Spit and Polish — Retro Game Post Processing Quick Wins
Today I took a bit of a different tact. For this project I’m using generic assets provided by GameDevHQ and they are lovely but my inner Art director needed to stretch his legs. In addition to doing some work on my post processing volume. I also took it upon myself to :
- Change the Space Background
- Adjust Post Processing Volume to work with new background
- Change the default music track
- Learn and Implement Text Mesh Pro
I’m going to get a chance to add some of my own game design elements into this game very shortly and I’m very excited for this but I really wanted to sink my teeth into those three things now. I hope I don’t get called into the principals office for it :P
The existing background is really nice and has a transparency that allows you to do some neat stuff with layering. But I’m not doing any peek-a-boo style game design so I choose a gaseous nebula instead.
In order to import your own asset there are a few caveats to be mindful of. Firstly the easiest way to import them is to drag them into an appropriate asset folder in your project view.
Secondly depending on the file type you will need to change an attribute of that file in the inspector under texture Type to be a Sprite “(2D and UI)”.
Space is cold…and no one can hear you scream! 😂
So for my Post Processing settings I choose to go with a cold blue tint. I didn’t want to go too JJ Abrams crazy with the bloom and lens flare so I limited the scope of those settings.
for color grading I wanted to use the available High Definition Range but Unity gave me a warning that I needed to switch to Linear or use LDR color mode. I chose the linear route by going to File →Build Settings… → Then click on the Player Settings in the lower left corner and under Player — Other Settings I change the Color Space to “Linear”. Annoying message gone!
From there I played with all the settings to get to a look and feel lthat I liked. There really is a lot to learn but you can achieve some fun results just by playing around. Here’s what my Inspector tab looked like…
New Background Music Track
We all love music. The track that’s provided in the course’s asset pack is great and really fits the theme. But once again being the tinkerer that I am I also like to create music (I play a little guitar and piano) and I’m addicted to creating tracks and loops on my iPhone with Garageband. So I made one and put it into the game. Here’s a early version of it. (I’m still tweaking it)
Garageband outputs as a .m4a file so I used Audacity to convert it to a WAV file that Unity requires. It was a simple matter of replacing my file with the original one.
Text Mesh Pro
Finally I wanted to dig into Text Mesh Pro (TMP) so that I could use some custom fonts that I think really add to the retro look. I got these fonts from Dafont.com
Once downloaded and unzipped I jumped back into Unity and went to Window → TextMeshPro → Font Asset Creator
The following window will appear where you will drag your main font asset (for me it was a .ttf file) into the Source Font File box. You then click on Generate Font Atlas. You’ve now create a new font for Text Mesh Pro to use in you Game.
I then proceeded to replace all my basic text elements in my game to instead use Text — TextMeshPro.
There really isn’t much more to it than that! But the results speak for themselves!