Category Archives: game development

New SJ site kinda worth it (surprise)

sj_newlayout

New site layout, and update, at scoutsjourney.eu.

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Notice

Since email notification for scoutsjourney.eu isn’t set up yet (sorry), I’ll say it here:

Updates are dropping at scoutsjourney.eu.

Unreal is up and running.


Snapshots from Blenderspace

greatsword_sky_sun_kick7_promo

Large version

I’m not quite as rusty with Blender as I assumed. 🙂 I thought I’d post these.

I think I got a better grip on rendering with Cycles, especially roughness/glossiness and using a semi-realistic light setup of a sky sphere, sunlight and a “kicker”. I also remembered a lot of Blender camera controls. I tried my hand at an unusual snapshot:

greatsword_sky_sun_kick11_promo

Large version

I like it because it looks really dynamic.

Here’s another shot of the hilt:

greatsword_sky_sun_kick13_promo

Large version

Massive sword, always a winning motive in my book.

BTW here’s how this model looked three years ago.

Stay tuned for other stuff, such as new website and, hopefully, finally, videos. 😉


Don’t ask the game developer…

… when you can shoot something. (That’s wrong on so many levels.)

… why he is working alone. (You’re not asking Banksy that, and he may not actually be working alone, you never know.)

… when his game will earn money. (Van Gogh didn’t earn money, yet now he’s considered the father of modern art.)

… why it’s taking so long. (Gaudi’s “Sagrada Familia” is still under construction, even though he’s dead.)

… why he doesn’t just work a normal job. (Keith Richards worked as a postman once. Needless to say, it didn’t last. His tame mouse probably ate too many letters.)

In other words, the game developer probably just isn’t normal. Like all those other bums I named. It is a fact of life.

o/

 


Crap of War

“Games journalists” are very excited about the latest installment in the God of War franchise, a game about brutalizing everything that walks, because Kratos is a dad now (that seems to be a thing as game developers get older – what can we do with Kratos? Oh right, make him a dad, because we can relate to that now).

Aww. He cares so much about his son that he teaches him to charge headlong into danger, instead of away from it, because Kratos totally doesn’t want the boy to become like himself.

… Smart move, Kratos.

Hand the boy a weapon and he’ll grow up to become an upstanding, peace-loving citizen, and be real good at solving problems without resorting to violence. I’m sure.

I might have more to say about it, depending on the exact way it butchers Norse mythology, in a while. But seriously, this is a thing about dismembering monsters yet everybody finds a ton of highly philosophical things to say about it?

Hand me the acid, please.


No Bingo

_protagonistbingo

Rock Paper Shotgun had an article about “Male Protagonist Bingo”, demonstrating how well-known videogame protagonists easily fill over half the card.

Naturally, I played Bingo for Scout, but no bingo for her…

Then again, someone should probably create a “Female Protagonist Bingo” card. I wonder what that would look like. “Lara Croft Clone”, “Edgy Tattoo”, “Skin Tight Suit”, “Boob Armour”, “Healer”, “Underage”, might be a good beginning, but we can keep “Military Rank”, “Supernatural Powers” and “Psychological Problems”, I think.

And… here is the female protagonist bingo. *cough*

And here is the original blog post by wundergeek. It’s the truth, all of it.


Old dog, new tricks.

Here’s a snippet you probably haven’t heard. I tried to introduce more dynamics, having these strings swell in and out to mimic a real orchestra.

I picked up a few new tricks recently, such as  using pink noise to balance the mix (google it) and doing better gainstaging in Reaper, meaning the meters aren’t flashing red anymore at all. I now mix closer to -18dB than 0dB. This gives one additional headroom, which makes things a lot more relaxed. I also started to use mid/side processing on the mix bus (this allows me to control the middle and sides of the stereo spectrum separately).

On top of that, I’m trying to measure loudness with a LUFS meter on the master bus. If you’ve never heard of LUFS, I can’t blame you, it’s something used in broadcasting to determine average loudness. Youtube and other streaming services actually limit the LUFS your video can have. Now, if I could just find out what their actual numbers are. They seem to change these limits unpredictably. If you’re too loud, your video gets limited (try right clicking on a youtube video and click “stats for nerds” if you’re interested).

Furthermore, I’m using some new plugins. I might as well mention what they are:

I also now use a dedicated mix bus in Reaper, so I can have the Master set at 0 db and measure the loudness there more precisely. All the effects have moved to the mix bus, except the loudness maximizer, LUFS meter and Pink. This became necessary because you can’t have post-fader plugins on the Master in Reaper. Loudness needs to be measured after the last fader, though.

So, a whole bunch of esoteric music stuff is being done right now. Other things as well. I’ll continue to post updates.

 

… And, of course, there is an easier way to do the swelling strings effect. Buried in the depths of Reaper, there is a plugin that allows to simply do it with bezier curves, aka envelopes. It’s called ReaControlMIDI and I don’t know why they don’t make that the default on new MIDI tracks. Reaper is awesome, but a lot of its functionality is hidden in obscure plugins or menus.

reacontrolmidi

Of course, I only find this plugin months later, while watching random youtube videos. *sigh* Feels almost like Linux! Home sweet home!