Monday, December 23, 2013

Oculus Rift Support!

I'm currently working on adding Oculus Rift support to Galactose. This is something that I've been slowly working on for a while now, and its finally starting to come together a bit. While its not quite ready for primetime, its come far enought that I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to show off  basic Oculus Rift support at MAGFest.
Oculus Rift support!

One thing that should be noted in these images for anyone who tries to look at them in an Oculus Rift, is that I'm still dealing with a few bugs related to the distortion effect, so things around the periphery will look quite a bit distorted still. (That and the UI is probably not close enough to the center of the view).


3rd Person Perspective in VR

Looking around from the point behind the camera isn't really that handy.

One of the things I found while testing headtracking is that simply looking around the battlefield is kinda useless, so what I'm thinking is that when you look around with your head, the view should orbit your current ship(in drone view), so that if you look behind yourself, you'll be looking at your ship from the front and seeing anyone pursuing you. I'm also thinking it would be a neat way to aim in a direction other than the one your flying in, which could be pretty cool, although I'm a bit less set on that.

This is kinda what I'm thinking looking behind you should see.
 

Confusing Visual Bugs
This is what happens when you don't adjust the projection matrix when rendering. If you try and view this through the rift, you'll see the tho ships look close together, but look as if the engines are conjoined. Further, things in the distance won't converge to the same point, but will instead converge to almost parallel points.
To anyone out there trying to implement rift support and who gets two parallel images which don't seem to convert, you need to adjust your projection matrix a bit for each eye, adding(or subtracting) part of the z-component to the x-component. This took me a while to realize for some reason, and was compounded because I wasn't even really sure what to call that problem.

Coming "Soon"
Anyways, we'll probably push out a public new release with some incremental changes and rift support sometime after we demo the new features at MAGFest, so look forward to that in the not-to-distant future.

Monday, November 25, 2013

MAGFEST 12 (2014) and Happy Thanksgiving!

 This week I'm gonna talk about two things - our acceptance to MAGFEST and Thanksgiving. There was something else that I wanted to talk about, but its not quite ready yet...

 MAGFEST 2014

First, as we briefly mentioned last week, we have been accepted to demo our game at MAGFEST!

MAGFEST is an indie gaming and music convention in the Washington, DC area, from January 2-5, 2014 (a little over a month from now!). We don't yet have all the information about booths and stuff, so we'll post more info about that when we have it.

Overall, we are both excited and nervous about attending; it will be our first convention where we expo our game (its been briefly shown in some of Matthew's panels at various conventions, but that is different from actually having a booth on the expo floor!)

As for our booth, we're not entirely sure how big the space we'll have is going to be, and we're still trying to design what we want stuff to look like, but we're hoping to have two demo machines set up, one connected to a larger TV.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

While everyone is of course on the side of Dessert (right?)...we do have a Turkey (in the game), so it seemed like a perfect time to throw some nice images of Dinner's Turkey Mothership around:

turkey dinner ship in space
Beware the great Turkey, friends of Dessert...
Turkeys are allied with Brocolli. (The more you know)
How to address "Turkey" problems

Well, thats all for this week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear world, YOUR out-of-this-world concept artist is here! aha.. bad pun..

HELLO AGAIN! So it looks like we WILL be going to MAGFest 2014!  Look forward to meeting all of you!

Here is the new design for Sgt. Sprinkles. Please let me know what you guys think. His redesign was something that needed to be done.. something that more fit our fun and cheeky game style. As apposed to his last one Here. If you like this lil guy more, I think you'll really like the other character redesigns too!

Enjoy the tales, enjoy the scales, enjoy my little dragon.. uuuh concept art. lol
:3 
Good night.
Hope to see you all at MAGFest!

If you guys have any questions I answer questions through my newgrounds account NG Profile

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Music Update!

As of now, Galactose uses several tracks I have made prior to the game's known development. I have created new material along the way and sort of plugged them into the game. Some tracks were more effect, some were not.

Recently it did come to my attention that some of the music was a bit too epic which sort of took away from the artistic charm that the game has going for it.

I agree. However, to a certain degree there is some humor in having extremely epic over-the-top music when use sparingly or maybe just once.

I did get around to creating a brand new track for the tutorial mission called "Space Sprinkles."

