Posts Tagged ‘postato-mortem’

Get The Postato-mortem!

Posted by (twitter: @nvaderjim)
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 10:50 am


(Play it here :D)

Hello everyone! I’ve received a few questions about my process when making this game, so here goes my postato-mortem:

The Theme

Yeah, so the theme was alright. I didn’t vote for it, but whatever.  Actually, I probably wouldn’t have reached the level of completeness in the game that I did without the theme forcing me to keep things minimal.

I assumed that most people were going to go minimal in graphics and game play, so I set out to interpret the theme a little differently. I decided on making a game that was minimal in goal, time, and information. I wanted it to be deceptive in its apparent simplicity and, more importantly, make people laugh. Oh and it also needed a potato. So almost immediately after deciding on these constraints, Get The Potato was born in my head.


So a lot of people have commented positively about the audio in the game. I was surprised at how well it came together, as I am not a sound designer by any stretch. I’ve been asked about my recording setup, as well as how I synced the audio to the lighting, so I will address those quickly.


For recording the announcer voice, I screamed into a CAD U37 USB Microphone and a pop filter. Nothing too fancy.

Then, using Audacity (one of the best pieces of software ever made), I’d drop the pitch by 2 or 3 half-notes and apply a robotty effect I learned from this tutorial a few LD’s back. I didn’t want the sound to be too robotty, so I adjusted the delay settings slightly, which can be seen here:


You should definitely try this effect out. It’s fun!

As for syncing the audio with the light, I found some fancy code by a gentleman named aldonaletto that allows you to get at all of the sample data of an AudioSource in Unity while the sound is playing. All I needed was the RMS value, which is a float value between 0.0 and 1.0 (making it perfect for scaling and whatnot), so my implementation ended up looking like this:


(Just stick that on a GameObject with an AudioSource attached and you’re good to go!)

I then applied the RMS value to the range of my main point light, and also to its red and green values to give it that transition from yellow to red.

Game Play (**SPOILERS**)

I wanted players to have the feeling of being thrust into a strange situation on no information other than that for some reason they needed to get a potato, and I think I achieved that, for the most part. I found that people who regularly play FPSes on PC were at a distinct advantage. For everyone else, WASD controls are really awkward, and they soon found themselves stuck on just the third level in the game.


With this level I was trying to recreate that moment in Super Meat Boy when Bandage Girl is *just* out of reach and the only way to reach her is to know about the sprint button. I, admittedly, was stuck on that level for quite a while until my triumphant and face-palmy discovery of said button. In the case of Get The Potato, the potato is only reachable if the player uses the sprint [SPOILER](Left shift)[/SPOILER] key. This was an easy discovery for seasoned FPSers, but many people did get stuck on this level and promptly gave up, which is sad and entirely my fault :(

This brings us to the next major roadblock in the game. Level 5:


I would say that a vast majority of people gave up at this level. It was intended to be confusing, but it didn’t help that I failed to implement this level properly at release time. It was supposed to be a simple introduction to these mysterious purple cuboids [SPOILER]that you can walk through when they’re off screen[/SPOILER], but many people were able to air control around this one (which was NOT supposed to be possible), causing that discovery to be completely lost to them and adversely affecting their ability to complete the later levels. The best (worst) part is that the cuboids make shrinking and expanding noises when they go off and on screen, but the music drowns them out, rendering them useless!

Ok, this is getting long.

What Went Right

I’d say my decision to use Unity this time around really helped out the most. It just took a lot of the stress out of the weekend, allowing me to focus on my priorities which were implementing humor and game play.

As I said earlier, the audio worked out better than expected. This was my first time using this microphone for an LD. Oh and I have to give a big shout out to LazerBlade on YouTube for his Music Hacker series. Taught me everything I know about working with LMMS.

Overall, the greatest achievement of this Ludum Dare for me was the plot twist (or “potato twist” as someone coined in chat) I was able to implement at the end of the game. I don’t want to brag, but it really puts Mr. Shyamalan to shame. You really should beat the game now. Beat it for humanity.

What Went Wrong

The only thing that really went wrong was that I waited until the last couple of hours to start making levels. This forced me into making last-second changes to the ground/air control code to adjust to the new levels, which in turn exposed holes in other levels. The control code in the final version is kind of a duct-taped mess.


Firstly, thanks to everyone that played and rated my game. You didn’t have to get the potato, but you did. You did get the potato :’)

Thanks to everyone that made games for LD 26. YOU F******ING ROCK.

And finally, thanks to Mike and Phil for their efforts in running this thing. You also F************ING ROCK.

That’s it! See you all at LD 27!

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