Projekt "W" (for Weltherrscher = World ruler) - "Phase 2" is a turn-based strategy game set in the not-so-distant future. You take control over one of the five big remaining nations and your goal is lead it to world domination. During this task you - Manage regions by constructing buildings - Manage divisions and military units - Attack enemy regions / defend your regions on hex-based 3D battle fields - Research dozens of technologies (to unlock new buildings and units) - Work on global projects to unleash them onto your enemies or use them for your own advantage - Hire agents, scientists and generals - Do espionage and sabotage on your enemies (including counter-espionage) The game uses OpenGL to render it's state-of-the art visuals and can be played either against human players (via hotseat) or against the AI.
As far as game design goes I find sound design to be the hardest part to get right. Over the years I learnt how to get a game's design, it's gameplay, graphics and the coding right, but sound design has always been a weak point. So I took a look at different games and recently started to redo the game's sound design, hopefully getting something done that adds to the game atmosphere instead of just getting disabled by the players.
Posted by SaschaWillems on May 10th, 2013
Usually I add new screenshots to show off progress on "Phase 2", but this time it's an area of game development that's pretty hard to show off in screenshots : Sound design.
I find this is one of the hardest parts as far as game design goes, at least for me. I do all the parts of game development on my own (design, code, content, etc.) but when it comes down to sound design, the result is usually so bad or bland that (I guess) most people just turn it off. I remember searching for and creating sounds for a shmup some years ago that took weeks, and when I heard the combined result of that effort running in-game I knew that I just had wasted a lot of time. It was just horrible. Though I don't have any problems imagining how certain aspects of the game should look and feel, I usually don't have a clue about "how" a game is actually supposed to sound.
As for the sound design for Projekt "W" - it's pretty much non-existant. All the sounds in the current build are the same as on the first release of "Phase 1", and these few sounds don't add anything to the atmosphere and some of them (like the menu swoosh) are downright annoying. So during the last few weeks I played through some smaller indie games (mostly from here) and payed close attention to the sound design of these titles. I then quickly noticed that even a few simple GUI sounds can add a lot to the atmosphere of a game, and if you combine them with a fitting soundtrack (I'm still searching for new background tracks, more in the ambient vein) they quickly become a real bonus to the game's atmosphere.
And since people think that the graphics are pretty good for a one-man hobby project I'd like to get the sound design to a similar level. So for the last few days I've been collecting and creating new samples for the user interface (with samples for actions, units, projects, etc. to follow) and even though I only changed and added half a dozen basic UI sounds (button clicks, menu transitions, confirmations, etc.) the sound design has already become a much closer fit for the game's visuals.
So hopefully the new sound design (that'll at least partially come with the next release) will add even more atmosphere to the game!
And for (hobby) game developers out there that read this : How do you handle sound design? Do you have the same troubles, or is there any easy way to get this part of game design right?