“Lonely Fortress” Trivia!

Posted by (twitter: @Winterblood_Dev)
May 3rd, 2011 2:22 pm

Not a blow-by-blow post-mortem, just a list of random trivia and dev-nightmare anecdotes…

  • I wasted about 2 hours attempting to rewrite some of the standard Unity scripts from JS to C# (which I prefer, and had already written the tower generation in). At that point I gave up and had to work in both languages. I then wasted another hour or so jumping through hoops to get different language scripts to talk to each other. Don’t mix your languages, kids.
  • The tower is procedurally generated, but it always uses the same hardwired seed, because I was afraid it would generate a tower that was impossible to climb – and the one I was testing proved enough of a challenge. I also wanted it much, much taller, but that would have required respawn points on the tower, and an optimization pass to help Unity cope with hundreds of mesh colliders.
  • The “take this” was originally going to be a companion like Yorda in Ico…for about 3 seconds. Then it was going to be a hamster in a ball that you had to throw ahead of you so your hands were free to grab ledges (the hamster would actively avoid rolling off ledges, see). I actually implemented most of it before realising that it was more of a ball and chain for the player than a fun mechanic, so that blew a chunk of Saturday. I stuck with the ledge grab and made the companion just give useful advice instead. I will also admit to having playing Portal 2 recently.
  • I had planned to have spike walls, tunnels through the interior of the tower, and maybe some scorpions that the Ifrit would warn you about and maybe defend you from, so that he was actually relevant to the gameplay. Ran out of time for those, so the Ifrit is not really all that helpful. But people seem to like his chatter anyway.
  • Spent a couple of hours recording dialogue and sound effects. Luckily I happen to own a £300 Sennheiser shotgun mic which I use for filming, and gave wonderful crystal clear recordings. All the voice acting I did in one or two takes per line between 11pm and midnight on Sunday. The tower rising is two bricks sliding, pitched down with a bass boost. The wind is me blowing on the mic. The crumbling blocks are a handful of gravel being tipped off one brick onto another – pitched down, with a couple of takes mixed together (it was a very small handful of gravel, as it was pitch black when I went out in the garden to get it).
  • The note I finger-painted using my daughter’s red paint, and photographed with my iPhone. The texture is – laughably – 1024×1024 because I forgot to reduce it once I worked out how big on screen it would be.
  • The skeleton hand and lamp I modeled at breakneck speed in Blender with about an hour to spare, and surprised myself with the results. I might look for a 48-minute modeling challenge :)
  • The triforce on the tower was also done at breakneck speed….and is upside-down because I forgot to check online for reference. Zelda fan fail.
  • I was planning to crumble the entire tower once you picked up the triforce, but ran out of time to do anything other than acknowledge your success with a line of dialogue. Also, I suspected it might kill Unity.
  • The most stressful part of the weekend was realising that the free webspace I’d signed up for would not allow Unity files to be uploaded. Had to upload a zip file to meet the deadline, and then put the web-playable version up later when I discovered DropBox would do it. I love DropBox.

So there you are, all the least dull bits of my weekend. I had a blast, and I can’t wait for the next one…

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