In a shady corner of Kingsport Bay, at the outskirts of St Armando, Bwana and his trusted sidekick Kito struggle to make ends meet at their run-down gas station. Little do they know that they are about to be thrown into a spine-tingling adventure that will take them far from home and right into a twisting plot of corruption and danger. In the first chapter of The Journey Down, the search for a lost journal leads to forgotten secrets of the mysterious Underland. Follow Bwana and Kito as they puzzle their way forward and begin to uncover the true fate of their long lost father, Captain Kaonandodo. The Journey Down is a classic point-and-click saga with a black African twist. Get ready to embark on an epic journey of laughs and brainteasing adventure!

@henrik_englund - Work in Progress, Chapter 2
by member
  Posts Date
Thread Options 1 2 3 4 5
theowaern Jun 13 2012, 5:05pm Anchor
theowaern

A DF community playthrough of TJD would be great. We'd love to be seen there. The people hangin' out on those forums have pretty much got to be our core audience. I'll try and get Henrik to wedge us in there somehow. Thanks for the heads up about this! 

I spent most of today shuffling around puzzles for Chapter Two. My daughter dropped by later in the day and helped me get my stuff in order. :D

 

For some strange reason I'm a lot better off doing story and puzzle-flow design with bits of paper instead of writing stuff digitally. No idea why, but it really helps. Maybe it's the satisfying act of tearing a piece of paper in two whenever you scrap an idea that does it. 

Here's another location sketch from port Artue. I'm not sure we'll actually wind up using this very location, but it sums up the ambiance I'm after pretty good. 

 Oh and we did our Steam submission the other day. I had a difficult time putting into words how important I thought TJD was for Steam, so I drew them a picture. :D

 Keep yer fingers crossed!

foh Jun 26 2012, 6:44pm Anchor
foh

I like that little building/bridge! Everything with light coming out of it seems so cosy when it's raining :P

I hope your daughter made a challinging puzzle :D

PeachyAenne Jun 30 2012, 9:26pm Anchor
PeachyAenne

I hope your submission to Steam goes through!! Then when you get filthy rich you guys can come to PAX and I'll buy you both a drink to celebrate! :)

cadexn Jul 1 2012, 4:58am Anchor
cadexn

finally finished chapter one, can't wait for the next chapter! keep up the great work!

henrikenglund Jul 11 2012, 6:35am Anchor
henrikenglund

I just got Interviewed by adventure classic gaming!  Adventureclassicgaming.com
and loops of Bwanas new talk animations for chapter 2. work in progress playblast from Maya. Youtu.be

PeachyAenne Jul 11 2012, 11:56pm Anchor
PeachyAenne

I always love hearing more about you guys and The Journey Down!  Thanks for sharing Henrik! :)

jfrisby Jul 12 2012, 11:49pm Anchor
jfrisby

Loving the progress!  Any word on Steam?  We keep having votes in the Double Fine gameclub on which game to play next (and older games keep winning) -- that might go better once you're on Steam :)

henrikenglund Jul 30 2012, 3:37pm Anchor
henrikenglund

I made a new costume for Bwana today... Hope you like it! :)
jfrisby : Steam... We will be there sooner or later. Thanks for your vote promotion at Double Fines gameclub. :P

Side note. I have now booked the long-awaited plane tickets to Malaga, Spain. I will be staying and working over there with The Journey Down on my laptop from 1 Nov to 26 Feb. If anyone of you living over there, i would love to buy you a beer.

Kao Sep 11 2012, 12:38pm Anchor
Kao
theowaern wrote:Oh and we did our Steam submission the other day. I had a difficult time putting into words how important I thought TJD was for Steam, so I drew them a picture. :D

 Keep yer fingers crossed!


