WEEK OF 2023/02/10: THE FUNK AND THE FURIOUS
21 minute read - Published on: 2023/02/10
Table of Contents
- Quick Update on Missing Surveys
- more fnf kickstarter mischief in progress: VINYL SHIPPING and PINS / POSTERS IN PROGRESS
- Shingi's kickstarter update
- Phantom Says: Cold Winter Nights & Warm LCD Screens
- Summary of last week's funkin-resources additions!
- closing thoughts for the week
welcome to funkblog episode 4. i think i will use this beginning space of the blog to talk about the STATE of the blog, in terms of TECH, and where everything is headed with it in general!
but in this intro blurb i will also give rundown on blog... posts about kickstarter mischief and lil writings by phantomarcade ensue!!!
In terms of TECH, I added a cool lil table of contents to each page, nice lil copy paste from the zola website heheh. As well as that, i added a cute lil retro "hit counter" to the bottom of the site lol. At some point though I will probably setup better analytics tooling, moreso for funzies. Might be fun to have a "X amount of people reading now!" thing heheh. One thing about analytics is it def will be ANONYMIZED and whatnot, no cookies no bullshit like that. Pure and simple analytics! We don't give a shit about your data, we just wanna track views and whatnot! We won't market to you or any bullshit like that we promise!!!
The next step for the blog I think is to get a small discord bot setup so that we can write articles / posts easier. At the very least, can draft up posts in discord, or even write smaller little snippets of posts or thoughts on our minds! The idea behind a discord bot is that everyone has discord on their phone.... so whenever and wherever we are.... we can write articles/ posts for the blog, whenever ideas or thoughts come to our mind!
I've been dabbling with elixir, which I took notice of from one of our contract programmers we have workin on some secret sauce (for now). She is a super brain on that crazy functional coding stuff, and she also has experience with discord bot development, BUT I think for this little bot I will use it as a fun little side project hehe. And as always... source code will be open!!!
anyways... here's the blog post!!!
Quick Update on Missing Surveys
Sup everyone, quick update on everyone who's got missing surveys and stuff.
THE PHYSICAL OST COMBO MEAL and Vol 1: OST COMBO MEAL addons
These are coming out to you as one big package with all the CDs, Cassettes etc. in it. Checked with Needlejuice and Cam and those are juuuuuuust about to ship so expect to see an email soon from needlejuice with those
T-Shirts, Posters and Enamel Pins
Ninjamuffin already posted an update, but those aren't out yet. Expect to see surveys on those in the near future.
You should have received an email by now from the kickstarter email. If you haven't that means either the Backer Names in the system and on the Kickstarter platform aren't matching (recent name changes could probably do that) or so reach out with your backer ID instead.
There might be a quick lil update on KS about the blog soon (and some other neat stuff) so look forward to that!
more fnf kickstarter mischief in progress: VINYL SHIPPING and PINS / POSTERS IN PROGRESS
its a bit intimidating to write a big ass chunky ass kickstarter update (especially after everyone be shoutin at me and it's been put off a bit long... yeowch!) so over next few weeks I'll try to at least draft up posts that would otherwise be included in a traditional Friday Night Funkin' kickstarter post to shake my brain a bit and make it less intimidating for myself!!
After about 6 months or so (as of January) the the Friday Night Funkin' KICKSTARTER exclusive vinyl is finally being shipped! It has taken this long because vinyl manufacturing nowadays takes a long damn time. As mentioned many times in previous KICKSTARTER posts, there's a shortage of vinyl PVC or somethin like that! BUT finally we ended up getting em all produced! They are all in NASHVILLE, where Needlejuice Records HQ is! Needlejuice has been pretty damn close to us and really super has helped us out with all of the physical media stuff! In Nashville, they have a veeerrry small crew of 5 people who are shipping out everything, so if you have a vinyl, it may take an extra month or two before you actually get your vinyl! They need to ship over 9000 (no meme intended) orders ! BUT I think in Q1 2023, everyone who has PHYSICAL OST stuff SHOULD have those rewards for themselves!
If you need to change your address, contact needlejuice email! email@example.com
and take a peak at this twitter thread by them for more lil tidbits and info!
Yes! We have the Friday Night Funkin Kickstarter vinyl. It arrived yesterday. We are beginning to ship it out. This is by far the biggest project we've ever taken on. It will take a long time to ship them all, so there are some things that may be useful for people to know. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/K0sXPOlf8S— Needlejuice Records (@needlejuicerec) December 17, 2022
Pins / Posters IN PROGRESS / MANUFACTURING BEGIN
the pins and posters are back on the damn menu, we are doing the first run of manufacturing them so that we can get em faster to our homie who's been handlin that! I sent the wire transfer to him as of 10 minutes ago for the first batch of em to BEGIN MANUFACTURING
for POSTERS the first batch should finish production in 1-2 weeks!
for PINS the first batch should finish production in about 1.5-2 months!
