Weird week. Lots of stress coming from lots of different places in my life, lots of missteps, lots of doubt. Sometimes that’s just how it goes I guess.
Well, first thing’s first. I finished the running attack animation. Here’s what it looks like now:
This looks really nice in-game, and segues very naturally into the secondary strike animation I showed last week, so there’s an overall really satisfying flow of attacks for the ground animations. So far, so good, right?
Well, here’s where things started going wrong. I spent 4 days working on the jumping attack animation before realizing that my entire approach was flawed. The attack’s impact was entirely wimpy and unsatisfying. I noticed there was something wrong after a couple of days, but it took me a while longer to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t just a bad animation (though, to be honest, it wasn’t great), it was a poorly conceived attack altogether.
The thing is, being able to attack relatively quickly on the ground works well because you can really feel the weight of the swings. In the air, however, its hard to sell that weight, since any real momentum would cause her to spin. This is probably why you see a lot of twisty uppercuts and spin attacks in games – well, that and they look awesome as shit. Anyway, I decided a bunch of rapid attacks were no good.
I started thinking about air attacks a bit differently: What if they didn’t behave the same as normal attacks? I had been operating on the assumption that an air attack would behave in exactly the same as a ground attack (with the obvious exception that it happens in the air), but that wasn’t working well. So, here’s my current thinking: instead of there just being a strike which quickly ends, as with ground attacks, each jump has two attack phases, rising and falling, if you perform an attack during these phases it is maintained until either you reach the top of your jump arc or you land. Thus, the sense of weight and impact is maintained, and I don’t have to do any weird ninja moves like spinning in the air: All of the force is directed straight up and straight down.
It’s going well! I started work on the animation today, and I’ve already got the rising attack more or less done. Check it out:
It’s just a few frames here but, as I mentioned, in practice it will be maintained until the peak of her jump. It might take a little bit of extra animation to make that happen, but eh you get the idea. It will also take some extra programming, relative to the other attacks, to make everything function properly, but that shouldn’t be too big a deal.
So yeah. I’m going to be doing the descending attack animation next, then the crouch attack animation, and then… then I’m basically done doing all of the animations for the player character!
Well… the wireframe animations that is. Obviously I still need to do the hand-drawn versions. And color them. And then I need to do the animations for all of the other chapters as well. But still, it’s definitely an important milestone in the visual development of this project!