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Category: My work Page 1 of 2

Beach Park Race by Valente Studio

Hey!

Now here’s another work of mine, this time as a Sound Designer Concept.

A crazy run through the Beach Park with Tarta, the faster turtle alive, in this really fun game just like the old times, without those huge marketing videos and pictures trying to take your money! 😉

BeachParkRace.png

First Screen of the Game – There’s Tarta! The faster turtle alive!

Beach Park Race, was developed and released by Valente Studio and Beach Park, both located in Fortaleza – CE – Brazil. Valente Studio holds a dedicated sector to the Game Development. All the game projects go through a whole process, which goes from the concept to programming. Games as The Mighty Grunnar, Argamasa, and Valentin are a few examples in our portfolio that describes the quality we are capable to deliver.

One of their field of work is the Advergames!

Advergames is being broadly used by big companies for the great idea of an increasing marketing strategy on the market. The Advergame is capable to put the final product closer to the client in an interactive, casual and fun way. It can be applied on Social Medias (Facebook), events and workshops, creating great feedbacks and visualization from your core-public, in addition to create a bound between the client and the brand.

beachparkrace02

A never ending game with a lot of fun!

For this specific game I used FL Studio, Guitar-Pro and WavePad to create, format, develop and finalize. And you know the best part of this game?!? ITS FREE!!!

beachparkrace03

Free to Play!!! Forever!

Now, this is something new on this type of game!

– No Pay to Win!
– No adds!
– 100% Free!
– 173% fun!

❤ Developed with a lot of love by Beach Park Studios & Valente Studio, in Fortaleza, CE!

Don’t forget to download and have a lot of fun! After all, ITS FREE!!!

Until next Time!

Work with Blender 3D

Hello, everybody.

It’s been a while since my last post and I’m sorry for that. Running around with a lot of stuff as always.

Anyways, I found sometime to get back to my work with Blender and here’s what I’ve done so far again! Hope you guys enjoy!

teddybear12-09

It took 4 hours to render. Was used in this project comb tool, fur, mixed meshes, etc.

The other 3 works that I did was animations and since WordPress does not allow videos – at least on the free version of the website – here the links for those with the description.

1st Animation – Carving tool using an Iron Texture. The idea is to use on wood, but I wanted to change for now. 🙂

2nd Animation – This one is a creation of the word “Chocolate” on the top of a Chocolate bar giving the impression the word was created by a chocolate wave.

3rd Animation – Two planets colliding into each other and exploding. Took around 4  hour to render and I had to do it twice because I screw up with some configurations, but over the end, I did it.

Well, that’s it for now and I hope you guys keep following my website and wait for more updates on Blender work, game reviews, and more!

Talking about Books… Part II

Hi!

As I promissed, here we go with the second part of “Talking About Books”. If you miss part One, click here.

Once again, thanks to Tom Sloper for the quite selection of literature.

Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform

by Sande Chen & David Michael

Publisher: Course Technology PTR; ISBN: 1592006221

Book Description “Serious Games: Games that Educate, Train, and Inform” will help you learn how to take what you’ve learned in making games for fun and apply it to making “serious games”: games for education, training, healing, and more. It will provide an overview of all of the major markets for serious games. This overview will include examples of what has been done with video games in these markets, and what is anticipated in the future, including market scope, goals of each emerging market, game types offering greatest potential, the shortest route to market by category, development budgets by category, and barriers for developers to consider.

(Blog’s Author: As we are talking about Serious Games, do not forget to check my Final Paper about a Serious Game inside the Foreign Trade Area – check it out here)

Game Design Workshop.jpgGame Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games

by Tracy Fullerton

Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2nd edition (February 8, 2008)

ISBN-10: 0240809742

ISBN-13: 978-0240809748

The publisher of 1st edition says: Master the craft of game design so you can create that elusive combination of challenge, competition, and interaction that players seek. This design workshop begins with an examination of the fundamental elements of game design; then puts you to work in prototyping, playtesting, and redesigning your own games with exercises that teach essential design skills.

Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams On Game Design.jpgAndrew Rollings and Ernest Adams On Game Design

by Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams (duh)

New Riders; ISBN 76092-02300.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1592730019/mercatordesign00

What people are saying about this book: “This book sets the record straight as to what ‘game design’ is and why it’s important.” – Tom Sloper; President, Sloperama Productions.

Also see Ernest Adams’ website, at www.designersnotebook.com.