After taking the review we had into consideration, I was going for here was a slower-paced feel to make sure things to seem too hectic right off the bat in the tutorial mission. There are some great thematic elements here and I did bring some old-school electronica sounds in to give it that sci-fi feel. The use of bright musical textures and a somewhat euphoric synth-scape that I cooked up does a good job to compliment the art style as well as the gameplay.

I am planning to work on more original music for Galactose as things come together.

In my experience it seems to be more effective to work with something that is almost a near finished product. In our case I'd really like to start cracking down when we get levels created and what not.

You can find the track "Space Sprinkles" here:
http://www.matthewpablo.com/galactose

You'll also find some other Galactose related tracks on there as well. I'll be using that page to post up music examples just for the blog.

Feel free to check out my other stuff as well!

That's all for now as there isn't much I can really do musically until things start moving forward a bit more.

See you guys next time!
-Matthew

Monday, October 21, 2013

Reinforcemints

Another new feature! Woohoo!


As large and epic as some of the battles in Galactose are, all too often they're still over too quickly. And unfortunately current technological limitations mean that there eventually comes a point when you have to stop adding ships. Luckily, there's another way.

The Concept


We want battles to last a good long time, and there's a couple of ways to do that. One option would be to give everything more hit points, but then killing anything takes a long time, and it's no fun when you only get to explode something every couple minutes. So, the obvious solution is to just have so many ships that it takes forever to kill them all. Unfortunately, doing so naively winds up being logarithmic in scale, and that doesn't really work out so well. The way around that is to not have everything deployed at once. Each team gets a few groups of reinforcement ships, and whenever a certain number of their active drones are destroyed, the admiral can summon a new squadron. It's a rather common solution, but it really works.

Calling Them In


Let's say you just flew and entire squadron of bombers right into the enemy fleet. And you forgot to send any support for them. Whoops. Well now you're screwed. Unless! Now's your chance to summon your reinforcements. You place a beacon for the remote squadron to lock onto and warp in towards. A minute later, you've got your new ships and are good to go. Meanwhile, your interceptors have been shredding the enemy fighters, and the cunning dinner admiral places his own beacon to get replacements. But you're better than him. The loss of your bombers was actually just a clever ruse to lull him into a false sense of security. Before the burger fighters can arrive, you make your way to the beacon and destroy it, leaving them hopelessly lost in interstellar space. Time to eat away his forces faster than he can cook 'em. Sure, they just keep coming for a while, but he'll be out long before you, and then victory'll be outta the oven in minutes.

Coming Soon


Expect videos in the coming weeks demonstrating it all in action, and even better: it'll be in the next playtest build, along with a bunch of other improvements and a few surprises you're all yet to hear about!

Monday, October 7, 2013

New concept character outlined..

Continueing work on new characters for the game. As you know our main will be somewhat of cocky, but humorous character. The second in command will be a "the right hand man" which is a female character that is feed up with his constant shenanigans, but overly loyal. The third is the crazy, lolli type, always exploding things and fist course of action is to bomb it. Then the Twins for kicks. Ill get concept art up here in a little bit for every one to see. For now ta-ta. Please stay tuned in for the future posts of character art work ;]

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sweet sounding explosions and savory soundscapes...


Where to begin...

For a while now the sound design was pending a huge overhaul even since the beginning. There were many key points that me and John had with sound early on and they were addressed in the past couple of builds where things really started to pick up a couple of months ago.

The explosions, lasers and overall sound of delicious treats having a go at each other in against an epic space battle foreground was much better, though looking into it a bit more it seems that things may need another update to the sound design.

Producing music and sound are two very different things although many audio producers/composers end up doing both. It should never be assumed that a composer or a SFX designer could do both right off the bat, but there are some including myself who are adept in all areas of general audio.

_________________

First I'd like to present some of the tools I've been using for both SFX and music:




FL Studio

http://www.image-line.com/documents/flstudio.html

FL Studio is a very versatile program used by mostly electronic producers but it is capable of handling any type of project and workflow.

_________________





  
Pro Tools
http://www.avid.com/US/products/pro-tools-software/

Pro Tools to me is more of a post-production and mastering tool  as I usually only use it towards the last steps of completing a music track or sound effect layer if needed.

