August Update / by Dan Andre

So it's been about a week and a half since the official release of Ball on a Stick on the Google Play Store.   

Now we haven't exactly hit my target amount of downloads, but thats OK. I'm just glad some people downloaded it at all, and I can now say I am a published game designer.

Since then, I've been in the process of switching gears to get back into working on Blind Game. Ball on a Stick was supposed to be a winter project to just kill time while I couldn't record sounds, and I was gonna dedicate this entire summer to finishing all the recordings for Blind game. But given that Ball on a Stick went 2 months over schedule, the better part of the summer is now gone, so I'm gonna have to really rush recording now to get the small amount of sounds I'm missing. If I miss this opportunity now, I'll have to wait an entire year to get it again.

Here in the northeast, we have maybe 4 months out of the year where it's actually nice enough to go outside and record things, especially sounds in the water.

Beyond this, there are some ambient sounds I want to record that I can only get in the summer. But I need an external microphone for this, and I'm looking into options that will allow me to get the sounds I'm looking for.

On the code side of things, I've made some significant breakthroughs in terms of my proceedural generators. Now I can generate pretty much anything into the game I want to at will. This was a problem for my ambient sound generators and some colliders I use for telling the narrator about special features in an area. Those in particular were a real pain to position, and would have made generating multiple level layouts pretty much impossible.

Now I should be able to generate the entire game procedurally, and even run the entire game in a single scene, being able to generate any number of maps and levels all within a single scene.

I've also begun to optimize and streamline some of the older code to make altering the sounds associated with different materials much easier. Before, each sound was associated with the thing that made that sound. Now I'm trying to consolidate all of the sounds inside of the material class, so that they are all in one place, and can easily be swapped and altered in one place rather having to look all around to find the different sounds everywhere.

My goal is the make the level design phase of this project as streamlined as possible. The work I'm doing now will hopefully make the second half of this project go so much more smoothly.

All of this would have been impossible without Ball on a Stick.  When we started that project, I was having trouble with a lot of different parts of the code for this game, especially generating the other elements of the map. I think the experience I gained from doing Ball on a Stick leveled me up to the point that I'll be able to do some of the more complex work I'll need to do to finish this game as well as future projects. So while Ball on a Stick ate up a lot of my summer, it has also helped me make a few huge breakthroughs for this game.

But never the less, recording challenges continue. Hopefully I'll figure something out soon.