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Freshly Squeezed Progress Report – Sound Effect Variety and Animation Juiciness

Last time, I reported that I finally fixed the issues I had with Android 11 and added some fancy effects to the toy dispenser to give it some more character.

This past week I planned to continue adding juiciness to the game.

Sprint 29: Make publishable

Unplanned yet Completed:

  • GBLib: Make it easier to play a random sound with one command
  • Add variety to sound effects

Planned and Uncompleted:

  • Add juiciness to toys landing on conveyor belt

Planned and Not Started:

  • Award grades to player performance

Ok, so let’s start with the fact that I didn’t do much at the start of the week, and when I finally did put in some time a couple of days after the sprint technically started, I decided to change the plan and instead work on fixing how tedious the worker grunts sounded.

Whenever you tap on a worker, hire a worker, or give a worker a job to do, you’ll hear the worker make the same sounds two sounds. One is kind of a confused acknowledgement that you selected a worker, and another is a confirmation “Uh, huh!”

Over and over. It gets old.

I basically made two more versions of each sound effect with a different pitch. So it’s the same two sounds, but each has a little bit of a difference.

I’m not sure if it is enough to make it feel less tedious, though. I’m thinking I’ll revisit these effects and create a variety of grunts/barks.

Weeks ago I found that my existing GBLib code didn’t make it easy to play random sounds. Basically, there was a command to play sounds, and I abstracted away the number generator that tells it which of a few options to play, but the way I did so expected that a number generator was owned by some other object.

Which at the time made sense: I could create a single number generator object, and then it can get used by multiple objects that need it, whether it is for audio or something else.

But it practice it made it painful to create these sound objects because I had to do the extra work of figuring out what other object was responsible for the number generators.

So I changed things so that while you still needed to pass it a number generator, the play command object now owns the generator object and will manage its lifetime.

And I created some helpers so that the generator created was guaranteed to be tied better to the size of the collection of sound effects you want to choose from randomly.

Ok, so for now, my library has been improved for future games, and the audio grunts are less tedious. Next, I decided to work on adding a special effect when the toys land on the conveyor belt.

It wasn’t going to be a major effect. I just wanted a dust cloud or something to convey that there was an impact as the toy hit the belt, which happens whenever a Bad Toy gets dispensed or when a worker tosses a finished Good Toy.

I managed to create a somewhat OK piece of art that combines an impact ring and some translucent clouds. It doesn’t look like much by itself.

Toy Factory Fixer - Impact dust cloud

But it’s not meant to be static. I scale it up in size and make it more translucent as it finishes animating, and … well, I think it still doesn’t look like much, but on the other hand, it sells the impact (especially when you hear the thud sound effect with it):

Toy Factory Fixer - Impact dust cloud animated

I have yet to create this effect when the toy is dispensed because I also need to change how toys get dispensed. Right now, the way toys get dispensed is that they appear behind the dispenser art, and they slide right out onto the conveyor belt right next to it. I would need to change it so that they look like they are spit out a bit higher so that they land on the belt next to it, but that requires changing a few more things.

I considered not doing the change, but I am starting to enjoy the juiciness I’m adding. It makes the game feel more playful, and I’m already picturing the toys getting dispensed in an arc like they were fired by a short-range t-shirt cannon.

The main game play change was one I didn’t get to at all. I wanted to change the game ending from either a binary win or loss based on perfection to giving the player a grade. The idea is that the game will be less harsh while also giving the player goals they can self-assign. If you got a C grade, you can decide if it is good enough or if you want to replay the level to try to get a B or an A.

I’ll spend time on it this coming week.

Thanks for reading!

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