_________________

Creating the Soundscape

John initially came up with the idea of creating a soundscape in the background to complement the overall feel of a large scale space battle without having all of the sounds going on drowning everything around you out and possibly blowing out your speakers. There is a lot going on, but that's not a bad thing for the gameplay at least. As far as sound is concerned, everything is making a sound no matter where you are on screen and though proximity is something that is figured into the sound engine it can still be a bit much. Currently a under layer of sound is in progress. --Ideally you'd only hear a very small fraction of what's actually going on, so you'd only really hear what's happening around you. This way it's less muddy and will probably sound a lot better, but the problem with that is there is way too much else going on and will sound more empty than the game actually seems with all the action going on. Creating this "underlayer" will constantly be looping in the background to create an audible sense of the epic space battles to complement what's happening on the screen.

_________________

How is it done?

Anyways, I started with creating my own layer of orchestral sounds to create something that most people would think is "space music" or "space pads" which is mostly ambient sounding. Musically speaking it's pretty much polychordal and clusterous textures. Though it seems like a lot of instruments, the contrasting sounds of each orchestral instrument help to create a better ambient. I could've used some electronic pads but I wanted to try something that sounded a bit more natural this time around:







Symphobia 2
http://www.projectsam.com/Products/Feature-Products/


 HERE COMES THE BOOM... and Sprinkles...
 Nothing like a good old epic drum sample library to bring some boom to the explosions. I am using this to create distant explosions. I went with a low rumble sound with a bit of a kick to create the sound of exploding deserts happening from a distance.


Native Instruments: Damage
http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/orchestral-cinematic/damage/



8Dio Productions: Hybrid Tools Vol. 2
http://8dio.com/instrument/hybrid-tools-2/


Sound effects and putting that cherry on top...
 Like I said SFX is getting another overhaul, but it shouldn't be too drastic. One problem is too many sounds playing at once and blowing out your speakers... With some compression on some of the effects that would help to have more sounds playing at once without going over the decibel limit which would cause your speakers to "clip" or in an extreme case; blow out.

There are many compressors, limiters, and maximizers out there, but here are some that I use:

The first one here called "Sausage Fattener" is revered to be one of the best maximizer out there and surprisingly it only has two knobs! It's been highly praised by many professionals in the industry. This plugin ismostly used in hard hitting dance music but it works in this case as well.

 Sausage Fattener
http://www.dadalife.com/sausage-fattener


URS Strip Pro is another highly revered plugin used by industry professionals in across all genres and styles of audio production. Extremely versatile and will make any uncompressed audio track sound great. Season to taste!



URS Strip Pro
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StripProNat

Getting closer to the final product...

I'm a lot closer to a final version of the soundscape and will probably create similar variations to make sure things are always sounding fresh rather than repetitive, it should sound natural and unnoticeable which will help with creating a more immersive sensory experience with Galactose.


A closer look at the workflow in the playlist editor in FL Studio:
Well, that's all I have for now, there will be many more coming updates here on the blog from me and hopefully a new build with some of the implementations from some of the work I've shown here today!

As always check out my music website for new music updates and to see what else I'm up to in the game and film industry:
http://www.matthewpablo.com

I hope that you enjoyed looking into the sound design of Galactose today with me. See you at my next update!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Popsicle Sniper Progress

Hello everyone. Sid here. So, I don't have a whole lot done since my last post mainly because of some college stuff I had to do, but I will show you guys some ideas I've put together for a new type of ship! As David might have mentioned in the previous post, there are a few different types of ships that are in the game. I've put together some ideas for a new type of ship that will be long ranged and I began doing a bit of work on a ship called the "Popsicle Sniper" for the Dessert faction. Why a popsicle? Well . . . .I'm not quite sure, but I think I picked it because it was long and would look bad @ss with a huge long barrel cannon attached to it! Anyways, I've only just started on it, but here is a pic of some work in progress:



 Here's a sideways version of it. . . . in case we want something different.

SO, that is what I have for right now. Slow progress, but more to come later! Cya guys in the next post!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Drone AI in Galactose

Whatup everybody! David here. Today I'm going to talk about artificial intelligence in Galactose. There's quite a bit of AI at work; to name a few there are systems to control drones, cruisers, motherships, various types of hard points, wings, and admirals. But today we're only going to focus on one: the most common and in some ways the most fundamental, the drone ship!

Inside the Mind of a Drone


All three drone types- fighters, bombers, and scramblers- use the same AI system. The differences in their behavior just come from different parameters used in them. They all share similar priorities such as avoiding obstacles, destroying their targets, and sticking with their flight (and ultimately squadron, wing, and fleet).

