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2 years ago

Dev Diary 4: Daniel's Blog

Hello, my name is Daniel Sadowski and I am the Music Composer for Tryst.

In this blog, I wanted to talk briefly about my involvement with BlueGiant Interactive and the music that I composed them and their game.

How I became involved with Tryst:

I was first approached by BlueGiant Interactive about 4 months ago. They had heard my music in other games and they wanted me to compose something for their release trailer. They had wanted to test my approach to see if I was the right composer for the game. 

The trailer was being made to be shown off at a couple of game conferences and therefore had to be powerful and impactful. Vinnie Reddy, who is the CEO of BlueGiant, sent me some information about the game including pictures and a video of the release trailer. After having watched the video and seen the images, I was blown away by what they had created with Tryst. The images of the Zali versus the Humans gave me inspiration for the music I was to create. The trailer video was also amazing and really got me excited.

I finished composing for the trailer and they were very impressed with what I came up with. After that, they had me do the rest of the music which included ambient and battle music. I also did the Menu and Intro music for the game.

My Musical Approach for Tryst:

In coming up with a musical approach for Tryst I felt it was important to capture the essence of both the Humans and the Zali. For the Zali, I used a lot of mechanical, edgy sounds within the music to represent them. For the Humans, I used subtle, orchestral instruments like strings and brass. I also used some darker synthesizer leads and pads to inject a sci-fi feeling into the game. 

I felt that the story behind tryst was important, as well. The Humans and Zali used to work together before they became enemies. Because of this past relationship I felt that all the music should be tied together and feel familiar, almost like the Zali and Human traits were one in the same. This combination added a subtle layer to the music, rather then having a separate theme for the Zali and Humans. The majority of the music sounds like a hybrid of the two races. This idea is also heard in the main theme (menu and intro music). 

In the campaign, the main character (Oliver), carries a lot of pressure on his shoulders to live up to the expectations thrust upon him. I tried to make the music feel tense and urgent at times, as if you are looking through Oliver’s eyes. I tried to make the music mimic the surrounding environments, as well. Ishtonia IV, the planet which Tryst takes place on, has a very foreign look. There are also mechanical elements from the Zali spread throughout. These environmental elements inspired the sound of the music in subtle ways - such as which sounds I used and the pace of the music.

Concluding Thoughts:

It has been an amazing experience working on Tryst with BlueGiant Interactive. I had a fun time coming up with all of the music that has now become a part of the Tryst world. The team is full of passionate developers who have put a lot of time and effort into the game. I am happy to be part of it and I look forward to doing more music with them.

Until next time...

Daniel Sadowski
www.DanielSadowski.net

2 years ago

Dev Diary 3: Of Human Base Building

Hello again!

I thought I’d talk about our thought process behind some of balance decisions regarding the Human Base Building system. Since I can’t come up with a good enough segue here, I’m going to jump right to it.

We created the Human Alliance first. They had always been marked out to be an easier and more familiar race to play; a race that most RTS players could easily pick up and begin playing with. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they’re stereotypical, but they are… straightforward.

We do, however, strive to do things as differently as possible, deviate from the norm wherever we can. It’s why the initial Design for the Human Build system had once included a Support Structure switching mechanic. That is to say, the player would be provided with what had called an R&D Bay. They could only build two support structures at once but could freely swap between a total of four of them. Obviously, different combinations of the four provided different units.

We had kept this mechanic for a long period of production, actually. We only decided to remove it when we were realized that explaining this mechanic was harder than we expected it to be, despite trying different permutations of the same. This mechanic simply conflicted with our primary percept of the Human’s being an easy race to understand. We couldn’t add too much complexity to them.

Our old R&D Bay with two slots where active Support Structures would be visible

It’s here that you could question adding a mechanic that was obviously too complex for the boundaries we’d set ourselves.  The only reason we didn’t quite see it then was (apart from enthusiasm) because of the Second rule we were following– Player Choice. That’s something we’ve always tried to push for and wanted to maintain despite adhering to a simple tree like structure.

Still, we had a problem here and while trying to fix this we stumbled onto a better and more robust idea. I won’t say this happens a lot but it happens enough for us to enjoy those moments of ‘Holy [insert swear of choice]! This fits!’
That’s basically how we got to our current build system for the humans. We made two changes to the build structure and removed/changed a few mechanics to help us along the way.
The first being, that we moved away from the traditional production building tree and allowed the player to choose what he wanted first – infantry, vehicles or airships. Not only did this add a considerable amount of choice right off the bat, but it also stays simple enough that a player could pick up the game and understand the given choice without requiring any prompts or assistance. I realize that I’m making this sound like a breakthrough in [insert choice of suitably brainy science field here], but it did feel like we hit upon something so simple that we found ourselves asking, ‘The hell, man? Why didn’t you come up with this sooner?’ or at least, something along those lines.

We kept a bit of our old Support Structure system as well, but changed it to allow players to build them as they pleased. It was a quick matter of balancing the costs to ensure that building each separate structure still feels like a decision but doesn’t become a major resource drain if you choose to build the others, too. We’ve seen players experiment with different combinations more than they used to.

