🎼 Parse-O-Rhythm - Wishlist on Steam!

Steam page and demo now available!!

Yoo!! The Steam page and demo for the game are now finally out! You can go try the game, wishlist it, or even send it to a friend!

I’ll also be announcing Sunday devlogs there as well, though they will still be written here. Thanks for following the development so far!

Steam page: Parse-O-Rhythm on Steam

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:steam_locomotive: Sunday Devlog 6: Steam Locomotive

Welcome back! As some of you know by now, the Steam page for the game has officially launched! A lot more than just a bit of art went into launching the demo to Steam so let’s talk about it in more detail.

Completing the upload

When you first upload a game to Steam, Steam’s reviewers will go through your game info, description, and game build itself to make sure everything is up to standard. After that, you are free to update and modify your Steam page as you wish.

Because of this, I ended up choosing to submit the game before everything was done promotion wise. I still had to make the trailer, a few gifs for the store page, and other minor things. So after assembling all of the promotional stuff, writing a description and sending it off, all I had to do was make a trailer and some gifs. Simple, right?

I wish.

Making the trailer

Here’s the thing about what’s on my computer: the video editing program that I have used for a while now is called HitFilm Express.

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However, the company that made this software discontinued it a while ago. This is fine, since it wasn’t deactivated on my computer, so I can still use it. However, using it to animate things is a big problem.

A big part of editing 2D videos is moving things around. Whether it’s a scrolling transition, some flashy effect, text popping up on the screen, any movement at all, it needs a good animation system to work. This involves using little “nodes” in a graph editor to control how something moves.


Don’t worry, I probably ever press around 20% of the buttons you’re seeing here. Software be like that sometimes.

For example, the green line you’re seeing here is responsible for the Y axis position of the game’s logo. This means that as the green line increases or decreases, the Y axis position of the logo increases or decreases, making it move up or down.

The white dots on the line are meant to act as “waypoints” so you can control how the animation works. The idea is that the software draws a smoothly curved line between the nodes to make sure stuff moves smoothly.

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Here be jank

However, as you might have noticed, this line isn’t smooth at all. It’s janky, has points where it rigidly changes direction, and goes down before moving up, something that shouldn’t even be possible.

And this is exactly why I have been trying to break away from this software. It runs great, has absolutely no bugs and errors, and is easy to pick up and use. But for some reason, animating with it can be a massive pain and you can be forced to place extra nodes to deliberately force the line to go on the right path, which can be difficult and time consuming.

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No more jank

So because of this, I looked for alternative video editors. Obviously Adobe’s Premiere Pro is out of the question - piracy is difficult, they charge you criminal subscription fees and they also want to feed your work into an AI. So the next most interesting candidate I found was…

Davinci Resolve! Here’s an editor that has good things said about it, has a free trial version, and is being updated by it’s software engineers. so I went and installed it. However, as I started using it, things went south very quickly.

First, the editor was extremely laggy for some reason. Even with only a few things placed into the project, there were stutters constantly, making editing sluggish. I initially put up with it, but the actual main problem was that you couldn’t move UI windows around.

When it comes to most software, it’s very important that you let the user customize the layout of the UI. This allows the user to work with their own personalized layout, maximizing their efficiency and comfort. However, Davinci Resolve not only didn’t have this (at all), but it’s users were also advocating for keeping it that way. So after some evaluation, I decided to jump ship and just head back to HitFilm Express after wasting 8 or so hours figuring the software out and attempting to use it.

Even though dealing with the animation was annoying as always, I was able to whip up the trailer in about 4 hours thanks to actually knowing the software. Right as the game got accepted by Steam’s reviewers, I added the brand new trailer and all was finally done!

Day one cleanup

So, hooray, the steam page is launched, I can now focus on the full version fully, right?? Well as you might have guessed, nope!

