Protomen – GO!

Yep, I broke it. The music’s gone again and my prototype that I set up doesn’t work. I think I’ve complained about the sound and music system implemented in Blitz and how it was designed by somebody with either a passing knowledge of computers, noises or both. So working with the code is akin to trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle where all of the numbers are filled in with equations, in Latin notation. Possible, but really not all that intuitive.
So what was I doing exactly? I had an idea. The idea went that maybe the key of the music could change ever so subtly when you’re in combat to give an aural clue as to the kind of attack happening. So for high attacks the music could follow a major key or even a major seventh key and for low attacks a minor key would suffice. Eventually, people may be able to fight based just on the sound itself.

That’s the idea anyway, but the code got in the way. First the music would stop and the game would stutter when I triggered the alternate music since it was loading. No problem I say, I’ll load both musics and just mute one. But then the computer lets me know that I can only have 1 music playing at the same time. So I convert the code to consider the music a sound effect instead. Then I bash at it for an hour and then realize that it wants a .wav file and all I have are midi files for my music. So, yeah, that went well.

-Did I mention that I saved over my most recent file? Cause I did. I’m not too worried about it since I do have a rollback system and can pull the function from the last build that the sounds still worked in.

– I did have an idea that will make the game much nicer looking overall. I originally was thinking that I wanted a variety of transition animations, but arrived at the conclusion that setting up all of those transitions as their own player states would be bad design. So I didn’t do it. What I figured out yesterday was an animation hack that would keep the current system pristine but give me the transitions animations that I want. Basically, the animation system runs on a counter system. Each game cycle the animation counter (AFrame in the code) is increased by 1. When this is fed to the animation system it checks to see what the animation counter is at along with the current state and shows the correct frame of animation. When it gets to a preselected number it will reset in the animation code. So the run resets on the 16th frame and the counter goes back to 1 – looping the animation. There are a variety of checks to insure that the counter is never outside the ranges. If the counter is say 18, then the run will not play and the character will disappear.
So here’s the hack. Coming out of a certain state (say jumping) it will jump up the counter to something outside of the range to a different set of animations that will then reset. So using the transition from Jump to Run as an example. When the character lands, instead of setting the animation counter at 1, the jumping function can set it to say, 20. Then the animation system can find the little running staggered animations for 20, 21, 22,23 etc. When it finishes that animation it will reset back to 1 – continuing the regular running animation. So, I’ll draw out a map and see which moves transition into what moves and figure it out. I get the impression that the amount of animations would be doubled, but I think the end result would be awesome.

– In Science news I got some replies back, one of them from Tom Sloper of Sloperama, who directed me to the article that caused the confusion that led to the Science. I replied for clarification. I also got a few replies from some other very nice HR Recruiters. The general gist that I get is, “The type of degree is unimportant. We just want you to have one.” So I wonder if my current degree is enough. My hypothesis is that it may be. But only with a properly applied experiment and results will I know for sure.

-Right, it just occurred to me that anybody reading this (which is nobody) may not have 9 years worth of classical music training and would consequently have no idea what a major seventh is, so I’ll explain. It refers to a chord. A Chord is basically notes played at the same time. So if you are at a piano, pick a key, now count 4 keys (not including the key you started with) to the right and press them both. You are playing a major chord. If you count 3 keys instead, that is a minor chord. It sounds more somber or darker. A seventh chord also includes the seventh note in the scale, so if you are playing a G Major Seventh you are going to play G, B, D and F#. That set will sound very bright. For kicks play G, Bb, D an F# and you’re playing a G Minor Seventh chord.

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