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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsPachacuti - gratuitous 2D animation
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Pehesse
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2016, 12:00:00 pm »

Really digging the concept here, especially as a fan of both the Castlevania series and the culture and aesthetics of South American native peoples.  The animations are looking great and the modular level design sounds incredible, definitely keeping my eye out for updates as they come!

Thanks a lot! Updates will be here, or on twitter, or... wherever I post, basically :-) Also, the project is funded through Patreon, so if you want to show support for it, that's also a possibility, and a great help! patreon.com/pehesse

Those animations are top notch!

Did you try to adjust the character angle to the slope angle? might result in less clipping when climbing/walking on slopes.



Thanks as well!

I did try adjusting the angle to some degree but I don't like how it looks, so I won't be using it. Though to be honest, I don't mind that amount of clipping - using that kind of animation, it's to be expected!
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valrus
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2016, 12:00:45 pm »

Great animations!  And the title is cleverly appropriate when translated from Quechua; was that intentional?  (If it wasn't, it means roughly "to change the earth".)
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Pehesse
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2016, 12:09:50 pm »

Great animations!  And the title is cleverly appropriate when translated from Quechua; was that intentional?  (If it wasn't, it means roughly "to change the earth".)

Thanks! And I'm glad you're confirming it, as that's completely intentional, but I still wanted to make sure I didn't get it wrong :-D
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Pixelologist
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2016, 08:13:55 pm »

You really make me want to stop doing pixels for games and get better at drawing so I can animate a game like this. Just wanted to say that.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2016, 12:07:53 am »

You really make me want to stop doing pixels for games and get better at drawing so I can animate a game like this. Just wanted to say that.

Wow, thanks! But really, pixel art is a super hard and awesome aesthetic in its own right! If that's your chosen technique, there's really no reason to turn your back on it - I sometimes wish I could make any kind of pixel art myself :-D It's all about time spent and priorities!

(Though if you're serious about your comment and wanting to try, my recommendations would be to check out the Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams, and basically go to live drawing classes/sessions when you can! The aim is to get a general sense of anatomy, proportion (for figure drawing) and rhythm (for animation), and from there basically experiment/look at some of your fav animator works to see their chosen stylistic translation. For example, in my case that would be Bruce Timm for the reduced line count and curvatures on legs/arms (and overall dynamic poses), and Bill Plympton for the overall freedom and energy of his lines, and what happens outside of his lines! It's good sometimes to be reminded you don't *have* to color only within the outline :-D)
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Pehesse
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2016, 08:54:50 am »

New this week: stuff!




First is some simple camera panning upwards and downwards, nothing too special about it. It simply overrides the normal camera control and lerps it to a different coordinate.




Next is some sliding on slippery surfaces: on ground, and on slopes. You can control your direction/speed on level surfaces, and even avoiding sliding completely by walking, but on slopes you'll be forced downwards (if the slope is slippery: not all slopes are). It's possible to climb back up a moderately angled slippery surface by timing jumps.




The ground slide: an alternative to the roll when going at high speed, the slide allows to slip in under lower ceilings. As most traversal moves do, it has different recovery animations depending on whether you keep moving or stop at the end, though like all transition animations, everything is cancellable. The aim for the longer poses are to offer additional characterization and visual treats/rewards for players who want to take their time, but they don't affect playability in any way. If you just want to keep moving, you can!



Here's the glide: you can use it at any point during a jump/fall, but it'll reset your jump combo to the basic stage. It's mainly used to extend a jump horizontally and offer better control for landing, but the jump combo is a better option for vertical height gain and overall speed.
I tried having the glide set to the jump button to keep the controls simple, but found it didn't mix well with the jump combo and overall variable jump height (increases when Jump is pressed). I moved it to another button for now, though I still aim to find a control scheme for one handed/disabled players, so I'm thinking about how to mesh the Glide better with the current jump controls.




