Anthymn Spell Composer
April 14, 2015
Anthymn Spell Composer is a companion app for String Theory Entertainment’s Maestros of the Anthymn. The app takes the musical shards from the Maestros of the Anthymn game and allows the player to compose them into new songs which are used as spells in the Maestros of the Antymn game.
Project took 14 weeks to develop.
I was selected to go to Canada (among a handful other students) for an exchange program with the Centre of Digital Media. I was assigned to be in Team RDM who were doing a musical companion app for String Theory Entertainment’s Maestros of the Anthymn. I think I was assigned that project because of my previous project Synestext. Though I signed a short NDA for the project so I am unable to tell what exactly it is. That said I can cover what the process was. And I actually have covered what the process was already, as part of the project was to create weekly update blogs. The blogposts I made can be read here:
I missed the first week of the project, as my semester exam was around the same time and on the other side of the globe. But I as lucky to become part of Team RDM as that was the greatest team I have been in so far. We were very different people there, and yet it worked. We created a strong culture which really helped making the team excited to work. For instance: Our name was our secret, no one could know what the initialism RDM stands for. We also used the projector in the room to watch panda live cams, which further strengthened our culture. We created a page on the blog, to keep track of all our jokes culture.
This project is not the first client project I have done (old mopeds was the first) but this was much different from that. The client would meet us every week to discuss the direction of the project. This was sort of a bitter sweet, as it meant that we had to pivot a lot. It took many iterations before we found something that the client was satisfied with. That said, I think that finding out what the goal should be, was what the client was actually looking for.
A major problem, which we realized too late, was that the non-programmers were not integrated well into our production pipeline. They were scared of using source control and did not know how to use unity. This resulted in a lot of programming time being used for integrating assets, and adjusting them when they were misplaced. So the lesson that I’ve learned is to have artists check in their own assets into the game, weather that means using git for code, and svn for assets (using ignore files to avoid messing with each other) is a favorable solution to having programmers do integration.
I got to try Audiokinetic’s Wwise which was fun, but complicated. It could do a lot of cool things, the only problem was that it had problems with what we were using it for. And the things that it could was not something that we would use. So I created my own system that allowed for our sound designer to tweak the values of a JSON file to crossfade dynamically between audio tracks, which was all that we needed.
Our final product ended up looking really polished, and did stuff in a very creative way.
Tags: Cards, Experimental, Mobile, Music, Prototype, Puzzle, School, Unity