Game Design by Bob BatesGame Design by Bob Bates

Thomson Course Technology ; ISBN: 1-59200-493-8

The publisher says: A behind-the-scenes look at how a game gets designed and developed – from the day the idea is born to the day the box hits the shelves.

 

 

 

 

Rules of Play.jpgRules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals

by Katie Salen & Eric Zimmerman

The MIT Press ; ISBN: 0-262-24045-9

The publisher says: A much-needed primer for this emerging field. A unified model for looking at all kinds of games, from board games and sports to computer and video games.

 

 

 

The Indie Game Development Survival Guide.jpgThe Indie Game Development Survival Guide

by David Michael

Publisher: Charles River Media; ISBN: 1584502142.

Ok, not much to say about this last book, but Google is there for a reason. 🙂

Go for it and enjoy the reading!

I will keep posting the other books during the week. So, stay tuned! for part III!

See ya!

Does that game run on my PC?

Guys,

I know that most of the people that I talk too, and they play games, have the same problem. To know it a certain game runs on the computer. It may requires more graphic card, RAM memory, processor, etc. But how to know that? Sometimes is just good to get a new PC, into the new generation.

Well, not anymore. 🙂

Have ever heard about Checkreq.com?

It’s a free website service for PC game Players. It tells you whether you can run a selected game on your computer. On this fanpage, we will inform you about new added games, functions on a website and other stuff.

So, if you have a doubt about your computer hardware and it a specific game can run on your computer, just check this web site. It will scan you PC and then show if you can or cannot run the game. Also it says what you need to improve in your PC to make it work.

But, why I am telling you this?

Well, first I am not getting any money from them for the marketing. But there is another reason I am doing this!

Since December/28-2013, the site is in Portuguese – BR and I worked on the translation/localisation. So you can find some of my work as a Translator and Localisation service. I made all the translation and still working with the programmer of the site.

Still, there is a lot of things going on and, as they improve the website, we keep working together. And thats amazing because it is a really good work to do and a great ideia for the game players market.

Hope you guys like it and have a good weekend!

Originally posted in 23/02/2014.

Final Paper in Foreign Trade – Serious Game

Hi everybody,

Today I am going to talk a little bit about the board game that I developed for my final paper at the Foreign Trade University. That is correct. A game (more specifically, a Serious Game) inside the formal and serious area of the International Trade.

Most of the people that I worked with to developed this project were a little bit unsecured about it. They told me that I was going to have a lot of work compared to all the other students and that my project may not be a good idea. But that is the fun and the award of doing something different. You know that there is nothing like that anywhere. And that was how I felt at the time. I do believe that working in something new is somehow as a circle of knowledge. In other words, for me is like walking in circles, over the same way that all the others has already walked. You will not have anything new from that. Maybe better than the previous project, but not new. I wanted to break out of that circle, and I think I did. It took me a lot of time, nights without sleeping, lots of coffee and mental health, but the final work, in my humble opinion, was really good!

Now, about the project…. Making the long story, short, I made a Sea Import Game where the student of Foreign Trade could go through all the steps Sea Import dealing with the international logistic, documents, transports, terminals, customs and more.

I worked with a lot of people in this area (most of them students) and they really had a wonderful experience dealing with it. But the problem was that most of them didn’t know what would happen if something go wrong. Some of them even told me “I don`t wanna know. A problem like that could broke the company.” Or “if something goes wrong with the Customs, we will have to pay a fine so large that we will have to work for the last 5 years without payment.” Know, you image a fresh student that is really excited to get into this world and heard something like that? Some of the thoughts are “I will never work with that”, “I will have to work a lot to get a job with that responsibility.” And I am saying that because I was one of the fresh students and had the same thoughts. That’s why I came along with this game. With this way for the students to make it wrong and learn from their mistakes.

The game has over every step, something to do regarding to the position the player is. At the Origin (understanding that you are importing from out of Brazil), you have to deal with the documents, fees, transports, etc. In Brazil, you have to make sure that documents, classification, fumigation and other stuffs related to the area are ok. At some points of the board, you have tasks that you have to complete and those tasks are “problems” that could happen during the process. It could be some wrong information at the document, problems with the cargo or the ship, problems over the Terminal, Custom Broker problem…. The student had to deal with the fake problem, solve and learn with it.

Of course it still has a lot of work to do and probably I would have to play many times the game to make it work, but having created it is something that you cannot describe. I was really good to go through every step, creating and planning, thinking and working on it. Because of that, I can say that this is a paper that I really enjoyed doing and I am very proud of it.