Haha, wonderful pitch! No doubt they have to approve it! Fingers crossed for luck though :) Loving the new costume. Interesting look into what might happen in Chapter Two.
Have a good stay in Spain (even though it's a while 'til your leave) and keep your spirits high! :D

Edited by: Kao

s_d Sep 26 2012, 7:34pm Anchor
s_d

Loving the dev updates on Chapter 2!  The game is amazing... but short.  I was really glad to catch the recording of the DFA game club, and read in the saved log that you're planning it to be larger than Chapter 1.  Kind of made my day, really :redface:

It's really funny, that... I had just bought TJD here (Linux dude proudly representing!) and am a big fan of Desura.  I started playing, got about halfway through Chapter 1 and then "life" kind of took over... my life.  Weird when that happens, yeah?  Then, during the Broken Sword campaign on Kickstarter, I noticed Beneath a Steel Sky pop up here (I have a copy I got from the ScummVM site, but it's all nice and packaged up for Desura), and began replaying it, in honor of Revolution Software, and my massive nostalgia built around that game.

Well, I "slacker" backed Double Fine Adventure, and when I noticed the "Double Fine Adventure Club", they were just finishing up The Secret of Monkey Island, and had announced TJD as their next game.  I thought that was nice and coincidental.  Then the announced that BASS was next... it's like they're stalking me, over there in the DFAC!

At any rate... wouldn't now be fantastic time for another dev update?  It's been like months :cry:

theowaern wrote:
I spent most of today shuffling around puzzles for Chapter Two. My daughter dropped by later in the day and helped me get my stuff in order. :D
...

For some strange reason I'm a lot better off doing story and puzzle-flow design with bits of paper instead of writing stuff digitally. No idea why, but it really helps. Maybe it's the satisfying act of tearing a piece of paper in two whenever you scrap an idea that does it.



Actually, I think you're in good company!  When Revolution Software's Kickstarter campaign for "Broken Sword:  The Serpent's Curse" completed, their lead engineer, Tony Warriner, posted this:


See each scene stacked with tons of notes?  Apparently that's a pretty good way to design an adventure game 8)

(for anyone wondering, left-to-right, the people in the photograph are Joost Peters, Peter Brooks, Tony Warriner, and Nina Roussakoff)

Edited by: s_d

futanflqb7 Oct 7 2012, 5:26am Anchor
futanflqb7

ahh when is chapter 2 coming out TJD ch 1 was exactly my kind of game and I have been waiting for chapter 2 to come out for so long so i can give you more of my $ and enjoy your artwork manifested as a videogame.  Update please I hope you guys check this ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

theowaern Nov 16 2012, 3:05pm Anchor
theowaern

s_d:  heh, yeah if Revolution are doing it, it has gotta be the way to go. :D I've found that a combination between having messy paper notes everywhere and having a giant googledoc spreadsheet to sum um the major blocks, really is the ideal way to organize things - for us at least. :)

And yes, chapter two is indeed going to be a lot larger than chapter one. Not only will it span across a way larger area, it will also be more of a developing story, whereas chapter one was mostly Bwana hanging out in Kingsport bay the entire chapter. The difficult part for us now is to cut down on all the stuff that's too big and awesome to fit into our schedule.

futanflqb7:  Thanks for those kind, encouraging words! "artwork manifested as a videogame" is exactly what I want people to feel when playing our games! I could ask for no greater compliment.

Anyhow, after much grumbling and mumbling I have decided that there's nothing to lose really in opening up our development process a bit more and showing off some more of our project as we work on it. Obviously it's fun to keep some parts of the game secret as to not spol everything, but again, the game is quite huge so there's a lot we can show off without actually ruining any of the magic.  So without further ado, some new pics from the game!

These pictures do not represent final screen-shots from the game, but are representative of their respective rooms. These are the sketchy assets we are using in our "first playable" version of the game - which we intend to have completed  on the fourth of February. A deadline which is moving closer at an alarmingly fast rate, I must admit.

The point of the "first playable" is to have a rough version of EVERYTHING that is planned to be in the game - in place. This, in order to be able to judge a couple of different things - mainly how feasible the project as a whole is to pull off (or if we have to cut something) or the opposite... Maybe it turns out that the game, once put together entirely, is way to short, or just plain too boring or too difficult/easy... If so, that's where we start making those adjustments.

I don't doubt for a second however, that our "first playable" will be absolutely ballblastingly awesome. The whole thing feels great so far. But that's what the "first playable" is for - evaluating this. 

We'll be doing our best to keep y'all fed with TJD2 stuff as we churn it out!

