By the numbers

stats

The demo for Last Voyage of the Orlova has been running for two weeks in a corner of VondelCS, and in that time Unity Analytics has been quietly tracking some key events in the game. Here’s a quick breakdown of those numbers:

It’s hard to say exactly how many people played the game, but I know 107 made it through the first few minutes and fired up the lighthouse.

77 hopefuls then entered the derelict ship floating through the mist.

41 of them figured out how to open the engineering deck and end the lockdown.

35 then made it to the front deck and found the axe.

They swung that axe 708 times, altogether. Wowzers.

And finally, 23 hardcore problem-solvers made it to the end of the demo.

These numbers are pretty impressive considering it’s running on an unattended fully-functional windows machine in some cafe hallway, away from any kind of gaming expo context, and without any strong tutorial content. It also shows that I could do some stronger foreshadowing in certain areas, but it might as well be that people had to move on or weren’t invested enough to explore further.

All in all, I’m glad I added the analytics in last-minute.

Firewatch Dutch translation

TL;DR: Download link.

As a little passion project I’ve been translating the game Firewatch into dutch in the off hours of the past two months or so. It was a bit more work than I anticipated but I had a good motivator: my girlfriend. I wanted to play the game with her but I knew she wouldn’t fully understand it if it was in english. Plus I like translating things, and this would be a good addition to my ‘portfolio’.

I had previously translated Gone Home, but Firewatch was a whopping 6827 strings, topping out at 53220 words. Transifex made it very easy with an excellent online editor though. Part of it had already been translated by other people but, nothing against them, it lacked a consistent tone, and some bits were just translated incorrectly. So I went through and reviewed everything, tested it in a full playthrough last week, and I’m ready to release it out into the wild now. There might still be some small errors or typos, so if you find those: let me know. And otherwise: enjoy!

20160711094011_1

How to do datamoshing in Photoshop

Datamoshing is “the practice of intentionally using compression artifacts in digital video and animated GIFs to create glitch art”.

It’s an effect popularized by Kanye West in his video Welcome To Heartbreak, but it’s mostly been an effect exclusive to video. There are a few crazy ways to get this effect on images by editing them with text or audio editors instead of image editors, but it’s hard to find a straightforward way to just do it in Photoshop. But, there is a fairly simple way to emulate it with a few filters. Here’s how:

Continue reading “How to do datamoshing in Photoshop”

5 simple tips for demoing games at events

2014-09-26 14.18.01

As I’m getting ready to demo Last Voyage Of The Orlova at the Opium Torenkamer Festival, I’m adding some extra features to the game to make my life easier during the two weeks it will be there. Demoing a game at an event may seem like a simple errand: put the executable on a computer and let people go wild. But there are a few things you can do to make everything go smoothly:

Continue reading “5 simple tips for demoing games at events”

Trilinear thinking

As I get closer to releasing a beta for Last Voyage Of The Orlova, I’m doing lots of little polish things. Making the ship rock back and forth on the waves, adding a subtle blur behind the UI elements, better-looking fog, random little interactions, analytics, but also adding mipmaps to all the sprites.

Mipmapping means that instead of using just one sprite for, say, a chair, it makes progressively smaller versions of the same sprite to display when the camera moves further away. This avoids the image quality becoming crunched and blocky, like in the screenshot below. It’s like antialiasing for your sprites.

trilinearly.png

It’s a built-in feature of Unity, literally as simple as checking one box on the sprite importer, but I never used it because I generally want my sprites as sharp as possible. But I decided to try it recently, and it looks way better! You can see there is better definition on the arm, and it smooths out the straw in the glass. It just looks more polished in general. Gotta remember that setting.