Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Early in the redesign, someone mentioned that the run looked a little stiff. Particularly in the torso. Of course I was immediately infuriated and cast them aside as just plain wrong. Well, they were right. Very right. Problem was I didn't have the time to go in and fix it. Luckily, working on the NPC's brought about a problem where fixing it became a necessity.
The player needs to be holding the civilians slightly towards camera for the art overlap to work. So adding that twist is kind of needed. The other "cool" part is that now I can animate a little rotation and perspective change in Spriter. At least, that's the idea.
Updates on the game will be slower and fewer apart as I have a project coming up that is due in early January. After that I will be attending my first game jam which I will be sure to update on here. Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
I'm itching to have the player pick something up...and then chuck it at someone. Well, that's the dream. I haven't opened Toon Boom Animate in a while so there was a little fumbling around involved. I'm hoping to get the pick up and lift animation in soon. At least to see how it looks. Still so much more to do and the busy holiday season is here. Going to squeak it in where I can. Till next time.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Boy did I drop off the face of the earth. Busy Thanksgiving weekend followed by work and a private tour of NASA test facilities (that's right) has left me with little to know free time. Well, at least any free time that isn't used to recover. So I thought I would draw a quick sketch. I haven't put any attacks into the game yet and I'm starting to think about how punching fools in the face might look. I think it might look...cool. Hope to have more. Enjoy the weekend.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Quickie post time! I'm off to a long holiday weekend so I probably won't be able to get any work in. So all I can offer is a quick sketch. I'm playing with the idea of having to recharge or compose yourself after a beating. This ball point pen sketch is for that. Who knows.
Have a great Thanksgiving and I'll be back next week...with considerably tighter pants.
Friday, November 21, 2014
After some quick help from the creator of Spriter, my Construct 2 Origin point problem was fixed. Turns out my problem was because Spriter kind of works backwards when it comes to Containers. My idea was to spawn a box to use as the base. I would put all of my behaviors and actions on that. Then, I would add the Spriter object to that container. You control the box and the Spriter Object reacts. Well, it wouldn't let me add the Spriter Object to the container.
So Lucid on the blog explained that the Spriter Object is already a Container. So you add the box to it. Once the box is added, you place an event for the Spriter Object to set its position to the box. After that, just pin it to the box.
I set up an event where pressing W will spawn one. I kept shooting them out and my frame rate only went from 60 to 59. That's pretty impressive.
Next up: Trying to figure out how to randomize cloths and changing color. Hopefully I can try that this weekend.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Since my last post, I've animated my character, I've thrown him in Construct 2, and I'm loving the way it looks. His naturally pixelated nature isn't hurting it at all. And, frankly, that was a huge worry of mine. You can check out a blurry, phone video test below.
So now I'm getting my grubby fingers around Spriter and I'm finally starting to understand it. Not the animation, but using it with Construct 2. The documentation is still very early, which I understand, but I just want my answers now. I'm greedy like that. One major problem is the origin point on the Spriter object. Basically, the "Object" is a square and the animation happens on that square. The problem is that its placing the art in the middle of that square and that square is sitting on the platform. So I have the animations too high up (see picture above.).
Monday, November 17, 2014
Stay tuned for more.
Friday, November 14, 2014
I was thinking about the original Superman movie the other day and thought that I might benefit from referencing a few scene's for some civilian poses. Youtube is really good for that sort of thing. So I popped on the helicopter scene from Superman 1 for some falling poses and Superman 3 for injured civilian poses. Hoping this will improve my previous attempts.
Oh, and there's a "Watcher" in there too.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Maybe its from my recent work with Spriter or my itching to carry around civilians again, but I'm beginning Civilians 2.0. Previously, they had a walk animation and a static frame when held. It was pretty boring. Now that I'm moving over to skeletal animation, I can start adding little nuances at all time. While the player is flying, the civilian's legs can be swinging. I can add a slight bounce to the hair to the civilian while the player is running. There are a lot of options.
