyal readers find it the height of tedium or think I'm onto something. Would anyone want to see a more detailed version as an HTML document, going into the nuts and bolts of each of the steps I've briefly covered in the blog? How about a regular feature on a separate web page that exclusively delves into the in and outs of game design and implementation using free/cheap tools? Gimmie feedback folks and tell the old gray cat where next to go!

You Would Be a Pet Bird

You're intelligent and witty, yet surprisingly low maintenance.
You charm people easily, and they usually love you a lot more than you love them.
You resent anyone who tries to own or control you. You refuse to be fenced in.

Why you would make a great pet: You're very smart and entertaining

Why you would make a bad pet: You're not interested in being anyone's pet!

What you would love about being a bird: Flying, obviously

What you would hate about being a bird: Being caged

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.
Bye for now!