I still had to make a few Gifs to go on the store page to make it more attractive, but more importantly I also got some immediate feedback from friends who played the game. Turns out that I forgot to include an exit button, which is never needed for web games, but ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for downloaded games. There were also other smaller issues that I fixed later down the line, but those moments I was adding an exit button were a frenzy because all I could think about was the prospect of someone downloading the demo, getting mad there’s no exit button and not wishlisting the game, lol.

After all that mess was over, the Steam page was done and dusted, which means that the “Update C” section on the roadmap is now actually, for real this time, complete!! Yay!!

Making the new tracks

As the roadmap implies, we are now focusing on adding more content to the game for the full version. We already talked about what @nhgcr_for_the_3rd_time and @ThatBoxLion are doing, but what about Logan? Well, we sort of decided together than his second album in the game will be… drumroll please…

Galacdrive Remixes!

The Galacdrive music is some of the most well loved music in the Flowlab community outside of the default tracks everyone gets, so it’s only appropriate that we pay homage to that in the new album. Details are still up in the air about it, but more info on this particular album will come out soon.

Aside from that, the game was never designed to have multiple albums, so it is going to be a pretty straining technical challenge making the game compatible with several albums. That’s being started right now, but I’ll be able to talk about it a lot more next devlog!

What has been seeing good progress are the new color palettes for the new albums. I posted the game’s trailer to Reddit’s r/DestroyMyGame, a great place to get brutally honest feedback. One of the most popular talking points was that the background is too same-y and doesn’t have enough variety.


Average r/DestroyMyGame resident

Here are the palettes that the new albums will follow (the art itself will be varied, I was just testing things):


Lion’s candy themed album


Turtle’s dream themed album

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Logan’s galacdrive themed album

Now that the palettes and most of the music is done, it’s up to me to add the functionality into the game for the new albums, make the new songs, and make sure it all works! There’ll be a lot more on this next devlog.

Quick announcement

One more thing: since we are now on the roadmap phase where artists are being contacted, a brand new channel has temporarily showed up on the Discord: Request artists!

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Here, you can request an artist or album whose music you think would fit into the game well. We’re open to most genres that are in the vague area of electronic music :slight_smile: . And when I say “We” I do mean that - the game is a team project and I really appreciate the effort Logan, Lion and Turtle have put into the project, so they get as much of a say as I do.

Anyway, that’s all for this devlog! This is the first log to also be posted to Steam since we have a page by now. If you haven’t yet, be sure to wishlist the game on Steam! Thanks for reading as always!

-Encabulated Games

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Oh man. I literally listed to these songs normally.

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:ocean: Sunday Devlog 7: Tales O’ Battles & Plans!

Arrgh! Welcome back to yonder! I have many a tales, tales o’ battles and tales o’plans arrrggghh!! Let’s talk about it in ye olde dev log seven (seas).

Ye battle O’ attention!

Don’t worry, this whole devlog won’t be in pirate speak, but I will keep the titles this way lol.

Let’s go back to the past for a moment. After the game was finished, I posted a video clip of the game fresh off the press to reddit’s r/rhythmgames .The post was super successful and was a big reason I decided to turn this into a steam project!

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Stats from the r/rhythmgames post

However, I also curiously posted about it to other games related communities, mostly gave dev subreddits. They were far, far less interested.

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Stats from other communities

This made me realize something: your game’s target audience care a LOT more about it than random game devs online. This led me to coin a term I later realized already existed: sniper shot marketing.

Something I came to discover was that “sniper shot” marketing was much more effective than just posting into the algorithmic void. “Sniper shot” marketing as I like to call it, is marketing directly to your target audience and only your target audience. There are numerous benefits to this, most notably being that it’s much more cost & time effective and lets you understand your audience better. This linkedin post I found is a bit old but does a good job of explaining it.

Why am I saying this?

It’s now been over a week since the demo has launched on Steam, which has prompted me to try to do some marketing for the game. This meant making some social media posts and trying to get the word out there. And of course that good old “sniper shot marketing”. I posted again on r/rhythmgames, the same place where hundreds of people upvoted it before.