Well, that’s it for today and thank you for accessing my blog.

Originally posted in 11/12/2013.

Game Review – Slender – The Game

Inside the diversity of games, fantasy environments, guns, vehicles and everything else that you can imagine within the actual technology for the electronic games creation, arises a game whose principal objective is to survive. However, different from so many other survival games, on this one, the player is provided of a flashlight in the middle of a forest, at night of course, and his courage.

Based on an urban legend created in a competition where the participants had to produce, with common photos, something scary, Slender Man is about a paranormal creature, without face and dressed in black social clothes. Among his abilities to captures his quarries, Slender can stretch his parts, getting really deformed and, with this, be masked amid the threes. Also, according to the legend, he has the capacity to cause paranoid to whom he is after in addition to transport himself to anywhere in the map.

With all this information, creativity and simplistic vision of the games, Parsec Productions created Slender Game, a typical game of cat and mouse. Inside a scenario of forest with environments as bathrooms, gasoline tanks roofless, cars, houses, etc, the player has the objective to collect 8 pages scattered around the world left by the children that Slender got. A simple and really short game which has gained fans all over the internet; leading to the creation of a several number of videos of people playing it. The interesting of this game is the used of the surprise factor and psychological terror. The player, unable to use any gun, spend the entire time listening to his own footsteps and, when it is necessary to run, the breathing gets more and more purse.

As the player develop the game collecting pages, the music gets higher increasing the suspense, the breathing of the character also changes and the appearances of Slender Man gets more frequency – which causes greater panic to the player. Nevertheless, in case of player couldn’t see the enemy, the screen helps on this item getting dark and with interference – situation caused by the presence of Slender. Just the same, Slender Game leaves an open door for possibilities of a sequel or an update which could include other items in the game like maps, higher environments, different number of pages to collect (with a save option), etc.

Over the end, what is really interesting about this game is to put one of your friends to play and watch his/her reaction inside of a scary and quite simple ambiance, the one that Slender Game can provide you or, if this is not your case, a suggestion would be to play it at 3:00am, alone, with your lights off; only you, your headphone and a lot of metal sanity.

Originally posted in 04/12/2013

Review – Hospital Tycoon

Companies like Codemaster, BullFrog and Deep Red Games are famous for many games that probably we all know. By Codemaster, for example, one of the oldest companies in England, we can name Collin McRae and Overlord, The Lord of the Rings Online and Toca Touring Cars. By BullFrog, we have Populous I, II and Populous: The Beginning, Theme Park, Dungeons Keeper, Theme Hospital, Theme Park World and Inc. just to name a few. Deep Red Games, on the other hand, has the all known Tycoons as SeaWorld Adventure Parks, Tycoon I and II, Vegas: Make it Big and Monopoly Tycoon. However, we all have a stage in our lives where things are not going so well and, trying to launch something bigger and much more interested in the market, we ended sinking our own ship. In this case, we are talking about the game Hospital Tycoon, which all the three named companies had the pleasure to give their contribution.

Released by Codemaster and produced by Deep Red Games, Hospital Tycoon seeks one really different way to mix famous Medical Series with a Real Life Strategy Game and some kind of The Sims mode. Still, here comes the question that you may be asking: What about Bullfrog? What is it doing in the middle of this? From the many games with the same objective and theme, we can say that one was used the most: Theme Hospital. Released by the quenched company BullFrog and, according to many critics, is it possible to see great similarity between the two games, both when talking about the mechanic and social interaction, playability, graphics, etc. We can also underline the frustrated attempts of the companies to include in the Tycoon games a few of theatral creativity, unfortunately with no outward success but fun.

But let’s dig a little bit more into the game itself.

To start, you can find two modes to play. The History Mode and another one know as Sandbox Mode. The goal of the Sandbox is supposed to be and have fun. The player starts with an amount of money and enough space to build the hospital the way he wants without worry about winning or losing. The main idea here is to have play a lot and enjoy everything. Now, the History Mode works almost as a soup opera or a TV series. Here is where the trouble starts, as it were. The player has the opportunity, or not, to participate in the cut scenes between one stage and another, enabling an “interaction” with the characters and theirs plot as documents theft, controversy, lethal virus inside missing containers and more. Unluckily, you cannot wait too much from this tangle. A little few or almost nothing has anything to do with the player or the action that you do during the game, besides of little outcomes that may had come from TV series like House M.D., Grey’s Anatomy or even Scrubs, which are really boring to follow in the game. Why is Doctor Buffman hanging out with the hated one Nurse Dakota? Why Professor Brahms and Nurse Daisy are fighting in the research room? Why care about all these stuff if any of them will really interfere in your game? These are just for fun…or the attempt of it.

