The Voices of the Britannic – Dialogue and Conversation Design in Murderous Pursuits

This was originally posted in two parts on the Blazing Griffin Website: Pt.1 | Pt. 2

We released Murderous Pursuits a few months ago, and I wanted to share a bit of info on what I was working on. This blog post will look at the audio solution for one of the core features, the “Vignette” system. This will cover:

– What the original concept was and audio requirements were

– How we handled the dialogue recording and editing

– The systems design and implementation using Wwise and Unity.

If you haven’t played or seen it yet, Murderous Pursuits is a kill-or-be-killed Victorian stealth-em-up for 1-8 players in which you must hunt and kill your quarry before your hunters do the same to you, all while avoiding witnesses. You can buy it on Steam right now!

Continue reading “The Voices of the Britannic – Dialogue and Conversation Design in Murderous Pursuits”

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Murderous Pursuits announced!

It has been a while.

Anyway, Blazing Griffin has announced our latest upcoming game: Murderous Pursuits!

Here’s the trailer:

And you can preorder it on Steam too!

Lotta good work from a lot of people went into this one, and was a pretty interesting job audio wise. Hopefully will be able to share more on that soon!

So I got a new job.

I may have left this as the last place to get updated. Whoops.

Anyway, earlier in the month I left Team Junkfish to join those fiery catbirds Blazing Griffin as an Audio Designer. Woo yay! They’re working on [REDACTED] and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in about it.

It’s a big shift, leaving a group of folk I’ve been working with for over five years on a number of different projects, but sometimes opportunities arise and situations change and you have to adjust course.

So do keep an eye out on what they’re up to, and I’ll keep you up to date on the BG stuff.

…and the 500 words thing.

…and generally updating the site.

Games I played in 2016 that were pretty good

It’s the end of the year so it’s time for lists from everyone. I honestly don’t remember playing too many games from this year, but I played a fair few for the first time and feel that’s enough to mention them. Like wise, “best” is a pretty subjective thing that seems pretty pointless to drag into the equation. So, in no real order, here’s my “Games I played in 2016 that I thought were pretty cool” list. (It’s a bit long, sorry.)

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500 Words About… Faselei!

Ahoy! Apologies for the lack of posts recently. In between IGDA Scotland stuff, being ill and… other stuff things got away from me. Also with an upcoming busy period I’m looking to transition this to once a week to see how it pans out. Anyway, today we look at a Neo Geo Pocket Color game as previously threatened: Sacnoth’s mech strategy RPG Faselei!

Mecha games aren’t entirely uncommon out of Japan. The influence of the likes of Mazinger, Macross, and Gundam to name a few clearly imprinted on game developers in the ’80s and ’90s. While the more obvious approach was to incorporate these elements into action games[1], devs also looked to create large scale battles in the Strategy genre. A number of licenses were put to use, Gundam games appeared everywhere, or the crossover Super Robot Wars[2] to make mecha fans dreams come true. Original IPs popped up as well, such as Square Enix’s long-lived Front Mission series[3].

Continue reading “500 Words About… Faselei!”

500 Words About… Wonder Boy in Monster Land

We’re going even further back in time with this post, exploring something that I have a bit more of a personal connection with. Despite being very, VERY into Nintendo stuff, they weren’t actually my first foray into games. In a very European fashion, that came via PCs and Sega. So today we have a quick look at Westone’s slightly oddball yet somehow timeless Wonder Boy in Monster Land.

The first console that was in my family was my brother’s Master System, hooked up to a chunky cube of a Panasonic TV that’s still at my old man’s house. And while it may not have been the first game I played[1], the one I have the strongest memories of is Wonder Boy in Monster Land. I remember my brother trying to get infinite money with the pause trick[2] (complete with a 2nd controller that was missing a button), how the game glitched out one time when he bought a pair of boots and could suddenly climb walls, and that bastarding pyramid level.

