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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsLovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - Devlog #11: Timing is Everything
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Author Topic: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - Devlog #11: Timing is Everything  (Read 30779 times)
Ashkin
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« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 07:56:18 PM »

Yeah that was something we were thinking, but there was always the problem of losing the character outside.
Why not just have an oxygen tube tethering you to the spaceship? I think it would work well to give you a set radius in which to work.
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tuckertuck
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« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 07:43:10 AM »

Why not just have an oxygen tube tethering you to the spaceship? I think it would work well to give you a set radius in which to work.

Okay that's actually a really great and elegant solution.
But still, the whole action outside the ship is introducing a game mechanic that I don't know if we can add right now.

@DrunkDevs
Thanks, we showed it to a couple dev friends a few months ago and they said the same thing - we scooped the game out of their brains

@crazyheckman
Thanks. It's kind of crazy how many people shared it on twitter. We really owe the thanks to Nathan and Kris from Capy, and Craig from Superbrothers and a bunch of other Toronto devs for putting out the word for us. They gave us some Toronto love.

@Schrompf well I hope when you do actually get to play it, you're not disappointed. Right now that is what we are the most worried about because of the immediate reaction everyone has given us. But it really is a fun game to play, I swear. I've played it a million times already and always something new comes up for me.
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Joshua
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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 11:08:13 AM »

Looks like you've gotten a mention on IndieGames.com and Joystiq. Congrats!
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johnki
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2012, 11:37:26 AM »

Just saw the trailer on RockPaperShotgun. Looks incredible.
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Udderdude
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2012, 12:13:36 PM »

some sort of EVA droid that you could pilot around from within the ship.

This is probably a better idea to be honest.
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johnki
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2012, 12:19:46 PM »

some sort of EVA droid that you could pilot around from within the ship.

This is probably a better idea to be honest.
To me, it just doesn't sound like a good idea in general. It just doesn't seem like it'd fit quite the way people imagine. From what I've seen of the game from its trailer, it looks like everything occurs very naturally, and adding that seems like it'd make things occur...less naturally.
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caffeine
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 02:09:47 PM »

This game is looking absolutely amazing. I look forward to playing it.
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seancruz
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 02:47:51 PM »

This looks sweet!

I think the pink of the ship does look cool, but after a while it might get boring. I was thinking it would be a cool idea if enemy kills could drop specific items that change the color and look of your ship. For example, one item could make your spherical ship have tiny structures all around it, or maybe spikey structures around it. Looking at your trailer, I see that there are addons to the ship such as shields and other weapons that rotate. Maybe the structural details or customizations would be behind them so they do not block the weapons and other addons you use.

Overall, I love the art design, looking forward to playing this!
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« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2012, 08:15:55 AM »

Saw you guys at GamerCamp yesterday!

Great work guys.. The game was really super fun :]
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« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2012, 10:41:09 PM »

So sad that I didn't get to try this at gamercamp. I really love the concept! Can't wait to play it.
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Raskous
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« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2012, 12:35:52 AM »

Looks fun, it makes me think of the Board game "Space alert" which is a really cool co-op game in a spaceship, you should check it out if you don't know it yet.



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matthammill
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« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2012, 03:41:30 PM »

DevLog #4: Two and a Half D's

A couple weeks ago I gave a talk at Toronto SkillSwap on our process for making and animating the 2.5-D characters in Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, and I thought I'd post some of the things I discussed. I've always been interested in the mushy space between 2-D and 3-D (when I worked in animation I got to make this secretly-3-D watercolour

, and had a hand in the early dev of the 2.5-D kids show

) and for me, finally being able to throw code into the animation mix has been one of the most interesting parts of game dev. (And just a note--"2.5-D" can be used to mean all sorts of things, but here I'm taking it to mean using a 3-D pipeline to create a mainly 2-D game.)

We're using Unity to build Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, so everything is made of polygons--though most objects are just transparent textures mapped onto simple planes that face the camera. There are no lights, we just crank the ambient light all the way up. We're handling assets in a few different ways, evolving our process as we get more comfortable with the engine.




THE PLAYER CHARACTERS

The main characters are a bit of a time capsule from our early prototype, before we learned animation scripting in Unity. The characters are first animated in 2-D using After Effects, and then the animation frames get rendered to a sprite atlas texture (a big grid of all the animation frames). In Unity, each character is made of a single plane, to which we assign the sprite atlas texture. The plane only displays a zoomed-in piece of the texture though, and we can show different frames of animation by changing which zoomed-in bit of the sprite atlas texture is displayed.



