This month we've mostly been finishing up Akardo animations and focusing on gameplay. We added a lot of new stuff aside from working on the main 3 characters (UI elements, combat code, assembled new NPC characters) .
We also managed to get a lot of the camera code working which I honestly thought was going to take a lot longer.
These are a few screenshots of our latest NPC Mike put together. Super happy with how she came out.
Akardo animations are nearly complete, we made a quick little video showcasing a few of them. Toolbag is really nice for these kinds of things since we don't have to waste time setting up a scene just to showcase
This is an older NPC but Mike put together the fur coat gearset and he looks pretty cool imo.
And finally we did have to revisit/iterate on a ton of abilities for Akardo since as we started playing with him we realized some stuff just doesn't look right in game. So here's a little bit of the concept work we used as we brainstorm...
This month has pretty much been Akardo time. We've been working on getting his rig up to date, fixing some issues and making sure all his blendshapes (each rib has a blendshape to open) were in working order. Animating him has been a challenge because we're trying to keep clear of any zombie-ish motions and his very wide shoulders cause a lot of rework when importing any sort of mocap.
This is the last of the main characters and after this we're going to be back to tweaking gameplay and working on implementing "Ultra" style moves with time-stops and more advanced combat features.
Speaking of mocap, we finally have a somewhat decent solution! After dealing with the perception neuron for awhile with all its quirks, we started using Ikinema's new Orion software that works with the Vive and trackers. I stuck two of the trackers on some old shoes, put another tracker on my waist and the rest is the default vive setup (controllers, HMD). It's working great so far....
This month we started a new visual pass on combat. Tweaking timing, particle effects and weapon trails. There's not that much to say other than we spent a lot of time learning the particle system and the first pass makes the game actually look much more dynamic. We've had the combat animations in for some time now but along with the weapon trails and hit effects it's really starting to come together.
We're probably going to spend another week on Ela's effects and then we're on to the last main character Akardo! He needs an overhaul on his animations badly, but we have a pretty solid direction in mind for him now and we're excited to get him moving around :).
Our level was lit pretty badly. I did a quick pass once and then we just started actually making the game in it, never really looking back. Mike did a few lighting tests that we posted a bit back but they were only temporary. This last week he actually sat down and did a full lighting pass on the level and its looking pretty good.
I've been working on getting particles and hit effects into our game.
It's kind of crazy how much you take particle impact effects for granted but it makes a huge difference in making swings and hits FEEL more satisfying. Right now we're working on getting the weapon trails to look as good as the concepts above.
Mike also did a few more concepts of Akardo and his new weapon-mode.
We're finishing up our first fully animated combatant NPC. We've been able to beat up on them for awhile now but not in a finished state with hit reactions and combat effects. Next week should be particles and impact effects to really bring it to life.
Mike did some storyboarding in his free time. Cutscenes are a ways off for us but it's good to know where the story will be heading when we're designing out environments and characters etc.
Not much to say this month since its just been all animating but next update should be a lot of gameplay to show :)