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:iconmeleesonic32x:
MeleeSonic32X Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
@00:30Wow thats really cool. I like the little touch with the shadow.
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:icond-ark-the-random:
D-Ark-the-Random Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
@00:29Will be watching to make sure
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Sorry it took so long :iconteheplz:

I was planning on making 2 videos, one with the animated character (as I had been using a placeholder up until that point) and one with the current coding progress (this footage). Turns out Fraps can really only record the "game at work" and wouldn't active with the editor, so I had to replace the placeholder with the character. Never expected it would go pretty much without problems though.

Anyway, the current progress! I have implemented almost every basic move, codewise. Of course, lots of tweaking will need to be done and there are a few nasty bugs that screw around with the controls (character not rotating properly during running and turning, those things).

As for the animation; well, look and judge for yourself. It should be obvious it still needs a whole lot of work =P Running cycle feels stiff, walk cycle is too girly (went overboard with rotating various body parts), jump cycle is victim of an oversight, and so on. I have to redo the whole rig anyway, since the character's feet are not properly aligned in all the cycles. That, and there are a few major errors with the current rig itself (which can fortunately only be seen during close-up, but will hinder eventually during the game).

All in all, a crapload of work is still left but at least I have got a nice start going =P

Oh, I wanted to upload the trailer to deviantart as well. Unfortunately, it seems that the size causes constant timeouts (my uploadspeed sucks), so if anyone still wants to see the first trailer, check my first journal.
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:iconmeleesonic32x:
MeleeSonic32X Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
@00:30Wow thats really cool. I like the little touch with the shadow.
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:iconfolji:
Folji Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
One thing you could implement are some animations to cover the sharper 90 and 180 degree turns (I'm not familiar with the engine you're working with, but I can't imagine it being difficult to implement). That was probably the thing I noticed the most about the animation cycle; the way the character turns while strictly moving in one direction, like the ground is covered in ice.
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011
Yeah, the animations are still something that will get better care in the future and I do want to implement animations for pretty much anything.

The Unreal Development Kit works in a weird way regarding animations (at least, that's the way I feel about it). You first need the model (obviously), then you need to make a seperate file containing all the animations and lastly you need to make an animation tree to blend all the animations in the proper way. The upside is that it doesn't involve overly complicated settings (its simply a matter of dragging and attaching nodes with each other; kinda like writing psuedo code). The downside is that it is written with Unreal (and therefore FPS games) in mind.

This means that, for instance, turning animations are not supported per default and you need to go all custom with it. Same goes with a slowing down animation (slowing down is already a tricky issue in unreal) and any other animation that is not normally seen in FPS games. This is the main reason why I have placed that animation in yet (or made it yet for that matter), as I wanted to focus on the code side of things first, so that I had something to work with by the time custom animations came into play.
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:iconfolji:
Folji Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, yeah, I can see the issue at hand with that.
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011
Well, I have to add that there are still a few issues left before I can actually implement animations, even with the code being as it is right now. The problem is that during turning, the character doesn't register the wall as an immediate stop (causing it to take time to slow down codewise, even though the character is standing still). It also causes the character to go into "moonwalk", where the entire turning sequence is ignored. The moonwalk issue also tends to happen during turning after the game has initialized motion. Long story short; there are still quite some issues before I can get the animations working.
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:iconfolji:
Folji Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's usually an effort worth the outcome, though.
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:iconhyakkidour4n:
HyaKkiDouR4n Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Truly impressive, especially if you did it all by yourself.
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2011
Thanks! Sorry for the late reply; I was busy having a major artblock :iconteheplz:

Anyways, so far the project has indeed been done by myself (apart from the music in the first promo trailer; I would kill the entire game if I did the music). I hope to get some help though. While I do like being a "one man team" (it being one of my personal development goals), most of the people and instances that potentially throw money at my projects do not. It is hard to defend a project done entirely by yourself, especially when it comes to games; lots of skeptic people. Soooo, I hope to get help eventually but being poor has not helped much :la:
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:iconhyakkidour4n:
HyaKkiDouR4n Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem for the delayed answer. It is standard on the Internet. ;)

Actually I think I could learn a lot from you on managing and financing a solo game project... I'd be interested on any tips you have.

