In this week’s chapter of “making of Grimrock” I’m going to talk about programming. This might be a little lengthier post and more technical and therefore probably not for everybody, so it’s fine if you want to just skim ahead! :)

First a bit of background. I’ve been programming for more than 20 years, starting from Basic on the venerable C64, moving on to AMOS, 68000 assembly and C on the Amiga, and after that I’ve been programming mostly in C++ for the past 10 years or so. I’ve also tried other programming languages such as Scheme, Java, D, Objective-C and Python (although very briefly). Today games are written mostly in C++ because it has very good performance but more importantly in my opinion because it is the de facto standard, in other words almost all libraries and tools (especially on the consoles) are geared towards C++ development.
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Hello you all!

In this making of -post I’m going to talk a little what went into creating the ambient soundscapes in Legend of Grimrock. To freshen up your memories, here’s the tracks I made for the temple and prison wallsets:

These versions differ a tiny bit from the ones included in the game to make them work a little bit better as “standalone” tracks: the tracks in the game are looping and I also tweaked the mixing of the tracks a little.

Anyways so, now that we have some background music playing for you while you read, let’s start from the beginning. When we begun the Grimrock project we already had one good looping ambient soundscape that we could use that Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen of Poets of the Fall fame had made for one hobby game project that Petri and Olli had been working on some years ago. It was pretty much a perfect match for this game too but the only problem was that we needed more and we were on a tight budget. So that left me as the most practical option for creating the new tracks since I’ve been fiddling with electronic music as a hobby for a while and, with our salaries, I was pretty damn cheap too! ;)


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Editor’s Note: For the next couple of weeks we are going to feature a set of articles that should shed some light on how Legend of Grimrock was made. The articles range from graphics and animation to sound design and programming. For gamers or hobbyists we hope to give you some idea what game development is about. If you’re a fellow game developer hopefully these articles will give you some ideas for your projects. Without further due, let’s give the floor to Juho! -Petri

Legend of Grimrock has a storyline running under its hood and to help it get it moving we needed an intro sequence in the beginning of the game. Naturally some fancy big money cinematic was out of the question, so we had to come up with some more down to earth type of solution. Pretty quickly we narrowed our options to still images with overlaid text. That was relatively easy and fast to do, but allowed more freedom for the player to watch the images and read the texts in his/her own pace. Intro sequences’ main purpose was to set the mood and setting for the game with the help of iconic tune by Stakula (which we talked earlier in here).

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Hello everyone! Let’s kick things off in this weekly update with a small announcement: Legend of Grimrock is now available through GamersGate as well so if you haven’t gotten yours already, there’s now another way to get it (although I do have a feeling that I’m preaching to the choir here)!

And then let’s continue the weekly update with another announcement: we’ve had good progress with the dungeon editor and we have hit the alpha milestone! Since we now have the core features of the editor done, we are now ready to extend the testing even outside the walls of this office but don’t get too excited yet: it’s not a public testing phase, it’s just something we will handle with a handful of friends at least for the time being. We’re not only concentrating on finding bugs (or locating potential for improvement) in the editor alone because the base game itself needs some rigorous testing too since there have been some fundamental architecture changes to the game we have had to do in order to support the loading of custom dungeons and such. This testing round probably also means that we’ll have to slow down with adding new features to the editor for some time since I’m certain there will be a lot of things we need to fix and stabilize before we should proceed to add some more functionality. But the good news is that it seems like there isn’t a massive amount of things missing from the editor anymore either but we’ll have to wait and see what the testers can come up with!

Oh, and just so that you know: if nothing terribly exciting on the development front has happened during a week, we’re going to serve you a dose of “making of” -style documentation from Legend of Grimrock on our weekly updates. Like for example once we get a build out of the doors for testers to mess with, we’re certainly going to be occupied by ironing out usability issues and bugs so we might not have anything profound or exciting to tell you and since we wouldn’t want to stay completely silent either, we’ll give you a behind the scenes glimpse on what goes into making a game like Legend of Grimrock! But in essence this is nothing new since that’s basically what we did early on in the development too when we were doing features on things like monster design, level scripting or graphics here on the blog. We just haven’t done that in a while now and I think that will be more fun than trying to come up with something interesting to say when nothing dramatic has happened.

Alright, that’s it for this time. Take care!

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