TAC

Tetrobot and Co. – Community update

Few days ago, we updated Tetrobot and Co., adding an ingame Level Editor and Workshop support.
Now, everyone can create its own puzzles and share them on Steam.

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Even if the Level Editor is quite easy to use, we wrote three different guides to help players to jump into level creation:
– A step-by-step tutorial to create and publish your very first level
– A list of icons and useful keyboard shortcuts
– A complete guide detailing the Blocks’ behaviours and parameters

Tetrobot and Co. is still available at a discount price on Steam, the Humble Store and other digital stores, until next week.

We are all in! (60% off)

all-in

Hey, just a quick post to let you know that both Blocks That Matter and Tetrobot and Co. are 60% OFF on Steam this entire week (as part of the Weeklong Deals)!

This is to celebrate the public Workshop release for Tetrobot and Co.

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…and the Linux support for Blocks That Matter!

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You can also purchase the games from IndieGameStand (here and here) or on itch.io (there and there) and OF COURSE on the Humble Store (hey!, ho!)!

Please spread the word! As this is no secret this sale will mainly help fund our next game, Seasons after Fall!

The sounds of Tetrobot: from XACT to Unity

This article will expose how we handled the sounds and musics in Tetrobot and Co. using Unity Engine and some duct tape!

But before we start, let me tell you that all the musics and sounds effects were crafted by our dear Yann “Morusque” van der Cruyssen!
While reading this, you can listen to the Tetrobot and Co. soundtrack on Morusque’s Bandcamp.

XACT as a source of inspiration

Before building Tetrobot and Co. with Unity, our previous game (Blocks That Matter) was powered by the Xna Framework. This framework comes with a tool called XACT. It is an audio tool that allows sound designers to import their raw audios and build the sound effects that will be integrated in the game.
The effects can be more or less complex. For example, the “jump” sound effect in Blocks That Matter was made of 4 different sounds playing at the same time. 2 of them were grabbed randomly in a list of 36 .wav files. A random pitch variation was used on 2 other sounds to hide repetitions when jumping over and over again.

xact

Using XACT was great because Morusque was able to work autonomously by building the audio database and adding simple but useful effects. On the game side, we were able to integrate this database very quickly. It was a matter of creating some built-in XNA objects, loading the audio database and calling soundBank.PlayCue(“name of the effect”) in the code!

We really wanted to have a similar tool in Unity. The following paragraphs describe how we managed to do that.

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From Photoshop to Unity

Hello world! My name is Ben, and I’m a code addict.
This is my first time here, so on behalf of the Swing Swing Submarine team I’d like to welcome myself to this blog, yay!

With Tetrobot and Co done and Seasons after Fall starting, I want to use this transition time to share some of the tools and techniques that we’ve developed during Tetrobot and Co. Today: some Photoshop magic!

The menus of Tetrobot and Co were fairly (ridiculously?) complex, with multiple layers, many animated elements, doors opening and closing, and seamless screen transitions, so we knew a traditional, square-buttons-on-a-static-background UI system wouldn’t cut it. We had to make it easy for Géraud, our illustrator, to design as much as possible in Photoshop, and bring it effortlessly to Unity, animation-ready.
The basic idea: he draws as usual in Photoshop, using as many layers/groups/etc as he needs, and when importing the PSD files in Unity we extract each layer into a PNG, as well as the extra data (layer size, position, and depth, mostly). We also replicate the group structure, so with one click of a button we end up with a Unity hierarchy that is an exact match for the Photoshop layout.
Then when he changes the PSD, he only has to regenerate the textures, and can optionally also synchronize the scene.

main menu in Photoshop

The main menu in Photoshop

main menu in Unity

The main menu in Unity

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Tetrobot and Co. Level Editor Steam Workshop Beta is live!

Hi there!

We’ve just launched the Steam Workshop Beta for Tetrobot and Co.!
TAC_Workshop_Beta

Here is a little FAQ, to answer the questions you may (or may not) have:

 

1/ What should I do to enter this Beta?

You just need to launch your Steam client, wait for Tetrobot and Co. to update and launch it! That’s it!
You can check that the version on the main menu is something like “1.1.x” and you’re good to go!

 

2/ What can I do in this Beta?

Well, you can create your own levels, complete with all the blocks and features used in the main game! And of course, you can share your levels through the Steam Workshop. You can recreate all the levels that you encountered in the game and much more!

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you’re running the game under Mac or Linux systems, we are currently facing an issue that will prevent you to download/upload items to the workshop. But you can still able to get your hand in the level editor, locally. Once the issue will be solved, you’ll be able to upload your creation to the workshop!

 

3/ Will you allow us to create custom language files (i want my game in 1337!)?

We can’t confirm it for sure, but it’s definitely in our mind, yes!

 

4/ Is the editor more user friendly than the one in Blocks that Matter?

Well… YES!
We put a lot of efforts improving the editor. In Blocks that Matter, the editor was released with the exact same level of “polish” that it was during the production of the game (i.e. none!).
With Tetrobot and Co., we decided to delay the release of the editor to make it clean and shiny!

 

5/ Is there any tutorials to understand how the editor works?

Even though the editor is as intuitive as OSX, we’ve published some official Steam guides for you, and in the future we will centralize any relevant information in this thread.
If you encounter any issues, please report them in this other thread.

 

6/ Will you release the in-game level editor for the DRM-free version?

We will allow you to create levels locally for sure. But we still need to find a good alternative to the Steam Workshop to store the user generated content!
The Beta will only occurs on Steam, because it is the fastest way for us to update the game depending on your feedbacks.
If you purchased the DRM-free version on our website (or the Humble Store), you should have a Steam key that can be used to participate to this Beta!

 

7/ Anything to add before I jump into this beta?

Only one thing: Psychobot is waiting you to unleash the love, the love of blocks!

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