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Making of story-line cut-scenes for the Sumoman game.

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We are working on Sumoman game about 4 years (we are only 2 developers - that is why it takes us so much time). It is a platformer about clumsy sumo wrestler with a lot of puzzles and time rewind feature. We have made all of the levels and puzzles and now it is time to make a good story for the game.

We have decided to tell the story by cut-scenes. With animations and good voice-overs. It takes a lot of time and needs a lot of efforts, but the result is much better than just a text or comics.

I don't know how big companies make their story cut-scenes. And we have no resources to hire professional animators and artists. So I made all of this work as good as I could.

First of all, I wrote down all the information that I want to bring to players:

1. Main hero is a sumo wrestler
2. Why he is wearing sumo belt only
3. Sumoman don't know how to swim
4. and so on

Than I turned it into the script and phrases. And after it I have made mockups of the scenes. I tried to show emotions of heroes without any sound and text. I simplified my work with animations as much as possible. I set cameras that way to reduce amount of animations. And I made animations only for those parts of hero that are visible to the camera. Anyway it took me a lot of time to make mockups for all scenes.

Here are examples of mockup:

Next step is final script for voice-over artist. We almost have no money, and I checked all to ensure that we can record voice-over at once.

We have decided to make all voice-overs in Japanese to make the game more atmospheric. Also we could fix mistakes in text without remaking of voice-over and lip synchronization. So we have found good voice artist via internet and recorded all phrases.

Lip synchronization is a most annoying part of making this cut-scenes. I found that 30 fps is not enough for lip synchronization - a lot of voices are between the frames. So I made audio files with phrases slower into twice and an octave lower to work with sound in 60 fps. Here is the example with the result:

After I have made all lip synchronization work I start to think that I can understand Japanese. I have sent all scenes with voice overs and lip synchronization to voice artist and he made additional voices for scenes: breathing, yelling and other stuff that needs to be voiced. Yep - I have made the second turn of lip synchronization after additional voices.

Now when all animations is done, all voce overs is done I can sent all scenes to foley artist from GaminGearz. It is some kind of magic:

Yep, and the result of cut-scene after all work (heh, I have fixed some lip sync troubles already):

After some time I find this scene too long and little boring. But we have no time and resources to remake it. So, I hope players will not skip this scenes.

Thanks for your attention.



So cool to see how you produce sound as an indie game developer. Noted.

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Tequilabyte Author

Thanks man! =)

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This game looks amazing. great work so far. How has Unigine been to develop Sumoman? I have been looking in to it myself for game development.

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Tequilabyte Author

Unigine is a good tool for games. And support is great. Maybe it will be a little hards after unity, I don't know.

But it will be problems with consoles and mobile.

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