Eve DevBlog 40: Hot Streak

EveHeader

TIGJam went fantastically and I got a ton of work done, but now I’m back home and trying to find a new rhythm to settle into after the jam. It’s not made any easier by the sun abruptly noticing it’s Summertime and heatblasting me into groggy nocturnality. Oh well: If work was easy we wouldn’t call it work. We’d call it… actually we’d probably call it easy work, I guess. Whatever.

Most of the stuff here is stuff I got done at the jam, though I’ve put some finishing touches on it since I got back. Let’s have us a look-see:

Now, as of the last update I’d begun implementing the run animations I’d previously created into the game. I’ve finished that, and the run animations are completely functional: Not only does this look neat and give me a better idea of where I’m going aesthetically, it also shows me certain things about what’s happening to the state of the character that I didn’t know before, which has shown me a couple of bugs which I’ve added to the list of things to fix.

After doing that, I went ahead and implemented the rough crouch animations I had done previously: Then, annoyed by the roughness of said rough animations, I went ahead and developed some nice animations based on the framework I’d created for them.

EveCrouch03

There’s a few things remaining to be fixed, but this certainly captures the motion I want very well. I should actually be sure to finish polishing these up since I don’t want this task to slip through the cracks. Maybe I can get that done this weekend.

After this, I was a little bit burned out on animation tasks, but I wanted to see how they’d look in a semi-finished game environment. So, I loaded in the Titan Seed area sketch I did way back in February (jeeeeez), and edited the level mesh to match it. The results are… pretty decent.

EveAnimationTestTitanSeed01

I think I need to put some serious thought at some point into the aesthetics of this game though. For one thing, I have some concerns about the difficulty of visually distinguishing between interactive elements and foreground/background elements here. And, for another instance, I think that no matter how nice my drawing is, if I just load it in with no animations it’s going to look static and dull. If I can add some animated effects, even if they don’t look great, I think it will add a lot more life to the world. This is something Braid did very well, using particle effects aggressively to give the terrain a feeling of life and malleability that is unusual and compelling.

Finally, with the last couple of days (and a couple of hours of extra work once I got home), I composed a new piece for the third area of the first chapter, the Orphan Gardens. This area starts with Eve traveling up a staircase into the sky through a great and confusing storm, which eventually clears away to show the calm and beautiful, but still very dangerous, gardens. The piece is in two main sections, one for the storm and one for the calm, and loops each of these once.

So that’s this week! Hopefully by the time next week’s update rolls around I will have recovered from my trip and adjusted to the heat and will have some new progress to report. I honestly couldn’t be happier with the way TIGJam went, but with every piece of progress comes new problems and concerns that need to be addressed, and the size and scope of the project becomes ever clearer: It’s a good thing, but also a scary thing– but still so exciting!

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