 

All in all, these have been some of the bigger decisions we’ve made about the Human Build system over the course of our production. In my next Dev Diary, I’ll talk about the Zali Build system and our thought process behind that one.

Signing out,

Tejas Oza

(Game Designer)

2 years ago
2 years ago

Dev Diary 2: Environmental Hazards

Hello again.

This is Tejas Oza and in this Developer Diary I thought I’d take the time to write about our environments – something I mentioned in the last Dev. Diary.

Let’s begin at the ‘why’ of this topic.

Have you ever played a game with this really cool asset just lying there off to a side? Or perhaps it was the centerpiece of a map, spouting steam and moving to a rhythmic cycle and you thought to yourself – ‘Damn, I wish I could blow that up.’ That’s why. We want to blow that centerpiece up. We want to have stuff on the sidelines that suddenly reacts to a unit’s proximity. Quite frankly, we want the maps to feel alive. More than that, we want players to think of Tryst as more than an RTS where you max out your army and wail into your opponent.Virik Worm Node

We want you, player, to lure, evade or even consolidate your position at these points!

So, that’s the ‘why’.

Now, let’s talk about the ‘how’.

Since this is something that’s not part of your staple RTS experience we decided we’d go easy with the environment as we started out. That pretty much meant we had to lay quite a few crazy ideas to rest… prematurely… brutally. May they rest in peace.

We started out with a few concepts for creatures that would inhabit the world. Ishtonia’s meant to have pockets of existence that have grown independent of each other. Keeping this in mind, we’d design the basic behavior we expected of one of these creatures or if it was meant to be an inorganic structure, what it would do. Once we could get it working in game the way we’d like it to, we’d give our artists the go ahead to begin work on them.

Our Concept Artist, Pratik, gives us a few quick doodles to work off of and once we see the bits and pieces we like, we ask him to make a final sketch before we hand it over to our modelers.

Once we’ve got our models and texture’s done, the final rigs and animations sets are handled by Jafar who ensures that the timings we’ve set in design for attacks or other similar actions are synched up just right. Oh, and did I mention just how amazing at it he is? (I may be getting points for this later…)

The final step involves implementing the FX and then placing the finished product in game. I could name some more names here but then I’d pretty much end up listing down our entire team. When we’re this compact, everybody pretty much has worked on and has some sort of say in everything else.

Imbuing Station

Anyways, Environment objects…

We’ve had an interesting sampling of players test our game over the last few months and I am happy to say that just about all of them could dig the idea of our first batch of creatures… the one’s that’d just wait till someone got close enough before poking back at them in their own little ways. What we loved the most was the sheer surprise each of them experienced (some quite vocally) when it first happened.

We love that moment of surprise and have every intention of staying in the habit of providing environments that make you take pause and notice things.

On that note, I’ll end this post, excitedly waiting for you all to experience our environments and tell us what you think of them!

Signing out,

 

Tejas Oza

Game Designer

2 years ago

Dev Diary 1: This is Us!

Hey, my name is Tejas Oza and I’m one of the Designer’s at Blue Giant Interactive. This being our very first blog post, I thought I’d take the time to talk a little bit about us, our game and our vision for this game.

Right, so who exactly are we?

We’re a little company set up in good ol’ Hyderabad, India and we take particular pride in being one of the few companies out here that really want to make games for gamers. We take this stuff seriously, we do. BlueGiant’s been around for about 3 years now and I can tell you, it’s been one hell of a journey. That particular Journey’s brought us to this point where we’re working on our second title and more ambitious of our endeavors yet!

This provides me the perfect segue into a description of our game –

Tryst is the outcome of our collective want to return to the RTS genre and reinvent ourselves after our first game; we’re looking at a giant step forward here, folks! This basically means that we’re aiming to make Tryst feel fast paced, offer a lot of choice and have enough to offer a broad spectrum of play-styles a variety of meaningful choices. Adding to that, we want to create more reactive maps where you not only need to know your enemy but also watch your step because the environment isn’t always in the friendliest of moods.
Basically, we want Tryst to scratch that competitive streak in all of us and yet be just as fun for those of us that don’t really play RTS’s.

That, of course, (being on a segue roll, here) brings me to our team. We’re a mixed bunch of gamers, here. All of us have our different likes and dislikes and quite often have very strong polarized opinions on what makes a game. It’s this duality that’s kept us on our collective feet all this time and also ensured that we come close to throttling each other every single day. This happens to be our singular, most persuasive reason for our coming to work every day. One of the things that unites us, however, is our love for PC games and our want to make a game that we can watch other play with the same excitement that we’re making it. That’s big for us – Walking into a random Game Center and getting to see a group of gamers cussing each other out while maneuvering their forces all over a map.

I’m going to stop myself here before I go on about the kinds of experiences we want to create. There’s a pretty long list and I’m certain that we’ll keep talking about it in our later blogs. For now, I believe this serves as a good introduction of who we are and what we’re trying to do here.

Needless to say, more blogs will be cropping up over time from different members of our team, each discussing what they do or their thoughts behind a particular decision.

So, keep an eye out for more stuff and we hope you all are looking forward to this as much as we are.

Signing out,

Tejas Oza
Game Designer