Friday, March 27, 2015

Lift Animation Working

I have been gone, but still very busy.  Well, busy and sick.  I had a weird stomach bug/flu thing last week that kind of caught me off guard.  I was, however, able to get some work done.  I put the lift animation in and got it to lift some boxes.  The tricky part was that the box sprite needed to travel along an object point on the Armiger art work until the Lift animation finishes.  Then the overlay art (Head, Arms, Chest) pop on top of the Armiger art and the box sprite transfers to that.  I basically took me putting a couple of Every Tick events inside of groups and switching from Armiger art to Overlay art when the Lift animation ends.

And exhale.  Still so much to do.  I'm starting to itch to get the second set of flight animations in there, but I'm got a few things that need tweaking that are already in.  Also, I'm sure the best idea would be to work a bit on a Grey Box prototype for actually playing the game.  I need something I can show people so they know whats in my head.  Now, if I could just find the time.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Holding Loop Animations Almost Finished

I went through and updated the "holding" animations in the looping state tonight.  I'm pretty happy with the results, but will probably have to redraw a bit of the capes and redo the flying down animation.

Just when I thought I could pat myself on the back, I realized something terrible.  My original plan was to just place the object art for what the player was carrying behind the player art.  Seemed easy enough, and then I realized that the cape is in the way when you're flying down.  Ugh.

The way I see it, I have 2 options.

1) Change the object art perspective a bit and have it possibly cover the player's face.  I could overlap the player art and not worry about the cape then.  Like I said, I'm cutting off some of the player art.

2) I can make a version of the object when the art is held with the hand area strategically cut out.  It will look the way I want, but lining it up might be a bit of a pain.  I think I can just set up a Photoshop file as a template.  I would have a designated "mask" to cut out the hand area the same every and a dot to help me plat the origin point in all of them.

This is all very fresh in my mind.  I need to do some test though.  That and fix that down flying animation.  The cape just looks too wonky.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

New "Holding" Sketches

Just some sketching.  Now that I'm tweaking the player art to remove the upper half, I'm playing with the idea of adding additional versions of holding things.  Shouldn't be too hard once the base animations are fixed.  Right now I'm thinking one handed for lighter objects, criminals will be held under the arm (like the dirty luggage that they are), and maybe old people will be over the shoulder.  I'm still playing with some ideas and am hoping to prototype some soon.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Composite Character Test

When I first started working on the game, I had the idea of having my player built in parts.  Just putting a different torso on him depending on what he was carrying.  I even tried it with the old player art.  Somewhere in the redesign, I decided against it.  I think I was having trouble with keeping the cape stuck to the player.  I kind of fixed that problem, so I decided to take another shot at the whole Composite Character thing.  It worked pretty well.  So now I'm starting to think of how many different poses I can work in with this new system.  I guess the sky's the limit.

More to come.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Overlay Art Test

First off, "Groups" in Construct 2 are way more useful than I give them credit for.  I needed to set up a condition where the overlay art of the torso holding an object over the head would just sit on top of the other art.  I just put an "every tick" event into a group and activated it when I wanted it.  I need to render out my flight angles again without the torso and see about laying over the new art.  It will take some more testing, but I think I'm on the right track.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I've Done The Math. Time To Course Correct.

Time for a "mathy" post that probably isn't the most exciting thing, but its what has got me rethinking my animation system.  First off, I'm not redesigning any art or anything like that.  The problem I'm hitting is my memory use.  Definitely not download size, just the memory being used.  Its getting a little out of control.  I blame it on my PNG's being converted to PNG-32's, but there is nothing I can do.

I did the math, and of the 178 megs of memory I'm using with the game running (no buildings or enemies in there), 116 megs of it is my player.  The biggest chunk of the player's animation is the different flight angles.  Basically, I have a set of start, looping, and stopping animation for a bunch of angles when flying (they get mirrored too).  I also have a set of them for for whether the player is holding a civilian and another set if they are holding an object with possibly more to come.  Each group of these is 37 megabytes.  That is a big chunk.

I've been going back and forth on this and I need to get smarter about reusing animation.  So the game plan is to take make a version of those flight angles and cut off everything from the chest up.  Then, I can just pin art for holding a civilian or for holding a box to the front of that art.  I'd be saving myself a lot of memory and opening up the possibility of more poses for carrying things.  Its best for the long run, but might be a pain.  More to come.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Carrying Idles Finished

I think I've got the arm and chest positions down.  Now I just have to superimpose them over the existing flight angles.  That should take me a little while.  Also, I need to finish that "Lift" animation for picking up objects that aren't people.  Things are coming along.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Slowly, but Surely.

Working of my sketch from a couple of days ago, I've begun building my new "carry" animation.  Well, at least the carry animation for the standing position.  I'll probably be reusing the torso from this for the rest of the carrying animations.  More copy and pasting.  I just have to keep reminding myself that once this is done, it can be used for any object I want to lift.  

There is one problem though.  If I want to have the player's front hand overlapping the object the player is holding, I either have to make a separate sprite that will float over the art or create an animation frame on the object that will have the frame on it.  I'd rather not draw the extra animation frame because I'm trying to be smarter about my memory management.  I could go with a single sprite for the hand, but I'm having problems with pop in when it comes to the cape sprite I use in the idle animations.  Guess I'll have to do some testing.

Monday, March 2, 2015

More Carrying Animations?

So I've bee trying to squeeze in time here and there to work on my "carrying" animations.  It basically entails taking the existing flying animations, laying the alternate arms and chest art on top of it, and photoshopping it to fit.  Its taking a while.  Definitely not fun.

While I was working on the third flight angle out of my 8 or so angles to complete, I started to think about the next batch of these I would have to do.  The player doesn't just lift people.  He lifts boxes, cars, and other various heavy objects.  So if I'm going through the trouble of getting one batch of angles finished, why wouldn't I also do the others?  Because I'm dumb, that's why.  Well, not any more.  I think I need to Pre-Vis this a little bit and just do both at the same time.  At least that's the plan.  More to come.