Staying Alive


Above all else a drone ship should avoid crashing into things. It looks silly when two ships just run into each other or when one smacks right into an asteroid or mothership. It's also very frustrating as an admiral to lose ships because your pilots are idiots. So, first priority: stay alive.

Whenever a drone AI updates it finds everything in the surrounding area that it could collide with and checks if it has to worry. If the object in question has a complex shape like a mothership, then it uses a simple ray-cast and calculates where the crash would occur if it kept its current heading, then it turns away from that point. If it's something less complex then it's probably another drone ship or an asteroid, in which case (counter-intuitively) things get a little more complicated.

In this case, both the drone and the other object are likely moving at high speeds, which means that a collision could come sooner, so it has to avoid more. To make sure that it doesn't spend all its time avoiding it performs a simple check to see how long it will be until it's a certain distance from the target. At first there seems to be a lot of math that goes into this check, but it boils down to a simple quadratic equation test returning between zero and two time values. Zero means that at the current velocities there will never be a collision. With two times it takes the minimum positive one, and with one time it only uses it if it's positive. Assuming there is a time and it's within the near future, the drone simply turns away from the object in question.

On the Prowl


The next most important task is to make sure that the enemy doesn't stay alive. As many of you already know, the trick to defeating just about any enemy is to shoot at it until it dies. But there's another problem here: what to shoot? There's so many options! And so it's a matter of priorities. If the drone already has a target, but it doesn't seem very appealing anymore then it just lets it go. If there is a target, and it's still worth pursuing, then the target selection section is skipped.

For selection, whether the old target was dropped or if the drone just never had one, it needs to search. It queries the world for all enemies within its sight range and evaluates them for the highest priority. Closer enemies make better targets than far ones. Enemies in front of the drone are better to attack than those behind it. This is also where some of the behavior variation comes into play. Bombers assign no priority to other drones; they only go after hard points or bigger targets. Scramblers prefer to attack targets that aren't already disabled.

If the drone has picked a new target or if it just had one all along, then it proceeds to attack. The basic idea here is to find out where the target is moving relative to the drone, aim for that point, and shoot. This is mostly just math, but there is some variance. The drones do not shoot at every opportunity, otherwise the sheer number of projectiles would bring the system to its knees. Instead they just randomly fire every several frames. Secondly, their aim is not perfect. Early in development this was unintentional, but one day I noticed that it was far worse than we had anticipated. In the moments after I discovered the glitch in our intercept calculation code hilarity ensued. The drones all had perfect aim and nearly everything would be obliterated in a minute. The player was lucky to survive for four seconds. Luckily a quick random offset later and everything was A-okay.

Formation Movement


Once the drone has the whole "not exploding" thing down and can't find any targets to engage, it takes on its final task: staying in formation. Galactose is a very visual game, so if nothing else flying in formation looks really cool, especially compared to a flying mass. This formation flight typically happens when a squadron is idling and waiting for orders or when its on its way to engage the enemy. We had originally implemented a typical flocking algorithm with separation, cohesion, and alignment, but it just didn't look exciting. The same functions can be accomplished but in a more orderly fashion if you know exactly where each ship belongs.

The formation each squadron takes is essentially a two tier flying V. Each flight organizes itself with the leader in front and the others on the sides. Then the squadron leader's flight takes the front and the other flights line up behind it. To accomplish this each 'V' group sorts itself in a list of left-most from the leader to right-most. This list is then split in half, and each side sorts itself again; this time along the forward direction of the leader. The front-most left and right drones line up behind and beside the leader. Then the next closest two line up on their respective sides behind them, and this continues until all ships are assigned a spot in the formation.


Wrapping Up (and a New Playtest Build!)


There's a few other minor things I didn't mention above such as controlling throttle or how the drones act when "disabled", but there's only so much you can fit into single post. I hope you've enjoyed this, or at least found it mildly thought provoking, because it's one of my favorite parts of writing Galactose!

More importantly however: I have good news! We've got a new playtest build out! It's mostly tweaks and fixes as the new features are still under development, but it's most definitely worth checking out.
Link! https://www.dropbox.com/s/0bmhza0qqmy7itc/deploy-alpha-0005-tuesday%2C%20august%2027%2C%202013CEv2.zip

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hello again people of the internet!

