Dev Blog 25 – Progress Update And Sound

Hello readers,

So we’ve been lacking lately in the blog department with other development duties having to take priority. As it’s been a while since our last blog I figure that it would be a good time to update everyone on what’s been happening at Space Budgie HQ.

With regards to the next update, we’re having to hold it off until January. We were hoping to put it out this week before Christmas break, but unfortunately too many things broke at the last minute and it didn’t give us enough time to test the update. Once we’re back in the new year we’ll put it out for release ASAP.

In other news, we’ve also finalized our release window now for coming out of early access. We’re not ready to share the date just yet, but people won’t be needing to waiting too long (relatively speaking at least!). What I can say is that you can expect the release date to be announced in the next several months, with not too long to wait after that.  The mechanic of the game is close to where we want it to be, so we’ll be spending the remainder of our time adding the rest of the levels to Glitchspace and polishing everything up for the release.

So for this behind the scenes look, I figured we’d revisit the sound department of the game, as it’s been a while since we’ve had a look at it. Aside from my other studio duties, I get to jump back into it now and again and I’ve largely being working on finishing the remaining sound effects left for the game as well as replacing placeholder assets.  Here’s some examples of what I’ve been up to (some of them aren’t in the game yet as other work has taken priority, but they’ll all be in for the next update):

The Fountain

At the moment the game has a lot of empty space and as the environment is very abstract we thought that taking an abstract approach to how the game world sounds would compliment it. We’re using these sparingly as they’re designing to work with set pieces in the game.

Take the game fountain. This was initially tricky to figure out, as it spews out squares (and how does a fountain of squares sound like?). I just went with a literal translation here and just focused on the water, the light sources and using a trickling sound for the squares. This trickling was the sound of bacon sizzling being recorded (so yes, there is bacon in the game…). I’ve split up the elements into three separate audio tracks below (the middle one is the bacon if you’re interested…). The end file is for when the player is close up to the fountain: here I wanted the player to feel like they really were standing under a fountain and getting splashed somewhat.

the fountain

Atmospheres

Some other constructions in the game lend themselves to more environmental sorts of sounds as well. Here I put together rainfall and some stormy-like wind for one of the chambers (you’ll hear this one in chamber 6).

The Light Shaft

At Space Budgie, we’re all about shafts (sorry, bad internal joke…), and another abstract example is… the light shaft. Initially I just had the drone here, but I decided to layer in this bird-like sound on top of it to draw your ears more. Interestingly it isn’t actually birds, it’s just short high pitched noise bursts with reverb on them:

Animations

There’s a number of different animations in the game (some more environmental ones are still to go in), but I figured that I’d show these two for the chamber where you pick up the toolbox. Earlier versions of these are already in the game. After putting them in, I decided to beef up one and tone the other one done (the earlier version of the animation before picking your toolbox up sounded a bit too sinister so I chose to pull it back a bit)

Ambiences

I split the background audio loop into two categories: a loop for the purple areas of the game and a loop for the blue areas of the game. I tried doing a more cyberspace drone a while back, but it just sounded like you were on some sort of space-ship so just went with these more organic ideas instead. I wanted the blue one to make you feel high up, with the purple areas feeling dark and low.

Ther’s others that I haven’t shown, but hopefully this gives you a better idea of how the finished soundscape for the game is coming along. There’s not too much left for me to do in this department: once that’s done it’ll be a case of writing the last music and getting all of that into the game’s new story mode (which will result from the R&D mode that we’re developing).

Thanks for reading and have a great new year!

Ronan