Another negative thing realized in the game was how the missions unfold themselves. The patients simple arrived at the hospital with a variety of diseases that should be treated. On this case, when the player understands the mechanism of how the game works, the actions are almost always the same. In other words, we have a patient that register, goes to a medic analysis, routed to treatment and go out of the hospital. Ok, it is not that different from a real hospital and more, but they should include some creativity in here. This is the reason that games are made for, to escape from reality and put some imagination to work. The player is taken, on this point of the game, to be considered as a real administrator that should solve all the many problems that every other hospital has. Now, to top everything, the greatest problem of all is that, at each scenario, you have to start all over again. Is it like you are a traveler administrator and have to fix all the hospitals in the country. For a game that you have to spend a lot of time to build something, that is actually really frustrating.

The interaction with the characters, when the objective of the game was a game like The Sims, got somewhat flaccid. The game allows you to do it, yet, the lack of goals at the proposed actions ended taking the user to nowhere. It doesn`t matter what you do, or who you talk to, it won`t reflect on your work in the game. Though, it is possible to create jobbery between the personages, hugs, talks, give heroic kisses, pokes, intimidate, but nothing of this at all is directly related to the playability as it should be. Making the long story short, it does not poke the game, being a waste of time really good planned. And the same interaction can be related to game-player development. The way all the individuals of the game speak, “Simlês”, is really annoying and repetitive, being possible to hear all the conversation in the game and even your own “conscience” which, in the beginning of the game, is reflected as the old owner of the hospital and he is passing on all the shores to you. Going further in the game, the secretary of the old man gets his place to help you out, with the same annoying way of talking and, time after time, she comes to tell you which are missions that you have to go through.

And, as we are talking about the playability, practically everything already comes prompt and pre-established. Rooms come with changing room and desks and the size of them are also specific for the equipment. You do not have to plan the space and where the room will be located. The furniture is also predestinated to be fixed. It doesn’t matter what you do, it is all the same and with a not so high variety. At the most, everything has already been 50% build it out (or even more) being only the player job to locate a few places as research labs of new diseases which, by itself, identifies alone the new disease on the patient only by testing him on the Diagnostic Machine. I mean, where is the challenge in that, but only to put the patient inside the machine. (Be careful not to go wrong on the unique machine). For sure an easy thing is, for the ones that are not so familiarized with the “God view” kind of game or real time strategy, they will find this really interested, because it gets really easy to move on the game.

Also, talking about being easy, we have the money issue which, on the sad hand, is not a problem for the player. Actually, in some parts of the game, it is almost impossible to forget that you have money to spend. Everything that you do to build your hospital does not reflect in how much you earn. There is no need to worry about money, at all. You don’t have to count the outgoing, fire employees, sell machines or other desperate thing to make money and save your economies (except when the main goal of a specific mission is to do that).

Talking about graphics, we can say that, in some way of the path, something good was added. The game is really simple and clean. The rooms, machines and characters are in a cartoon style which brings an animated air to the game, extremely colorful and physically unique. Also the treatments are funnily exaggerated taking the doctors to use, as example, giant needles, large machinery and even a chair that prick balloons for a scare treatment (?). The diseases are also treated with a comedy air when comes to name, necessities and a variety of physic symptoms which gives the player a lot of fun. What about taking an acid shower or a treatment in the sample odor machine? At this point of the game, we can say that the creativity was absolutely great and we should give them some credits. But, as everything good, this was too good to last. The game sound was practically a shot in the dark. The theme, besides interesting, does not fits perfectly in the game and all the music are an infinite loop with pauses between them. You rarely pay attention to it and, for some times, you may prefer to put your own playlist going then to listen to the music; or the annoying voice of your helper.

Overall, what we can say about Hospital Tycoon is that the game is practically semiautomatic, which drives the player to be more a spectator then a real player itself, not being necessary a real strategy to have success in the game or saving money. It virtually plays itself because of the many automatic items that were included in the game by Deep Red Games. Still, if you don’t have the skill to play a Real Time Strategy Game, this is the one for you!