I'll go more in depth with that at a later date. The good news is that I can add different variations to the animations, randomly select them when a civilian is spawned in game, and get the variety I want in a city full of people.
So at the moment I'm planning out the State Machine for the civilians (different ways they'll react to their surrounding). I'd like to give them a little bit of personality too. Maybe different levels of bravery that will make effect their decisions when everything starts happening.
|Beginning Rough. Drawn over Player for Size.|
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
|Click to Enlarge|
Then I remember that After Effects lets you set up Stereoscopic rigs. Oooh Boy! So I'm going to be doing a little tweaking, laying in some sound, and adding bumpers. Seems like a lot of work for a 13 second animation. Hope to have this done soon.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
The little animated short that I'm working on is really coming along. I've been able to get a real jump on the background and hope to have that finished tonight. With any luck, next week will be just the animation. Much more to come!
Friday, October 10, 2014
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
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.
Monday, October 6, 2014
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.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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.
Monday, September 22, 2014
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.
Friday, September 5, 2014
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.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
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
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
During flight, I have the animation starting at the "Start" animation and then transitioning to the "loop" animations. It will stay on the "loop" animations until the player stops. Then it will begin again with the "start" animations.
I ran into a couple problems at first. 1) 8-way movement doesn't have a "on moved" trigger. It just has "is moving". The problem with that is that is just constantly repeating. I need it to know that after one of the starting animations played, the animation condition goes from "Start" to "Loop". Luckily, they have a "trigger once" event that I threw into a sub event. Worked like a charm.
2) I'm dumb and had my syntax wrong. I mentioned in a previous post the names of each flying animation is just the combination of 4 different variables. I was using the + sign to combine those instead of the "&" sign. Simple enough when I researched the original tutorial I found on picking animations that way.
Next up is triggering the stopping animations and then animating all of the remaining starting and stopping animations. I hate myself more and more for including that cape.
Till next time,
Monday, September 1, 2014
Oh boy. Looks like this new animation system is going to be complicated. I originally thought that you could direct Construct 2 to look into specific folders for the animations I would need. I was then going to name the folders after different variables I would be triggering. Well, the folder thing is wrong. In fact, as far as I can tell, the folder is just to help you keep track of your animations better.
So, "what's the solution?" you may be asking. Well, variables thing will work, but they will have to be in the actual animation name. So now, the animation for flying north without holding anything is "FlyEmptyLoopN". Looks kind of lengthy, right? The new breakdown is like this:
Ground/Fly/Fast + Empty/Civ/LiftSm/LiftLg + Start/Loop/Stop + Direction
"Flight" "Holding" "Animation State" "Direction"
So, Yes, it is complicated. But I have to keep telling myself that I only have to set this up once. Once these states are in place, it should account for being able to hold all civilians and objects (heavy and light). I think I have the whole thing worked out. I might work on the lifting of objects first as apposed to before when I put a civilian in first. We'll have to see.
Till next time,
Friday, August 29, 2014
If that headline doesn't make sense, Don't Worry! Basically, the player is going to have a regular flight and a fast flight. Both move the same but flash has the player stretched out. The slower one keeps the player in the standing position while flying in different angles. Now, each angle of animation will have a starting animation (cape begins to lift off and body starts to take posture), Looping animation (cape flaps in a loop and player is in flying position), and Stop Animation (Player slows and returns to the idle flying animation).
Right now, I have the Looping animations for the slower flight all setup. Still plenty to go, but a good first step. Above is one frame.
Till next time,
Monday, August 25, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
I knew it was just a matter of time. I've finally started revamping the animation system. Its been hanging over my head long enough.
Previously I was doing a very basic "Press this and play this animation" system and it worked fine. Problem is, there are going to be a few different variations of the same animation. There will be a version when the player is "arms free", holding a civilian, lifting an object over his head, holding something heavy, etc. These will have different animation triggered the same way.
How do you do that and keep the whole thing straight? Well, you use folders and Variables.
