by Sabine Pölzlbauer
Before I start talking about game testing, I would like to tell you something about sound programming. It wasn’t clear from the start which sound library we would use, or if we would build our own from scratch. First we experimented with FMOD which performed very well, but at last we decided against it because of its commercial license. So we tried to find another solution which has a GUI for our sound designers, as well as several possibilities to manipulate sound by code. So we are now going with XACT as well as X3DAudio to calculate positioned sounds and apply filters or curves.
In general it is a very useful tool, although some features are not working (or not working very well) on PC. For instance sending sound from your game to the audition monitor can only be done with a development kit which is pretty sad. A solution is to use code to log it to a file and then inspect the events this way. In the last couple of days we have also updated our internal requirements and will soon add more (atmospheric) sound elements to the world of Schein.
Quality Assurance is another important resort which I am responsible for. We now finally have some more testers on board, which are a great help for tracking down all the bugs. They also provided us with a lot of feedback concerning the difficulty of levels and jump sequences, which is crucial input for our level designer. Our experienced testers hardly had any problems when trying the puzzles or jump sequences for the first time, while less experienced testers found it a little too difficult. Especially some of the puzzles seemed quite unsolvable to them. This shows how important careful balancing of the gameplay is in the development process. Therefore we are trying to always have a mixed test group concerning their gaming experience, so that we can also see how inexperienced players will do.
Download the Dev-Demo on our homepage und give us feedback, so that the poor young man doesn’t have to hold his breath any longer in the dark, murky water of the swamp. What do you think, should he learn how to swim, or better drown?
Don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts! Drop us a line at the Schein Forum.