An example of making tedious tasks more enjoyable. Thumbnail image by Discord member Dally.

Enjoying gamedev

Sometimes, gamedev is hard. There are features you don’t know how to implement, audiences just outside of your reach, and blog posts where a topic escapes you.

Other times, it’s easy but annoying.

Many tasks are repetitive but can’t quite be automated (or rather, it would take more time to figure out how to automate the task than to just go about it manually). Take, for example, the following snippet from Requiescence.

$, 0, channel="keffort")
play keffort "Voiceovers/Kymil/laugh_nervous.mp3"
k smile '"Stop. You\'re going to make me self-conscious."'
show damian laugh with Dissolve (0.1)
$, 0, channel="deffort")
play deffort "Voiceovers/Damian/laugh1.mp3"
d '"Every single one. Of course, right afterwards, there was a rather sudden cave-in..."'
$, 0, channel="deffort")
play deffort "Voiceovers/Damian/sigh_annoyed.mp3"
d '"Which would be why you and I are now separated from the others."'
play kvoice "Voiceovers/Kymil/gasp_surprise3.mp3"
k wow '"What?! Are they still alive?"'
show damian normal with Dissolve (0.1)
$, 0, channel="deffort")
play deffort "Voiceovers/Damian/hm_puzzled.mp3"
d '"I can\'t say for sure, but I assume between the fire mage\'s powers and the knife-brat\'s slinkiness, they found a way to manage."'
$, 0, channel="dvoice")
play dvoice "Voiceovers/Damian/d6_Damian.mp3"
dp sad '"It may, er, partially be my fault. I grabbed your hand and ran as fast as I could to the cave without waiting for the others."'

You’ll see that we are changing the volume of the voiceover file right before we play the file. It is not the most technically challenging task to change the volume, though there is a hidden challenge in trying to get just the right volume between files…balancing it all over any background music as well. But that’s a story for another time. (Disclaimer: we, the devs, had basically 0 experience in balancing audio before we embarked on the Requiescence journey. It is probably a (slightly) less ridiculous or challenging task if done by someone with experience.)

Another example from Red Embrace: Hollywood:

$ renpy.pause(0.5, hard=False)
"As those low words rumbled in his throat, he smiled..."
$ renpy.pause(0.3, hard=False)
scene bg black with Dissolve (0.1)
$ renpy.pause(0.8, hard=False)
"And two long, cruel fangs glimmered between his lips."
$ renpy.pause(0.5, hard=False)
"Fangs?{w} No, they couldn't be real—and yet, for some horrible reason, I knew they were."
$ renpy.pause(0.3, hard=False)
"In that moment, I suddenly felt..."

Every other line is a hand-crafted pause! And though the code itself is easy, it does require some thought into how long each pause should be…

So how do we keep ourselves entertained?

One way is to make silly comments within the code. Nobody but us will see it…right? ;)

kp angry '"Let\'s join up with the others and wipe out the rest of them!"' #jolly tally-ho all in a days work captain
k wow '"Carrault, look!"' #scared D: !
mcp '"Seriously… what a weird guy."' #mattaku… hen na yatsu da na oAo

Another is when something unexpected happens…

saorise is halfway below the textbox on the screen

Dovah: stop hiding under the textbox sao

And on suggestion from Discord member Shinrai: why do I suddenly hear the music of the white shark while looking at this? :eyes:

poor MS-Paint drawing of a shark fin over Saorise's head and some water waves above

Dovah: vicious shark prepares attack on innocent MC, 1910 (colorized)

And that’s all the ways for now. There are certainly other ways for us to keep entertained, but such memories have flown away.


A weekly ritual is to ask the Discord chat for suggestions about a blog topic. CipherMeisa suggested writing about Life and Gurgi9876 suggested writing about Ducks. It seems as though duck season is not yet upon us for both Dovah and Gamma, so they are rather difficult to find. We present to you some images of ducks from a time not so near the present.


We’re always taking suggestions for blog topics. Drop them into the Ask box, an email, a Discord message, tweet…really, any of our communication channels will work, though with varying degrees of efficacy.