Hello again people of the internet!

Your Galactose concept artist here! I've been away studying in Japan. Now that I am back I see a lot of changes and better ideas I have for the characters. I feel like they might be a bit too stiff and the coloring over done for the simplicity of the characters. I'm going to be working on some new poses, just for a more natural feeling and less coloring. Something more simplistic to fit the characters.


Currently we have at least three characters a possible forth (I'll talk about at the end).

The first as I mentioned in my first post (here Older blog) is the "main" Stg. Sprinkles. This concept piece feels a bit stiff to me. The leader type.

The second character will be the right hand wo-man Ice DeBerry Creame, yes it's a pun off of Charlotte de Berry the famous female pirate. The serious type.

The third character will be the funny and crazy type character. I don't have a set name on  him yet (In fact none of the names are 100% set in stone yet). But I like to call him Cherry Bomb Pie.

The forth tentative character(s) are two twin brother and sister characters. If we do have these characters they will be for the banana split ship.

Right-o, I don't have much more to report on for art. We MIGHT be going to MAGFest JAN. 2014 - NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. If we do please stop by and say hello to me. 8)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Trail Effects in Galactose

Hey Everyone!

Sorry about the lack of a post last week, anyways, this week I will be talking about trail effects in Galactose.

Trails are important!
Overall, Trails are one of the effects that most expresses the visual style in Galactose. We use trails for projectiles and behind ships. They are also something that has gone through a large number of revisions. This week I'll take you through their history and explain a bit about their implementation.

Some History
Originally the trail effect started as a quick modification of the "wake" effect from a game called "Poultry Pirates", which we wrote for a 3d games course. Poultry Pirates became the initial tech base for Galactose (then called Star Chronicles), and initially, I used a slightly modified wake effect for the trails. It wasn't great, but it was very quick to (ab)use the old effect for this purpose:

Humble beginnings...
As a side note, I always thought the orange shot effect looked pretty cool. Anyways, this was the state of the trail effects on January 28, 2011. It should be noted that this is long before many game systems such as .obj file loading were implemented.

Improvements
Those old trails were pretty buggy, and had a lot of visual artifacts and were generally pretty slow, however. Thus, they were revised...

An allied ship's trail ~(March 10, 2012)

The next iteration of trails looked a fair bit better, though you can still see quite a few visual artifacts here. In fact, it had additional artifacts when looking at it from behind the player's ship:
The player ship's trail ~(March 10, 2012)
But, here, you can see the genesis of how we implement our trails. Basically, we abuse additive blending and the geometry shader.

Coloring
The coloring is based on a cool strategy I implemented in a homework assignment for a computer graphics class, in order to make my particle system much cooler.

Basically, I use a 4th degree polynomial to decide the color at a given point along the trail. I use the position along the trail with some scaling and tweaking as the x term, and have 5 coefficents for each of the red, green, and blue components. For the effect seen on the dinner ships, the terms I use are


             //a        b         c        d          e
             0.00f, -0.00f,  0.03f, 0.16f,  0.00f, //red
             0.00f,  0.01f, -0.03f, 0.03f, -0.00f, //green
             0.00f,  0.02f, -0.13f, 0.15f,  0.13f  //blue

Trail Particles
The Individual particles of the trails are pretty simple to render. First, we decide their color with the coloring strategy above, then, per-pixel, we decide on the opacity based on how far the pixel is from the center of the particle. We could have done this last part with a texture lookup, but I've found that it also works pretty nicely to just use the distance formula and pick their opacity procedurally, which was a strategy I came to like after taking Procedural Shading.

Additive Blending
Anyways, basically additive blending works, is that you make things "brighter" when you additively blend atop them. This has a number of useful properties, first of all, its great for "energy" type effects which want to make things "brighter", and secondly, since addition is communitive, the order that additive things are blended does not matter. Both of these properties are important for trails, if you break them you get things like this:
A Trail Rendering Bug
Clearly, this is not what you want to do. (In this case, iirc, it was actually that it wasn't applying blending)

Anyways, the other part of our trail system is that we keep track of a series of points where the trail emitter has been recently, and use the geometry shader to interpolate a number of small quads between those points, which are then additively blended together to produce the trail visual.


