Escape a haunted house alongside your ghost in this spooky point-and-click adventure.

About the project

Post-Mortization was made over the course of a semester and stars a real estate agent and their ghost.  The realtor was trapped in the house they were trying to sell by the many ghosts that haunt the place, turning their everyday job into a terrifying escape.  The mechanics of the game include switching between human and ghost form while the lights are off in order to solve puzzles; the human form can use and trade items, interact with the environment, and move past salt, while the ghost form can possess and move boxes and move past ectoplasm.  These abilities require the player to switch between their forms often in order to escape the haunted halls they’re trapped within.

I was the lead designer on this project; my teammates were Alex Koeberl, Charlie Polonus, and Gabriel Engelmann.  I was in charge of level and narrative design and some mechanic implementation.  I was also a sub-programmer for this project, so I designed the systems for some of the mechanics and programmed some quality of life improvements.  Watch the trailer and play the final version of the game here.

Level Design


Post-Mortization spans fifteen individual levels, starting at the third floor and progressing through the house until you reach the front door.  There are also two staircase levels, which are short, plot-focused rooms, located after every five levels.

The rooms are designed to teach the player and progress in complexity as the game goes; to this end, levels 1-5 are focused on teaching basic abilities, levels 6-10 are focused on combining those base mechanics in novel ways and introducing mechanics that iterate on those abilities, and levels 11-15 are focused on plot development and combining a number of mechanics in a thrilling finish.

Please view the rooms to the right.  The art is done by Gabriel Engelmann.

Creative Process

My process for coming up with level concepts involved playing around with the mechanics at hand and using them to pose interesting challenges to the player.  For instance, level 6 traps the player behind a wall of ectoplasm, forcing players to use their ghost form to find a way to clear the path to the key fragments in order to progress.  

For every new level, I asked myself what I could teach the player in that level.  For some the answer was how to use a certain mechanic or item; for others it was showing the players new ways to interact with objects or mechanics they had encountered previously.  An example of the latter is in level 9 – the player encounters a cabinet, which they have seen before, but this time the cabinet can be spoken to, which triggers the start of a fetch quest.  This encourages players to be curious about how they might be able to interact with different objects throughout the rest of the game.

The most challenging level to design was level 14, the “Dreadful Den.”  This level is a culmination of all the mechanics the player has used in the game; as such, it is intended to be the most complex and longest level in the game.  The way I went about designing this level was to split it up into four different challenges, each containing a key fragment: the floor gaps and salt/ectoplasm puzzle in the bottom right, the ghost-filled stealth mission in the bottom left, a hide-and-seek maze in the top left, and a fetch quest series in the top right.  I increased the complexity and depth of the level by involving all the sections in the fetch quest as well as laying out the level in a challenging way – the bottom right quadrant, in particular, requires the player to find the right order of operations to unlock all the boxes required to complete this segment.  There are also certain shortcuts that exist for more experienced or inventive players to discover.


One of the most important levels to design well was the tutorial.  Instead of designing a separate room or a splash screen, which would have interrupted the immersion of this semi-horror experience, I designed a series of interactable instructions to guide the player through the interactions in level 1.

Story Design

Along with level design, I also designed most of the backstory and sub-narratives of the game.  I also wrote the majority of the dialogue for the NPCs and sticky notes and came up with the room titles.

The story of the game is mainly told through the sticky notes posted in various places around the rooms.  The story describes (spoiler warning) how the ghosts took over the house while there were still people living in it, causing them to evacuate and sell their property.  The ending of the game’s narrative culminates in the realtor getting possessed by ghosts, who use them to sell the house to some unsuspecting soon-to-be victims of the remaining ghosts.  This ending is foreshadowed throughout the game in some of the dialogue and sticky notes.

The aforementioned sticky notes also hint at a backstory as to how the house became haunted; the narrative they are hinting at is that a character, called “Aunt Jane,” became herself possessed by a ghost who managed to make it into the mortal plane.  At that ghost’s will, she convinced the previous homeowners of the house the game takes place in to inadvertently create a portal that summoned all the ghost’s friends, with the goal of possessing all of humanity.  This story is not explicitly described in the game; however, the hints in the sticky notes are intended to make players think, and perhaps eventually come to this conclusion, or another spooky story about how the house really became haunted.

Additionally, there are some reoccurring characters who have their own sub-stories, such as the ghost who collects Post-Mortization merch and the cat who wants to take over the house.  I should mention here that I did not design the secret Easter egg mode that the cat hides, although you should play it – it’s an amazing addition by Alex Koeberl.

Think you could use my skills?