TRAUMA – Final Push

After 3 weeks or so I finally did a normal weekend session of working on the game. To be honest I was dreading going back to it again. I left at a weird moment where I didn’t have a clue what I had to do next. So I started of with something straight-forward: a bug I encountered while retouching the photos. Trying to replicate the bug I found a different, quite related bug. I fixed both and I found myself being back in the saddle again.

It went very well. I checked off a couple items off the checklist. But most importantly I was able to establish a final checklist of things to do for the beta:

  • Subtitles – Actually I already started my work on this. I had the technology for them in place for quite some time now. I have even written the English subtitles. I used them to prototype the script before recording. All there is left to do is to check if they still match the audio and translate into German and Polish. I might do other languages during the beta, too.

  • Rewrite Loading – Because the game is currently running off my hard drive, the routines for loading assets are all over the place. I hardly ever check for loading errors and the loading bars only reflect half of what its actually loading. On the other hand, I do have loading bars at all. So what is left to do is to go through the sourcecode, look for all instances of things being loaded and making sure that it is handled properly. I will need this if the game is to be put online. This might be actually most difficult thing left to do.

  • Tweak Gesture Recognition – Finally, the gesture recognition is a bit too forgiving right now. I re-used a handwriting recognition API that is designed to deliver the closest match it can find in it’s database. It’s not really designed to reject anything. So by simply squiggling some stuff on the screen you can trigger all sorts of gestures. Not really an ideal situation in a game derived from puzzle solving. I wanted the game to be quite forgiving but I don’t want to give everything away quite so easily. I’m not quite sure how to solve this. But I have some ideas to try out. In the end, if this all doesn’t work, I can simply leave it as it is. It’s not a show-stopper after all.

So there you have it. Just 3 things to do and I’m done. Among the 3 things, the second is the hardest and could very well take more than one weekend. On the other hand, the other two are certainly less than a weekend so I think I should be done by the 13th of December. If not, on the 15th I can start working on the game full time the entire week until January. So I have my plan for the final push. Time to set that plan into motion.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

7 responses to “TRAUMA – Final Push”

  1. Igor Hardy

    Great to hear! Good luck!

  2. WebPillar

    I just want to make sure you know that you still have people avidly following the development of this game. It honestly looks like one of the best games I’ve seen in a while. I first found a link to the trailer last winter/spring.

    I am so, so glad that you are finding the time to revisit your work on this, I honestly think it will be worth it and hope you gain some motivation from my comment.

    I love games that focus on atmosphere and exploration. I’ve always loved games like Myst or Journeyman and some visual novels/other adventure games. This looks like the paramount mystery/atmosphere based game.

    The fact that it will be in a browser makes it even more awesome. That adds wonderfully to its accessibility… More games like this should be available through browsers.

    I know that this game will be free, but please, please put up a donation bucket. I am a poor, poor student, but I work hard enough to afford to throw some money down for an experience such as the one the Trauma trailer promises. The thing I love about the internet is that I can pay the game developer directly without having to give any money to a publisher, whose job is basically obsolete.

    So anyways, no pressure, I know you must be busy and it must be hard to get back into the swing of things with this huge project. Good luck on all your work, it looks great that you’ve got a checklist to work with. I am definitely looking forward to playing Trauma and wish you the best of luck!

    1. WebPillar

      Sorry – one more quick comment – I just finished reading your post. The fact that you are expecting to have a beta (will this be something available to anyone??) done as soon as Dec. 15th makes me ECSTATIC. To have this game in time for Christmas makes me soooo excited. What an awesome present. Go for it man!

  3. Jessica

    Good to see you within reach of the finish line. Ever since I saw the trailer, hearing that mesmerizing voice and beholding those atmospheric shots, I was in great anticipation of the game. Also, it was quite interesting to get some insight into your working progress as protocolled in this blog. Now there’s only thing for me to tell you: Bring it on! :-)

  4. Krystian Majewski

    Thank you for the heartwarming comments! And thank you for sticking with me to the end. Sorry it took so long. :)

  5. Clayton Hughes

    With regards to the gesture recognition, you could just record a bunch of illegal gibberish gestures and put them in your dictionary. If any of them are returned as results, then you can reject them on the application end.

    1. Krystian Majewski

      Pssssssst. Stop giving away my good ideas.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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