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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsWholesomeMascot Parade Training School
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motorherp
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« on: October 01, 2018, 11:07:54 AM »

Mascot Parade Training School

I'm going to try and put something out for this too though I don't know how far I'll get, I don't get a lot of time to work on home projects.  The idea I have in mind is a school for training mascot parades where each level is a different training exercise that consists of guiding a train of mascots around an obstacle course.  You wont control the mascots directly but instead the helpers who must herd the mascots around dangers and keep them all together in a line, kind of like that Sheep game if anyone remembers that.






Meet Mascot Cat, our hero


« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 01:00:03 AM by motorherp » Logged
Capntastic
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 07:28:37 PM »

Bless these courageous mascots
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Superb Joe
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 11:16:33 PM »

i support these troops
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motorherp
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 01:15:35 AM »

I've decided I'm going to put this together using Unreal Engine 4, not that I think UE4 is that good for game jamming over something like Unity, but it's what I have the most recent familiarity with and also something I want to explore more.  I'll likely be doing most the work in C++ since I'm not a big fan of blueprint and I'll be sticking to a fairly simple low poly art style since I'm really no artist.

So I've made a start by doing some work on the mascot character.  I went for a cat, for no particular reason other than cats are cute.  I'll probably chuck out extra skins if I find the time so you can choose from a variety of mascots in the game.  He/She doesn't have a name yet beyond "Mascot Cat" so I'm open to suggestions.



I also decided to add "training" into the games name so it's now "Mascot Parade Training School".  It's getting a bit long but I think it sounds better.

The next job now is to get mascot cat rigged up and moving in the game.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 07:25:49 AM »

i support these troops

You! You are still dangerous... you can be my wingman any time.

Bullshit, you can be mine!


Jokes aside, cool concept, wondering where it will lead!
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motorherp
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 12:59:26 AM »

I added a skeleton to mascot cat and started to think about walk animations before quickly coming to some realisations.  Firstly, I'm as bad at animation as I am at art, and secondly, I didn't want each mascot in the line to always walk the exact same way like an army of robots but wanted slight variations.  This was a problem because I didn't want to spend a lot of time making a whole bunch of different walk animations to get variation, and I don't know enough about animation to do something clever like creating variations through blending different animations or something along those lines.

The solution I came up with was to play to my programming strengths.  Firstly I created a procedural walk animation in code which just manipulates the feet and hip bones.  The cool thing about this was that it was easy for me to add a layer of noise over the top to get random variations to come out and have lots of control over how strong the variations should be.  Next I rigged all the spine and arm bones above the hips to be physics rigid-bodies held together with constraints so they would flop about in response to the movement of the hip bone and effectively give me upper body animation with natural variation for free.  Hopefully this will also allow the mascots to be more reactive to the environment in future too.

I think the results turned out pretty well:

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Superb Joe
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2018, 02:01:34 PM »



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motorherp
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 01:09:04 AM »

Cheers Joe. 

No updates today sorry.  It was the giants event in Liverpool this weekend and I was entertaining family so all I've managed to get done is a bit of work on the code framework and camera and no-one wants to see that.  Should hopefuly have something more exciting to show soon.
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Oddball
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 06:11:53 AM »

YES! More of this please.
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motorherp
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 12:55:30 PM »

I finally managed to get a bit more work done on this.  The main thing I've done is to add some basic AI to mascot cat so now he can follow paths laid down in the level.  Now and then a mascot will get lost and start randomly wandering off.  Eventually it will be the players job to keep these mascots safe and get them back into the parade line.


I tweaked a couple of other little things here and there like some more camera control work and adding some randomness to the mascot foot falls in the procedural animation component to give them a bit more variety.

Also I discovered that once all the mascots reach the end of the path and they all stack on-top of each other you get some real craziness happening because of how the skeleton is rigged with physics.  Eventually mascots should bounce off each other if they collide so you shouldn't get this happening, but for now it's pretty fun to watch.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 01:01:14 PM by motorherp » Logged
JobLeonard
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2018, 03:25:03 PM »

Nice nice nice

Quote
Also I discovered that once all the mascots reach the end of the path and they all stack on-top of each other you get some real craziness happening because of how the skeleton is rigged with physics.  Eventually mascots should bounce off each other if they collide so you shouldn't get this happening, but for now it's pretty fun to watch.
For some reason that reminded me of...

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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 11:27:55 PM »

This is looking great so far, really liking the look of the mascot so far.
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2018, 03:10:47 PM »

Hello is it alright if I include one of the images (you can pick one if you'd like) to put on the frontpage for a WHOLESOME HALFWAY update?
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motorherp
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2018, 11:09:38 PM »

Hello is it alright if I include one of the images (you can pick one if you'd like) to put on the frontpage for a WHOLESOME HALFWAY update?

That's fine with me, it's an honour to be noticed. Pick whatever you think is most appropriate or if you need something different let me know.
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motorherp
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 12:16:31 PM »

Mascots will now do their best to maintain a reasonable distance to the mascot in-front.  If they fall too far behind, maybe because a mascot leaves the line and makes a gap, they will then run to fill the gap.  Once they've caught up they will then match pace and synchronise foot steps with the mascot in-front again.  Similarly if they get too close they will stop and wait until there is enough of a gap for them to start walking again.


I've also been doing some work on the assistants you will be controlling as the player to herd stray mascots.  I've written the code so you can select them and order them to go to locations you click with the mouse, and done some basic AI for them.  I haven't made up any models for them yet though so I wont be showing them yet.
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ProgramGamer
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 02:30:27 PM »

I know this is the wholesome compo and everything, but things should not have the right to be this freaking adorable.

Seriously though, this looks promising, keep up the good work!
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motorherp
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2018, 12:59:42 PM »

Just finished modelling and rigging the helpers.  The texturing is just block colours for now but I'll probably put more detail into it later if I find the time.  I'm going to tweak and re-use the procedural animation stuff I did for the mascots to make the helpers move.  The deadline is approaching fast and I'm not finding a lot of time to work on this stuff.  I'm almost certain at this point I wont be getting this game finished in time but hopefully I'll at least be able to get something vaguely playable by the end of the month.

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motorherp
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« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2018, 04:49:03 AM »

Rightio I've hooked up the point and click controls to the assistants and upgraded the AI for the mascots so they now get herded by nearby assistants if they have left the parade line and will rejoin the parade if they're herded close enough.  A by-product of the physics rig means you can also have an assistant run down the parade line slapping them all on the way passed  Big Laff


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Schoq
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2018, 07:35:05 AM »

In the name of wholesomeness I choose to parse it as extremely enthusiastic high-fiving :]

This is cute as heck
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motorherp
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2018, 10:01:30 AM »

Cheers Schoq, haha yeh, we'll go with high-fiving  Big Laff.  The main mechanic is starting to come together now buts it's really late in the month, think this will be one that gets finished after the deadline.


PS: The green fuzz isn't in the game, its something that screenToGif has added for some reason.
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