Thanks again for the encouragement. It makes all the difference.

Cheeseness Nov 17 2012, 3:52am Anchor
Cheeseness

Yay, more stuff. Thanks for sharing :D

andreadandrea Nov 17 2012, 6:45am Anchor
andreadandrea

nice pics and atmosphere. about atmosphere, i hope you take care of background music as much as in chapter one, where i really like the soundtrack.
is it going to be similar in chapter two?

s_d Nov 22 2012, 4:55am Anchor
s_d
theowaern wrote:And yes, chapter two is indeed going to be a lot larger than chapter one. Not only will it span across a way larger area, it will also be more of a developing story...


Yes!  Just like chapter one, but more of everything.

theowaern wrote:The difficult part for us now is to cut down on all the stuff that's too big and awesome to fit into our schedule.


If it isn't too much of an inconvenience, try to gather up as much of the story bits and sidequest concepts (especially if art assets are generated) for some of us fans who are into the whole "behind the scenes" thing.  A nice digital art book would be a lovely add-on as well (  call it a "Collector's Edition" or something, and bundle it with all of the chapters, when the game is completed). 

theowaern wrote:Anyhow, after much grumbling and mumbling I have decided that there's nothing to lose really in opening up our development process a bit more and showing off some more of our project as we work on it. Obviously it's fun to keep some parts of the game secret as to not spol everything, but again, the game is quite huge so there's a lot we can show off without actually ruining any of the magic.


Wow, this teaser really knocked my socks off!  I think you're probably pretty safe in sharing, first because it's not that big a deal (some of us avid Kickstarter backers are pretty spoiled in this regard, in that we're now hooked on watching the development process unfold... there's nothing like it, really).  Second, I think that this Desura forum is pretty low-traffic, and flies under the radar really well.  So, while it's not a private discussion group for big fans, it might as well be :)

andreadandrea wrote:i hope you take care of background music as much as in chapter one, where i really like the soundtrack.
is it going to be similar in chapter two?

Oh, man, good point... they have to bring back Simon!  His work added so much to the atmosphere, like the three styles (art, writing, music) are all very well matched.

theowaern Nov 22 2012, 4:06pm Anchor
theowaern

andreadandrea: Simon D'souza is doing the soundtrack for part two as well, don't worry. :) It will be similar, but it does have a way darker sound to it, to better fit the gloomier atmosphere. Chapter two will be no means be as carefree as chapter one., and the music reflects this! What we've got so far, soundtrack wise - for chapter two is amazing. It's Film noir - but it's got an African/Jamaican twist. It fits the scenery and story perfectly.

s_d:  We'll be sharing as much as we can along the way! I'm glad you find the process interesting, it makes it all the more fun spamming about it, when people actually are interested. :)

Here are some more sketches - first one is the Casino street scene from above. (It's part of Port Artue's main street. You can see Morten's lighthouse in the distance.) The second pic is the throne room of one of Port Artue's most wanted criminals, Madame Sisulu. She's badass. The third pic is from a location we recently completely re-wrote in the script. It used to be a posh part of town with a fancy hotel in it, we threw that out and now it's the opposite - a gritty industrial backstreet in an off corner of Port Artue.

foh Nov 23 2012, 2:39am Anchor
foh

Can't wait to see these sketches come alive in the game, with music and everything. I'm especially looking forward to the first one. I love it when you can see other locations in the background and sometimes wonder what that is and if you're gonna see more of it. And I know I'll see more of that lighthouse! :)

theowaern Nov 25 2012, 5:59am Anchor
theowaern

Yeah, lots of stuff revolve around the lighthouse. You'll be well acquainted with that place once you've made it through chapter two.

I'm goin' through a bunch of voice auditions now that Anthony Sardinha (voice of Bwana)  sent me.  He's helping us round up auditions for the chapter two cast and we've got loads of auditions to sift through now. I'm having a blast with it. There's so much talent out there! 