The Acrobat form isn't geared towards combat, but she still has a few defensive moves at her disposal. The kick will be mostly used to push back enemies and send projectiles away, and the solar blade is slower but can break through defenses/blocks. If you want to fight, though, it's probably a safer bet to use the Warrior form, though I'll probably need another month to make it something playable :-D

--

I'm also constantly tweaking the movement values to better adjust the feel of movement, and fix issues as they pop up. Some of the latest tweaks:

-added the possibility to keep "Jump" pressed while grabbing a ledge to climb faster, and the possibility to release "Jump" and press it again during the animation to speed it up even more. That way, the player has different levels of control over their climbing speed, and I think it does present a good solution to the "grab every edge in sight" flow problem I had earlier, now that the speed can be much faster! I believe/hope this will work with the speedrun high-level play intention, with three overall speed levels: medium/accessible, fast/requires slight additional control, fastest/requires timing (but can be reckless and if mistimed, can reduce your overall momentum). I'm looking forward to see if it plays as I think it should!

-I've adjusted the angle of the collision box to be angled when on slopes, as it could "rebound" otherwise. It still does it in a few edge cases I haven't properly identified, I'm still looking into it.

-I've expanded the control scheme for wall jumping: previously it required pressing the jump+direction of the wall, or jump+no direction at all, and had very strict timing for pressing away from the wall+jump. It now works a lot better with away+jump, allowing for all three configurations to work intercheangably. I still need to tweak the air time when jumping away from the wall, as when walls are too close together it's not possible to chain wall jumps fluidily, but that's something I'm confident I'll manage to fix.

-Something I had to give up on for now is extra detail animation for turning around when running/sprinting. Before, the character had a deceleration value that allowed for a "slippery" turnaround, but now that the control has been tightened, the window to show this animation has disappeared, and I can't find a good way to put it in without breaking the movement script altogether. I'm not sure it's even really needed anymore, so I'm leaving that off the table for now, may return to it later when polishing/adding detail if I can afford it.

Overall, the moveset is expanding and slowly getting where I hoped it would. Most moves left are utilitarian: damage recoils, transitions to and from the other form, etc. As far as core movements, we're reaching the end, and I'll see if I can spare the RAM to afford additional transition animations between some states. I'll be sketching up the rest of the Acrobat for now, and move to the Warrior ASAP to get a better feel for the whole control, before adding moving environmental hazards, and start working on environmental interaction: destructible walls, floors and all that fun stuff!

« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 09:00:31 am by Pehesse » Logged

dspencer
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2016, 09:39:18 am »

This looks fantastic!
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io3 creations
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2016, 10:12:48 am »

Haha, yeah, read lots of horror stories about how to handle slopes when starting from scratch, I'm glad Construct 2 handles that part of things on its own
Some aspects also depend on your game.  For example, physics collision "box" is one aspect but flat surface walking, running, and even standing animations may have issues such as: The Curse of the Hovering Foot Wink

So far it looks you're dealing with them well. Smiley
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jordanchin
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« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2016, 10:26:43 am »

Excellent, fluid animations!
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Pehesse
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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2016, 11:45:16 am »

This looks fantastic!

Many thanks :-D :-D Trying my best to one-up Honey!

Haha, yeah, read lots of horror stories about how to handle slopes when starting from scratch, I'm glad Construct 2 handles that part of things on its own
Some aspects also depend on your game.  For example, physics collision "box" is one aspect but flat surface walking, running, and even standing animations may have issues such as: The Curse of the Hovering Foot Wink

So far it looks you're dealing with them well. Smiley

Hehe, true, true - and to be fair, there most likely will be some of that, but it's par for the course with that kind of animation :-D I'm trying to find tricks to minimize the affliction, and the idea is to get all movement as locked in as early as possible to be free to design levels afterwards without worrying about new edge cases!

Excellent, fluid animations!

Much appreciated, and replied to your mail :-D Love your work as well!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 11:53:07 am by Pehesse » Logged

andrewgrewell
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« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2016, 12:15:39 pm »

Looks amazing so far!

The only animation that doesn't feel right to me is the slide, the transition into the slide seems a little too abrupt.
 it seems like the character could use a little 'wabble' (like she is trying to find her balance) as the animation settles into the sturdy slide pose.

Again, looks amazing, can't wait to see the development progress!
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Pehesse
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« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2016, 12:26:11 pm »

Looks amazing so far!

The only animation that doesn't feel right to me is the slide, the transition into the slide seems a little too abrupt.
 it seems like the character could use a little 'wabble' (like she is trying to find her balance) as the animation settles into the sturdy slide pose.

