The Shit Post Bullcrap!,Diary,Game Development How to make a CRAP game!

How to make a CRAP game!

Diary Entry #2: Mid 2018 – Mid 2019

With the prototyping out of the way, it was time to make an actual game! Starting a new project was daunting, but also a lot of fun. I was learning heaps of cool new things.

From the very start I was keen on developing something other than just another 2D tabletop card game. Early on I created a demo with cards which you could pick up and interact with on a blue 3D table. Your opponents were shown as robots at the top. Later, I came up with the idea that it should be set on a farm. The robots became farm animals, and the table a grass field. I also took my prototype server and re-wrote it to work more efficiently for this style of game.

Farm Animals

Eventually I added some 3D farm animals. I was originally working with my besty Daimo on some animated 3D animals which looked amazing. However, at the time I was worried about how long it would take to do all the animations. I didn’t want to take up all of Daimo’s spare time, so I opted to buy an existing set of assets and modify them to my needs. Considering how long it’s taken to get the game to where it is, maybe I should have persisted with working with Daimo. We will collaborate together in future projects. 

This version here has original card art that I found online. It also has the first 3D animal models.

I took five basic animal models: Bull, Duck, Goat, Sheep and Pig. Using a modelling tool called Blender, I added eyes and eyelids to the models. This took a looong time to get right. I’d tried a few different approaches, but eventually settled on creating materials for each eye and lid, and then moving the material offset to animate. I’ve since found simpler ways to achieve the same thing, but what I created works fine.

To make the animals talk, I added cartoon speech bubbles and recorded my own animal noises for each syllable. Yup, that’s all me Mooing and Baaing away! I guess growing up on a farm was useful there. Now that they can talk, they won’t shut up!

Aw Crap

With the game now being set on a Farm, and with a bull as the central character, it seemed obvious that when someone called “Bullshit!”, that the bull should actually… well, Um… Shit. I had pictured the animation of this to be a fountain of poop that would splatter on your cards. To make this happen, I had to learn all about particle systems. Learning about this was important, as it taught me how to create some awesome special effects later on when it was time to polish the game.

My first attempt at this was using a simple particle system to have some poo emojis spray up in the air and land back down on the table.

Happy Poo!

Then I changed the poo emojis to an image that resembled a poop, however this looked pretty shit. (All puns intended here) After messing around with this for a while, I finally decided that 3D poop was the way to go. I fired up Blender again, and learned how to deform some spheres into a roughly shaped poop. When I added these models to the particle system, I was satisfied with the 3D effect. The next challenge was then to find the best way to make the poop splat.

I downloaded and tried out a few different assets, and eventually settled on a nice one called EasyDecal. I then had to figure out how to have a splat appear in the place the poop collided with the table or cards. This took a while to get get right, but once it was done, the effect looked brilliant.

To get a bit of variety in the effect, I layered 3 different particle systems with 3 different shaped poops and three different splats. This made the effect feel more organic.

Get your 3D Glasses on!

The poop effect gone through a few rounds of polishing since this time. Amazingly enough possible to polish a turd!


This grass IS greener!

Then there was the grass. I felt the background had to be something much richer than a still picture. I hunted around for a few different grass models and shaders that would do the trick. It took a while to get it right. I wanted grass that would sway and flow in the wind without affecting performance too much. I found a pretty useful asset and configured it to suit the play area. I wouldn’t want to cut this grass.


Wanting to make the game a bit more fun, I came up with the idea of Wild Cards. Originally there was just one, which could take the place of any card. Then I added more. I liked the idea of power ups. Afterwards, I realised it was turning the game into a combination of Bullshit and Uno. This is a good thing. It felt like a natural extension of the game.

This game just got WILD!

The original wilds were:

  • Chameleon – A wild to use in place of any card
  • Shield – Protect a claim you’ve made from someone calling bullshit
  • Distract – Force a player to Skip a turn
  • Gift – Give a player 3 of your cards
  • Pickup – Force a player to pick up the play pile (renamed to Poop)
  • Nuke – Destroy the play pile
  • X-Ray – See another player’s cards as they are played
  • Switch – Swap your hand with another player

Most of these cards have remained the same, however I removed “Switch” because it was tricky at the time to code. I also felt that it was too powerful and could ruin the dynamics of the game. I may add it again in the future. 

Other changes

So much of the basic nuts and bolts of the game were developed in this time. I was loving the work, but big changes were coming into my life. My girlfriend had moved in and we were expecting our first child. Also, my work was planning on closing down our Melbourne office so we would become a “Remote Workplace” business before covid made it trendy. There were some other big unforeseen changes ahead, but I’ll get to that later.

Not your conventional convention

For the time being, I was enjoying my commute by bike to the city. It was only about 5km, but it was great exercise. Every day, on my ride into work, I rode the past exhibition centre, which had a sign that said PAX October 2019. My cousin Lizzie had been the previous year, and it sounded like she had a lot of fun. I was wondering if I should go this year. It could be a good opportunity to introduce my game to the world.  I ended up pondering for a while…

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