The main cast will be returning (Bwana, Lina, Kito), with David Dixon (voice of Kito) also taking on another major role in the chapter.  I'm also hoping to re-use some of the other talent from chapter one. I had the pleasure of working with plenty of skilled actors there. Chapter two is rather dialog heavy and will definitely feature more speech work than chapter one. This time around the bulk of the speech will be on the other characters though, rather than on Bwana, as in chapter one. In chapter one Bwana had more than twice as many lines as the rest of the cast put together.

Hopefully we'll be able to update this thread with some voice samples soon of some of the new characters. I'll keep you posted.

SirPrimalform Nov 27 2012, 12:57am Anchor
SirPrimalform

New fan here! I got TJD in the IndieRoyale but only just got around to playing it... what a mistake that was! I suppose it does mean less time between me finishing chapter one and the release of chapter two though.

theowaern wrote:
I'm goin' through a bunch of voice auditions now that Anthony Sardinha (voice of Bwana)  sent me.  He's helping us round up auditions for the chapter two cast and we've got loads of auditions to sift through now. I'm having a blast with it. There's so much talent out there! 


It's interesting that this should be the subject of your most recent post, as one of my few criticisms of chapter one so far relates to the voice acting. Were some of the characters' lines recorded by the actors themselves at home by any chance?
Specifically, Matoke and the concierge on the yacht sounded strange. Matoke sounded like his mic had a very poor high frequency response and the concierge had a lot of "I recorded this in my bedroom" type of acoustics. Also, the acoustics on Lina's lines changed mid conversation in the plane.

I wonder all this because I'm a sound engineer and these sort of things stand out to me (I doubt anyone else noticed).

I am quite curious to know if I'm right though. ;)

theowaern Nov 27 2012, 3:41am Anchor
theowaern

SirPrimalform: Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed chapter one.

As for the quality of recordings in chapter one, you're spot on. All recordings were done by actors on their own, most of them in their own homes with their own equipment, on the other side of the planet from where we are. We had no money for anything fancier than that. In most cases it worked, in some cases, as you pointed out - it didn't. This is one of the things we intend to improve in chapter two. :) As this was our very first attempt at "voicing" a game, and seeing we did it with virtually no money, I'm proud and happy with how well it turned out, but there's no doubt that there's room for improvement! We are certainly going to be more picky when overseeing recording for Chapter Two.

As for Chapter One, I have this insanely naive idea that I some time will be able to patch up the issues you mentioned in chapter one, with new recordings. Not sure when or how but I'd love to  do it! I appreciate you pointing out the rough bits for me - having listened to it so much I've become somewhat deaf as to what's broken and what isn't.  I realize this is asking a lot, but if you feel up to it, I'd appreciate it a ton if you could be even more specific regarding which parts of the audio sound dodgy. I truly want to polish it all up. The quality of the speech recordings has actually been a bit of a thorn in the side for us as far as reviews are concerned. We keep getting good scores, but everyone is always pointing out the shoddy recordings as a thing that lowers the score  - and if that's something we can fix - I want to!

If anyone else reading this has any thoughts and comments about specific recordings in chapter one that felt "off", please speak up! Thanks.

henrikenglund Nov 27 2012, 10:08am Anchor
henrikenglund

Just wanted to show of one frame from the coming iOS trailer.

SirPrimalform Nov 27 2012, 11:34am Anchor
SirPrimalform
theowaern wrote:
As for Chapter One, I have this insanely naive idea that I some time will be able to patch up the issues you mentioned in chapter one, with new recordings. Not sure when or how but I'd love to do it! I appreciate you pointing out the rough bits for me - having listened to it so much I've become somewhat deaf as to what's broken and what isn't. I realize this is asking a lot, but if you feel up to it, I'd appreciate it a ton if you could be even more specific regarding which parts of the audio sound dodgy. I truly want to polish it all up. The quality of the speech recordings has actually been a bit of a thorn in the side for us as far as reviews are concerned. We keep getting good scores, but everyone is always pointing out the shoddy recordings as a thing that lowers the score - and if that's something we can fix - I want to!


It certainly wasn't meant as a complaint, but if it's something you want to try and fix anyway I'd be happy to offer a bit of advice about the particular ones I noticed.