Again, looks amazing, can't wait to see the development progress!

That's absolutely true and fair enough, I'll make a note of it right now! I'll try and see if I can make something wobbly enough :-D Thanks!
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Fenrir
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2016, 03:44:04 am »

Just saw this gif on Twitter:


And it made me think about your project, that's definitely the kind of "flow" you should try to reach.
Here's the game link:
http://www.intotheriftgame.com/
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Pehesse
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« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2016, 03:49:53 am »

Just saw this gif on Twitter:


And it made me think about your project, that's definitely the kind of "flow" you should try to reach.
Here's the game link:
http://www.intotheriftgame.com/

Yeah, it looks superb - fast and fluid! I'm already following the project on twitter and taking cues from its motions, but many thanks for pointing it out all the same, as it's clearly a big reference to keep track of :-D

Since actions speak louder than words, I just built a test level in 30mn to record and showcase the current state of the prototype:





At the start it's the "slow" way to play with segmented motions, and from 0:55 it's the "flowing" way with each move linking into each other.
There are many obvious issues to fix just from this video alone, but I hope this also gives a good idea of what I'm aiming for!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 05:35:48 am by Pehesse » Logged

Pehesse
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« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2016, 04:34:46 am »

It's screenshot saturday, so it's time to showcase what's new this week!

To start with, the "Wall Stick" manoeuver:



This allows you to rest on a wall without descending. From there, you can pan the camera, and transition into any of the following moves:

-wall rebound


-vertical jump


-blade attack


-kick attack (you can do this one from mid-air, too)


Most of these will leave the blade stuck in the wall for a few seconds, meaning you can't chain wall-sticks in rapid succession, especially during the vertical jump. The move isn't meant for repeated vertical climbing, but rather a vertical extension followed by a wall recoil!

Next is a new transition animation for sliding, as suggested above by andrewgrewell:


...and a quality of life feature for rapid-fall-through multiple platforms as long as "down" is held while landing, as suggested by BrossUno on Patreon


Lastly, there's damage stuff, with directional impacts (from front vs. from back)


...and defeat/respawn animations:



The respawn animation can be cancelled, like most others, so the overall timing between death and respawn is barely a few seconds of down time. The aim is to get the player right back into the action, similar to how Meat Boy does.

Overall, I'm reaching the end of the planned core moveset for the Acrobat - the animations left are either one-offs, or very situational, or extra transitional stuff I'll need to see if I can afford. I'll be fixing issues in the latest prototype for a little while, before moving into the core moveset for the Warrior!
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Pehesse
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2016, 01:05:44 am »

Hey all!

This week was mostly about bugfixing the current moves and polishing the movement feel based on player feedback.

I've reworked the wall jumping: initially it required pressing towards the wall to latch onto it, now it automatically grabs any vertical surface in the vicinity, making it possible to chain wall jumps simply by pressing jump in succession (as long as the opposite walls are close enough together). I still like the idea of the more dedicated button press towards the wall to register the grip, now dubbed "manual walljump mode" - and this plays into an idea that I wish to expand on about letting the player customize the game's systems.

I'm both for and against having a wide range of customizable options related to the game systems: on the one hand, I feel this plays against an authorial, defined vision for the game and can lead to a muddled, unbalanced and unfocused end result, on the other hand, I very much enjoy customizing my own experience in games and believe players should be free to do so if they so choose. For that purpose, I'm currently planning to have the game play according to a carefully designed and balanced pre-defined set of rules and parameters on the first time through, but place hidden collectible items in each levels that will unlock each of the game's settings, for the user to then play around at their leisure. This also ties into an issue I had with the initial design, since I had no need for collectibles at all, but still like the act of searching for them in a platforming game! I also hope this will encourage exploration to a degree in the levels, despite them being linear at their core, and give some layer of replayability in addition to the modular system. So in short: I'm basically planning an "expanded options" menu, sort of inspired by Goldeneye 64's cheats, where meeting special conditions simply by playing the game then allowed you to tweak your experience as you see fit!


But enough of theories and back to the new stuff for a minute: thanks to some player feedback, I've added a new charge-jump to allow jumping straight to the 3rd combo jump:



(and then chain into whatever's available from there).

