Blind Trust!

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At long last, the team has settled on a name that we all like: Blind Trust. I didn’t come up with the name, but I did create a large communal list of names for the team to vote on. I also ran the name decision meeting. At the end of that meeting, we picked Unseen Sound, but the next day Kat suggested Blind Trust and we all decided we liked that better on Sunday. Honestly, I don’t know how we didn’t come up with that name sooner, but a good name should feel obvious. Finally making this decision gives us the ability to promote our game through social media again. Laurie has set up the Facebook and Twitter pages, and I’m running the YouTube channel since I have a lot of experience with that. We can also now start posting on our website again.

I’m the main point of contact for our composer, Caleb Blood, too, and I’m really excited about using his work for our game. With my background in music performance, it feels good to talk to someone about specific music qualities again. I’m always thrilled to use my music education to make games in any capacity. So I’ve elected to look into finding more and better sound effects for our game as well, since our efforts to find a sound designer have seemingly fallen through. Yesterday I played around with BFXR for about 90 minutes and came up with some cool basic sound effects. I don’t know if they will sound appropriate in our game but I had fun making them nonetheless. I’m looking into other sites and methods of creating effects this week so I can hopefully get really good effects for at least a few of the key sounds. Here are a few of my favorite effects that I made:

Crystal Hum
Monster Sound
Distress Ping

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our All-Hands studio meeting last Thursday. For the presentations, Brian and Jose wanted a quieter member of the group to give at least the razor and the pitch for each game. I nominated four members of our team and they decided among themselves who would do the honors (Yash ended up the lucky winner). The presentation itself went well. We’ve mostly made progress on the art side of our game these past two weeks so our demo reflected that. I talked through the video which toured the landscape of our first level which we plan on submitting to IGF. The studio had a lot of good things to say about the art style so I think we’ve made good decisions on that front.

We’ve hashed out the design of the IGF level as well. I ran the level design meeting on the 13th and those of us that wanted a say in the design all sat down to talk through each detail of the level. Here are the specs that I wrote up from the meeting:

IGF Level
Setting: Beach area leading into forest
Environment Assets: Sand, Caves, Rocks, Trees, Small Plants, Flowers
Interactable Objects: Keys, Doors, Buttons, Health potions, Mana crystals (emit sound)
Mechanics: Shoot monsters, tag monsters, ping, tag objects, shoot objects, interact with objects, enemies drop collectibles when killed, warning tells players when they are too far apart (audio and visuals), mana (finite uses), health
Enemies: Monster Type 1: invisible to the Deaf player. Monster Type 2: is invisible to the blind player. Smaller monsters are weaker, larger monsters are more dangerous.
Kinds of Pings: Blind – Location, Deaf – Location, Blind – Warning, Deaf – Warning, Blind – Distress, Deaf – Distress
Level Specs:

Length: 5-10 minutes
Teaches cooperation, tagging, interacting with objects, and killing monsters
Goal: Bridge that requires three “keys” to cross. Can be seen from beginning of level.
Players Start: On beach next to shore. Goal is made known to them when they start. Ocean is behind them. Empty boat is nearby on shore. Players start spread apart but come together at the first door.
First Door: In the middle of a bottleneck. Blocked by crystal. Blind player tags crystal to remove it and Deaf player opens the door. Leads to first monster encounter.
First Encounter: Small Type 1 Monster at the end of walkway. Teaches players how to defeat monsters. Leads to main section of level.
Main section: Branching pathway with three big monsters holding the keys at different ends. Bridge is at the center with slots for keys on a console. Small monster encounters are littered throughout the main section. Crystals before this section can be used to restore mana.
Bridge: Cross to finish level. End of bridge should look inviting or exciting to players to make them want to cross.

Overall, I’m excited about our current direction and think we’ll have a strong build for IGF. We’ve only got four weeks left, so crunch time will hit us hard. But if we can make it through October without killing ourselves or each other, I think our team will only get stronger. Each of us has done a peer evaluation this week and we’ll receive our individual feedback from Brian and Jose tomorrow. I’m really eager to see what the rest of the team has to say about me and what I can do to improve as a producer, a team member, and a designer. I’ll probably post again in two weeks. See you on the next level!

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