Monday, 29 July 2019

Character animations

Hi there, Out of Line followers!
So much stuff to talk about!...and ...PRESS START!

Character Animation
If you are a fan (which we know you are... yes, YOU), you've noticed the way San moves has changed a lot since production started. He now moves STYLISHLY :)

San running in Unity engine

The reason for this is that we decided to completely revamp the way we animate our characters.
Our previous prototypes were made with frame-by-frame animations. This looked cool enough but presented a lot of challenges and limitations. It took a long time to animate, changing something was very painful as it meant redoing entire animations, we were limited to what type of interactions we could do, yada, yada, yada, the list is LONG!

So we decided to change to a 2D skeleton type of animation. We know a lot of games have been doing this now for some time, but it only became obvious this way was the way to go after we did it. This is a typical thing in videogame development, try things, they don't work as intended, try new things and so on. Keep doing this until you get it right.

The new animation system has a lot of advantages
- Easier to animate, create new animations, change them, etc.
- Animation is always dynamic and fluid since it is all skeleton based
- We can have IK for San's legs. This allows him to stand correctly in tilted terrain, respond to platform movements and even stand on his own spear!

Doesn't have
- A cool looking old school animation style
- More control over stretch and squash

Frame by frame
Skeleton based

Status of development
Overall work is going nicely, lot's of new things to talk about in the upcoming weeks and months.
The PlayStation 4 build is looking steady and stable and the team keeps working hard.
Expect some details on a new cool mechanic on our next blog post!

That's it!
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See you later, alligator!