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Isaac Style Guide


Isaac Style Guide

New comics every Tuesday & Thursday

Tales from the Trenches

Let me, your animation director, help you with that programming….

Small company - Design, Programming, Art and QR in one room - doing a game for a customer.

Someone “above” had the great idea of hiring a movie director not only for the script and V.O. direction but also for the game design.

The proposed game design was special case scripting based gameplay combined with free roaming in 3D and cinematic camera angles. And as a result of that, both troublesome to implement and very prone to bugs.

Some sequences was “wall of dialogue” in scenes, where the player could move freely around in the environment, triggering new dialogues, resulting in dialogue overlapping.

One day the director had gotten the great idea of simply “postponing” overlapping dialogue. So if one dialogue was running and the player moved on to another situation, triggering another dialogue, then we should just “cue” the new dialogue (in a kind of playlist) and play them after each other. We said that was not really possible logic- or programming vice, but did not have time to go into details (potentially the dialogue would play out of cue with the animations and also potentially starting dialogue with characters, which were offscreen, because the player moved on, before one dialogue string was completed).

The director said that he would think up a solution.

We hoped it could be stuff like:
-cut the dialogues shorter
-expand the travel length between places that triggered dialogue
-cut dialogue, when you came to far away to hear it (close to a new
potential dialogue trigger)

Instead we got a mail a couple of hours later, with the text:

“Just put in these files where needed, to delay the new, overlapping, dialogue to play - so they don’t overlap”.

And attached were these files:
-1 second silence
-4 seconds silence
-16 seconds silence
-64 seconds silence

All of them nicely compressed in mono 22.5kh (to decrease file size, as silence correctly don’t need high bitrate / sampling quality).

Well thanks for the great confidence in our programming skills, believing that we did not know how to insert “waits” between audio files in the code, really sends a message about you respect for our expertise. But kudos for the thoughts put into the audio files…