Pow!

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Something I came to realize this week: Social media is unstable. There is a big reason people on most social media sites absolutely spam content like crazy: it’s because the algorithms behind these sites are completely AI controlled and can be very spontaneous and random with how they suggest things to people. Every time you post, you roll the dice, and the more times you can roll the dice, the higher a chance that you roll successfully.

Of course these AIs aren’t completely random - they show people what they think they will like, and they know posts worded certain ways, or with certain hashtags, or even colors and patterns can help or harm appeal. But it’s a complete black box, even to the employees of these companies. This leaves us, the creators, to figure out how the dammed thing works. So in the meantime, I’ll keep posting into the void as I work on the game and hope for a lucky roll!

I could also write an equally long piece about trying to figure out if something was wrong with the game and asking people on game dev communities, but that would hugely balloon the size of this devlog, which isn’t even close to being done yet. In short, I got some helpful, and some not-so-helpful advice on how to improve the steam page trailer, so a new trailer for the Steam page will be complete by next log :slight_smile: .

Ye battle O’ social media!

I’ve begun to understand why even the smallest of companies hire social media managers. The thing with social media is that to effectively market on it, you have to be on it. But these sites use deep learning AI to make their platforms more addictive than even the most potent crack.

Because I need to check for comments on posts to reply to them, I turned my time limiter for social media off. But this led me to accidentally scrolling for a couple dozen minutes without realizing. Then I turn the limiter back on, but I still need to check social media. Despite the leaps and bounds my time limiter has done to make me more productive, needing to check social media a lot has hampered it a lot.

I’m still not exactly sure what to do about it, but it has slowed me down a bit this week.

Ye battle O’ time management!

This week I started an online class for college credit! This would have nothing to do with the game, but because of doing some online work plus dealing with social media, it’s further cornered some of the time I can spend on the project. Fortunately I know how the class works a lot better now that I’m a week in, but it’s also been contributing to slowing me down.

Ye plans 'fer albums!

Let’s talk about the upcoming albums a bit more!

It’s stated on the steam page, but the full version is planned to have 7 additional albums. These will vary in size and song length, but in general you can expect each one to be about as long as the first album.


All of these albums stacked up is kind of intimidating.

Earlier this week, I updated the navigation UI to include the three albums being worked on right now and the four “empty slots” to be filled by artists on the internet soon™. I actually already did find an artist who I got permission to use some music from!

Speaking of the new albums, I finished the artwork for the three new albums. Here it is in-game!



All of this art is subject to change, but with a modular system to add backgrounds and styles to the game, there is a lot less in the way of making new playable albums! I’m looking forward to sharing actual gameplay footage of these albums in the coming days and weeks!

Ye plans 'fer release!

As long as things go smoothly enough, the full version will LAUNCH on August 19! This is the same time the Steam Rhythm Fest starts, so the game will be at a substantial discount, probably 25%.

In more short term goals, by next week I’m hoping to have a new trailer on Steam that addresses all of the issues of the current trailer. This should make the Steam page more appealing and hopefully draw more attention :slight_smile:

Arrrgghhh!!

Thank ye fer readin’ the dev log once again!! This week was rough on the sev’n seas but there be many a thing to look forward to! We are off to continue sailin’!!

-Encabulated Games

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AHH!! New albums! I’m so excited!

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Can’t wait for the game to come out! Good luck keeping up your work flow.

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:wrench: Sunday Devlog 8: Rapid Reconstruction

Hey! As per a community vote, these dev logs are now being written on Steam!

You can read the new log here! Parse-O-Rhythm - Sunday Devlog 8: Rapid Reconstruction - Steam News

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So what exactly will the price be on release?

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The current plan is $10 USD!

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Sunday Devlog 9:

Yo! The new sunday devlog has been posted to steam. This log cov

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(also, sorry for being a little late to post here, I forgor)

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