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Hey, everyone! 

It’s been a pretty huge week over here at Choice Provisions HQ. Not only did the lemon-flavored La Croix just get restocked in our break room, but we also finished recording all of the VO for Runner3!

As you may already know, Charles Martinet very graciously agreed to return for his role of The Narrator. What you don’t know, however, is that he has quite a few more lines this time around! Like, way more!

The story of Runner3 is going to be a little more substantial than what you’ve seen in the previous Runner games. We won’t let it obstruct the gameplay, certainly, but if you’re the kind of player who’s interested in learning a little more about the wacky world of Runner3, that option will be there for you. I don’t want to tell you how to play your video game, of course, but I do highly recommend you seek out the story we’ve woven throughout the game. We’ll do a blog post soon about what that kind of pursuit would look like.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share a quick snippet of some of the VO Charles recorded for us. Without further ado: 

Pretty fun, right? I mean, it doesn't make a lick of sense, but what do you expect?

Until next time!

- Dant

Would You Like Some SFX With That?

Hello fellow BIT.TRIPpers! (BIT.TRIPsters?) My name is Camellia Boutros, and I’m the audio programmer and one of the Sound Designers for Runner3! It’s great to finally meet you. I’ve been wondering when we’d finally come face to face :} 

My job is to guzzle coffee to drown out the insanity that sets in after hours and hours of listening to the same SFX and musical blips on repeat. If I’m doing my job correctly, you won’t be playing the game and saying to yourself, “Wow, the sound designer did a really great job with that wild and artistic sound effect!” -- actually, you probably wouldn’t say anything because you’d be so immersed in this wildly wacky and musical game (and its soundscape) to take too much notice of individual sounds.

Well, apart from the war-cry of Sir Strömming’s brethren. You’d notice that. 

This is my first devlog , so I have a lot of geeking out to catch up on. As a musician and certified music theory nerd, I’ve thrown a cluster of cool little audio tricks into the game. For one, the rocket vehicle SFX, which sounds like it’s constantly accelerating and rising in pitch, is actually just a short little looping audio clip of a Shepard’s tone. It’s all an (auditory) illusion, invented by Roger Shephard and famously used by James Tenney. These guys realized that if you stack a bunch of sine waves just right, they’ll trick your ear into thinking you’re hearing one sound getting higher and higher… forever.

Another nifty bit of audio magic is programming musical notes in-game to fit with the music and changing game environment, and to do so in a way that is random, so that another unique layer of Matt Harwood’s compositions is added when you, the player, run through the game and collect items. For example, Mike Roska and I worked on making it so that when you climb up a sequence of steps or descend down a gem-laden path, you’ll trigger musical notes that get higher or lower in pitch in response to how the player is moving, but will still be a random sequence. To do that I had to use some old school calculus -- my high school math teacher would be proud, and pretty surprised. 

And there’s plenty more where that came from! Maybe next time I’ll upload my super top-secret totally danceable remix of BIT.TRIP SFX… 

- Cam 

 

The Hero Quests of Runner3

Hey, everyone! 

If you’re a regular reader of the devlog, chances are you’ve heard us mention “Hero Quests” on a few occasions. Although you probably have a pretty good idea by now of what that means, I thought it might be worthwhile to break it down a bit more for you!

Just like its predecessors, Runner3 is going to be a fast-paced romp through a whimsical world. This is something we never want to disrupt or get in the way of. As such, Hero Quests are a wholly optional element of the game, and they’ll never appear on the “main” path of any level. Of course, we highly suggest doing these quests, but the choice is entirely yours. 

When you approach a quest giver in the game, a conversation will trigger. You’ll be assigned a quest—such as gathering ingredients to make a stargazy pie—and be sent on your merry way. Should you choose to complete this quest, you’ll be rewarded generously. We could just flat-out tell you what the rewards will be, but it feels more fun to leave it a mystery. It’s no fun if we tell you everything

Now that I’ve talked your ear off, let’s pretend you didn’t just skip all the text in this post (this sentence included) and jump straight to the photo below. Feast your eyes on Sir Strömming, one of the quest givers in Runner3:

Doesn’t he look like a total sweetie? We’re absolutely smitten over here.

Until next time!

- Dant

Retro Worlds: A RetroSpective

Hi. It’s me again. Your favorite cuddly 2D game development nerd. You may remember me from such local television commercials as “Weatherman”:

No, seriously. That is actually me in a TV Commercial in the early 2000s. I only put that there to show off. Now, let’s talk about some video game making.

I’m happy to report that my work on the Runner3 Retro Levels is (mostly) COMPLETE! I want to remind everyone that this is *really* a video game within a video game. The Retro Levels are made up of 3 distinct worlds, each with 9 levels and a wacky boss battle. The levels are short-but-challenging jaunts in which you’re tasked with finding 5 elusive new collectibles never before seen in the series…THE GILDANS!

Once you’ve found as many as you can, feel free to jump headlong into that sketchy-looking mystery hole over there. I'm sure it’s safe:

The rumors about CommanderVideo being able to freely wander the levels are true. Prepare to go left, right, up, down, and perhaps even stop and just do nothing for a few seconds, right? Sounds like a nice way to relax. But I’d be careful if I were you: strange things come out to haunt those who linger too long in these mysterious levels.

Yes, beware the Eye Bats! Where have I seen these jerks before…?

There is so much to see and do in the Retro Levels this time around, and we’re pretty sure you’re going to really enjoy the change of pace. We wanted to take this opportunity to show you that CommanderVideo doesn’t just run; it’s certainly what he does best, but he’s also only a man…an adventurous, explorer man!

Also, don’t forget that the Retro Levels have this guy. His name is DewBee. Bye!

- Jason

A Chronological Collection of Designer Scrawlings

Initial End-of-Level menu flow design for Runner3, as drawn on my space etch-a-sketch.

Initial End-of-Level menu flow design for Runner3, as drawn on my space etch-a-sketch.

Right before Runner3's development started, I got a fancy-pants iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I acquired these items because I wanted to see if taking notes while writing on a magical piece of glass with a space pen would be a viable replacement for my usual notebook-filling scrawls, as seen below...

My old notebooks from BIT.TRIP BEAT to Runner2.

My old notebooks from BIT.TRIP BEAT to Runner2.

I used to buy a new notebook for each project and vow to only fill that notebook, regardless of how full some of the pages got. It was fun. But it is now 2017 and paper and pen seems so... quaint.

I don't know if any of our lovely and fragrant readers are interested in perusing my daily notes for Runner3, but in looking back at my notes from previous projects, I often find a few nuggets that I think are fun.

So, without further ado, check out my chronological collection of Runner3 designer scrawlings to date and poop me a message in the comments if you see anything worth seeing.