Friday, October 10, 2014

Turtle Power...sort of.


I've had turtles on the brain this week.  My little girl has been dressed in classic TMNT garb and its been playing on my brain.  So I joined my fellow Rust Belt Monsters at the Akron Art Museum for Mural #31.  We only had 2 and a half hours to paint before the museum closed and we hadn't worked that small in a while.  All in all, I wish I had more time so I could add a second character, but I like this guy a lot.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beginning Transition Animations


I had a little bit of time on break today so I thought I would try and knock out a few frames of animation.  I still need to complete the "start" animations for the flying angles.  Being away from the game made me forget a few of the problems that I was having, namely not being able to change the camera size in Toon Boom Animate Pro without resizing my art.  Sure would make my life easier.  Until I can find a fix for that, I guess I'm going to have to render out my character and cape animations separate and composite in Photoshop.  More of a speed bump than anything.  I'll file this one under annoyance.

I'm wishing I would have rendered the character art versions I needed for holding different objects while doing the standard ones.  My project files are getting complicated and I'm not sure I'll be able to figure out what frames go with what when working on the second and third set.  I might just end up taking it into photoshop and editing the existing art.  Sounds like a real pain.

Until later.

-Ben

Monday, October 6, 2014

Start Animations and Memory Management in Construct 2


Things are slowing down and I've been able to add some more animation to my Superhero Game.  Namely, the the top half of the "start" animations in flight.  Granted, I was really just using the full "start" animation from flying to the right or left.  The cape fully extends so I can just pull out a few frames and it works pretty good.  The animations for flying down will be trickier because I'll actually have to hand draw the cape flapping upwards and over the head.  I ran into a little trouble with overlapping animations stuttering, but got that ironed out quick.

My newest consideration is the memory management in the game.  I've noticed that the download size (only 4 megs) is a far stretch from the memory used (118 megs).  I couldn't figure it out until today when Scirra posted about memory management.  Turns out, it doesn't matter how much memory your image file uses, the file gets converted to a 32 bit format that needs 4kb for every pixel when the game is started.  So even though a single frame of my animation is only about 3.7kb as a PNG file, it doesn't matter because the file is converted.  My player animation has at least 200 frames already.  The images are cropped, but start at 160 x 160px.  So that's a lot.

We'll see how drastically this affects me the in the future.  I might need to get smarter about my memory use.

-Ben  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Damage and Recovery



I'm still knee deep in Ingenuity Fest work (more to show soon) and haven't had a chance to work on the game.  I'm definitely getting the itch, if not the time.  So I sketched out a quick pose for a concept I was thinking of.  

Originally, I was thinking of no health bar for the player.  Lets only have the health of the NPC's be important.  Then, I started to think that maybe a player health bar is important.  I mean, I want you to be fighting enemies.  So naturally you need the bar.  But wouldn't that require health packs/food/etc?  Doesn't seem to fit in what I want to do.

Then I started to think about most modern shooters and their regenerative health.  I want the player to have health and I want him to be able to die, but he is a super hero after all.  So what if I go with the thought that he could be beaten to death if he takes too much damage.  It would also give the player a reason to back off for a second and regain their energy.  Sure, I would love to make the them feel awesome all the time, but blowing through enemies isn't very interesting.  And having to stop for a second to recompose your self is a different way of thinking.  Maybe I'll have a button to recharge quicker like those old stamina bars in wrestling games.

Of course this is all brainstorming.  Who knows if it will work or be fun.  But its the direction I'd like to move in.

Till next time.

-Ben

Monday, September 22, 2014

Let's Play Catch



Have I fallen off or what?  I was posting pretty regularly.  Making a lot of good strides.  And then "Poof".  Gone.

Well, I've actually been pretty busy on a Rust Belt Monster project that we'll be showing at Ingenuity Fest.  Can't really show anything now, but I'm hoping to have more soon.  Fingers crossed.

I did, however, squeeze in some sketching on break the other day.  I may have mentioned it before, but I had an idea that he player would be able to throw objects at enemies.  Not all of them would be ground level either.  You could snatch air conditioners out of people's windows and chuck them at things.  Sound fun, right?

Well, I was thinking about what if they can throw stuff at you?  And how would you react to such acts of aggression?  Why not just catch it and throw it back.

One of my favorite NES games was the old Super Dodge Ball.  You could catch the dodgeball and use it against the other side.  The other cool thing, is that when you caught the ball, it would make you slide back a little bit.  Gave it a real look of force.  I'd love to do that sort of thing all throughout the game.  You don't want to take control from the player too often, but that could be cool.  

So that's an idea I've been playing with.  Hope to have more soon.

-Ben

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Mystery of the Turn Animations for 8 Way Movement (Construct 2)


Oh how it boggles the mind.  My mind is all a boggle.  I started off really proud of myself because I fixed a problem I was having in Construct 2.  Turns out the stopping animations from yesterday's post work great unless you start moving again mid-animation.  The game really didn't like that.  So I spent a half hour over thinking the whole thing and making a mess of my code.  Stepped back for a moment and the solution was right in front of me.  Just change the Animation State back to "Start" and trigger the animation again.  Pretty Easy.

In the middle of my "over thinking" phase, I contemplated triggering a turn animation to break up the stopping and starting.  That got me thinking about how I really haven't solved that problem yet.  I think I can get away without a turn in the slower flight animations, but the fast flight animations will be more obvious with the body flattened out and constantly turning.

Its probably going to need to be done with a bunch of conditions and some way of overriding the existing movement based angle animation.  That, and will I have to account for the time it takes to press the buttons.  If you are holding the left arrow and then press the right arrow to change direction, wouldn't there be a moment inbetween where neither keys are down.  Hmmmmmm.

Looks like I need to go to the forum.  More soon.

EDIT: Putting this here so I don't forget.

Shanon White (CaptainZeroGame on Twitter) suggested I make a variable for the last direction my player was going.  Then I will just compare that with my current direction.  If its East and West, play animation.  I'll have to trigger it in the spots where the movement angle is changing my abbreviation for the movement.  This probably doesn't make sense, so I'll put a bit of code up if I get it working.
-Ben

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Flying Animation States Working in Construct 2!


Holy crap it works!  I mean....(darting eyes)....I knew it would work.

The animations aren't all in, but it works.  And that is a huge victory.  So the way it works is when you begin to move the state is "Start".  When any of the "start" animations end, it changes the Animation State to "Loop".  The loop animations will play for any flying angle until you stop moving.  Actually, its triggered by none of the arrow keys being down while a loop animation is playing.  Then it changes the Animation State to "Stop".  When any of the stop animations end, it changes the state to "idle".  That puts you back to square one.

You can test it out at the link below.  Full animations are for left and right.  But if you start flying at left or right and then fly around, you'll see the animations all loop until you stop while going left or right.  Hopefully that makes sense.  Press F to trigger flying.  Arrow keys move.

Check it out here: Superhero Build 9-4-14