Big Game Project: Post 6

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This post will cover the work that was done the last two weeks of our project. Even though it will cover two weeks of work I get the feeling that it will be quite short since I don’t know what to say that has not already been said in my previous posts, but I’ll do my best.

Second to last week

Most of the time this week was spent in making the trailer for our game. What the designer wanted was a few takes with a single pose and a couple of new animations that was only going to be used to it.The still frames was the easy part, the somewhat challenging part was figuring out how to get several characers in the same take in motionbuilder since this was something new to me. My solotion to this was to merge the file with itself to add another identical character to the take. This might not have been the best solotion but it did solve the issue at hand.

 

Assassination.gif

Here is the assassination animation that was used in the trailer. For the trailer just click on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpfn4xE3Cj4

Dyrkarens walk cycle was improved after I was told that he looked too casual.

Dyrkare walk 2.0.gif

 

Last Week

This week was by far the most hectic week of them all. I was given the task of animating three new characters by the end of the week. The characters that was going to be animated were not done yet so I was given a rough model that was roughly skinned to work with as a base until the characters were done. As a minimum they wanted all three characters to share the same animations in order to save time. What they were given was individual animations for all the characters instead. Some of them are quite stiff considering the amount of time I had, sadly the Asanäbb’s animations were those to suffer the most as they were the very last on my to do list.

First off we have the Pyrofet. The Pyrofet is an old man who is part of the inner circle of a religius group, only the inner circle knows of technology and keeps it shrowded from the rest of the population, they use it to keep people supersticius as they belive that it is some kind of magic. His weapon of choice is his staff that is actually a flamethrower.

Pyro Walk.gifPyro Atk1.gif

Pyro Atk2.gifPyro Death.gif

 

Kapellmeister

Some belive that the kapellmeister is a wanderer of sorts as it is always seen wandering around playing a tune on its weaponised instrument, or is the other way around? It only stops playing for a brief moment as it elegantly executes its target before taking a bow as if it was a show of some sort before it goes back to playing its tune.

 

Kapell Walk.gifKapell Atk1.gif

Kapell Atk2.gif

Kapell Death.gif

 

 

Asanäbb

The Asanäbb belives that birds are magical creatures as they are able to sit on power lines without being electrocuted. Because of its believs it strives to be more like these magical creatures, it uses a bird like mask, claws and a baton that is connected to a powerful battery to stun its foes with.

Asanäbb Atk.gifAsanäbb Atk2.gif

Asanäbb Walk.gif

Asanäbb Death.gif

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Big Game Project: Post 5

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This week was a lot more hectic in comparison to the previous one as I was given a new character to work on while having some other work on the side that needed to be done aswell.

Now, let me introduce our first enemy character. He is big! He is bad! He is… smelly? The Troll!

Troll_long idle.gif

Don’t scratch your bum as I am giving you an introduction you big oaf… Ohh well, either way, sadly I can’t give you much of a backstory for this guy simply because I wasn’t given one so let’s focus on the animations (which I have done in all of my previous posts..). This animation is a good example of when the animator is not given any backstory or other relevant information about the character before animating it as it may not be how the designers pictured it. To quote ” I like it but once I saw it I realised that the troll I had in mind is gone, what I had in mind was more of a once proud and noble race but we will go with this”. FYI, this is the troll’s long idle animation that will be played now and then while it is idly standing by.

 

Troll_walk.gif

Something that I wanted to be portrayed in all of the trolls animations is that it is this big heavy and somewhat sluggish character (disregard that he is walking a bit fast, it is a turn based game so in order for the trolls not to be to slow and boring during their turn it was speed up a bit). So for all of its animations it makes big movements and bends its knees a bit more with each step to convey the heavy feel to it.

 

Troll_smash.gif

Troll Smash!! Not much to say here, big wind up on its attack to emphasize power, bending on the arms to give the feel of impact when hitting the ground.

 

Troll_death.gif

The death animation still needs some polishing but this is the general idea on how it will be playing out, take a few steps back before falling to the ground.

Big Game Project: Post 4

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Week 6 was not so productive on my end so this post will be somewhat short in comparison with the others. What I did this week was some modifications to the attack animations, but for the most part I was waiting for the others to finish the skinning of our second character. Skinning is the process where you set how much pull each bone has on the different parts of the mesh (the different parts of the character in this case).

 

 

Dyrkare_attack1_v2.gifDyrkare_attack1.gif

Here is a side by side comparison of the new (left) and the old (right) attack animation. The reason for this change was because the earlier version didn’t portray what the attack is ment to do mechanically. Mechanically the attack should reach two tiles ahead of him whereas his previous animation only covered one tile. So in order to better portray this it was changed so that he takes a step forward as he is attacking.

