Hey Crew! Here is a direct link to play Prosperity online, so no downloads are necessary.
Link to Prosperity Game
So what are my thoughts on prosperity and how do I rate the success of this project? To begin, I would like to say I view this game as a great success, because it has taught me a great deal on vertical layering and the issues that may arise when implementing this method (more about the issues later). Jack Kusskoff (Game Design and Programming) was a pleasure to work with and his comprehensive asset lists and willingness to incorporate vertical layering was a major win to a humble Audio Guy and in my opinion enhanced the game significantly. Playability was fair and I loved it (who doesn’t love what they have created…paternal instinct!) but the general populace, who had no idea of the mechanics of the game found it to be a little confusing. For a detailed report on the end-user issues then check out Jacks blog here.
This is what is great about being a student studying audio for games, the ability to learn from mistakes and take constructive criticism, to be able to bring a new product to the table and say how do we make it better? More importantly the greatest thing about being in an environment like SAE-QANTM is having the ability to bite off more than you can chew, chew like heck and realise that you have learnt your limits and be humbled by it, all the while students and staff are supporting you because they know you have learnt a valuable lesson, know thyself (then raise the bar!). Without knowing your limits then how are you ever going to learn, grow and beat your best?
Audio Assets For Prosperity
- Early game music, four layers (4)
- End game music, four layers (4)
- Bask track (1)
- Revel track (1)
- God laughing, happy and menacing (4)
- God Sighing (2)
- God Growl (4)
- Cash spent (8)
- Building of the tower (8)
- Workers sacrificed (5)
- Birds and eerie wind (2)
Total number of assets 43
It takes up too much space!
With the 43 audio assets taking up around 250 MB the load time for game was way too slow. Jack and I agreed to compress the files from 48K – 24 Bit .wav files to 320kbps mp3 files, this reduced the data by almost 90% but a problem arose from doing this that I am still trying to figure out. The problem was that during compression some of the audio files failed to loop seamlessly, was it my settings? I know that the .wav versions looped without fault, but because of this last-minute decision to change formats, I had trusted the mp3s to do the same (never trust an mp3!) and failed to test the new versions in play. The result of the conversion was a millisecond gap when some of the layers looped and I have one theory that I will investigate further, the theory being that some of the layers had digital silence at their tails (for timing purposes) and these silences were snipped off during conversion (if you don’t need it, get rid of it).
With this being said, I noticed the gap blatantly but most of the people play testing didn’t mention it, thanks for being polite but I wonder how many people noticed it as much as I? Furthermore play-testing is meant to be a way to iron out bugs, so politeness has to take a backseat.
If anyone reading this blog knows more about this anomaly then please share your thoughts in the comment section!
So the learning lesson here is that at the start of the project always discuss formats and size limitations so when it comes to crunch time, things go according to plan. All and all, Prosperity was one of the most ambitious games I have worked on in terms of vertical layering and both Jack and I were really pleased about how the compositional method complimented the style of the game. You’ll be happy to know that Jack has assembled a team to work on his new game Dyadic (6 week timeframe) and needless to say, your humble blogging host is stepping up once again to produce the audio!