So poster only backers should start potentially seeing them out in the wild around the end of this month and early march!
Shingi's kickstarter update
Shingi is the dude who is working on our kickstarter backend system, he wanted to write a lil update for backers and whatnot, and i told him to go for it! As well as this, I am still workin on big main post of MORE in-depth update stuuufff of where everything is at, just tying up a lotta damn loose ends!
written by Shingi / Shamwayne
Sup to all the awesome FNF Backers! It's been a while, sorry about that haha..... This is going to a special Kickstarter update since part of it is going to be done by yours truly, Shingi (aka Shamwayne on github)! Normally Ninjamuffin works on the Kickstarter updates himself (and he's been working on a massive blogpost detailing everything that's been happening the past several months) but this is just a special update to introduce myself and our all new...Funkin Blog! (insert hype music here)
Wait, who are you?
So everyone who's checked out the Blog already might be a little familiar with my name already, but lemme just introduce myself again. Hi, i'm Shingi - the Kickstarter Backend dev who's existence is this dimension is only maintained through the power of coffee and energy drinks. What's this "Kickstarter Backend" i'm working on you ask? Well...it's basically going to be a portal where all the Backers can manage their profiles, view their rewards (and potentially track their shipment/delivery progress, still working on that one) as well as answer surveys and get updates on everything FNF! Part of the check for missing surveys that happened last week actually went smoothly thanks to the new features from the KS Backend Portal we're working on! Expect an update and the beta test for that in the upcoming months.
Also just to let people know: Although my dev work for the Crew is mainly focused on Kickstarter stuff, i'm NOT the Community Manager or anything like that so don't expect to see my wonderful face and messages all too much. I do check the Kickstarter comments a lot though so if you do have any thoughts or comments just post them there and i'll probably see it and bring it up to the team. I mean, that's how this Blog post update exists!
Speaking of which.....
So what's this FNF Blog All about?
The Blog is mostly designed for weekly updates with news, devlogs and overall fun lil articles from all the members of the Funkin Crew (that includes me too!). There's currently already 3 (probably 4 by the time this is out) updates from everyone including stuff like new Input System survey, my really awesome post on Kickstarter Backend stuff plus missing survey info as well the really awesome Funkin resources Github page.
I know the big question though is why make an entire blog instead of Kickstarter updates? Well, the first and easiest answer to that is allowing the entire Crew to post updates easily without first asking someone like Cam (Ninjamuffin) for access to post a Kickstarter update! Like this semi update actually took a bit of co-ordination to set up: imagine instead of 2 people, it was 5 people who wanted to post their own mini update as well instead (shudders)
Secondly, most of the posts in the blog right now are quite long, (coz it's the first time and most of them are intros, duh) but a lot of the times updates are probably going to be not much longer than a normal tweet or two. Now we could just use Twitter and post our updates there (like we were doing before), but it's already been proven how annoying an idea that is. Nobody wants to follow 10 different twitter accounts and sift through cat photos and memes just so they can get an update for the game! I used to be that guy and trust me, it wasn't fun. Shoutouts to all the various twitter FNF news accounts (although a lot of them include mods so it was hard to filter for vanilla stuff), fans in the comments and qrts and people like Lendon on Youtube for keeping people posted in the meantime - we gotchu now (although please keep saving and posting about the twitch vods lol)
Last but not least, i think having the more mundane and less critical devlogs be separate from the actual Kickstarter posts makes things less cluttered. Imagine if all of our lil blog posts and tweets were a separate Kickstarter post and there were practically daily or even hourly updates: it would be kiiiinda chaotic for most people. Having the last Kickstarter post be 6 months ago is pretty wild (and i'll try to bug everyone to make sure it doesn't happen again, no promises though) but it's all but guaranteed at this point that everyone has read that post and knows what it's about. The plan with Kickstarter has always been to keep the update frequency at roughly a monthly pace so that any important updates and Survey/Rewards info doesn't get lost in the sauce, but is still regular enough to prevent massive walls of texts per update (oops!)
Of course it's not perfect (nothing in gamedev ever is unfortunately) but i think it's a pretty decent compromise. Plus, it's weekly so you always have something to look forward to reading every Friday/Saturday (depending on your timezone)!