 

 

Dyrkare_attack2_v2.gifDyrkare_attack2.gif

For the same reason as the previous attack, changes were made to its second attack, the sweep, but in this case his step forward was removed so that his attack would only cover the tiles directly infront of him.

And that’s all I have to show for this week.

Big Game Projekt: post 3

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Better late than never.

Now that all the problems in my previous post has been solved and everything is working  the way it should, in before I just jinxed it, I have finally been able to do some actual animations without some error popping up. I have also gotten myself a gif program that allows me to record directly from my screen to ease things up and so that I can start showing my work properly. So without further ado, here are some of the animations. Do keep in mind that this is all work in progress and changes can and will be made.

 

Dyrkare_Idle.gif

To start of we got the Idle animation, not much can be said about it he is just standing in the same spot breathing. The tilting of his upper body as he is breathing is a bit exaggerated, this is so that it will be visible in a third person top down view. With that said all the animations will be a bit exaggerated for the same reason.

 

 

Dyrkare_Walk.gif

Next up we got the walk. Originally I wanted to have the character use the spear as a walking stick as he is walking around but this proved to be very difficult and time consuming due to the spear not having a bone of its own. In its current form, in order to have him use it as a walking stick and have it so that the spear would rotate on its end as it is against the ground I would have to manually control the hand in every frame in order for it to be possible, since the hand is so far away from the end of the spear even the slightest of changes to the hand could move the spear more than intended. In the end it became a normal walk with the weapon swinging on his side.

 

 

Dyrkare_attack1.gif

Dyrkare_attack2.gif

Time for the attack animations. The first one is a simple jab while the other is more of a sweep. In this take the jab is in a early stage just so that we could implement it into Unity and try it out whereas the second one came afterwords and had more thought put into it. Eighter way, as I mentioned earlier animating the spear proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated, this was also true when making the jab attack, as you can see it has a slight rotation to it no matter how hard I tried making it as straight as possible.

 

 

Dyrkare_heavyblock.gif

And lastly we have the heavy block. This one is intended for when the Dyrkaren (the character I have been showing you so far) is blocking against one of the troll’s attack. The attack is so heavy that Dyrkaren loses his balance and falls on his knees before regaining his balance and stands up again.

 

And thats it for this post.

I am trying to catch up the current week of work so I will shortly be putting up a new post.

Big Game Project: post 2, Problem solving

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This should have been posted last week but was delayed due to the lack of content to post and procrastination. Eighter way, week four turned out to be mostly problem solving. I started out with trying to importing the mesh, rig, and animations into Unity as seperate files rather than bake it all into a single FBX file after hearing from a upperclasmen that it was better. Problem was that I could not get it to work even though I connected the files to eachother in Unity while the single baked file worked properly. After asking a teacher about this I was told to just simply use the baked FBX file instead of overcomplicating things.

As I working with this I also realised that something had gone wrong with the mesh, apperently people in the group had been using different units when working with the characters. This resulted with our first playable character being 6-7 meters long instead of 2 meters. Because of this we had to redo the mesh, rig, and skinning of the character before animating it. See below for comparison between the old and the fixed model.

Next up was getting the materials and textures in Unity to work. Once again things weren’t working the way they should. We found that the problem lied with the UW-mapping of the character as they somehow had just disappeared, luckily the previous version of the character still had its mapping intakt so we used that one.

Here’s a picture show the size and texture difference of the models.

texture&size.png

Big Game Project: post 1

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Time to bring this blog back to life now that me and six others are making a game that is to be presented at the upcoming Gotland Game Conference (GGC). The game is called “A Rat Betwixed” or just simply “Betwixed” as its full name was considered too long for a title. It takes place in the far future in a post apocalyptic Sweden where people has regressed to a socity that is similar to the medival age. It is a exploration co-op betrayal game where one of the players will be randomly selected to be the traitor, only the traitor knows who it is while it is unknown to the others.

For this project I am the lead animator. Animation wise this has not been a very productive week as it has mostly been problem solving. It started with the character not moving while its props was flying away on their own after it had been exported to Unity.

unity 1.png

After trying with several different meshes and rigs I came to realise that the problem had to lie somewhere in the Motionbuilder file and not in Unity. After watching a couple of tutorials I found that I had forgotten to bake the animation to the skeleton. After exporting the updated file to Unity, it got the character to move but now I had a new problem. I all of the sudden had two meshes in the scene, one was with an old rig while the other had the new, and typicly the one with the old rig was the one that was moving. It can be seen by looking at its right foot, parts of its mesh is being pulled by a bone in its left leg/foot.

Unity2.png

To resolve this we tried a couple of things, exporting it to Unreal to see if the problem lies with Unity. Got this result by doing so.

