Tom Dunkin had a lot of fun working on this next song which will play in our title screen. I provided a quick mock up of what that menu may look like (fire… lots of fire) and essentially asked for something regal with a bit of a military feel. We hoped to capture that feeling of a young cadet standing in the shadow of this grand tournament, anticipating the greatness to come right beyond the gates. Hope you like it as much as we do. Enjoy!
Other than that, the game has been moving along nicely. I hope to do an environment art post eventually, but for now I’d like to also share this mockup where I explored more of the arena and some more basic UI design.
I’ve also been trying to get the monsters more filled out with animations instead of single key frames to represent their states and actions. It’s been a challenge juggling the desire for smooth animations with time and efficiency, gameplay considerations (will this animation be responsive and accurate enough for what we want in combat?), and the ever looming issue of atlas sizes. For instance, while I’d love to always animate a creature as a whole entity to really make it feel alive and not having any part of it be too static, the dragon will be separated into a few parts to hopefully save atlas space as well as time. The legs are more often than not totally still, but the head needs more attention being a focal point.
Another topic of interest for me has been idle states. Idle states are strange for our game because I would imagine players would be engaged with the monsters more than just avoiding them and watching a creature breath and blink, but we still need to create some sort of animation for when this does happen. The smaller the creature is, the easier it is to have that creature always be moving. A lot of pixel art games have their characters bob up and down constantly to make the whole world feel alive. But if you have something large like a dragon to hand animate (not puppetry/rigged style), it would take a lot of frames to get a smooth breathing animation that doesn’t look like hyperventilation, or just excessive movement in general that is a waste of time when more of my focus could be on other attacks and behaviors. So my idea has been to start with something rather robotic, constraining movement to just 1-2 areas of a monster. If I have more time I could always embellish later. Other than hoping those moving areas are interesting I want to show different angles of the monster than just a side view to show off the 2d hand drawn quality of them. I’m really trying to get the most out of the choice to do traditional animation for this game!
We’re hoping to wrap up a solidly working version of our arena section within this month and a half. Wish us luck!