Back in Part 1, I discussed the amazing relationship we share with our Art Team. In this post, I want to finish recapping my thoughts about 2016 and talk a little about our goals for 2017.
I ALSO want to talk about the incredible Music Team that we worked with! One of the big compliments we received from our prototype release was the incredible use of music.
In this post beta survey, one of the results of the questions is shown above. The question was to select the specific items on the list that you recall enjoying about the beta. Soundtrack wins by far.
The Music Team
The TinyWars music team is an incredible collection of musicians from around the world! However, unlike the artists, we do not have constant work being delivered to musicians. Music composition and recording is incredibly long work. We have waited anywhere from 6 – 12 months for a single piece to be recorded and mastered fully.
If you haven’t played our prototype or heard our official theme song, much of the music is live recorded and does take a significant amount of time to create. Some of our soundtrack was pre-composed, but almost always required some sort of remastering or modification from the artists before they were confident in delivering an acceptable rendering for our use. In either case, while the relationship we have with the musicians of TinyWars is a little different from the relationship we have with our full time art team, we hold the music of the game as one of the highest points of the project, and likewise, our musicians are some of the most respected members of the team!
I have embedded tracks from each of theses artists, I invite you to listen to each piece while reading my commentary about their work!
Pictured above is the recording session for the TinyWars Theme Song, Longing for Love.
Edwin’s ability to compose these orchestrated pieces really blew us away. He was one of the very first large contracts we had with a musician, and his theme song will be one of the major set pieces of the game, adding tremendous production value to the project overall. We hope that when players experience our game, and the music ques, that they will be instantly transported into another world.
So far, this was Edwin’s only contribution to the project, but it is a very important contribution which is why I want to thank and recognize him first in this list. The game would not be the same without his music.
Taichi HIYAMA is another incredible composer and musician, his works primarily feature a recording of him playing the main violin sequences himself. He has some work for our project, some I can’t reveal quite yet! But I want to say that his music is top notch and we have utilized some of his tracks in the prototype, including this one:
I would love to spend more time talking about Hiyama’s style and how his contributions have really shaped the atmosphere of the game, but unfortunately we haven’t released our Story Demo yet, so you guys will just have to take my word for it! 😉
Farhan’s work was featured in our gameplay prototype as the main menu theme. And while this was not the original intended purpose for his song, it really worked out nicely as the main menu theme and first impression of the game! Everybody loved it. Unfortunately, his track will be removed from the main menu in the final project, as we had intended to use it in the Second Chapter of the TinyWars story as part of the “Candy Castle” Arch.
Again, it’s very difficult for me to speak about music and its use in a game that has yet to be released, so I will let the music speak for itself!
This is a song that I think is highly under appreciated, maybe it’s my fault for making the prototype so difficult! This song plays during the final sequence of the TinyWars prototype, and it is one of the happiest songs I have ever heard. When I first heard this tune from ヨギ, I probably listened to it over 100 times on endless loop. It was great! I promise this song will not play on endless loop in the game, but I have no problem adding electronic music to our game as well!
The rest of the Music Team
The rest of our music team is incredible, it’s unfortunate that we have not been able to reveal even a fraction of the pieces we have for the game, though everyone has been credited on the Official Credits Page. We hope you will be able to fully enjoy the work that everyone has put into this project! We only talked about a few musicians here, because some of their work has already been showcased in an official release from us. However, the rest of the team is incredible, and we have many beautiful and emotional pieces for you to experience!
The reason I chose to only talk about the 4 musicians above, was because their music has been featured in one of our end products, I believed I would be able to have a more significant discussion of these musicians work knowing that their music is actually featured in one of our released products. Though we are still pretty limited since our gameplay prototype was generally lacking in content.
What awaits us next year is going to be a rush to release our Story Demo. I have listed some goals in previous updates, but basically we need to accomplish some major things in order to release this demo:
- Complete animations (art)
- Complete the assets required for the new “book theme” (art)
- Complete the assets for the new levels (art)
- Optimize the current build before adding new content/references (code)
- Create the assets required for the Story Telling cutscenes (art)
- Obviously, code in the new content (code)
You will notice there are no music goals in this list of things to accomplish. Fortunately, the music for our project has mostly been taken care of, not all of it, but a huge chunk of what has been planned in advanced has been taken care of.
As for as non-development related goals go:
- We’d like to achieve 5K – 10K fans on our social media pages before the demo is completed.
- I want to discuss the possibility of a Patreon with the fans at some point, as the finalized assets and animations are starting to get very expensive!
- Conduct a lot more art contests and giveaways in 2017 to continue engaging with our fan base and encouraging new fans to join!
- I’d also like to begin making a larger footprint in the video game scene, as the demo could serve as an MVP for outside funding or potential partnerships with larger studios.
These are some of the goals I have in mind for 2017, I don’t know if we will accomplish them all, however for sure, I want to release our Story Demo at some point in 2017. Please understand it is very difficult to give an exact date, not because we lack structure and coordination, but because we are maintaining a high level of quality, and working with a large, and mostly remote, group of team members, it is really difficult for me to give an accurate ETA on the next release.
We do have internal deadlines, but they are not always met, and unfortunately, without assets properly in place for one piece, it may make it very difficult or impossible to develop another piece. This is one of the flaws in a final product first development approach, but I believe the positives far out weigh the negatives. We build our products keeping in mind the final product first and foremost. Everything is planned out and mapped out to the exact details BEFORE the coding happens, and this allows us to streamline the most costly portion of the entire development, the programming!
This is how Bizurk Software operates its usual web/app production, and it is a proven and successful method for developing full featured products in a very short amount of time. It is our first time developing a video game project, and the combination of artists, musicians, coders, and marketing is really a new and awesome experience for us. Hope to see the project continue to grow in 2017!
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