godot wild jam 48 - crack in the shell
Since Johannes has a beta-subscription for Dall-E, we were a bit curious and tried to generate interesting logos. We ended up with Closeup of an astronaut helmet flying towards a black hole, 8k, award winning and chose the third one:
We wanted to make an immersive 3D game on the moon. But we knew our abilities creating a convincing atmosphere are limited. So we tried creating immersion by balancing sensory overload with controlled guiding. Lastly the sound- and audio design helped us to gain more space aesthetics.
Intro, breathing noises, alarm, red blinking lights, “warning, oxygen tank damaged”.
You need to survive while oxygen is almost empty and without any orientation. Basically an oversimplified labyrinth with timer.
“Mind the crater, if you get in, there is no way out.”
With voice lines from the helmet AI and the mate from the base, the player has constant feedback about beeing on track and doing the right things. Next we had a satellite map that can be shown live on-demand. The satellite itself is visible in the sky by his blinking lights giving the player a constant safety net.
The atmosphere starts within the intro: heavy breathing. It gives the player an immediate hint what this game is about. The crack sound is synchronized with the title to point out the challenge.
The scene itself starts with an alarm and an AI voice. I used Ableton Live to chain some effects:
- a raw natural voice recorded with my Shure-SM58
- vocoder: make the sound more robotic
- chorus: add some warmth and vibrato
- high pass filter: low frequencies make AI vocals (think of Siri or Alexa) dirty and feel “rumbly”, filtering them out help to clearify the voice
- duplicate channel and slighetly add an offset to the second (~100ms): add a manual “flanger” or delayesque sound, this will add some glados vibes
Next to the AI, the mate tries to communicate with the player via radio transmission. With some more effects this radio vibe can be added within godot1:
- again my voice
- distortion + limiter, let the vocal clip and lower the volume afterwards down immediately: add a rich palette of overtones known from famous space audio logs. This will make the vocals quickly unclear and must be gently tweaked.
- band pass filter: cut most of the low frequencies (likewise to the AI) but also some high ones. This will immitate the highly limited bandwith of radio transmissions in space.
How does the moon sound like? This is easy in reality. No atmosphere means -> no air were sound can travel -> silence. But cinematographically a sub bass consisting of just a sine wave with sweeping low pass filter and volume adds some depth to the scene. This can be heared in the track Welcome to the moon.
When the oxygen tank is almost empty, the more dramatic track Wrong path adds promptly more tension. Starting with gentle and quiet detuned bells, adding a ascending “staried” loop inspired from the matrix movie soundtrack. It will envolve, adding tension and finally drop when the oxygen tank is empty.
Finally when the player reaches the base in time, some pads with bunch of chained choruses reward the player and the mate speakes without any effect in his natural voice.
Satellite map with viewports
The satellite is a model with a camera facing towards the center point of the map. The rotation is made simply by rotating the center point. The camera is then mapped to a viewport on a tablet model that can be toggled by the player.
- I originally did the effect chain in Ableton Live, too. But since I couldn’t work on the jam on the weekend, I did the chain within godot, so I simply could Johannes send raw voice lines via Telegram.