   

The one place where the player characters get some scripted animation is with their squash and stretch. By squashing the whole plane a little when a character hits the ground, landing from a jump feels more physical and reactive, and doesn't interfere with which animation frames are playing--you hit the ground running and squash without breaking stride. Super simple, but it adds a lot to the feel. There are a few other places where we do similar things.


THE "SPUTNIK" ENEMY

This simple bad guy is assembled from planes. This was the second character we built, and all the keyframe animations were made in Unity, with separate animation files for each of the moving parts (NOTE: This was very silly; there's a reason skeleton armatures exist). One of the tricks I borrowed from Tomb Raider 1's trees is the criss-crossed planes for the legs--they can rotate around the body in 3-D, while still showing form from any angle. And when we script the playback of the enemy's animations to react to its movement, even this simple guy starts to feel more lively.

   


THE JELLYBOMBER

With this enemy we built and animated a straight-up skeleton rig in Maya, while still limiting the geometry to front-facing planes. After animating movement cycles for the four cardinal directions, the cycles can be dynamically blended and speed-changed in code to react to the creature's positional movement. This is the real power of using 3-D rigs for 2-D characters--all the procedural animation control. We also use this to trigger cracks appearing in the glass as he takes damage (the crack planes are otherwise scaled down and hidden behind the body), and we have the jelly's eyes blink and dynamically track the player's position.

   


THE GREEN MONSTER

For this mini-boss we utilized Unity's ability to separate clips into animation layers. The head and the body are part of the same rig, but their animations play back on separate layers. This gives us the ability to blend together the various movement animations according to acceleration and direction, while at the same time the head's idle, charge and shooting animations are triggered according to the enemy's logic independent of how it is moving.

   


THE POLISH

Since we're aiming for a vectory neon look we're naturally going to be suckers for bloom, and one of the benefits of a fixed 2-D view is that we can just bake glows and bloom right into our textures. Also, because our assets are quite light, we can afford to be be pretty liberal with particle effects. And to help stitch all the elements together, we found that placing a few slowly-shifting large polygons in front of the camera, each with a texture of just some faint blurry colours set to additive blending ("flare"-type) really helps sell a glowy space environment with subtly shifting light.

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Ashkin
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« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2012, 03:51:26 PM »

This post is gorgeous. You are amazing. Everything is wonderful.
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TobiasW
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« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2012, 04:18:23 PM »

That looks most delightful, and the trailer is great! There are not nearly enough cooperative indie games as there should be. I'll be watching this one Smiley
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clockwrk_routine
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« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2012, 07:40:47 AM »

aw man thanks for sharing that post is full of awesome
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Bandreus
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« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2012, 09:32:40 AM »

this game looks...

FUCKIN' AWESOOOOOME
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Atrus
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« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2012, 02:50:29 PM »

Hell yeah! Game of the Year, 2013!  Hand Any Key Evil Hand Joystick
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Kavika
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« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2012, 03:07:32 PM »

Fantastic write-up! I love love love seeing behind the scenes in 2.5D games like this.
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tuckertuck
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2012, 09:57:44 AM »

Just doing a forum roundup because we are terrible at responding.  Durr...?

@Joshua, @johnki: Thanks, we couldn't believe how many sites covered us.

@udderdude, @johnki: I don't think we're doing any EVA stuff anymore.

@green: thanks, hope it doesn't disappoint

@seancruz: Things in the ship are colour-coded so we have limited option for colours. Pink is the new black!

@aftslash: I hope you got to play it!

@EladDifficult: Maybe next time. We might be having a play test session somewhere in Toronto in the next month.

@Raskous: YES! We've been told this so much I finally got to play it a bunch of times now. That game is so awesome... So frantic, it has such a great play flow.  Vlaada Chvátil makes great games, I also really liked Galaxy Trucker.

@Ashkin: Thanks, thanks and thanks

@TobiasW: I know, we have a great culture in Toronto where we have a lot of opportunity to play coop indie games so it just seemed natural

@minnow: thanks

@Bandreus: Fucking Thanks!

@Atrus: I hope so, thanks

@Kavika: Thanks, this was probably our best post as far as interesting content is concerned, so it's only downhill from now on -_-
which kind of leads me to this question:
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME THAT MAYBE WE COULD WRITE ANOTHER DEVLOG ON?
Press, Trailers, Company stuff??
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 10:03:35 AM by tuckertuck » Logged

i.i
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« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2012, 06:12:12 PM »

Why not all three?
This game is lovely and the developers are lovely. I'm interested in whatever you have to offer in your (charmingly) educational logs.
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