Continue reading “500 Words About… Wonder Boy in Monster Land”

500 Words About… the Neo Geo Pocket Color

Today’s post is a set up for the future. Despite producing the Neo Geo, the arcade in a box that was one of the most eye-wateringly expensive systems to buy for both while it was in production and even now, SNK wanted to dip their toes in a pond they hadn’t committed to: handhelds. After a few releases on Game Boy they decided to challenge the Big N with a system of their own and the topic of today’s post: the Neo Geo Pocket Color.

ngpc-logo

For most people handheld gaming in the ’90s/early ’00s revolved around one device: the Game Boy. If pushed a few people may be able to name its earlier challengers, Sega’s Game Gear or the Atari Lynx, both in colour and more powerful but battery hogs. Some may even namedrop Game Boy inventor Gunpei Yokoi’s follow-up handheld, the Japan only Bandai Wonderswan. It managed to hold its own with decent support from the likes of Squaresoft, Capcom, Namco[1] and others before the Game Boy Advance cleared everything in its path.[2] Continue reading “500 Words About… the Neo Geo Pocket Color”

500 Words about… Sunsoft

Today’s post is about one of the more interesting NES developers who became known for their unique musical output, Sunsoft. There’s also a lot of annotations too, so do read them!

Chances are that, if you owned a NES you’ve come across a Sunsoft game. Like a number of Japanese developers, Sunsoft transitioned from the arcades to the monster that was the Famicom in the mid to late 80’s. One of their first releases for the platorm was the infamous Ikki, a game so terrible that a new word entered the Japanese lexicon thanks to it: Kusoge. Quite literally: “shit game”.[1] This didn’t stop it being a rampant success for them as well as the source of a few remakes and reboots.

Sunsoft’s original games didn’t always hit such lows. Some, like Atlantis no Nazo, never left Japan and is generally considered “not great”. Others, like Master Blaster, became international successes. This varying quality also carried over to the somewhat surprisingly high profile licenced titles they managed to acquire. Their first Batman game in 1989 was a loose tie in with Tim Burton’s reimagining of the Caped Crusader, and along with its NES sequel is still held in high regard. Less timely was Fester’s Quest which appeared before the 1991 Addams Family reboot and is mostly remembered as being stupidly hard.[2]

Continue reading “500 Words about… Sunsoft”

500 Words about… Thunder Force IV

So I’ve decided that I want to write more and keep this webiste a bit more alive, even if I can’t talk about what I’m working on just now. As such, I’m starting a wee series of posts that will be… mostly about games and sound and music to some extent but probably any topic or thing that tickles my fancy. In order to stop rambling too much, I’ve given myself 500 words, intros and notes/annotations not withstanding. So here’s hoping someone gets something out of it!

And on that note, today’s post is about Technosoft’s final Mega Drive/Genesis STG/Shmup – Thunder Force IV.

There are very few game soundtracks that I will actively listen to on repeat. This doesn’t mean I won’t listen to any odd OST here and there, but few I just enjoy listening to over and over. Recently, it’s been Thunder Force IV and, oh boy, is it a ride.

Continue reading “500 Words about… Thunder Force IV”

Freebie – Volca Keys Sound Effects!

Ahoy!

One afternoon a few months ago I was kinda bored and had an hour or two going spare, so I decided to see what type of sounds I could get out of my Volca Keys. After some fiddling I managed to knock out a few… beeps and boops and other lo-fi assorted noises! In the time honoured tradition of giving back, I’ve decided hand them out for free, so you can grab them here!

Download! (Dropbox)

You’ll find some laser-esque sounds, some drones, some short pulses that could work for UI or percussive sounds, a fair mixture of stuff. I recorded different patches and effects at each octave interval (1′ – 32′) and across a few different oscillator setups (Unison, Octaves, Fifths and Unison Ring Mod) for a few different flavours too. Hopefully you’ll find something handy in there!

Some caveats:

  • They’re very raw, and the audio output of the Volca series isn’t exactly clean. But lo-fi’s half the charm with analogue gear right? …right? Outside of chopping them up they’ve been left completely unprocessed. Spent longer editing them than recording them!
  • The naming convention is a bit odd, please read the document in the .rar to understand what’s going on.
  • They’re also only 44.1k/16bit which isn’t great for pitch/time stretching into extremes, but they are across a wide range of octaves so hopefully you’ll find something you can use.
  • These are free, please don’t try to sell them or claim ownership of them. I am a-okay with you using them in commercial/for-profit projects though!

So there you go! Please share them about and let me know if you find a use for them. Best way is on Twitter: @speedyjx

Cheers!