The thing I made last week

Last week I participated in make a thing, as a fun way to experiment with some new plugins and practice my 2d.

I had a play with DUik, which went quite well. I didn’t have time to do a lot of animations but I got a basic run and hit animation out.

http://gfycat.com/MiniatureDifferentGalapagosdove

http://gfycat.com/KeenFarflungAfricangoldencat

I also finished the still image of the creepy guy

I’ll post a link to the WIP game later on, we probably won’t finish this in the near future as it was just a bit of ridiculous fun for the holidays.

Making things:Making things

Today I put together the environment for our make a thing. Lots of thinking about how pieces would need to be layered in unity and breaking things apart

Started out with a rough template

Made a few pieces for the room

Some comic inspired bits and bobs

Stuck it all together

And some characters. All drawn on different layers so tomorrow night after interning I can put them in to AI and get some animations going

Making A Thing

So I’ve decided to have a go at this holidays “make a thing”

more info on that here https://www.facebook.com/makeathingbrisbane?fref=nf

The words we got were

We started of with a mind map that went a bit silly

So naturally, this progressed and, we’ve decided to, attempt to make, a completely inappropriate game about a pimp.

 It should be a bit of fun. To stretch my 2D and After Effects legs, I’ve decided to work in AE/ illustrator / photoshop, having a go with a plug in called DuIK to generate some IK bones

http://duduf.net/?page_id=151

Animation timing, looking forward

Over the trimester I have been reading up on how animate for games. We haven’t scheduled the animation tasks until next trimester, but the proper execution of this task is vital. As an animator I want the player to accept my animations, they need to immerse the player in the game, while also being of a high enough quality to present in my portfolio. This subject is deeper than I initially thought.There are different approaches and emphasis depending on if you are animating for player characters, or enemies. I am happy I researched this early because It’s apparent that my animations will need mutple pases. I will need to practise animating for this specialization to refine my skills.

I aim to leverage the principles I have researched, over the course of the final project development, to create quality, readable, appealing animations. I will be working closely with Callan, fine tuning and reiterating my animations, to work within the combat system he is building. I am sure my animations will need multiple passes, and adjusting in response to Callans, and player feedback, but I also want my initial hand over to be of the highest quality it can be.

The main principles I have learnt over the last few weeks is that of, instantaneous response (Swink, Steve 2008, p300) and readability (Extra Credits, 2014). On the surface  These two principles of game animation conflict. To create a readable animation you need anticipation and slow ins and outs (White, 2006, p227), it takes time for a character to wind up before a swing, but the player needs to feel that they are in control, that their button pushes are being received. However these principles need to be balanced to work together. Balancing them in different ways creates different feels for the character. A heavy weapon swig in a film would have huge anticipation before the swing. In a game this would feel unresponsive however as Swink (2008) explains you can use a curve with fast movement into the action and slower out. This is a different approach to animations I have done in the past, successfully achieving this will take some practise on my part.

Over the last few weeks I have been watching my housemate and my partner play Bloodborne (Toriyama, T. Yamagiwa, M. 2015). They have different playstyles and have chosen different weapons. One choosing the heavy Kirkhammer and the other preferring the blades of Mercy. I have been analysing the player animations, and the different levels of anticipation in the swings. This is something to take influence from as I want to display the different weights of the heavy, 2 handed, mop attack, compared to the fast dual wielding brush attack. The main difference between these animations and those previously mentioned like Darksiders II (Vigil Games. 2012) and Alice Madness Returns(Spicy Horse. 2011) is the fluidity, I want my animations transition more smoothly than those displayed below, its the display of weight that I am looking to replicate from this source.

Heavy attack (QP GAMES 2015 March,25)

Quick attacks (Nam Mark 2015, April 21)

I have also been seeking the advice of my lecturers on the topic of animating for games. Chris recommended considering and planning my characters combat idle poses, keeping them close to the anticipation pose. This will mitigate popping from one post to another, something that is acceptable in a game, to a certain degree, by using this method a smoother transition can be achieved.

Since I am mainly animating the player character instantaneous response will be my focus. However in the pursuit of knowledge, and for the opportunity to assist Ben with the enemy animations. I have researched enemy animation principles. These animations need to be focused on readability. If the enemy is winding up for a brutal attack the player needs to recognise this, so they can dodge or block (Extra Credits 2014). It comes back to the principle of reliable game feel, if the player doesn’t feel like a death was their fault their enjoyment can be reduced (Swink, Steve 2008). The extra time for anticipation will also allow us time to create interesting poses and appealing animations. This is not as achievable on the player character compared to enemy animations, because of the previously mentioned necessity of readability.

By allowing extra time for polish, and focusing on animation principles I believe I can create quality animations, that are balanced between readability and appeal. Since this is a very prominent part of the game getting this right will be crucial to achieving our goal of creating a quality portfolio piece.

References

Extra Credits (2014, December 18) [Video File] Design Club the animation of Punch Out how the Wii remake scored a KO. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coCsLWqT3v0

Nam Mark (2015, April 21) Blade of mercy combat test [Video File] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vazE9oFdxGA

QP GAMES (2015 March,25) Bloodborne Kirkhammer – Trick Weapons Gameplay [Video File] Retrieved from https://youtu.be/YeSoLQvdJjU?t=24s

Toriyama, Teruyuki. Yamagiwa, Masaaki. (2015). Bloodborne [Computer software]. Japan: From Software

Spicy Horse. (2011). Alice Madness Returns [Computer Software]. USA: Electronic Arts.

Swink, Steve (2008). Game feel a game designer’s guide to virtual sensation.

Burlington: Elsevier

White, Tony (2006) Animation from pencils to pixels classical techniques for digital animators. Oxford UK, Focal press

Vigil Games. (2012). Darksiders II [Computer Software]. USA: Nordic Games

Show reel of Studio 3 work!

With exhibition coming up fast, and me not being sure I will have my shot finished in time, I cut together my work so far in to a reel. I used the reels I built at the start of the tri as a base. I haven’t added music to this because I will cut this work back in to my main reels that have music etc. Inspired by Bens pro lower 3rds I decided to have a go at animating some in titles in to mine. If time permits I want to do some polish on orcs walk cycle, fix the wobbly hand etc