Kaoamaru - A dark atmospheric narrative PS1-like - Post Mortem



  • Kaiju (bizarre, japanese style monster) conceptualized and made from scratch
  • PS1 graphics and aesthetics, Half-Life inspirations
  • Multiple atmospheric songs
  • Cinematrographic camera

Tools and credits

  • Godot
  • Blender
  • LMMS and Audacity
  • Everything was made in the Jam by me, without templates.
  • Mini-documentary, timelapse and more coming after voting ends. I recorded everything.


What went right

  • The theme and the idea. Idea and concept came fast in my mind. In previous Jams I would waste more than 5 hours frustrated with the theme. Not this time.
  • The main creature (Kaiju) concept.
  • The process of modeling, texturing, rigging and animating the Kaiju in Blender was my favorite part of working in this Ludum Dare. I turned out exactly the way I wanted and I couldn’t stop looking at it and playing around with the rig.
  • The art style overall, PS1 / Half-Life like.
  • Intro animation and scripted camera.
  • Staying healthy (I slept early and woke up at 5:00am during all the 3 days of the Jam).
  • Mood and atmosphere turned out great.
  • Using Godot, because of how lightweight it is, but mostly specially, due to the AnimationPlayer.
    • Controversly, using Godot was also a con. Unity Cinemachine would fit this project better. See below.
  • Downloading some VSTs to play around in LMMS was a good choice, because with just little experiexperience in music making I managed to create the atmospheric music that I had in mind.


Lore Facts

  • The name Kaoamaru came when I was making the meditation sounds, and then I kept repeating KAOA KAOA KAOA in my mind and I liked the rythm. Kaoamaru doesn’t mean anything in real-life, afaik.
  • In the meditation scene, the monks are saying the Buddhist Hearth Sutra, plus 2 phrases I created and plus KAOAMARU (which I enviosioned in tribal voices, but I failed to replicate that in LMMS, so I used a Choir Synth for the voice).
  • I wrote around 100 lines of lore and story.

kaijubones.jpgThat’s a lot of bones for a game jam

What went wrong

Little to no gameplay

I planned 3 gameplay mechanics and stages, but I spent 1 full day doing the 3D art and the other day moving the camera and scripting the intro and ending animations.

When I finished those items, there wasn’t time left for the gameplay, ironically. So I prefered to do the music and pack the project, and consider it a short and dark narrative.

Even the art for the gameplay mechanics is done, but again, I focused too much time on the art. For example, there is a human model, fully rigged and animated that I made, but didn’t use for lack of time. Also more island types such as factory, war, city, etc., which fit perfectly the lore, but I could put they in.

At least I love the final atmosphere in it, due to the mood of the art and music :)

Multiple endings stayed only on paper

Due to the previous items, I didn’t manage to implement the multiple six endings that I planned. Plus an easter egg.

Tool hurdles and annoyances

  • Moving and rotating a camera in the Godot viewport to create scripted camera events and animations is a pain in the ass. Since the game has a lot of scripted camera action, this was my biggest struggle in the project, fighting with positioning the camera. Godot needs a way to control to camera like Blender, where you navigate in 1st person view and move with WASD (fly mode and walk mode).
  • Update: Align Transform With View does that. Thanks Rémi (Godot project manager) for the tip! 


  • When exporting to glTF 2.0 in Blender, the NLA Stack / Animation Actions get bugged and animations get lost when you have more than two animations.

What I need to learn more and improve

  • Godot tweening, easing, fade in and fade out.
  • Better godot music and sound management and playback. Load music by code.
  • Godot load and deal with resources dynamically: https://docs.godotengine.org/en/latest/getting_started/step_by_step/resources.html.
  • Blender NLA Stack, the correct usage of Action Stash and Push Down.
  • Music and sound production, well, everything about it. Although I made multiple musics for the game, I kind of had no idea of what I was doing. As of this writing, it’s been only 10 days since I started studying music and DAW software.

What I plan to do next time

  • Try to create a game with actual gameplay, think about something simpler
  • Colaborate with someone else

Play and rate!



Windows 32-bits 23 MB
Apr 20, 2020
Windows 64-bits 24 MB
Apr 20, 2020
Linux 25 MB
Apr 20, 2020
Mac OS X (broken?) 26 MB
Apr 20, 2020

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would be interesting to see what the workflow/framework (if it exists) would be for scripting cameras in Godot, unless you hardcoded every single sequence

(1 edit)

100% manually positioned keyframes using the Animation Player :)

Example, see the player on the bottom: https://static.jam.vg/raw/e6f/d/z/31c7f.png


damn... that is indeed a hell of a lot of work.