If you don't have the time or will to share, it's okay. Good luck either way. :)
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
With me it depends. Then I reply in time, then I reply weeks after the post was made :iconteheplz:

Anyway, I am afraid you wouldn't be able to learn much from me. Managing is not really that much of a problem, as long as you have a good background and good connections. For me, I have a wide background in visual art, some programming experience and lots of design experience. That helped in being able to do a solo project (though, admittedly, I would have liked it if my programming skills were better than what I can do currently). For me this situation also has a few advantages, as I tend to get bored of things I do for extended periods of time and then loose all motivation. Having various areas to address helps igniting the motivation. Music would be the only thing I definitely cannot do, but a good friend of mine charges a friend fee for me and is also highly skilled. A lucky break :)

My biggest enemies are time and money. Especially the latter. Currently I am doing parttime work for the local mail agency (though, that company is a sinking ship, so I would be surprised if I can keep this up for much longer) and trying to get grants to continue the game. Fortunately, there are a few grant options in the Netherlands (though, due to budget cuts, these grants won't exist for much longer), but unfortunately a lot of them require you to invest money of your own as well (which I don't have). So, I am simply trying to get as far as I can, while hopefully reeling in some assignments here and there that can keep me going for another month or so. The goal being a demo; if I can somehow market the game using the status from winning an indie contest, I would be able to appraoch publishers as well. That, and before you even can approach publishers, you would need a proof of concept anyway. One tip I can give; always check what your country has in grants for games. Europe and its countries are quite serious in getting a position in the games industry, so there should be quite a few instances that throw grants at people. For instance, Europe itself has the Media 2007 thing (though it requires you to toss in 50% of what you think you need), where you can make a interactive work that is "artistic". Europe has quite a lot of pride regarding their former art status; this pride is extending to games as well. Just be sure to have an artistic edge. Nothing like the mainstream games, but more like games such as Braid and the like.

That leaves time and well, as long as you don't have a steady cashflow, that will always remain a problem. The only thing you can do is work hard during the days you can work (during my peaktimes I generally work approximately 14 hours a day) and hope that you won't meet with the dreaded artblock/mini-burnout. The only advice I can give is not to get a fulltime job. Very few are mentally capable of working long days on your game when you have a fulltime workweek to worry about. The few who are, are very likely to walk right into a total burnout. Always parttime; earn at least enough to make it through the month. This way you have more time to spend and are less likely to break down. It also helps for keeping a workflow; working two days a week on the game is not quite enough to get into the rhythm of things (at least, not for me).
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:iconhyakkidour4n:
HyaKkiDouR4n Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For "not much", this is already a good start. Thanks for sharing your experience, I'll try to make the best use out of it that I can.
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:icond-ark-the-random:
D-Ark-the-Random Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
@00:29I love what your going for.In a way,you could actually throw some type of an RPG battle sequence in there.Like jump on the monster and take down it's health before the fight or just completely obliterate it depending on your characters strength.But yes,what you have now is excellent.I see some issues,but I know that you'll just come around and fix them.Keep up the great work.Also,how'd you manage to use the UDK as a side-scroller?Was it programmed itself?
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011
@00:29Well, I have to admit that the focus is more on puzzle solving than actual battle in this game. Not to say that I won't be spending time on fighting mechanics (on the contrary; as the skills used for puzzle solving are also used for battling), but I won't go as indepth as to give the player a crapload of option to dispatch the enemies ;) Level design will be a bigger focus (I have always had a thing for Zelda games).

UDK is normally a FPS, so all default code is made to do just that; being an FPS. You can override pretty much anything in UDK however, which makes it possible to other games as well (in fact, as long as you know what to override, the only limit is performance). For a sidescrolling game, the most basic things you need to override is the player camera (which actually isn't all that much work if you understand the code structure a little) and the playercontroller (the input from the player) so that a character can only move in 2 dimensions. The UDK forum is full of this stuff by the way, if you are interested in doing a sidescroller yourself; lots of people already went ahead of me as 2.5D games seems to be more popular than I thought. What I found rather surprising is that UDK works in weird ways; things you expect to be difficult can be implemented in the span of a day (the camera) while things you think should be easy suddenly eat your entire weekend (decelerating a character).

