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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : General : Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (The Mothingness was Younger than Anticipated?)
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Camwoodstock
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icon Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (+2)  
I've recently been taking a look-see into the game data for DROD:AE (it's incredibly easy to look into if you know what you're doing, and given AE's freeware at this point, I don't run the risk of Erik rushing in and destroying my family), and I noticed something.

A quick explanation; every instrument in the DROD music tracks of AE are made of samples. These songs play in real-time and are not unlike MIDIs, in comparison to the tracks of DROD 2.0 and onwards, which are .ogg and unchanging. Every instrument--be they the strum of a violin, the pings and pongs, and quirky horns--are all kept as samples.

However, a few of the music tracks have odd "samples" among these instruments. These samples are entirely blank when played, and as a result, are entirely silent. However, what really makes them shine out is not their contents, but their names. Several of these have differing names; a track will always have at least one sample that has no name, but the interesting ones are the ones that have actual names.

In alphabetical order of their official names, I will be listing those special "sample" names shortly, as well as the context with which they play. If a song has none, it'll be N/A.

Click here to view the secret text


Now, off the bat, a few things come to notice.
A lot of these seem to be extended versions of (or just identical to) the song's name. For instance, "Whistler" became extended to "Unstoppable Whistler".
About half the songs have these odd blank samples with names Every song has a blank sample with no name, actually.

However, two songs come into focus the most. Those being Next Things Next, and Waiting.

Next Things Next mentions an "ancient machine." Notably, in the entire DROD universe, we don't really have an ANCIENT machine... at least, as far as I'm aware of. I may have missed something in what I haven't played of TSS yet or don't know is in the game via the TSS resource pack. We do have the Guardian, but... that's as close as we get, I'm afraid.

But more interestingly, is Waiting. Its sample name is "Waiting for the Pit Thing". This means that the concept of the Pit Thing didn't just come up around the start of JtRH's development; in fact, the Pit Thing was going to be a central plot character since during the time the Caravel Version (and by extension, AE) was being developed.

These do raise a few questions about the development process, and how much of DROD's story was planned. Knowing the Pit Thing was planned before JtRH was even a concrete thing that was realistically expected is massive; imagine the other things that may have also been planned! Was the story planned from the beginning? Were some elements planned and others thrown in along development? All those questions and more, we... probably won't get the answers to, unless Mike or Erik open up and let us know the juicy, juicy secrets of DROD past. But it's fun to speculate on, at least.

What do you guys think?

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Mastered all of GatEB, KDD 2.0, and JtRH! | Mastered TCB! (some postmastery left!)

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[Last edited by Camwoodstock at 09-24-2017 02:47 AM]
09-24-2017 at 02:46 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (0)  
It's worth mentioning that one of the Foundation attack songs in Journey to Rooted Hold is also called "Ancient Machine I", and is kind of an extended mix of the exit level music.

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09-24-2017 at 03:44 AM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (+7)  
quote:
Camwoodstock wrote:
A quick explanation; every instrument in the DROD music tracks of AE are made of samples. These songs play in real-time and are not unlike MIDIs, in comparison to the tracks of DROD 2.0 and onwards, which are .ogg and unchanging. Every instrument--be they the strum of a violin, the pings and pongs, and quirky horns--are all kept as samples.

I forgot about that. Yeah, there was a window of time in the early 90's where it did not yet make sense to distribute MP3s and Oggs for games intended to be downloadable, e.g. shareware. MIDI was unreliable for getting a song performed in a nice way due to the different instruments used by various sound cards and drivers. So tracker formats were a good option for distributing game music at that point in time.

Later, when it was fine to take up more space for music, I continued creating music in a tracker program called Sound Club, and just exported them to wavs/oggs. Sound Club was kind of like an early version of Garage Band--very easy to use, minimal, and with a left-to-right "sheet music" layout I liked.
quote:

However, a few of the music tracks have odd "samples" among these instruments. These samples are entirely blank when played, and as a result, are entirely silent.

This was not an attempt at an Easter egg on my part, but some idiosyncrasy of the file format and/or software I was using.
quote:
However, what really makes them shine out is not their contents, but their names. Several of these have differing names; a track will always have at least one sample that has no name, but the interesting ones are the ones that have actual names.

Looking through the names, I think you have discovered the "draft" names I gave the songs. And by the time I got ready to distribute the songs, the name of the file was what I'd picked, for whatever reasons.

I'll tell you what each song was about in my head when I wrote it. (Or at least as well as my unreliable memory serves me.) It might be a bad thing to hear for some people, so I'll secret-tag them. And by bad, I don't mean spoilers. I mean that a lot of these songs don't have much to do with DROD at all other than being included in the game. And if you like a song, sometimes you ascribe your own meanings and story to it, which is not something I want to disrupt for everyone.

Delusions
Click here to view the secret text


Fortune
Click here to view the secret text


Glad You Came
Click here to view the secret text


Gustomatic
Click here to view the secret text


Next Things Next
Click here to view the secret text


Night Walk
Click here to view the secret text


Settle Down
Click here to view the secret text


Simple
Click here to view the secret text


The Givers
Click here to view the secret text


The Spaces
Click here to view the secret text


The Way Down
Click here to view the secret text


Underway
Click here to view the secret text


Waiting
Click here to view the secret text


Whistler
Click here to view the secret text


quote:

Note that I can't get into "The End of the Game"; that is encoded into a different type of audio file I don't know how to open. OpenMPT sure ain't the way, though.


Yeah, I'm not sure about that. I'll say the lyrics describe the song pretty well. But a few more thoughts...

Click here to view the secret text


I'm a little sad that me explaining the songs might undermine your speculations. (Ah, the burden of being the canonical authority on something.) Anyhow, I appreciate the speculation too. Thanks for the post!

-Erik

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09-25-2017 at 02:03 AM
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Camwoodstock
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icon Re: Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (0)  
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
(this post is very, very long, so i won't bother quoting it all)


Well color me surprised. I was expecting this to be a mystery for the ages, and yet you just went ahead and told us all the meanings! I'm actually kinda surprised... And I don't really know how to express how cool I find that! Thanks, man!

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[color="red"]Camwoodstock - The Epic Blunder, Dugan's Best Janitor, Rooted Hold Runner, and Lowest Point Watcher
Mastered all of GatEB, KDD 2.0, and JtRH! | Mastered TCB! (some postmastery left!)

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09-25-2017 at 11:07 AM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (+2)  
quote:
Camwoodstock wrote:
Well color me surprised. I was expecting this to be a mystery for the ages, and yet you just went ahead and told us all the meanings! I'm actually kinda surprised... And I don't really know how to express how cool I find that! Thanks, man!

Your post hit me at a good time. It was a little self-indulgent for me to write up essentially... Liner notes. But it seemed to help me with an upcoming choice I have in October by reminding me how strongly I felt about certain projects.

And I'm happy that someone cared enough about my work to go poking around in the innards of obscure file formats.

-Erik

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09-25-2017 at 04:03 PM
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RoboBob3000
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icon Re: Odd Discovery in the Data of DROD:AE (+2)  
The Whistler lyrics, which I always thought were really clever:

http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=2960&page=0#29550


Edit: And would you look at this!

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[Last edited by RoboBob3000 at 09-25-2017 09:13 PM]
09-25-2017 at 09:10 PM
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