One way or another then, here goes the tip: Do whatever the game asks and you will have no chance to lose! Ever!

Originally posted in 04/12/2013

I want to work with games. Where should I start?

Hello, folks.

How are you doing?

Well, today’s post I’ll talk a little bit about how you can start working with games, what engines you can use, what qualities and skills the market is looking for, and more. Important to underline this is my own experience due to my current situation – looking for a job/Co-op/Internship in a game company. (if you know something, let me know. Really!).

So, the first thing you’ll have to get over (or to not care) is about people thinking that you will work with video games is the same as you will be playing video games all day. I believe I talked a little bit about this in another topic (How to be a game tester), but, yeah, people tend to think that. Want to try? Tell your parents that you want to work developing games and see their reaction…. But, don’t worry. I’m here to help!

Building a game can be something from coding a simple couple of lines to a lot (I mean A LOT) lines of coding and more coding. It takes time, days, weeks, months, years, patient, studying, sometimes weekends at home to finish your game… But should I start with coding then? What language should I study? What books should I read? Which is the best language? Which castle is the princess?

One step at a time, grasshopper.

A game can be build in many different languages, and I’m not talking about that weird one that your uncle talks when he comes to visit you in your birthday. I’m talking about Programming Languages, C, C#, C++, Java, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, Ruby, Python, etc, etc. Usually, most game companies like to work with C# and C++. Those languages, as far I’ve researched, are a little bit more difficult to learn, but as soon as you get them, all the other will be way easier to understand. The reason of that is because most programmers used C as a base to create others, anything that you need you have to write down – functions (some people may believe this is bad, but I like it). Knowing that, you can start working on something about C# and C++ specially because it will be used on the engines I’ll talk about here.

A little example of a code I used to learn how to create games.

In this example, I used VS2015 (Visual Studio 2015).

Do not worry about “OMG, what the hell is that?” or “How am I going to learn that?” Well, it happens to me everyday when I get a new code. That’s why I said it takes time, patient and a lot of study.

A little bit about VS2015, you can use it to build your game and extract into a .exe file. However, probably all Anti-Virus will identify as a weird program and block it if you let it. Even more, it compiles only into a MS-DOS windows, so your game will be like those 70’s one.

This is what happen if you compile a code created with VS2015.

The famous Snake Game where you have to catch a fruit or an object, you tail keeps growing until you have no more space to move. (Its my first game, give it a break, okay?!) It took me about 1 hours to build that with a tutorial, between learning, pausing to understand, writing down some notes, fix error that I’ve got the guy on the video didn’t, etc.

But, if you are here, you are looking for something more, right? Engines!

Engines are programs game developers use in order to help them create the games. With those, you can write your code, attach into a specific model (enemy, player, car, etc) and work with it. You can come and go between the code and the UI, background, music, sound effects, etc. If you want, you can create a game from scratch using your Notepad, but why trying to reinvent the wheel when you have those softwares to help you out?! Most commons engines are Unity 3d and Unreal. (I’ll talk about Unity as I’m using it right now….)

Unity is a really powerful engine with probably everything you need to start your own simple game. And its FREE! They even have tutorials in their home page to help you out. Its a great way to start, learn and understand what happens behind the scenes. Also, unity is one of the engines a few big companies is used to work with. Nintendo, Ubisoft, etc. So, it may be a software you want to learn.

Following the tutorials, I had the opportunity to create 2 other games.

Roll a Ball where the objective was to roll a ball (yeah!) and pick up all the objects on the screen. A nice tutorial and I didn’t have to import anything as features, assets, characters, 3D models, etc. It gives you a North where to start with and for the basics using Unity.

I had to create 3 Scripts (code documents) using C# (you can also use JavaScript if you want). Here’s a little bit of the code.

If you want more information about it, you can find at www.unity3d.com.

You can also notice I use a lot VS2105, but if you don’t have access to that, Unity is smart enough to provide you its own C editor, so you can write the code without having to use an external software.

This project had no sound effects and only one stage. As mentioned before, the objective was just to pick up the yellow squares (which I also had to animate to give more life into it (:

The next project I worked with took about 1 week to finish as going through the tutorial, College, assignments, nights awake until 2am to learn, etc, but it was a little bit more complicated than this one. On this, there was Audio, Models, Prefabs, Textures, 10 scripts, etc.

There are still other tutorials I’m working on right now and also others on-line not so hard to find. Important to underline that between creating, adding and finishing the game, there was the tests I had to run almost all the time to see if something was working properly or not. For anything wrong that I found, I spent like 20/30 minutes trying to fix, as I’m not an expert into this and I had to learn about it to make it work.

I believe this is somewhere to start if you want to create your own game and an important tip is to never give up and never try something way ahead of your experience (too far!). I know we all want to build games like The Last of Us, God of War but we have to take one step at a time.

And how can I get a job?

Well, about the market. Jobs that I’ve applied ask for, at least, some experience with Unity, programming and, sometimes, a portfolio. Alongside that, jobs offers can ask for knowledge in others languages as Java, PHP, etc, which there is nothing much to do with what you’re studying, but you have to know them. Important is to keep working in one language to be good at it and know a little bit about others. I like to say that working with Programming really depends on what you want to work specifically with. Web programming? Game Programming? Software developer? because each of them will guide you to a specific path. Web, you will see PHP, CSS, HTML, JavaScript…. Games, C#/C++… Softwares in general, Java is the top of it due to the fact that it runs in almost any hardware, OS, cell phone, table, etc.

I hope I helped you guys a little bit and thank you for stopping by.

Creating my first music for a game. It couldn’t be that hard… Right?!?

Hello, friends.

How are you?

Sorry about being so absent from the page and not posting something in a while. Things are getting busy (way more than usual) and I barely have time to sleep.

Anyway, I’ll talk about my first assignment inside the game industry where a company back in Brazil contacted me to create a music for one of their mobile games. One of the problems was that I had 48 hours to create it…
“Well, 48 hours is not a problem at all”, I though. Not for me… and I’ll let you know why.

To start, when I accepted this task I believed that with my music experience (over 10 years), experience in playing games (since I can remember), talking about games and music, discussing with friends, having this website, etc, would help me working on that. “I created a few songs before. It was nice, people liked it. I can do this.” The problem was that I was so exciting on working in a song project that I forgot a few steps over the way.

1 – The Design Understanding!

The game was simple, but interesting. It was a side-scroll type with no end and you had to keep jumping and avoiding things to get the highest score. I started imagining a few bits, drums set, rhythm on my mind and decided to use a program that would help me build the song fast and, as before, the songs I made with it were really nice. I build a track with a bass line continuously, around 165bps, 170bps. It needed to be fast, but still understandable. Then I created a drums set, jumping from the bass drum to the snare, coming and going timing by the Hi Hat and the Ride Cym. It took me a couple of hours to complete and I was really happy with what I made so far. My problem at this time was that it had nothing to do with the game, I mean, It was a fast and nice track and would fit in another games like it, but not this one. I realized this when I sent my first (and what I thought would be the final to) sample to the client.

2 – The Client!

So, the client received my sample…. and what happened? He didn’t like it. The quality of the music wasn’t the expected one, the instruments weren’t right for the game, volume of a few were too high, others were too low, etc, etc, etc. It was a “nice” disaster and I realized I couldn’t expect to do the right and perfect song at my first attempt. Or could I?

Big mistake.

After talking a little bit more about the client, I understood what HE wanted and it was not what I wanted. Thats another problem with design: You work for the client, not for yourself and the sooner you learn that, the sooner you will avoid getting hurt when someone says you work sucks.

2 – The Learning and Creation Process!

Dealing with the client and solving that awkward situation, I started to researching what programs I could use to create the song and here comes another problem. Learning how to use a new program in 48 hours in the middle of a job.

I downloaded FL Studio and started working with it. It took me a while and a few hours of tutorial videos and reading to understand what I needed to do to create a song. It has a whole set of instruments, effects, weird sounds, keyboard styles, licks, samples, and more. A really interesting software if you want to deal with something around funk, techno, spy, dance kind of music. On this moment the problem was that I had already lost a day creating my first song, dealing with the client, downloading a new software, learning how to use it and creating something new.

So, to move things faster, I decided to create the song in the program I was familiarized with (Guitar Pro) and transfered to FL Studio.

It worked… for a while.

4 – The Work!

First, creating the song with a guitar, then transferring to Guitar Pro and finally transferring to FL Studio. Coming up with the music wasn’t the biggest problem. I like to deal with that and I can imagine a lot of samples, rhythms, how they work together and the final project. My main problem was: How I was going to use the right instruments, effects, sounds in order to fit the design understanding that I talked before? What kind of instruments should I use?

Then, I started…1, 2, 3, 4, 5 samples and, all the time sending to the client to check, get his feedback and modify.

After talking with my wife about it – which is a designer – she explained to me the idea behind the painting, how I was supposed to create something that express the feeling of the character, the scenario, the objective, and the game itself. I finally realized I was doing – almost everything – wrong (I missed the Design Understanding topic above). I was thinking as a gamer and building the song as a musician, but I completely forgot about the design and how I had to put everything together smoothly FOR the player and the CLIENT and not for ME. I created some samples of what I thought would be nice, inside my own music style.

After that class, I new what instruments, sounds and effects I was supposed to look for. It took me another couple of hours to deal with it, but I managed to work around. The song was ready! I sent to the client and he liked! Mission accomplished! (What I believed….)

I didn’t realized that, even having a good song and the approval of the client, it needed to be inserted into the game and tested into the specific device the game was going to be running. Why? Because on my computer and on my headphone, the music was fine, but by the time I downloaded in my cellphone, it was completely out of tune! And after that, the client said the music had to be in a loop with no “feeling of end”. In other words, it has to go on and on even being a small sample (30 seconds). EDIT: That is another thing that took me a while to figure out and realized that, for the engine Unity, .mp3 files are automatically increase of information in both sides of the song (beginning and ending) in order to load and end the song. I had to use a .WAVE file or something else. Another information I got is that there is a way to deal with that when editing your file called Crossfading where, according to Mark Harris (Digital Music Expert) “The term crossfading is a technique that creates a smooth transition from one sound to another — […]”. (Yep, I really made a research on it).

For some people this may be an easy task, but remember, this was my FIRST job and I was just so excited about it that I didn’t think about the technical parts.

Well, what happened was that I had to download another software (WavePad Audio Editing Software) to edit the song, loop it, cut the end, put pieces together, etc. And there goes a few of my hours to complete my task because I had to learn once again the program to deliver a good product.

Over the end I was working with Guitar Pro, to create my songs, transferring to FL Studio to clean and edit the song and, finally, to WavePad to do the final cuts.

“But, why downloading and dealing with 3 programs to create a song? Can’t a single program do all of that?” you ask me. Well, you know when people say its better to hire someone else specialized in something than trying to do yourself and mess it up with everything? I decided to do that. I used Guitar Pro because it was one of the programs that I had experience and had worked before, it was easy for me to write a song in it, create tracks, insert instruments, etc, everything with an acoustic guitar or a keyboard. FL Studio helped me editing the song as I needed, volume, effects, different types of instruments, adding more tracks if necessary, changing timing, etc, with more quality than Guitar Pro.

However, as a big program with a lot of functionalities it would take me a while to understand it and really be able to take everything from it. Finally, WavePad is a simple program to do the finals with your song, cut, paste, loop, trim, etc. Took me a few minutes to understand – and thats what I needed due to the deadline knocking on my door.

5 – The Available Time!

After all the happenings, I really had to stay awake a few more hours to finish the work. Coming and going between the softwares, how to use it, the details of the project, a real understanding of the project, what the client was expecting, among other things are only a few things that I didn’t consider when taking this job. When working with creativity, you cannot rely on your brain to bring something up out of the blue. Sometimes it happens with people in the middle of the night, sometimes when they woke up, even when you’re in the shower (like me) and you have to run to write it down or record it before you forget everything.

Also remember as living in another country different from my client, I had to deal with time zone and not all the time both of us were available to deal with the samples, feedback, ideas, changes, etc. One more problem to our list.

TIP: Its hard, but if for any reason you get stuck in something that deals with creativity, its probably because you’re putting too much effort into it. Yep, thats right, you cannot “force” creativity to come to you or out of your head. It took me a while to understand that because I always had the feeling “I could be working instead of doing this” or “this is a waste of time” or even “I don’t have time for this”.

What happened at the end?

 
I’m still waiting for the clients final answer about The client approved my work!!! For something I came up with in 24 hours – because the other 24 I was working on learning everything else and with the rest of my life (College, family, eating, sleeping) – I guess the final work was fine. Lets see. EDIT: Final work was accepted and now I have another sample to work on! 🙂

I’ll keep you posted for any news!

And you guys? Any tips or suggestion on how I should be working from now on?

Global Game Jam 2015 – What happened? We created a game!

Hello, everyone!

For the ones who were at the Global Game Jam – physically or virtually – just have one thing to say. It was awesome! It was my first time doing it – and was also the first time of my team which I met there. Except but a Brazilian friend that I’ve met before.

All the 4 of us had no experience with games and that was the best part. We could force ourselves into doing something for the first time or having to study a little bit more of something. We had 3 programmers and 1 artist and 48 hours to build a game!

And we did it! here is the link to our game at Game Jam page.

“Rognar, the mighty warrior and dragon killer. Saves the life of the princess, and after 9 months… She’s pregnant! Rognar has to stop “playing around” killing monsters and start working to support your family. Help Rognar with his hardest mission, making the princess and his baby happy!”
 

http://globalgamejam.org/2015/games/rognar-barbarian

IMPORTANT: If you read everything, you will understand why that game has so many bugs and more. Its not finished. We did what we could as 4 Game Developers Rookies. And we loved it! And we are proud of what we did! Really! Believe me! 🙂 I am!

You can also check a few screens of the game below.

DAY 01

First of all we received the theme. 2015 theme was: “What do we do now?” YEAH. The theme was a question. “What do we do now?”. Pretty cool, huh? After receiving the theme, we went for dinner. We believe that forcing ourselves to have ideas at a first time wouldn’t be right and we’d probably won’t come up with any good idea. On the way and during dinner we came up with some pretty good ideas. Some of them really funny ones, another not so much, so of them kind of lost in time and space (mine) but we finally came up with a good one. It maybe not good for other people, but it was good for all of us, and that was important because we all wanted to work on that.

Then, after having dinner we went back to do some work. One again, nothing that would push us against our limits. That is not good at all. You code will be a mess, you won’t be able to speak, think, put ideas on the table, etc. When you work with ideas and projects, you have to be rested.

We worked from 6 or 7 pm until 12pm. It wasn’t hard and we felt really comfortable with that. So we decided to call it a day and have a good night of sleep. On the first day we had the idea, some sketches, puzzles, a few lines of code, etc. We went pretty far!

DAY 02

We didn’t start at dawn. No. We decided to sleep well and work hard. We started to work something about 9am and spend the day until 6 or 7pm working – between lunch, break and stuff. I was working on the animation (haven’t use flash since 3 or 4 years ago). Gustavo was doing the programming stuff as he was the only one that had some idea of how Unity 3D worked and had also worked with it. Logan was helping with the Programming also and the sketches (some pretty fuckin* good sketches. That guy is a PRO) and Kris was the artist of the whole thing and also worked on the theme song.

Over all, we all did a little bit of everything because we knew almost nothing on how to build a game and that was really nice.

12 hours to go.

We build a bunch on mini-games on the medieval age with our character, Rhognar the Barbarian. As said before, the plot was that he was the guy! Dragon Killer! The Man! The Warrior! The ultra-must-of-the-must! He finds out that the princess that he saved got pregnant and now they have to “drop” the whole warrior stuff to get a job and be a Dad. Yeah. We brought him to the real life.

The rest of the day was giving ideas for the game, how we could do all the mini-games and learning a lot about what we were doing. I do have to say that I learned a lot with those guys and had a great time creating the game.

Still, nothing much different from this. Coding, creating, learning, searching for information, etc. We spend all day doing this.

DAY 03

The final day. Talking about me, I was so excited to finish my animation and had some great ideas because everything was going just fine…. and for some reason that wasn’t good. I got to the Game Jam about 9am and found out that the power of the place was out. I spent the whole morning waiting for the light to come back so I could keep working on the animation. Unfortunately, about 2pm I gave up and went home. Now, fortunately, Gustavo had all the information for programming at home and could finish the game and Logan and Kris did a lot of the art work the night before. The opening scene was almost done and we had to used what I had done so far. I wasn’t really happy with it, but it was what we had for the time.

Conclusion

Even reading that you wouldn’t need to have any experience to join a team at Game Jame and even participate, I felt like that would definitely help. I myself felt useful only on the second day after searching on how to do the animation. Anyway, there are a bunch of ways that you could help. This is just my point of view.

We couldn’t finish the whole game and, as I said, there are a bunch of bugs and stuff that is not completed but I am proud of how much we did in 48 hours and remembering that that was our first Game Jam, first time working together as a team, first time working as Game Designers, etc.

Well, that it. If you miss this one, don’t worry. We’ll meet there next year and maybe work together.

Thank you all, Gustavo, Logan and Kris for this really nice experience and hope you enjoyed working with me as much as I enjoyed working with you guys and sorry for something.

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