We were staring down the barrel of Softs this week. And it was a busy week. We continued with faculty walk-arounds all the way up until Friday. Besides touching base with our own faculty advisors for process grades, we found time to receive feedback from many of the other faculty members. We had visits with Eric, Ricardo, John, Scott, Shirley Saldamarco, Mike, Ruth, Dave, and Jessica Trybus. It was a packed week! We received very helpful feedback across the board which enabled us to better prioritize what components were fundamental in our experience.

But, it wasn’t all meetings. Because this week we put together the pieces of our project deliverable. We had been creating the building blocks of the experience throughout the semester,, through the tooling we created, the prototypes we made, and copious roadblocks we encountered. Thankfully, this enabled us to make substantial progress in a very short time span when working on the final product.

It was all hands on deck. A large part of what was created was a progression system, which allowed us to change the look of the world, the synth settings, and swap out the traces after each one was completed. The sound design grew and was sculpted rapidly as the synths were tested side-by-side and tweaked. The traces were planned out, and, we decided to introduce two-handed traces in order to ramp up the interest curve. We had originally thought this might be out of scope for Softs.

The art style was also beginning to develop through look of the sky and water, the glowing traces, the controllers, which were small globes of light, and the fish-like boids. In the eleventh hour we decided to add a bubble from which the fish would emerge at the end of each trace. While these components did not match each other perfectly in aesthetic, there was a magical quality starting to build in this world.

Finally, the ambisonics space was completed. All 12 speakers were mounted and a decoder system was written for them. A lot of calculation went into this as the angles of the speakers and their relation to the play-space needed to be taken into account. Sound absorption foam was added on the walls of the room to help keep  the sound “bouncing” and ruining the directionality of the sound.

After one very busy weekend with minimal sleep we were ready for a Softs demo.