By the way, what issues did you see? I am certain I would be solving some of them, but if I missed something, it is good to know :D
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:icond-ark-the-random:
D-Ark-the-Random Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011
@00:29That entire passage was like reading heaven.
Have to thank you for that.
The Issues that I saw were mainly the sliding
on the floor and the moving up thing.Also,if
you have anymore tips,could you share them with
me?I'm saving it to documents for future reference.
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011
@00:29The sliding is there to stay =P I will tweak it to be less extreme however, as the current implementation is purely to check whether there actually was deceleration (as I mentioned before, UDK became pretty troublesome when decelerating a character). Of course, a fitting animation will also be added eventually. Right now the blending between walk/run animation is based on speed, meaning that if the character drops beneath a certain number, it will blend to the walk cycle. Since turning and decelerating is not exactly normal for UDK, there are no default blending options for that, so I have to find something for that.

The moving up is indeed a bit unclear at the moment, which is mostly due to lack of interface and being unable to show how you control the character in a movie. The idea is actually pretty simple; you can "switch depths" during the game, but during switching to another depth the player cannot control the character. This prevents too much different control schemes in one game. This is all done through the up-button, which will function as an "action button" in this game. All actions, such as talking, switching depth, reading signs, opening doors will be done using the up-button. The depth switching itself is pretty important; it adds to the 2.5D game by adding layers of interactivity to it. After all, something that happens on one line can affect another. Eventually, the interface will make clear if and what actions the player can do and when actions are activated.

As for tips, well, I am planning to write gamedesign newsarticles in the (near) future; those might be interesting. I found another developer who is interested in teaming up with me for articles, so I hope it will become a useful source of information. Though, if there is anything specific you want to know, fire away. I don't know I can answer it, but I will try =P
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:icond-ark-the-random:
D-Ark-the-Random Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
@00:29Will be watching to make sure
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:iconnomisluck:
Nomisluck Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011  Hobbyist
@00:29looks great
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011
thanks :D
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:icon4g0ny:
4G0NY Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
@00:29Try Hypercam for the editor!

I really like this, shows the progress.. It's awesome! Better than some game devs i know who have been in the game for years!

There's one thing: the character seems to skid a little too long when you stop walking, but that's probably just WIP
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
@00:29Yeah, it was implemented to have the character "slip" when turning during running. The good thing about the code is that I am freely able to alter how long the slip is supposed to take, though the slowdown itself is kinda linear at the moment. The character still needs an unique animation during the time of slipping, so I was planning to tweak that when the animation was done too.
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:icon4g0ny:
4G0NY Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
@00:29You should definitely favor gameplay over aesthetics there, people will get annoyed when slipping over the edge ;P
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
@00:29The slipping was implemented as part of the gameplay however, not so much aesthetics ;) I implemented it as a risk to running. Of course, right now it is a bit too over the top (since I needed it that way for testing sake; UDK is very annoying when it comes to decelerating a character) so the risk is too high. That will definitely change along the way, as soon as I manage to squash the bugs.

The currently known bugs;
-When "slipturning" (as I have called it) against a wall, the game still wants to decelerate first and turn later.
-At some points, the game seems to be fighting with variables, causing the character to not rotate properly (moonwalk!)
-When falling off a ledge, sometimes the character is literally launched off the ledge.

As you can see, it is far from perfect ;)
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:icon4g0ny:
4G0NY Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heheh, you'll deal with them..
I can model you a mega fly swatter to help squash.. :evillaugh:
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:iconinfiniteinsanityco:
InfiniteInsanityCo Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011
@00:29Liking it a lot great work dude! :D

- InfiniteInsanity
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
@00:29Thanks :D
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:iconthe-knick:
The-Knick Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
EPIC.

This is looking nice ;P
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:iconpiratesadventure:
PiratesAdventure Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
Thanks!

I am going to try and implement a basic interface next (though, knowing me, the basic interface will pretty quickly change into a basic interface with near-final graphics). Have a good idea of how to go about it; want to use a ring menu system like the one used in secret of mana. It would be ideal for this game and it would limit the amount of interface to a bare minimum.
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:iconthe-knick:
The-Knick Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
haha, great! :)
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