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TDEMO Popping Hoppin Unlockin (Game 3: Fantasy Platformer)

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

TDEMO Game 3. The platformer game.

We were tasked with creating a fantasy platformer game as a group. These were our only restrictions, so outside of these bounds we were free to be as creative as we desired.


Pre-production:

Once the teams were announced I quickly got to work creating a discord server for our team. We used this regularly to work together on call at regular times as well as holding meetings to discuss our progression and next steps towards completion of our game.


Concepting and Planning:

We had our first call and got to assigning roles and working out what we were going to make.

We used a Trello board to keep track of what had been done, what was being worked on, what hadn't been started and when each part of the project was due to be completed. We also used the Trello board to keep track of who was doing which tasks. We used github for source control, making sure that we were all working on an up to date version of the game. For all the other aspects of the game such as the music and other art assets we stored them in a google drive and retrieved them when they were needed.


I was tasked to do the audio work for the game while my team mates worked on the coding and the art. I was a far less confident programmer and artist than my fellow team mates but I had the most experience with Digital Audio Workstations and music production even if that experience was still somewhat limited.


There were two main aspects when it came to the audio work:


1. Sound effects

2. Background music


The sound effects consisted of:

- A throw sound

- A Painful Groan

- A comical Scream

- Jump

- A splat sound

- An explosion sound

- A beep sound


Some of these sounds were not used because the mechanics of the game were changed during production. The bomb beep and explosion sounds weren't used because the bombs were removed and instead a dash function was implemented.


To make these sounds I used a combination of royalty free sounds taken from online sources as well as clips which I'd recorded myself. There were challenges with these sounds as I didn't have access to high end recording technology so I made do with my phone and headset, this caused many of my recordings to be distorted, muffled, interrupted by background audio or otherwise impairing imperfections. I imported these sounds into FL studio and I adjusted them accordingly through EQ, reverb and limiters so they fit with the theme of the game and didn't sound out of place. Given that the style of the game was fantasy and we had gone for a fairly light hearted feel with a low poly aesthetic I did my best to make the audio sound somewhat digitized and retro "video-gamey".


The music was a process of doing research into other soundtracks from similarly themed and styled games. The games of the 'Legend of Zelda' series were a useful inspiration. Once I'd worked out what kinds of instruments to include I started trying to build some kind of melody and slowly the sound of the track came together. Once I had all the elements for the track I adjusted them and added extra loops or small sounds to create the right structure and tone.


Looking back on the project I'd like to have gotten more involved in the actual implementation of the sounds and music into the game using unity's audio source and audio listener components. Music is more of a hobby of mine and I'm very keen to learn more about programming. Reflecting on our work as a team I believe we did well to work closely and effectively but may have been to ambitious with our ideas. I was less involved with the programming but from what I understand there were issues with some of the functions or features not working as intended and we doubled back and went for a different approach. This meant we'd lost a considerable amount of time and were under pressure to get the game finished in the limited time we had left.


Much of the feedback we received was critical of the gameplay mechanics acting in seemingly unpredictable ways which quickly became frustrating and as a result many of our players never completed the game. It was also noted that in an early version the background music had been set to play when a new level was entered and caused an overlapping/ layering effect. There was also no way to mute the music from within the game so the player was forced to either quit the game or mute their audio using other means. For a better UI/UX this should be something you can do "in-game".




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