Obligatory "when Game update?" (slightly spicy but NDA edition)
So...I know this is the part everyone really wants to know (I've totally been there as well desperately pining for some delicious FNF news). Unfortunately...my lips are sealed tight when it comes to any surprises or really cool stuff (bummer!)
What I can tell you though is everything that's already been mentioned within a tweet or an AMA: there's a lot that's been revealed already, and with a little extra context from being part of the Crew (plus the perspective of coming in as a fan of the base game waiting for the updates as well) I hope that's going to be satisfactory for a lot of people.
First thing's first, the game and update is REAL. Although between the things the team is currently up to - biz meetings in the morning, coordination and strategy/content meeting and work in the afternoon and purely productive game work in the evening up to the late hours of the morning (I honestly don't know how they do it, I can't function as a human being without 6+ hours of sleep) setting a release date is kinda of daunting with all the other stuff that needs our attention. Actually, I need to explain something first before we get to that:
Yup, the next FNF update is going to be more like a V-Slice(Vertical Slice) of the Full Ass Game than just an update. Well, V-Slice is the closest thing that describes what we're doing because if you use the definition it's described as: "a fully-playable portion of a game that shows its developer’s intended player experience. This means its key features and systems are all working together properly, complete with assets that represent – and this is important – final quality". This is completely different from a prototype (FNF Ludum Dare) or even the demo (the FNF Week's up to 7) in that it's representative of what you'd expect from the full game as a whole.
That means whatever systems, mechanics, UI Interfaces and tools the full game will launch with have to be almost fully done or as close to final quality and polish as possible (some articles say it's the equivalent of making more than 70% of the entire game!). I won't bore you with a game dev lesson, there's plenty of articles on it like the one i already referenced, this one as well as this one and one that highlights the difference between a prototype and a v-slice. With that out of the way...
So...V-Slices. They're cool right? Like i said though that's just the closest definition i can think of since we've already been funded (lol) and most V-Slices are designed as pitches to publishers. But there's one other thing they're good for: testing your production pipeline end to end. Right now I know a lot of people (and myself before) were expecting the next update to be more or less the same as all the previous FNF updates from before Kickstarter: A couple of Erect mode remixes plus 1 or 2 new Weeks to play added to the already existing game. Nah, not really. Sure the update might kinda have that stuff in it, but it's quite a bit more complicated than just "new levels lol".
The previous engine, although pretty cool, was made with sweat, tears and quite a lot of ducktape to hold everything together. As the game keeps expanding and the game became more and more ambitious, it became a hassle just to add new content without everything breaking apart at the seams and crashing. So the engine's been pretty much rewritten from the ground up to be more efficient, faster and support extra content that was planned but couldn't be added to the previous weeks due to engine limitations. Yup, that's right! I'd personally recommend you to play the game starting from Week 1 again, although my lips are sealed as to what specifically I mean by that hehe. Those "specific things" also took up development time to implement and that's just a footnote compared to the current production pipeline.
PhantomArcade's talked and showcased this one on stream so it's probably cool to talk about - FNF as a game is currently pretty restrictive in that it's literally only in English and the accessibility options were extremely limited before. Not really a big deal in a demo, but for a "professional full game" that's not very good. Getting translations though for all the text in the game means exporting and formatting all the text in a translation friendly way, sending and getting it back (or if you're using online tools, setting those up for everyone involved) and even when you get it back, coding a system for choosing the correct text and/or audio to display/play when someone chooses a particular language. Yup, that's how much co-ordination and work is needed just to get languages in the game. Although the whole team would agree it's totally worth adding that in.
Assets, Music Pipeline
Not going to talk about this too much before the FNF Ninjas track me down and put a pipebomb in my mailbox, but there's a LOT of work and polish going into this section. Although that's to be expected from a rhythm game, right? In related stuff:
UI, UX and Mechanics stuff
FNF pre Kickstarter was pretty barebones in that regard. In fact, i can think of stuff like A, B and C most rhythm games have by default which FNF didn't have until the upcoming update. That's also stuff that needs co-ordination from across all the various departments of the team which makes it super hard to get right!
I think the stuff i can mention without getting assassinated is pretty much that, although there's plenty of more things that i either forgot to mention or are straight up surprises that even i would feel bad for even hinting about. Like i said though, the coming update is more like a nicely sampled slice of content inside of a shiny new engine to showcase what you can expect from the actual game when it does come out.
Final thoughts on the "When game update?"
