TRAUMA to the Eleven!!11

By the way. I don’t just play and buy expensive stuff all day long. Over the past few weeks I have been keeping a constant progress on TRAUMA. I dedicated two days a week for developing the game. I will try to increase the pace but so far I got a nice, steady rhythm going on.

I finished the last video sequences two weeks ago or so. I don’t think I will need to record, cut or animate anything during this project again. Wrapping up this part was a great milestone for the project. I celebrated it a little bit.

Right now I’m doing quite mundane, administrative programming tasks. For example, I just included a volume slider. It may not be the most exciting job but for me it’s refreshing not to deal with high-level storytelling and game design tasks for a change.


By the way, here is a quick test – are the icons I used understandable? What do you think they mean? Should I use text labels instead?

The volume sliders were a bit tricky too. I complete forgot that I will be needing them in the final product. So I haven’t planed with them in mind – neither visually nor structurally. I now have to do a lot of workarounds to make sure they work properly. For example, I want players to be able to change the volume any time, especially when animations are playing. So I need to pay attention if new objects appear on the screen and make sure that they don’t accidentally appear on top of the volume slider

Also, there are a lot of different objects that can play sounds. I need to find them all and somehow figure out ways how to change the volume while they are playing.

None of this is impossible, it’s just a bit tedious. I have to wade trough a lot of quite convoluted code. I have learned a lot working on this project and the entire style on how I code has evolved. It can be frustrating to get caught up in your own mistakes. But on the other hand it’s a quite powerful learning experience. I’m almost finished with this part anyway and almost all remaining tasks are of quite similar nature.

A full-on beta test is approaching fast!

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 to the Eleven!!11”

  1. allen

    I would prefer the icons over text. Maybe you could have tooltip text when you hover over icons for more than a second or so?

  2. Colton

    My initial interpretation of the icons from left to right : master volume, music, dialog, …RSS Feed? After some consideration the last one is probably environmental sounds but the icon is less clear than the other three.
    I’m looking forward to playing the game!

    1. GhostLyrics

      I fully agree to that.

  3. Gabe Glick

    My thoughts are that the icons add a little extra cognitive load because their meanings are not as immediately obvious as text, so I would go with plain old letters. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as they say.

  4. sirleto

    icons: text and music is clear, sound effects probably a “explosion” would be better? and what is it on the left? overall / master volume? and what is the second icon between “overall?” and music volume?

    sound volumes on “all” objects: it helps a lot to have some kind of main-audio code. like a sincle object oriented approach of a “mediaplayer” through which all your “play music, play sfx, play voice” calls go. then its pretty easy to add something there (volume, 3d effects, whatever)

    1. Krystian Majewski

      The way I have solved this right now I have around 3 of those “mediaplayer” objects and they all work a little bit differently. On the other hand, it’s actually convenient because they deal with different kinds of sounds and the structure mirrors the sliders in menu – Music, Speech and Sound Effects. But you always run into odd exceptions like animations for example – they have sound embedded into them and that soundtrack contains both – sound effects and speech. Also, the playback of that isn’t controlled by any “mediaplayer” object because they are not sound files. It’s all a bit convoluted.

      For future projects I will certainly take your advice and try a more structured approach.

  5. Krystian Majewski

    Thanks for the feedback guys. Judging from your comments I think I will have to exchange most of the icons with text. The “SFX” and “Setup” icons don’t seem to be obvious enough. I used icons to avoid localization problems but on the other hand, the rest of the menu is in english anyway.


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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