Unreal 1.png

The character was moving but was no where near what it suppose to be. Next we tried removing all traces of the old rig and update it. Suddenly the new rig behaved like the old one while at the same time changing the characters arms in all the animations.

Namnlös.png

There was also one which resulted in the character posing as a zombie from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, sadly I didn’t save a picture of this.

Seeing that the problem with the rigging persisted no matter what solution we came up with it was decided to try it in a new project to se if the rig was the cause of all the problems. It wassn’t, since the rig was working properly in the new project it was decided to keep that one and make new animations for it.

And that’s my story for this week, hopefully I can get a couple of gifs working for the next blog post so that I can show the animations that I am working on. Before I go, here is a picture of something random that happened in Motionbuilder.

wtf.png

Magic Writer – Week 6, Final Production Week

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The time is finally here, this will be the last production post I will be making on our groups game “Magic Writer”, because as of next week our game will be completely done. It has been 10 long weeks of production, it has been lots of fun and we all have learned a great deal out of it. But as with all things here in life, it must come to an end. So, without further ado, lets talk about how this week of production has been.

As I said last week, this has been a very hectic week since I have been working on several things at the same time. But like I also said last week, nothing a few late nighters can not fix, said and done, I have gotten loads done this week. I finished all the assignments (except sound, hard to find good sound, sadface) that I had for this week.

So lets begin with the score screen. This is how it looked like last week.main_menu_score_screen

Like I said last week, I was going make a few changes to it so that each plank would not look like its own section, I fixed this by adding a piece of paper to it like on a small wooden bulletin board. And this is how it turned out.score_screen

It was easily done because all I had to do was make a new layer that would appear above the rest. On a side not, I was not the one that added that line at the bottom of the paper, so I can not really say the reason behind it, but I think it had something to do with that the player would type in their name below it and that the current top 10 or 15, or something, would be above it. Or perhaps it was that the players current position, like position 23 or the like, as a comparison between the top players and the player showing “this is how far away you are from being in the top. But as I said, I am not completely sure. If it is the first alternative, then it is useless as you will see on a later picture, so lets move on.

The next picture is just an example picture of how the victory screen would look like when everything is at their place (the programmers want everything on a sprite sheet, separating the board from the buttons). So do not pay to much attention to the score and red box.
magic writer victory screen example

Don’t know if you noticed but I also snuck in a custom font on the buttons that I wanted to try out to have instead of the one we are currently using (“Wave Cleared” is in the old font for comparison). The new font was liked but due to time restraints I was told to stick to the current font and only implement the new one if I had the time. As for the red box with “picture goes here” text, we decided that we would have a photograph of the magician relaxing on the beach, but it was not decided who would draw that picture by the time this one was done. So it was decided that I would be the one to draw it so that the style would match the board. That is part of this weeks assignment, but heck, I can show you what it looks like at the moment. It is not completely done but not far from it.
victory_picture

Ok, back on track, this is how the victory screen will look like. The only thing missing is the picture, which will be added once it is done.magic writer victory screen

The last thing that I had to do for this week was the defeat screen. To save myself some time I reused everything except for one button (only needed one). But to make the defeat screen different from the victory screen i turned it 180 degrees and drew that in perspective so that you can see below it to make it a bit more three dimensional.
defeat screen

I centered the “Menu” button now that it was alone and drew a new “Enter” button to have on the total score paper for when the player types in their name and wants to upload it. And just as the “Victory Screen” above, this one will also have a picture on it, but unlike the other picture, on this one the magician will be standing on his/her knees and elbows in a defeated manner in front of a broken sun chair.
loosing pictures, really rough

Lovely, isn’t it. Can’t say more than that I haven’t really started on it yet except that this is how it looked when I presented it along with other alternative pictures.

And as a bonus treat I will upload how the victory picture looked like when it was at the same stage.
Victory picture, really rough

That it for this blog series. Thanks for following me and my team on our game design project “Magic Writer”.

Hope to see you for our next project as well, cya.

Shading

Ok, like I said in my last post, I have been working on some old assignments and I figured that I might as well show you more exactly what I have been working on. So, on with the show!

Aelna_Shade.Anders_Schultheiss

So for this assignment I had to shade a character that I had drawn for a previous assignment. And well, this is how turned out. In retro spec I can see a few flaws in the shading and in the character. For example, the shade on her head is not as clear compared to the rest of the body, it could need a bigger contrast between the light up areas and the shaded areas, but ohh well. Another thing that I considered doing was to add some shades to each scale on the lower half of her body. This felt a bit tedious and I wanted to get this one done as fast as possible so I skipped doing that. So hopefully this one passes and I can move on the next assignment, if not, I’ll fix those things for another turn in.

