WEEK OF 2023/01/23: FUNKIN BLOG STUFF WAHOO LOL!
12 minute read - Published on: 2023/01/20
Table of Contents
HELLO, this post is a test of a bit of like... the MASTER post system!
Basically the idea is, at the end of the week... all the POSTS of the week will be tossed here, and come out all at once!! Yippee!!
This system uses a buncho fancy Github actions, which currently live in our private repo (for convienience, but I'll toss em out into the world eventually heheheh.
Anyways, if I have it setup right, once this post goes live... there should be a few nice little niblets of posts from FNF team about various things!!! yahoo!!!!!
Issue extra test teehee
this is a small test for the issue thingie... lol!
ran into a little snafu... this blog post is a test for the queue system. when I close this issue, it should be sent to our private queue
lines and lines and lines of code
What is BPM?
written by PrincessMtH
a BPM is how many beats there are per minute.
sounds straightforward, but, what is a "beat"? well in my lil DAW there's 4 beats per bar, so it's just a 4th of a bar, clearly. but not all music is written like that. sometimes there's 3 beats per bar... we call that 3/4. so the 3 in that means how many beats there are, and the 4 means... what does the 4 mean...? something to do with steps, surely?
let me look this up... ah, so since it's from music notation, the 4 in 3/4 means that every bar (measure) lasts three quarter notes. so if it were 3/8, that means that a measure would last three eighth notes. so that means the music is twice as fast, right? well, the music would still be notated the same, so not really... it would just be going way over the supposed length of a measure, i guess. but as for counting "beats", i suppose functionally there's not much difference in counting 3/8 as 3/4 at double BPM?
wait, so if it has nothing to do with steps, what is a step??? that shit is used all over funkin, and there's definitely reasons one might want to time stuff inbetween beats. are u telling me it has no basis in music notation. this is so awkward.... i guess we just have to arbitrarily decide how many steps the beats are divided into depending on what's needed. this is going to get really funny with music in swing :)
ok test post over, you can get back to your own business
here's a little attached gif, you can click it to be taken to a little midi tune on newgrounds and add it to your faves
~Signed Emma MtH i wrote this
Inputs, Scoring, and MORE!
Written 2023/01/20 by EliteMasterEric
Hey, it's me, EliteMasterEric!! If you don't know me, I've been helping out with a bunch of programming stuff for Funkin' for about a year now, and as of a few months ago I am a full-time got-damned EMPLOYEE! My work has mainly related to engine stuff so far, such as refactoring the game to work well with the new modding system I've been developing. I've also been working on a bunch of feature-related stuff along the way. Hopefully my musings can help pad out these weekly blog posts~
My current focus is refactoring the game's input system. I've done a lot of research into how HaxeFlixel handles keyboard inputs, and I have a lot of solutions I can try to hopefully make the system feel great. However, all that work is for naught if the community doesn't like it, so here's the plan:
First, I'll create a barebones little program that lets you play the game as minimally as possible. This means no fancy visuals except for what's necessary. Then, I'll make a menu where you can select between several different input systems. Week 7 as a baseline, my new system, a really old one from like Ludem Dare era, and several that I'll rip as directly as possible from the latest versions of a few of the most popular engines.
Then, I'll scramble them all up! Only I know which one is which, it's a little blind study! We'll release it with a nice Google survey for people to take, so I can know if the systems I add are actually making the game feel better to play. Expect to see that come out in the next week or two.
On a similar note, I've also been thinking about how the game handles scoring, and I put out a little survey:
It's pretty clear from this that the in-game scoring system is ignored by the vast majority of the playerbase. That's fair, considering that many of them are rhythm game veterans and will only ever care about the accuracy percentage, but for a game with an arcade-like feel such as Friday Night Funkin', it's a problem that so few people are invested in high-scores, especially as we want the game to have proper leaderboards in the future.
The fact that the scoring system was probably designed in 15 minutes during a Ludem Dare and never thought about until today is probably another big reason too, ehe :P
I've been doing a lot of RESEARCH into what different scoring systems do and how, and into the ways that scoring systems can make the game more nuanced, or even influence how our players behave. We'll see how that information can help us make the scoring system more appealing to players.
You may have seen this already, but a bit ago I was working on code tied to the mod loader. With some help from UncertainProd on GitHub, I was able to get the asset loading system working for ZIP mods, on desktop and web.
Boy that sure was a cool video, I sure am glad nothing caused the embed to break and thereby destroy the whole fucking website.
No promises that this feature will necessarily show up in the next version, but it's very promising functionality and great for people who are based and play the game on Newgrounds.com.
...and that should catch you all up on what I'm working on right now! I bet those haters who said the Kickstarter is a scam and we spent all the money on crack feel PREtty stupid right now. sniff
You can look out for more posts from me on this blog (the one you're looking at right now), or follow me on Twitter where I post random shit sometimes.