Low End Graphics Cards
For different trail quality levels, I adjust the number of trail particles, so if you turn down the quality, you might start to see the individual particles more, and the gaps between them, which will tend to look something like the "Player ship's trail" image above.

 But isn't this expensive to render, you ask?
Well, that actually depends. On decent discrete modern graphics cards, it runs pretty smoothly, but for something like a really old integrated Intel graphics card, it is kinda a problem, so we use a slightly different approach for our "ultra low graphics" mode.

Ultra-low-quality Graphics mode
Normally, you probably wouldn't notice the distortions visible above, it took me a few minutes to find the right direction to view it from; Anyways, for ultra-low-graphics mode, we "cheat" for distant trails, and render the trail with 3 polygons - two at a cross-section to give the length of the trail, and two cross-sectional slices which help hide the effect from the front and the back (you can see those cross-sectional slices as the two "bumps" in the above image). Overall, this actually comes pretty close visually to the most important cues about trails, but it creates trails that are very "rigid" and which can't express trajectory at all, instead, they stiffly point right behind the "emitter", in a straight line.

Ultra-Low-Quality Graphics Mode + no glow
Its perhaps easier to see whats going on with the broccoli bombers and the glow effect turned off. Notice the cross shaped sections above. The reason you can notice the trails on these ships is because the cross sectional slice is occluded by the back of the broccoli ship, and with the glow off, its also much easier to see. Anyways, if you don't look too closely, it looks like a very similar effect to the "nice" trails, but at a much lower rendering cost.


Glow and Polish
Large Trails
With a few more months of tweaking and minor improvements trails began to look event better.

Almost surprisingly, this works across a fairly large range of trail sizes. In the above image, you can see a fairly recent change to trail rendering in Galactose, where we added a "glow" effect to them (along with many other effects in Galactose), which makes them look significantly cooler
Glow (Left)                 and        Without Glow (Right)

Anyways, for the "glow" effect, we basically render to a lower-resolution off-screen buffer, then blur that a few times and then blend it back into the final image. We use an approach probably not all that different from the one described in GPU Gems 2. Instead of a glow texture, we render the effects which want a glow effect normally and then use that. We also use a somewhat different implementation since we're not as constrained by the shader language as they were back then.

Future Work
Concept Art from the Start Screen


More Concept Art
There are always things to improve. What I'd like to improve the most is to make the trails look less smooth and more chunky, like you see on the background of the start screen. I haven't quite figured out how to do this yet, but I think it would really take the visual polish to the next level.









Conclusions
Probably my favorite trails
I still think the trails on the enemy ships are probably my favorite trails, I really like the "fiery" impression they give off.

Thanks for reading my long winded post about trails.

Also, since we are demoing our latest build tomorrow, be on the lookout for a new build soon. (sadly, it won't be a huge change in things, but it will have some improvements)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hello there fellow pilots

Hello there fellow pilots, Gamers, and food lovers alike. My name is Rob Summerhays and I am your fellow 3D Designer for this grand scrumptious game we call Galactose. I have been working on this game for half a year now coming up with concepts that the whole team discusses. I have worked on the carrot missals that you see on the salad turrets along with the salad turrets themselves. We currently are working on new ship designs and classes that will enhance and strengthen the space combat experience. I am currently working on a support class ship for the dessert side. This ship will be vital in your battles ahead. Protecting you from the dinner with a shield or healing your units on the battle field. I really cant wait to see how our game further develops and grows with our new upcoming ships and our RTS system being worked on by the whole team. We look forward to your amazing feedback everyday and strive to make an experience that is both fun and unique to our fellow space explorers. Thats all I have for now but will come at you with another update next week. In the meantime keep gaming and keep baking!    

Monday, August 12, 2013

August Demo Night

Hey Everyone!

We're gonna demo our current build of Galactose at the NYC Games Forum's August Demo Night.

The event is at 6:15 PM, on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, located at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Floor, New York, NY. 

If you want to attend, you need to RSVP here.

Its not a long event, but there will be a couple of other games by other developers at the demo night, so if you are in the area it might be interesting to attend.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hello again! Matthew Pablo here, composer and sound designer for Galactose!