Another thing that bothers me in retro spec from when I drew the character is that the horn on her right side is not identical to the one on her left side, and that her left arm is way to long. Luckily I don’t need to fix those as they are not part of the shading assignment.

Magic Writer – Week 5

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This week has been very hectic for me with loads of school work. You can say that last week was wake up call when a friend of mine mentioned that we only have few weeks left of this course, this made me realize that I don’t have much time left for some old lingering works that needs to be done as soon as possible. Due to my sudden change in priorities I have sadly not put that much time on our project that I probably should have. Ohh well, nothing a few all nighters can not fix.

So, due to me not putting so time on the project, I have not gotten that much done lately. For this week I was suppose to had drawn high score, victory, defeat screen, and look for the last sounds that we are missing. While I did started on several of these, the only I managed to finish was the high score screen that will be shown on the main menu. Picture of it below.

main_menu_score_screen

Our lead artist said it looked good but due to the lines between each plank it looks like only one thing should be placed in each of them and not a list, and that it could easily be fix if I drew a paper or something that covers most of the planks making it look more like a billboard. This was something I did not see as a problem because I did not think people would see it that way, but our mentor agreed with our lead art, that just goes to show how little I know when it comes to drawing and how people perceive it and that I have lots to learn.

I did get started on the victory screen, but not much has been done on it. It is still only in the rough sketch phase which is literally the high score screen that has been stretched out. There is much work on this that needs to be done.

While I was working with the project and the left overs, I had more than 5500 files in one playlist. I have not listened to all on them yet, most of them I do not even need to. If I had gone through all of them it would have been 33 hours of listening to various sound FX. Even if I would only listen for one second on each of them, it would still be 1 hour and 30 minutes, 1 hour and 30 minutes of constant clicking. So I figured that I could do this while working on other things. Out of the once I did listen to, only a few could be considered to be suitable for our game. Most of them were sounds taken in a town or a city, nothing that is suitable on a beach.

So my assignments for this week are the same as those I had last week. Except for the score board that I only need to make a few small adjustments on.

Time to go back to the drawing board. Wish me luck!

Magic Writer – Week 4, Art and Animation

Ok, so for this week I had to do a new sign for our scoreboard that will be at the top corner of the screen and a little animation, don’t judge me to hard on those, first time doing animation at all.

So lets begin with the scoreboard.

To begin with was our designer very skeptical with having signs for the health bar and scoreboard. He thought that they would be sticking up out of the water which in his mind would be in the way for the monsters, I could agree on that, but that wasn’t what I had in mind, I explained to him that they would be hanging or sticking out at the top of the screen and not sticking out of the water. This was much better than he first had thought but was still a bit skeptical, but he agreed to trying it out and see how things turned out.
These were the two initial sketches that drew for him.

sign

He liked them and decided that we should go with the one to the right.
I decided to go with the same style I had used the week before for our main menu buttons and for our power ups. That is, a simple and cartoony style. Figured it would be best if it was in the same style.
So I started working on it and it turned out like this.sign - step2

We were both pleased with how it turned out and left it at that. But now, a week later, I was asked by our programmers if I could make the knots on the rope a bit smaller and if I could make the whole picture a bit smaller as well. The way it were when they asked me, the sign was to far down from the upper edge, so it was a little in the way of the gameplay, they had tested with placing it higher up, but that didn’t look so good because the only part of the ropes that visible was the knots.
Ohh yeah almost forgot, they also wanted me to change the perspective of the plank so that it would fit better in with the perspective of the character and the monsters.

sign - step3

I kept the length of the rope so that we could adjust the height of the sign.
So the only change that is not visible is that I made the whole thing a little smaller, all of these pictures were made from the finished scaled down picture, so you will just have to take me for my word. They were about 310 pixels in width before and are now 250.

Animations!
Ok, so the animations of the power ups was an error on my part. They only mentioned it as an suggestion to me, but I misunderstood and thought it was something that I should do. So, said and done. I animated the power ups! And here they are! Warning! Horrible animations below!

piercing
Piercing
Ok, for this animation I really didn’t want that many frames, it just didn’t feel right having a detailed animation of the monster as it is being pierced by a rock. It wouldn’t fit in with the happy feel that we want with our game.

bounce
Bounce
So for this one I wanted each monster to have their own reaction for when they were hit by the rock and for when the monster before them got hit. This is easiest to see on the third monsters face. I see now that I missed giving the second monster its own reaction for when it got hit, it has the exact same reaction as the first one.

Freeze
And Freeze
Here I wanted the monster to be slowly encased in ice. Don’t know what more to say. :S

Animation is really not my forte, but one has to start somewhere.

That’s it for this week, have a good one!