P.S. Look at this cat his name is Gilbert. He's not my cat I just think he's neat.
state of funkin biz: Q1 2023
Past 6 months or so have been interesting. In many ways it's felt like we've gone from chump ass crew of misfits, to a semi-professional game development team. Not to say that we've taken things any more or less seriously, but I think things have more STRUCTURE for ourselves than before. This blog part will talk about buncho administrative bullshit that we balance on top of actual game development production work!!
Near the end of the summer of 2022, I feel like we started thinking about our PRODUCTION and HOW we worked a LOOOOT more. We had those floating thoughts before, sorta knowing that in some way or form we would have to "organize" ourselves more. First thing I think we did, was to organize WEEKLY MEETINGS. I know that may sound funny, but before then, we generally just all kept in touch with each other via messages, and work was somewhat okaaayyy.... It did end up leaving us with some miscommunications. Who was working on what? What was the progress of this thing? What did we all have planned in OUR heads? Having weekly meetings has kept us close to being on the same page since we've started them. Big biz people also do STANDUP meetings, which entail DAILY meetings, albeit, short 10-ish minute ones. Maybe that's something to pursue furthur for ourselves, but generally so far we've done a decent job at updating each other on what progress we make each day in DMs. Keep in mind, we have a good damn handful of people in different timezones, meetings can be fussy to setup!
Disclaimer: we do our MEETINGS with our CORE crew (me, kawaisprite, phantomarcade, and evilsk8r) and most/all of our PROGRAMMING team. We haven't done too many meetings with much of our other contractors, but that is also something we can probably take a peak into.
As well as thinking about HOW we work more, we also have put more thought into HOW we get PAID. Through 2021 (Kickstarter/week 7 release year) we didn't touch ANY of the Kickstarter money. This was because we wanted to keep everything clean, and we didn't have company yet, so we didn't want to touch that money and deal with weirdo taxes!!!
Through 2022 however is when we started dealing with paying not just ourselves, but contractors as well. We paid ourselves just in big lump sum for the year, partly due to some quirky tax stuff, and partly due to convenience (can be fussy to manually send wire transfers to ourselves). For our contractors, we paid them (and still pay them) with just paypal invoices usually.
Towards the end of 2022, we ended up sorting out getting PAYROLL figured out. A nice automated system to pay ourselves regularly, and does all the fuss of withholding all the proper taxes and all that! You will be surprised at how much work goes into things like that, and how fussy things like that could be. We all set that up for our first OFFICIAL employee ERIC, so now we don't need to send him quirky paypal invoices or anything like that, and he doesn't need to deal with any more bullshit 1099 tax form nonsense. Now we just need to setup that stuff for OURSELVES, which gets a liiiiittle fussy... because I'm canadian lol! Outta the frying pan and into the fire!
Producer person shenanigans
Through November/December we generally came to realize that we feel like we not only wanted, but felt like we NEEDED someone to help me and PhantomArcade manage PRODUCTION of the game. We generally like to hope we both have decent instincts on workflow, and productivity, BUT we also both feel that making it someones dedicated JOB to focus on things like that (as well as deal with things for us like emails, paperwork, etc.) would be worthwhile. We'd have more time to actually work on the game, AND general productivity is enhanced by a professional who's sole job is to help the game be as productive as possible.
Through December we were hunting around a bit, and eventually found someone who was recommended to us. Late December we interviewed them, and then a week or so later we all shook hands, and now by end of January (in about 10 days or so), we will OFFICIALLY begin work with a PRODUCER / PROJECT MANAGER on our crew. Just like how PhantomArcade is a professional at art and animation, and Kawaisprite is a professional with music and sounds, this person is pretty much a professional at project management. Something that goes very unsung in the biz! We have high hopes for working with them, and feel like it's starting off the year pretty good! Very much looking forward to working with them! more info about them at a later date though probably once they start they can introduce themselves here heheh
January 2023 is deadline for some tax stuff we need to do... so good ol' PhantomArcade has been grinding his way through that in the past few days, yeowch! Could really damn use extra hands ow ow ow!
Hiring and Interview shenanigans
Back in October 2022, I put out one of our first open job application posts. It got a good chunk of damn good applicants!! It was my first personal experience in this position, and I was unsure what to expect. It was VERY hard to filter down people, and a MUCH bigger task than anticipated. Doing research on candidates, comparing them to each other, doing research on the answers they gave. Basically for the period of a few weeks I had to go from game developer to full time hiring manager.
I slowly started getting in touch with some of the tasty candidates, INTERVIEWED THEM. It was a strange experience. Everyone I talked to was a delight to talk to, and I genuinely would want to work with everyone that I interviewed! I really do mean it when I say it was hard to nail down to just a single person. But I found a mfer! They been cookin since about middle of December and things have been a good experience I feel so far heheh
2023 and beyond
As mentioned earlier, we've been looking forward to working with our fancy new producer person, but that's just a small slice of work that we deal with! We still have not only a LOT of work on the game itself, but things around the BUSINESS! We will have our work cut out for us, but the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter. It feels like we work much more productively, and week by week, we accelerate that productivity. Things get better and better for ourselves and our lives it feels. Here's to Funkin 2023, and here's to funkin' blog posting wahoo!!!!!