It's been quite a while since my last post and frankly, quite a while since I've delved into creating new material for Galactose. That's not necessarily a bad thing since usually music and audio is usually part of the final steps of game production. I do have some thoughts and some interesting things to say about some of the work that I have done for Galactose. First off, I did briefly explain how I came to be part of this development team through John finding me on opengameart.org which is an open-source art website for developers to use whatever material they want from that site for free basically. I bring this up because initially they were looking for a good music track to back the cupcake-dog-fighting action and it was this piece I made for an RTS that is no longer in production. To me, it was to "organic" and "tribal" sounding considering the use of only orchestral instruments. Laser slinging cupcakes in space is no where near that sort of sound, so since they felt this track musically fit really well I decided to give this orchestral track an electronica makeover making it more fitting to the gameplay and art style.

You can hear the comparison here on my website:
http://www.matthewpablo.com/agrualexamples

Now one might assume that video game tracks are usually no longer than a minute, and commonly they are just short loops. This track had a different purpose; to be thematic and to complement a longer and slower paced style gameplay of a a strategy game. Sure, I could've used loops but in a slower paced game, I'm sure you don't want to hear the same thing over and over again for about 30 minutes or longer... Instead I went with a pretty varying musical track with memorable leitmotifs that stays interesting for about 7 minutes. Having this on repeat should have a better effect on the player who is emerged in a 30+ minute strategy mission. For Galactose, it still works well since it has a pretty good feel to complement the gameplay. Though it is still on the longside, I'm sure that players won't notice. There is room to shorten, but for now I think it still works. We have discussed a more interactive approach to the soundtrack where the music can evolve and adapt depending on the course of the mission or level which might be very interesting, but it might not be necessary since missions or levels might be executed in a simpler fashion. We'll just have to wait and see what we bring to the dinner table.

"But hey Matthew, this track and a lot of your other game music is pretty cinematic at times. How do you find a balance between the similarities and the contrasting differences of film and game music?"

Well, this could be a whole set of lectures on how to compare and contrast these two types of music production. For me, it's all about complementing the media no matter if it is a film, commercial or video game. Yes, there are many technical, musical, compositional, and conceptual aspects of this sort of music production one must know to be able to properly produce effective music for certain types of media, but since there is a common goal to best complement the media there are definitely many similarities. Basically I'd ask myself these basic questions:

-Does it fit the media?
-Is it effective?
-Does it make my producer/director happy?

That last one is probably the most important since they have the last say in everything you do regardless if you or others think it is the most effective piece of music for this project. Some projects may require a lot of music or maybe even none at all. Working with this development team I feel that I am sort of my own producer/director in the audio department as I am probably the most experienced in this field to know what works best and what doesn't, but I do know that the game itself is king. If it doesn't effectively complement the game then it is not right. Much of this is pretty subjective in a way but those of us with a lot of gaming experience should have a very good opinion in the matter.

"So Matthew, what is your goal musically for Galactose?"

Like I have previously mention, I want to help create the most effective and immersive experience for the player. Which means exciting music and sounds to really give that "Galactose" vibe of colorful treats shooting each other down with lasers into a tasty oblivion in space. But no, seriously I think that the electronica synth sound with a lot of "bright" and "colorful" overtones added will definitely give that deliciously sweet sci-fi shooter vibe. I am hoping to create a soundscape for this game that will leave the players hungry for yummy treats and hungry for more Galactose.

Okay sorry guys I'm done with the puns.

Anyways, we all have a lot to do in the next coming phases and I will surely keep you guys updated on my side of things.

Again, if you'd like to hear more of my music you can find it on my website:
http://www.matthewpablo.com

If you'd like, please send me any of your questions and/or comments you may have for me on my website here:
http://www.matthewpablo.com/contact

See you guys later!
Matthew


Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey all! My name is Keith Ziegler

Hey all! My name is Keith Ziegler, and I am the writer for Galactose, Pastries in Space, and I feel that it is my duty to build an incredibly ridiculous atmosphere with quirky characters and smart-ass comments. This will mark my first real professional writing project, so my weeks so far have been brainstorming ideas that I can then bounce off everyone else in the group. I was given absolute free reign with no restrictions, so the writing process started out slow, as I had to re-think and re-write several ideas in an attempt to make everyone on the design team satisfied. But I believe that that is all behind us, and I can now put more focus and energy on scripting a story for this fantastic universe.
Although I won't talk spoilers long, the main theme that I am looking for is the "refusal of compromise". Meaning no matter what, these two races can never see eye to eye, and disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. In fact, no one really knows what sparked this war to begin with!
The great oven in the sky has read and approved this message, so I leave with this: Thank you for the continued interest in our project, and we hope the end product will be more than worth the wait!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cruiser Parts and Debris

Hey everyone! This will be my first post on the blog. You guys can call me Sid and if you ever see the name Sidx30 out on the internet, it's most likely me! I am one of the awesome 3D artists working on Galactose and I am going to a share a bit on what I have been making.....err destroying to be precise!