Last but not least: dynamic music!





As with Honey, I'll be working with Morusque for the soundtrack, but also with Jordan Chin, to help differentiate the two characters and give each of them an individual audio aesthetic! We're still at the earliest stages of determining what those aesthetics are going to be exactly, but we're already researching a system that will allow for layered tracks to play depending on the player's actions (in the video, the volume of the percussion track is tied to the momentum built by the character's movement: move around, play the track, move faster, play louder). We've barely scratched the potential of this system, so I'm really excited to see what we could do with it to have the audio react to the player's input, and add to the overall feeling of momentum!
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Pehesse
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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2016, 12:46:10 am »

Finally getting started on the Warrior!










At a basic level, her moveset is much simpler than the Acrobat's, closer to a Megaman-style jump-and-shoot feel. Most of her abilities are instead tied to her fighting combos, so that'll be coming soon!

Design-wise, the intent is for the Warrior to feel more accessible to control than the Acrobat at a very simple glance. She doesn't have multi-speed levels or any traversal tricks: she can move, jump, that's it. Her speed is slightly higher's than the Acrobat's medium speed, but lower than the Acrobat's top speed.

The aim is to make both a valid choice for "regular" traversal, both for casual and speedrunning players. As far as pure top speed goes, the obvious answer would be "acrobat=faster", but I'm planning for the LD to actually put some additional degree of strategizing in there!
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Pehesse
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« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2016, 02:18:12 pm »

A small update to talk about the latest addition to the prototype: voice acting!

A small video of it in action here:
https://twitter.com/lavantdapres/status/801103078778867712

@DustyOldRoses is voicing Inti, and I'm absolutely delighted at the direction it's taking! There's a lot of work ahead, it's still very tentative and placeholder-y (this is my first attempt at this kind of voice acting!) but with enough time and iterations, I'm sure it'll get somewhere really cool :-D

As to why I decided to go with voice acting this time: in Honey, I didn't want to use voice acting for a number of reasons, both technical and aesthetic (the script was too long to be fully voiced, I don't like unrelated sound bites in VN, even assuming I could afford the amount of voice acting work the sound files would've been too numerous and I was already stretching the limit of what I could handle within C2, I also didn't want to define Honey's voice and to leave her as her own character within the game with defined "off-limits" characteristics, and finally I didn't want to voice battle clips only but not the rest of the dialog of the game to maintain a sense of coherence) - but for Pacha, since I don't aim to use dialog at all, I believe giving Inti a defined voice helps ground the character and give her a sense of physicality in her environment, along with some characterization. The game must convey everything through visual and sounds only, and I think voice will play an important part, even though it won't have use any actual words - maybe, in fact, *because* it won't?

Anyway, long story short: Inti's going to be voiced, and I hope you'll enjoy the results of it as much as I do :-D

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Pehesse
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« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2016, 05:41:07 am »

Another voice acting update, with a longer video to showcase the current state!





In addition to having more individual clips for more unique situations, I've added a series of checks to make sure the same voice clips don't play in a row in several noticeable cases, to avoid audio fatigue. There's still lots I could do with it, and it will most likely be reworked during the project's lifetime, but for now... I think it works well enough for a prototype :-D

(I've recorded the video as a single segment playthrough to showcase everything about how the prototype currently runs, including bugs/errors and other issues. I've not recorded footage of the Warrior, as she's not voiced yet and there are no new animations since last time - that'll be for Saturday!)
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Pehesse
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« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2016, 01:22:28 am »

Updates for the Warrior!

She can now receive damage, block damage, and inflict damage!

Here's her respawn animation:


Her block/air block stance:



Blocking projectiles:



Taking damage:




And finally, kicking down walls and floors:






I've made two different options for the blocking as with some of the Acrobat control options: "full block" will allow the player to block all incoming damage, no matter the direction, whereas "directional block" will only block damage from the front, as pictured in the gif above.

For the kicks, I still need to work on a lot of stuff: wall health, precise trajectory management, how to handle the initial appearance of the collapsable walls, and the memory toll of having those bouncing pieces of rubble around... but the most important part is: IT'S FUN! At least, I think it is. Hopefully it is for others!
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