The concierge sounds like he was not close enough to his mic (so it was picking up reverberations from the room). It could be he backed off because he was having trouble with pops, in which case he'd need a pop shield (or to improvise one at least, anything to block the little burst of air you shoot at the mic when you make plosives).

Matoke sounds like he needs to buy a better mic or possibly soundcard... ;)
Something was limiting the frequency response, whether it was the mic itself or the sample rate or quality of the ADC in his soundcard. Unfortunately, I can't think of a solution to this that doesn't involve him having to buy new equipment. Something like this should be an improvement: Thomann.de It's a lot to ask if he was doing it for free, but if he was doing paid voice work then I'd expect him to invest a little. :P

The sound of Lina's voice changing part way through a conversation is easy to fix. The simplest advice to the actress is to make sure each conversation is recorded within one session and not to move yourself or the mic between lines during a session. Even better is to try and keep the positions of the mic and yourself consistent between sessions, but I realise that can be hard some times which is why I suggest doing whole conversations in one go if possible.

I'm not tremendously experienced with recording voice acting (I mostly record music) , but a lot of the things to do with mic position apply to music too.

 EDIT: And I've finished Chapter One... now I wait...

Edited by: SirPrimalform

theowaern Nov 29 2012, 6:11am Anchor
theowaern

SirPrimalform:  Hey I appreciate those thoughts a ton. I'm looking closer at this now and am trying to determine whether some of these recordings are shoddy because we've broken them wile converting them, or if in fact, the original recordings should have been done with better equipment. If you'd care to listen to an original .wav from Matoke, there's one here: Dl.dropbox.com

Would you say that the original recording is poor? Or that we likely broke the file while cutting it up and putting it into the game? I'd like to know if the originals in fact are broken, before I bother asking our voice actor to go through them all once again. :) Thanks again for your feedback.

Here's what I've been working on today, our new icon for our pending iOS release, hope you like it!

SirPrimalform Nov 30 2012, 12:42am Anchor
SirPrimalform
theowaern wrote:SirPrimalform:  Hey I appreciate those thoughts a ton. I'm looking closer at this now and am trying to determine whether some of these recordings are shoddy because we've broken them wile converting them, or if in fact, the original recordings should have been done with better equipment. If you'd care to listen to an original .wav from Matoke, there's one here: Dl.dropbox.com

Would you say that the original recording is poor? Or that we likely broke the file while cutting it up and putting it into the game? I'd like to know if the originals in fact are broken, before I bother asking our voice actor to go through them all once again. :) Thanks again for your feedback.


It sounds a little muffled, but I think I find it less noticeable when I'm not getting an alternating A/B comparison with Bwana's voice. I don't think the sound quality is worse in-game than in that raw file you linked to. I think he sounds a bit muffled both in game and out of game. If you can't hear it I wouldn't worry about it though.

theowaern Dec 3 2012, 9:35am Anchor
theowaern

I can hear it, and lots and lots and lots of other people have commented on it as well. I've just never really acted on it, and have had a difficult time pinpointing the problem. I have now decided to have Rick McNeil re-record all Matoke lines with better equipment.  

I've also asked Edward Day to re-record his lines for the concierge with better equipment. And on top of that I've asked Cassie Ewulu to re-record a big chunk of her in-plane dialogue. Hopefully the jump between recording sessions will be less noticeable when the jump is not done in the middle of a monologue, from one sentence to another, but rather between conversations. (Ideally I'd have her re-record every single line she has inside the airplane but they're just... to many.) Hopefully it winds up as seamless as I'm wishing it will!

This means that our coming iOS release should be pretty much free of these poorer-quality recordings, an improvement I'm very happy to finally see implemented! Hopefully we'll find the time to update our PC, Mac and Linux versions of the game with these fixes soon as well!

I truly wish we could go back in time and change all those reviews that diss the game for its varying voice-recording-qualities, but it still feels great actually doing something with the feedback we've received instead of just accepting that the game is the way it is. If we can make it better, I want to make it better. :)

 What is your name SirPrimalform? I'd like to add you to the "thanks to" if I can find the time to do so, and we don't use internet handles.  We're bouncing out a new credits list together with our iOS release. 

Thanks!

Reply to Thread
click to sign in and post

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.