Having the next update transition from a basic content update to more of a V-Slice approach is normally considered an incredibly expensive process time and effort wise - which the recent delays for the update can attest to lol. But it was extremely necessary to get all of the pipelines and team co-ordination in order. There's a lot of pipeline processes which if done correctly at this stage, will make things that used to take several days take just a few hours to do instead! Why is that important? Well, as ambitions increased Weeks started taking significantly more time to develop which overall sucks for everyone. By streamlining and optimizing all of our processes upfront, it's the difference between being able to make 3 things a year vs something like 10-15 things. There definitely will be new content in the next update, don't worry about that (yep, even the people who played the leaks!). In fact, the biggest misconception everyone has is that "new content" is the biggest hurdle right now (it's not, next update content is mostly there rn). But the priority right now is elevating FNF into a real game and not just a fancy little prototype with a few levels that come out here and there. Like we promised: Cartoon rhythm gaming excellence
And if Cam doesn't delete this last part: who says this next update is even the only update coming out ;-)
Phantom Says: Cold Winter Nights & Warm LCD Screens
Hello all you guys, Phantom Arcade here!
Well, would you look at that... a development update? Crazy none of of the fans have ever asked for something like these. Hahaha... aahhh.... anyway.
My section of work probably contains the MOST amount of secrets of anyone on the team! Where it's levels far off, or even just concepts in my mind that may never see the light of day, there's a lot I can't talk about. BUT, I feel like I'd be missing an opportunity to try and find stuff to talk about for fans hungry enough to check these updates, so I'll gather up a bit of what I'm up to that can be shared.
This past week especially, I've been grinding to finish a special comic for everyone. It should come out on 2/16, but dates and Funkin team don't vibe well, lol. There's still a ways to go with the update since the scope has grown, but at the very least this comic should be enjoyable. 18 pages, can you believe it? My ass is stupified that mangaka do this weekly, I've been grinding for a bit and with 6 days left I'm nervous as to whether I'll make it or not! But ngl, it's still been pretty fun, and contains a type of goofy ass story that I feel like can't fit into the game itself.
Putting time n effort into making all of the (important) extended media feel nice is important to me, so whether it's CDs, comics, etc, I hope they all offer a savory flavor that complements the game itself. I design everything that way, so that standard is important to me!
Speaking of extended media, there are a good few very small scale Funkin projects that have given me a chance to work with other artists that have yielded fun results! I mean, the CD was one of them. I meant for it to launch alongside the update so people could enjoy reading the special booklet made with Hellkat while enjoying new in-game content, but oops! Not everything works out 100% of the time, right? Regardless, there's a few others besides that CD + booklet combo, small fun things, that definitely will exist alongside the update and I'm excited to create a small bubble of time where there's lots for a fan to enjoy. FNF fans are passionate, so I'm convinced it'll really be a treat so long as it can all wrap up before we're all skeletons in the ground. lol
On the game end itself, art is everywhere lately. Directing a large scale project is no small task, so often times lately when it comes to game work it's easy to feel like I spent more time organizing and checking over the work of others than drawing. When I finally do sit down to draw, it can range from necessary art, to autism fueled rabbit holes creating obscure easter eggs. I won't lie, sometimes it's easy to spend hours and hours giving instructions and checking work to the point where it feels like I'm accomplished enough important work that creating asinine extras feels deserved! Though with the team expanding, and our beloved Co-Director Ninjamuffin running his programmers on requests I've made as well as their own crack head quantum theory code shit I know nothing about, things are starting to feel more streamlined than ever before.
Especially with the addition of Kawa, our new project manager, slowly administrative tasks are being lifted off me and Cam's shoulders, since it's been me n him basically doing all the legal shit completely alone until now. So along with getting more organized, and off the business shit, it's been an interesting time streamlining our processes. Ninjamuffin's interest in 'productivity' has yielded decent results, along with me occasionally getting pissed at how stupid our engine is and freaking out until the programmers build easier ways to implement assets, I'd say we're on a good track lately! Sometimes you don't even realize how busted it is building stuff sometimes until you're just so pissed you dedicate months to fixing it, hahaha!
Anyway, that should be enough for now. Sakurai mentions things like this should be short n sweet, and I think I've passed that marker by a good bit now, lol.
Til next time, bitches! -PhantomArcade / Dave
Summary of last week's funkin-resources additions!
- PR FunkinCrew/funkin-resources#72, "chimmie" by epicbobmanbob merged at 2023-02-11T02:18:44Z, added:
- 1 line:
- Shitty chromatic tutorial - ChimmieMpeg (tutorial isnt actually shit)
- 1 line:
- PR FunkinCrew/funkin-resources#78, "Addition of Engine List" by system32unknown merged at 2023-02-11T02:17:29Z, added:
closing thoughts for the week
more kickstarter related stuff this week... update from dave!!! things been goin alright in funkin land....
SONG OF THE WEEK