I’ve honestly never animated someone jumping in the air before so I had to think a little bit about how I want to approach the sprites in a way that was efficient and wouldn’t cost me hours of unnecessary work but I came up with something and I think it works.
The way Jason has it coded is there’s an ascent cycle, a peak cycle and a descent cycle. My initial instinct was to draw the springing body effect coming off the ground for the ascent, a tuck-and-turn at the peak and a stretch for the descent, with a pre-jump crouch and an impact crouch at either end. That’s A Lot Of Work! So what I came up with instead was I picked out poses that illustrate the concepts of up, peak and down and tried to make them naturally flow into one another- namely in the way Lizzie’s mop rises relative to her center of mass and her right foot trailing on the ascent but her left foot leading on the descent, like the kinetic energy was transferring across her body. I made the pose a one-handed mop grab because I thought it would be cumbersome to try and block out jumping while holding a two-handed weapon for developmental purposes but also keeping the right hand free on the melee-mode jump meant I could just copy my work, draw the pistol in on the ranged-mode jumps and save myself a boatload of time to spend on something else (namely, hitstun frames). Also, instead of drawing compression animation frames I just decided to draw one frame each and “boil” it to create a cheap illusion of movement. It always helps to have a plan.
Anyways, I thought I would share this with you.
Happy Friday! It’s Patreon Journal update time! http://www.patreon.com/deadwinter This week’s Art Journal concludes a three-week series on my writing process and the Developer’s Log chronicles the evolution of our game sprite creation process!
There are currently 27 articles written across both journals. New patrons will have access to loads of design notes and production process breakdowns! Current patrons, as always, are lovely saintly people who can read the new posts whenever they’d like.
Thanks for your support!
Here’s a quick sample comparison of what I’m working on right now. I’m redoing all my sprites for a couple reasons (which I’ll discuss in the next Patreon journal) and I’m revising a lot of what I already did to match the notes we have for our game. In this example I’m reworking Lizzie’s side melee walk (there is going to be a second up-angle walkcycle like you see in the X-Men arcade game) - when I did the first one as a proof-of-concept I wasn’t too happy with it.
All four characters have a certain personality to their movement, and Lizzie’s was always going to be a sort of ready-to-work look since she’s The Waitress. She’s also has the quickest movespeed of the four characters so her walk cycle had to reflect a nimbleness to it which the original proof-of-concept sprite wasn’t doing. The old one (on the left) has more of an angry plodding to it, like she’s going to wallop someone. The new one uses the exact same number of frames (four per step) but has more of a spring to her step- a lot of her leg movement is below the knee and her feet don’t spend as long on the ground, sort of like when you’re in between fast-walking and jogging without sprinting or walking. Also the perspective in the first one was wrong; I did it before we actually drew a background (whoops) so the new one is in the proper isometric perspective and less from-the-side so Lizzie looks like she’s actually occupying space on a Z axis as she will in-game.
We’re looking to get enough assets together for a very rough basic playable tech-demo alpha thing for SPX that you can come try out on our laptop so I am going to be focusing a bunch of time on getting those basic assets sketched up and sent to Jason to add to the game so we have something playable come September. The next comic page might be a little delayed but in the long run it’ll be worth it, I promise! Please understand.
This week’s art journal is about my thoughts on writing and developing places, and our game dev post comes from the game’s programmer Jason and he talks about keeping code fast and light! You can read them here: http://www.patreon.com/deadwinter
Also as a reminder if you are not yet a patron there are two sample journal posts you can read tucked away at the bottom of the archive, the first Art Journal and the first Developer’s Log post, so you can get a sense of what we’re talking about in our posts.
Thanks for reading!
Evolution of pre-alpha states. Now we have something we can throw art assets at without it looking like dev art.
Over the past few months I’ve been doing weekly Patreon journals where I talk about my art process and chronicle development of our video game. The journals have been behind paywalls (and I am extremely appreciative of everyone who has supported me so far!) but since I’ve got about twenty or so articles written and posted I made the first two- Art Journal 001 and Developer’s Log 001- free to read as a preview for potential patrons so they know what to expect. You can find them here: http://www.patreon.com/deadwinter?ty=c they’re the two at the bottom of the list, since I’m not sure how to pin particular articles on my creations window.
If you’ve been thinking about subscribing to the journals but were unsure about how they work there’s some previews up. Take a look! And thanks for reading!
Here’s one last .gif for tonight, it’s how all the mockup cycles fit together and move from one to another how they would in the actual game.
Lizzie hates guns. Alice made sure she learned the basics but she still hates the noisy things. That third shot in the combo is just the worst.