Lets say I just had the animations Stand, Run, and Jump. Now lets say I have 3 conditions: ArmsFree, WithCiv, and WithHeavy. I would set up folders with those condition names and put their version of Stand, Run, and Jump inside of each. Then I would set up a Global Variable in Construct 2 named "Condition" that would house the name of that condition. So, if you pick up a civilian, set the condition to "WithCiv". Then, you would trigger your other animations normally but include the folder before. So if Right Arrow is pressed set animation to Condition"Run" . I hope that makes some sense.
If you need a better explanation, leave a comment and I'll go into better detail or write a tutorial.
See you later,
Thursday, August 21, 2014
While my classic "if holding down this button" then "play this animation" system was working before, it wasn't giving me the fluid animation I wanted while flying. Its not too bad when going at slower speeds, but I have a theory that it will look slightly on the horrendous side when doing fast. Also, I'm not sure the previous method would work with game pads. All of these reason made me decide that a little revamp was in order.
Rather than trigger animations by the button presses, they're triggered by the players movement angle. If he's flying north, than that's -90 degrees. You set up a trigger that happens when the movement angle is between a few degrees leading up to that and it happens. Since I have to mirror based on the direction he's flying, its a little trickier. I'd be happy to explain it better if anyone out there is curious.
Another problem I'm having is that ToonBoom zooms in if I change the scene resolution. It throws off the size of my character and bums me out. Looks like I might have to composite the cape animations separately. Kind of sucks. I'll probably have to ask for help on the forums.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I've got the animation in there, but there is a slight amount of "jank". I'll probably do a second pass at it because it isn't as seamless as I like. I think I put a slight torso movement in there that is making the loop "pop" when he's flying. There's a chance that its just some dumb thing that only I'll notice, but it bums me out. I also need to fix the stop animation. The player doesn't end on the idle position ant that can cause problems.
Either way, the process of replacing the animations has been a fast one. The more problematic animations will be the jumps. I'm putting those off a little longer. I'd like to get my base flying poses in first and then move onto that. Pretty soon I should be working on my first new Civilian to be strolling around the game.
Keep coming back for more.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Hope to have some flying angles back soon, but I might take a day or two to figure out the transition animations first.
Monday, August 11, 2014
All finished and I'm pretty happy! The run cycle was the first animation I did on my first pass. Finishing the new one is a pretty big milestone. Not only that, but I also completed a starting animation and slide to a stop. Those were no where to be found in the original. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to use the cape animation on those for some of the flying too.
The work load has really been cut down since changing up my animation style. I'm hoping to keep up the pace and be back where I was in a few weeks. Pretty soon I'll be tackling new problems. Namely, all of the flight angles that I never got around to before.
Keep coming back for more.
Friday, August 8, 2014
Took some work but I finally got it in there. I'm really seeing the benefits of working with the Cut Out Animation style. Done with enough finesse and its not as obvious as you'd think. I added more arm and leg shapes and figured out a stopping animation that I like. Triggering the animation to happen on the button release instead of the player stopping fixed some previous problems that I was having. Now I just have to hand animate the cape and I'm good.
After this, I'm eager to move onto some flying animations.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Dove into Toon Boom Animate Pro and worked out the run cycle. In comparison to the last one, it doesn't have that slight shoulder turn that gave it a little something extra. I'm just not sure if that's a little detail that I'm the only one who notices. I'm pretty happy with it overall. Particullarly the way just a couple of drawing swaps can simulate the arm bending across the body.
I threw both of them in Construct 2 just to see them move around. Its pretty interesting the differences. The size is the most jarring. I have a fun filled weekend planned so I probably won't be able to finish it till next week. At the moment it really just needs the cape and maybe a couple of tweaks. I'd also like to get into Construct and work in the transition from standing to running.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I've been doing some rethinking of the game controls as of late. At the moment, the player presses the F key to toggle flight or platforming. It works well enough, but I want to set up gamepad support and there's something weird about having a button dedicated to toggling flight. My idea was to have the player tap the Jump button to jump, but hold it to initiate flight. Kind of works in my mind, but I'm not sure how intuitive it will be. Looks like I'm going to have to jump into Construct 2 and bang out a quick test.
