Setting The Sound

There comes a time in every games’ life when you need to add sound else it does not feel as complete as you would like.  My goal as of late has been to make the game feel more complete.

Our game involves quite a lot of story in it, which means that we are going to need a bunch of narration.  We have recorded placeholder narration, which allowed me to get it into the game and make sure that it all flows together properly.

Sound effects are another key focus for the audio in this game.  We want you to immerse yourself into the game and a small but important part of that is attributed to sound effects.  Having a properly placed sound effect can make a certain action feel complete or feel completely broken.  Currently the sound effects that are in the game are either placeholder or sound assets created by myself for this game.  For creating sounds I use whatever random materials that I have that makes the right sound for what we need.

With sound effects, I feel that having a slightly different sound effect for different states of an object is a must, because you want to be able to differentiate between the different states.  A good example that is currently implemented in the game, is that when you open a door it makes a little clicking noise when you open the door, however when you close the door it makes a longer squeak.

Sound Engineering can be a challenging but rewarding field to take up.  It is challenging in the fact that it can be very time consuming, along with having to mix a bunch of different tracks so that you get it just right.  However on the other end of the spectrum, Sound Engineering can be extremely rewarding.  The feeling that I get when I perfect a track so that it blends seamlessly and just performs phenomenally, is so joyful.

To reiterate, sound can make a game what it is, and even if you may think you do not need sound or sound effects, just imagine what the players that may play your game will think if they do not know what they are doing because either there are no instructions or no sound cues.  Your users will thank you 🙂

Ben Buckli

Sound Engineer / User Interface

The Lighting at the end of the Tunnel

We’ve been tackling a lot of issues so far this semester and one of the larger ones has been light leaking in Unity. Light leaking is basically when light shows up when it isn’t supposed to. For example, light will sometimes leak through the model where two planes intersect. Other times, the light will completely ignore the fact that there is a model there and no light should be going through it at all. This image illustrates light leaking where the wall and ceiling connect:LightLeakProblem_01a

We had been trying to figure out the issue for weeks and it was mostly resolved after being given to me, since I am the “lighting specialist” on the team. The issue we were dealing with was lights ignoring the models and shining through everything:lightingSceneSettings

After familiarizing myself with how lighting works in Unity 5, I got to work. I tried adjusting light settings, project settings, shadows, layers…everything. The light problem was still there. Next, I tried making different versions of a room with walls to see if any of those would work. Sometimes walls that are made with a thickness work better than walls that are just planes. Sometimes inverting the normals of a cube and using that as a room works best. I ended up creating six different variations of walls that were made into rooms in order to test the lights again. This way, we could see if a different way of modeling our levels would fix it. Guess what happened? The light went through every single one. Here’s an image illustrating this phenomenon:lightLeakingDifferentModels

The next thing we tried was putting someone else’s model into our scene. I used a model from one of the lighting tutorials I had worked on earlier and imported it into our scene. Again, I tried lighting it and it still went through, even though it didn’t go through when the model was in a separate project. That was when I knew that there was something wrong with our project. I imported our game models into a new project and the lights behaved correctly. We ended up moving all of our stuff into a new project and keeping an eye on the lights as we re-imported things. Even though we weren’t able to pinpoint the specific cause of the light leaking, we were at least able to narrow it down enough so that we could move forward with our project and have continued to make excellent progress.

Leah Bolin

Breathing Life Into Building 37

Up until this point in the further development of our game, the art and design teams of Two Hat Games have been mainly focused on boxing out our environments with grey objects, walls, and floors in order to get a better understanding of how our environment appears in gameplay.  However, as we beginning to near the halfway mark in the production of Building 37, the art and design teams have established what is known in the game development industry as a “Vertical Slice.”   A vertical slice is basically a term we use to associate a milestone or benchmark with emphasis on demonstrating progress across all areas of a project and/or game.  Having a milestone to shoot for and accomplish halfway through production is crucial for the forward progress and development of a game. This portion allows us to polish a small portion of the game and tweak it to our liking before we go ahead with polishing the entire game.

The vertical slice for the Two Hat Game’s art and design teams will be the creation and implementation of fully UV and textured artwork within select rooms of our game. This will also be seen in our finalized game trailer.  This is the point in development were we begin to breath life into a drab and un-textured environment and turn bland featureless objects and rooms into well recognizable and aesthetically appealing environments to enhance gameplay.

Below is one of the rooms in our game in which we have started the process of UV mapping our 3D modeled objects and texturing them to match our 1960’s noir art style.

UV map and texture work for an office desk by Alex Dvorak.OfficeUV:Textures

Implementation of the texture on the 3D modeled office desk        OfficeUV:TextureImage

– Douglas Heinkel