Splash and ATC Running
Hey Folks! The ATC is sounding much better today after some additional code and content work. Plus, a splash screen!
I decided to record an additional 4 lines to increase variety, since the original 2 lines get old fast. And Rochelle agreed to read a version of them too, so now there are both male and female speakers.
On the code side, the additional lines now form a queue of lines to be spoken. The game chooses a random speaker voice, and when the conversation ends, it restarts with new speaker voices at the beginning. Plus, I can "pre-cook" the conversation to start midway.
I also changed the conversation to be non-static, so I can create as many instances of it as I want to hear in parallel. The main menu now loads three such conversations, each starting at a random point, each with different voices and radio effects, each with a different delay and random gaps between responses.
And it sounds really good! Especially now that Rochelle's voice is in there for variety, it sounds like a busy airport radio, with many pilots and tower personnel engaged.
And just for kicks, I decided to add a splash screen with some fade-in controls for audio and visuals. I wanted to see how it felt to load-up the game for the first time, to see if the mood was right. (Plus it gave me a chance to learn more about audio mixing and control.)
So now, we start with the splash screen in today's screenshot upper left. The sounds of ATC chatter and humming machinery start to fade-in, then the logo fades out before the main menu fades-in. After a few more seconds of chatter at the controls, the main menu music begins. The ATC and machinery become background to the music, but continue perpetually from then on. Even after the music ends. (And eventually, the music volume should be adjustable in options, if the user wants.)
By the time this was all done, I was actually enjoying just sitting and listening to it. So I think we'll call this done for now!
Michael is still working on more ATC chatter scripts, of course. I still want to try the procgen version of this later. It'll take a bit more work to setup, but most of the groundwork is laid already with how it works now. I want this to be used again in-game when the player is near or using the nav console. And since that might happen a lot, the procgen variety might be a nice way to keep it interesting and immersive.
And, even further down the line when I have imaginary spare time, I could theoretically hook-up the in-game ATC docking sequence stuff to the player's actual ship callsign. Like, you'd hit docking request or pushback clearance on the UI, and the ATC chatter would actually be speaking to you. But that's just a pipe dream until more of the core game is done :)