I'll keep you posted.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Finally finished the side view of the player and things seem to be going well. Its amazing the pace I'm moving at now that I have the pieces broken up. I thought I would attempt animating the transition from standing to run. Key Frame animation makes it pretty easy. This should also clear up the problem of the cape animating from a down position to out and waving. At least that's the hope.
If I'm lucky, I'll have the cycle completed and maybe start adding some of these into Construct 2. Fingers crossed.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I really have to thank Cartoon Smart for showing me how to do this. Ultimately, I wish I would have done the whole thing right the first time, but what can you do. Anyways, I'm starting on my side view of the character and its actually going a lot more smoothly than I would have thought. I just have to make sure that I plug the new body parts into their symbols after I draw them. I'm hoping to get this view finished tonight. I'll have to fight the urge to animate a run cycle immediately after.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
A long time ago I put my humble little character next to my first building to see how it looked. I was so proud. Now that I've decided to redesign everything, I can look back and see how much I've grown as an artist. Of course, I'll probably hate this in a couple of years too. Until then, I'm happy with the look of it. I think I've finally nailed down a size that I'm happy with.
I've also finished a few background assets (new hydrants and parking meters). I'd really like to start animating again, but I think that the need to do the rest of the "turn around" for my player template is holding me back a bit. Hopefully I can tackle that head on soon.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
So I'm still trying to construct a building asset to have in the background. I'm building the whole thing in a more complex, but ultimately effective, way. To speed up the process, I thought I would lay a brick texture over the front of the building. After comparing with or without the texture, I saw that the textured version was 3 times the size of the other. In all honesty, I actually think the non-textured has more personality. So I think this is going to inform how I work on the assets and try and keep everything a little more stylized. It should keep my file sizes down and give it some more personality. Lets just how I can reuse them enough to help fill out the city.
Monday, July 21, 2014
I've been on a little roll here cranking out assets for the game. Nothing mind blowing, but I'm trying to work smarter this time around and build things in a modular fashion. Not just in "tiles" but in a way that I can build structures in photoshop by copying and pasting. So I'm rebuilding my first shop. I'll put up a comparison as soon as its finished.
Also, I put together an animated gif of the new idle animation. I build the character and cape separate so there isn't a definite loop in the animation. Look for more frequent updated out of me...hopefully.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Animated the cape idle using key frames and morphing in Toon Boom Animate Pro. I'm pretty happy with the results, but I wanted to have the inside of the cape be darker. I'll have to go back and re-render it. To break up the animation of the character, the body and cape are animated separately. That way you don't get the exact same loop. I put the character in with the last build to see the size difference. I'm drawing at about twice the size of the original character and liking the results. The only thing I see needed real tweaks is that the face becomes inconsistent as it animates. I'll probably go through the cycle, find a version I like, and just past it onto the rest of the animation. Hope that isn't too hard to do.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
I'm hoping to get an idle animation working soon and add in some cape animation.
More to come.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Working away on my new banner...slowly. I'm currently working on some background elements that can be slid around to give me a nice paralax effect. At least that's the idea. I should be putting this into Construct 2 soon to test it out. However, I might be tweaking the balcony as the line weight is quite a bit thicker. That probably stands out. Right?
Friday, July 11, 2014
Until I've reached shear mastery, I've been sketching out some new art assets. I pulled some photo reference for store fronts in Cleveland and used them to build a couple new standard models. I'm hoping to adjust them (signs and other flourishes) to reuse them and fill out the city a bit. The Taller buildings will all be tiled artwork to try and keep my files down. That's an entirely different beast.
Below, I have a few more environmental thingies and some character poses. My previous in game art was kind of stiff and I'm wanting to break them up a bit. So lets see if I can get some "S" curves in the mix and pretty her up!
Till next time,