This weeks animation forgoes the step-by-step rundown for a fast-n-fancy timelapse. It’s cool seeing all the little tweaks and adjustments that go into these animations, though you never get to properly see milestones as catalogued in the step-by-step versions. Perhaps I can go with a hybrid next time.
Todays motion sees the end of one of the 10,000 ‘Butchermen’: human sacrifices that went unaccepted by Curgen at the Red Spring. This is the day they’ve been killing for, so that final breath was important to nail. I’d like to do several death variations for these guys in the polish phase, but death #1 should work til then.
A few points of interest...
0:11 - Butchermen have practically bonded with the ritualistic sword that impaled them so many years ago. While this maya animation has them holding a dagger, in game they’re equipped with the shattered hilt of that sword (with the remainder of the blade chillin’ in their chest).
1:41 - Since this is a DEATH animation, we have to lead into it with a pretty strong hit. Here I’m tweaking that impact so it feels like a proper deathblow.
2:00 - I play around with the idea of him re-attaching the hilt to the broken blade...(perhaps the blade has to be whole for the curse to end?). I couldn't justify an action like that while dying, so I ended up dropping it.
4:14 - One of the most important aspect of these motions is that the have a very identifiable silhouette. To check this, we’ll turn off any extra texturing and detail and watch the overall shape that the animation takes, pushing certain aspects to make that outline feel unique.
5:17 - Fun Fact! Knees and elbows are a HUGE PITA in 3d animation! I hate them and wish we all had tentacles.
5:45 - One of the last tests is to simulate the ground plane with a simple polygon. This helps to weed out any obvious clipping your animation will do with the terrain.
5:50 - The final animation! Look at him die, over and over. He just can’t get enough!
Indie Game of the Week
For the last few months I’ve been silently hanging out and observing (not to be confused with stalking) the XBox indie community. XNA has held my interest since it was announced years ago, and I’m amazed that anyone can now make a console game and sell it with just their home computer.
Epic Dungeon is one of my favorite titles on the service. I don't know its considered a rouge-like (dungeons and loot aren’t totally random), but for 80 microsoft points (ie. 1$) it’s an amazing little dungeon crawl. If you have a XBox360, like retro-styled dungeons and want to support the indie scene, I highly recommend it!
Again, thanks for reading. Looks like we’ll be working on the next Development Diary this week or next, so I look forward to getting that out there. Lots of improvements to the world that we’ll be showing off, so stay tuned!!!