Sunday, May 5, 2013

Latest Experiments

Both of my regular blog viewers will notice a new page button labelled "Latest Experiments," which links to a Unity webplayer hosted by dropbox, containing the primordial elements of a game I've been working on.

Progress is slow, as I'm pretty much picking up the scripting as I go, but so far it's been a lot of fun to figure out. For anyone too lazy to seek out the link at the top of the page, click here to check out my progress. (Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move, click to attack, mouse to aim, shift to run.)

It isn't much to look at at the moment, but I recently added the first art assets, namely the protagonist and his animations, whom you might recognize.

Boot Hat's animations, while not in themselves complex; represented an interesting technical puzzle. These are four of the 8 walking directions I made, the others are of course the diagonal directions between these. The character works by pointing Boot Hat towards the mouse, comparing that angle to his current movement direction, and selecting an appropriate animation. To ease that transition; the upper body movement, while staying appropriate for the walk, is very similar in each animation.

The running animation is a great deal simpler. Running offers a boost of speed to escape the monsters (currently cube-sheep things) but sacrifices the ability to aim. Because Boot-Hat orients towards his move direction while sprinting, only one running animation was required.

Currently, the running attack just uses the first two stages of the regular melee attack. It works, but can be visually cumbersome. Later I intend to create a dedicated running attack; along with ome other situational elements, such as a death animation.

Boot Hat's attack animations were also an interesting undertaking. He had to be able to use them both while standing and running, which is why the lower body remains motionless here.

The animation is layered in Unity so that attack animations temporarily override all animations from the spine up; that way the legs can resume their regular walking or idling animations undisturbed.

There are three attacks; the first swing simply swings and returns to idle. The second swing begins with a duplicate frame from the apex of the first attack's swing, performs a second swing, then returns to idle. The third does the same, except picking up from the apex of the second swing.

Effectively, if the player clicks before Boot Hat finishes attacking, Boot Hat continues the combo. If not, the combo is interrupted.

I was quite happy with these animations; though the secondary animation on the laces had to be cut short. I aimed for a general feel of inexpert brutality; since Boot Hat is a nasty little goblin scout. I may elect to shorten these later, to speed up attack rate.

The game uses a grid-based system I wrote, which you can see functioning in  the game. The squares highlight themselves based on content; player, player range, enemy, enemy range, harmful effect. Player and enemy position are evaluated, for the purposes of attack, only based on that grid. The highlight system looks cooler with the various spell effects than the sword range; but those are for a later update.

I'll compile some proper videos of this adventure in animation in the near future. For now; good night folks, and thanks for reading.


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