I've been working on taking various parts out of the hot dog cruiser and making them into broken parts and debris. This will allow us to have a more realistic cruiser explosion and it will also make it more dangerous to be around a cruiser when it explodes. These parts will also be lingering around in space creating more dynamic obstacles for the player to take into account. I've attached a little screenshot showing what I've made below!

That's all for now. Stay tuned for our weekly updates! We are going to be pushing out some really cool stuff!



Monday, July 15, 2013

The Plan

 In this week's post I'll be talking about some of our plans and goals for the next few months.

Before I go any further however, I'd like to emphasize that all plans are subject to change, they just reflect our current plans at this ephemeral moment in time.

Overall, our plan has had four main phases:

Phase 1: The drone combat system and our capstone. This phase has been pretty much completed.

Phase 2: RTS Design & Implementation. This is where we are planning to add some RTS elements to our game, and is the phase that we are currently working on.

Phase 3: "Big Content". This is the phase where we will build a real campaign and flesh out a story and add lots of content to greatly expand the gameplay beyond an hour or so.

Phase 4: "Marketing & Polishing". This is the final phase we've planned; Here, we would focus heavy duty on marketing and final polish details.


While we're currently in phase 2, we have done a good amount of the RTS design, and so have started doing some of the design for phase 3. Additionally, we are currently thinking of doing phases 3 and 4 slightly differently. In particular, we're thinking of focusing on about two or three missions for phase 3 initially, ones which will provide a good cross-section of gameplay, and which we can polish to a very high level.

The plan would then be to finish most of the design, and create a budget plan which we could use to set a target budget for a Kickstarter goal.

Finally, we would launch a kickstarter alongside a new, highly polished demo and see if we can actually make this game full-time.

Anyways, we've begun designing some of the missions for this demo, and we have some cool ideas. But I'll leave that for other people to talk about, in other future weeks.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Command View Feature: Tactics/Battle Plans

Hey all! It's been a while since I've posted. Time kinda disappears on you after you graduate and get a job... BUT- we are all still actively working here, and to prove it I'm showing off the beginnings of a new feature we're adding to the mothership/command view.

To make strategizing both more significant and more manageable we're adding the ability to execute pre-defined battle plans or tactics. They could be as simple as a pincer move, or something a little more complex like having two forces of fighters alternatively swoop in and out at a point for a few minutes to clear out defenses and then flying in some bomber squadrons to deal a lethal blow to a mothership.

The system basically works as a finite state machine of ship groups, orders, points in space, and timing/order completion conditions. For example, the video below shows a basic pincer move. The logic behind it is essentially as follows:
  • Create two groups, each with half the ships of each type
  • Move them to each side of the given focal point for the tactic
  • Once both sides are in position, order them to attack the center


Please pardon the lower graphics settings I'm using in the game; the machine I'm currently working with isn't quite the most powerful :( so I can't use the fancy shields and there are a few lag/skips I'm still ironing out...

Anywho, there's much more to come! Keep checking back with us week by week for updates :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hello out there, I'm the 2D artist for Galactose

Hello out there, I'm the 2D artist for Galactose. My name is Mignon, and my online tag is Zakuga. Zakuga is my tag for pretty much everything. I started drawing for Galactose when Matt our composer asked around newgrounds for an artist. It's a pretty cool game and it will be awesome when its out of development.

 I'm working on new character art for the game. Currently we have 3 new characters that will be coming out: Sgt. Sprinkles, the rogue captain; Ice deBerry Creame, his right hand battle ready woman; Cherry Bom-Pie, the explosion happy bomber. These characters are still being developed and are still subject to change. :)

Here is a preview of Sgt. Sprinkles:


I hope you like him.
If you could click the "Thumbs up" button on steam that would  be a huge help for us on steam:
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Don't me scurr'd none to PM me for anything on any of my sites.
Here are my sites if you want to look at anything more: