Sunday, October 24, 2010

32-channels sound engine

The previous incarnation of SOTE was somehow limited in the sound department: Adventure Game Studio didn't offer much control over channels and volumes.
Now, the new sound engine in Multimedia Fusion 2 uses 32 channels and controls each one of them and their volumes one by one.
Channel 1 is devoted to the main background music;
Channels 2-3 hosts occasional secondary musical cues mixed with the first one;
Channels 4-7 is used for diffuse environmental sounds;
Channels 8-12 for audio sources with volume calculated upon the distance from the player;
Channel 13 for footsteps with volume calculated upon the perspective scaling of the player and different step effects based on the type of terrain the player is walking upon;
Channels 14-32 are used for other simple occasional sound effects.

Everything can be done easily, supporting once again the goodness of a difficult choice, the one which led us from a well known program, AGS, to another one, MMF, completely different and not ready to create graphic adventures before having spent much time developing a proper engine.
From a certain point of view, we're recreating AGS inside MMF plus building a SOTE engine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A new GUI

Upscaling the game to the shiny 1280*720 had a cost that became evident very soon: the GUI (Graphic User Interface, for the anti-nerds), designed for the 640*480, couldn't be used any longer. So, instead of trying to stretch it, basically doublesizing it (you can figure out the awful result we would had got) I've taken a more radical approach.

I've redesigned it completely, taking advantage from the higher resolution to get better graphics and even some additional functions. One in particular -the map- was conceived years ago but never actually inserted into the game. It's meant to help the player to keep track of visited places and possibly to let you teleport there skipping long walks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SOTE goes hi-res

...almost. During the process of rewriting the game engine in Multimedia Fusion 2, we (well, I should say I by now) came to the decision to upgrade the game resolution from the obsolete nostalgic 640*480 to a more up-to-date 1280*720, which at the same time is a higher resolution and has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.
Most of the graphics I created in the last few years can be easily ported to the new resolution and many locations will scroll a bit less; which is good news, since they'll show more right from the start. Many rooms and even open-space locations should seem less claustrophobic.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A new beginning for SOTE

SOTE is ALIVE. Just to let you know some news... The Adventure Game Studio, whom we've joyfully used since 2004's Tech Demo, has been discarded. Our team coordination problems, the time-consuming job of our programmer and the actual difficulty of programming on a tool that requires advanced scripting skills, making it impossible to replace our code man, have pushed us to leave AGS and start using a more flexible, easier to use and more powerful program, not conceived for point'n click graphic adventures but for any type of multimedia application: ClickTeam's Multimedia Fusion 2.

It's powerful, it's totally customizable, easy to use (even a non-programmer can use it) and it's capable of any type of hardware acceleration effect (multiple layers, parallax, alpha blending, pixel shaders, etc.).
SOTE's new engine is now under development, but we're not starting from scratch, since all our stuff is gonna be reused in a new authoring context. Dusk is determined to complete the code implementation of our stopped chapter, Hunting the Hunter, on Adventure Game Studio, but its' clear that Multimedia Fusion 2 represents the future of SOTE which Boba Fonts will create going on with the rest of the story.
That's the best way to make SOTE more beautiful visually and to accelerate its completion.