Jack Menhorn

Sound Designer

Jack Menhorn is Sound Designer for video games. Also Editor in Chief at DesigningSound.org and a panelist on Game Audio Hour

Construct Audio App

So I put together this thing in Construct 2 and I thought I would share what I have done so far.  First off I'll break down what is going on:

-You touch small shapes to unlock big shapes and then drag those big shapes onto the grid to play back a sound loop.

Screenshot of the Construct Audio App

I have a bit of experience with interactive audio scenes.  It is definitely one of the things I love to have fun with.  In this case I wanted to steer the app's function into a Buddha Machine direction.  The Buddha Machine plays back a selectable sound loop that can be adjusted in volume as well as pitch. 

Much like the Buddha Machine I did not want to make a music creation app, I wanted to make a music playback app.  The ability to slightly tweak what you listen to but still have the artists full vision come through is more interesting to me than giving a user a bunch of sound loops or instruments and hope they don't get bored.  

So far I have implemented a very simple interaction mechanic of touching objects to unlock other objects that can then be manipulated.  I am a bit at the mercy of Construct 2 and what visual scripting actions it has avaliable to me (which are in fariness, pretty extensive).  I plan on adding more depth, loops and mechanics as I iterate on this little project.  I hope to add more visual effects and prettyness once I have a clear vision worth bothering Vanessa Nichols about.

The biggest roadblack in fleshing this project out is the lack of HTML5 audio functions.  It is well-known that HTML5 audio is rather atrocious.  For example: Construct 2 only allows you to import .wav audio files which it then turns into .ogg and .m4a files so that the audio can be played back on the myriad of browsers with different file support.  This adds a bit of file bloat, a criticism which is only mitigated by how seamless the workflow in Construct 2 is to deal with audio files.  Unfortunately some HTML5 audio functions like reverse-playback arent currently supported in Construct 2 which would be rather useful, at least in my case.  

Why am I doing this in HTML5 at all?  Because the visual scripting is super-easy to use, it is reasonably priced, and it just works.  As much as I would like to learn how to fully program HTML5 or to hire a programmer I can't afford to do so with a project like this, even if it is something I really love to make.  I think Construct 2 will get me to where I need to go.

Please let me know what you think of the project, if it makes sense, if it just plain doesn't work, or if you have a super-cool idear.  My Twitter is @KomradeJack