AIA_Postmortem_Andrews_Tristan

Section 1 – The Introduction

My name is Tristan Andrews; I’m a Full Sail University student. I’m currently in Advanced Interactive Audio engaging in the learning of developing assets and implementing them into games via different game engines and middleware. A postmortem is all about bettering yourself and/or a team by going over the different aspects of the project that was completed. The good and the bad needs to be addressed and noted so you’re more prepared for when the next project may come down your ally. The ups and down of every project should teach things for the next. You apply what you learn and improve. This is what the Platformer and Limbo project showed me I need to improve in on future projects.

Section 2 – The UE4 Platformer

For this game I didn’t really know the story, I just knew that there was a huge robot that was being chase by guys with guns. Along it’s way, it encounters many obstacles that are made of metal, concrete, and other various materials. These obstacles move, break, and explode. I felt as if it was only right that the game was energetic, loud, fast and in your face. For sound design on the robot I wanted the movement of it to be kind of a high pitched and have it stand out while a low impact sounds of the step filled in the rest. Using electric drills that were pitch shifted and distorted a little to created the motor movement sound of the robot. I used metal impact and rocks/gravel sound from WestarMusic.com to layer together with sounds of gravel to represent the robot’s foot hitting the concrete. The helicopter’s assets came from the mixture of three different perspective recordings of a helicopter that were blended together as it passed by in the game to give it a sense of realism. The ambiences I created for the city close up had a siren in it stupidly and made it a noticeable loop.

The goals weren’t meet 100% of the way even though all the sounds were implemented, mixed decently, and the cinematic was on time. I feel like the mix could’ve been perfected more within the game in areas such as the close and distant ambience. The transition between them wasn’t spot on; the fall off distance and attenuation was still in need to be adjusted. The area where I believe I fell short on the goal was with the assets themselves. I feel that the steps should have more of an impact/presents, along with the explosions and a few other assets.

The amount of time we had to complete our UE4 project was enough, but if one was to run into a problem and this slowed them down I could see where time would be a big factor. Being that it was my first time ever working in a game engine I would definitely say that it kept me busy. I enjoyed how we spent the first half of class learning the basics in some type of prototype. Even though the prototype wasn’t made off of the principles of how our sounds would react when we used them but more of how to implement the actual sounds and get use to the game engine software.

What went wrong first and for most was the close ambience that I created, this non-positional sound had a siren in the loop, which made it very obvious. Later on when I when created the police sirens and placed them throughout the map it masked how noticeable the loop was but it still should’ve been corrected. Another problem I ran into was a random crash halfway through implementing my sound one lab and I didn’t save before this happened. This cost me about an hour to catch back up to where I was, and in the end, that hour could’ve help me really tighten things up. What went right was multiple things such as the music. I felt it fit the gameplay very well, it was 140 bpm electronic style music loop. I wanted it to give the player a hyped up feeling while being entertaining.

Section 3 – The Wwise Limbo Project

When developing the sounds assets for the Limbo project I wanted to achieve the upfront and in your face feel that Hotline Miami provided with its gameplay. Being attracted to Hotline Miami originally because of the awesome soundtrack that was showcased while going on a rampage with your character. Dark, suspenseful, mayhem was what I had in mind. I wanted incorporate a similar electronic music in the game that was a slower pace to match Limbo’s speed. I wanted to achieve this without drowning out the creepy feeling that I felt Limbo needed to have as well. In the reference game Hotline Miami the only true sounds that you heard was mainly the music, this was followed by the sounds of the guns or melee weapons, opening and closing and the splattering of blood. I couldn’t notice the footstep sound effects in this game, if there were any to begin with. So for Limbo we wanted our sounds to be upfront and clear but at the same time, to create an impact on the player as if he is the only one there.

The goals weren’t achieved to the potential that I wanted them to be. When given the asset list for the project my group wasn’t sure about the electronic music theme anymore, there was nothing on the list about music what so ever. Instead of consulting with the lab instructor about our ideas we continued to proceed with sounds anyways. For both sets of the assets that our group had to complete my part was always “Student 2”. Not getting to spend as much time as I would have liked to on them I was pretty contempt with most. The sounds that I wanted to capture in this game I didn’t have the time or resources to record the sounds directly therefore they had to be pulled off of WestarMusic.com and be designed to my liking. Implementation was a breeze, my partner actually got a head start with Wwise, and then he went over the software with me to show me the steps. Event timing wasn’t a problem for anything but the slide. When the character would slide down the slope it was triggered a second or two later. This had to be something simple such as choosing the wrong event and assigning the sliding asset to it. The mix could’ve been better but nothing popped out at you of course, overall it was pretty decent.

Working in a group was unique for multiple reasons, one being, the most basic in my opinion, that you get to share opinions and ideas. This creates a brainstorm with multiple minds and allows for new concepts to arise for the project at hand. Another reason is simply because every chance you get to work with new people it can be a learning experience and a chance to soak up something that you haven’t learned yet. Even if it’s something as simple as you like their work flow so you adapted yours a little bit yourself to help benefit yourself. There was a lot I picked up from this project. Not only did I take in a few new considerations on sound design tricks to achieve a sound I’m looking for but also a friend as well. My partner and I didn’t really speak that much to each other until working on the Limbo project together and I’d like to thing it’s safe to say that we may work on personal music projects outside of school if we could ever make the time. Everything has its downfall, for this it would have to be conflicting schedules. Everyone has things to do, finding the right time to get together to make sure things are going in the direction and getting done in critical.

The goal was achievable in the time given to reach it but a little extra time would’ve never hurt, we would’ve actually benefitted from this quite a bit. This would’ve given us more time to make sure our slide was assigned to the correct event, get a better mix with our levels and better the sounds we created. I believe that if we would have worked harder then we would been closer to our goal or even achieved it.

File level management was well with our team, we seemed to keep a consistent level on all of our similar files. This seems to help the mix lay together more before we even adjusted the level. Our communication on what we expected each other to was great. We both knew what we were suppose to be doing and when it was suppose to be done. The main thing that went wrong with the Limbo project was failing to capture the sound of our reference game and getting into this project.