The stone throwing version of the entity is like 90% done now. The only remaining stuff to do is to add a couple of animations, which are really just some of the knife animations with the knife layer turned off for when it’s just standing there waiting around. I’ll also probably need to tweak the AI a bit, since right now it randomly turns around like the patrolling entity does, which is pretty impractical when you want to just post a guy up against a wall and have him throw rocks.
After I got to this point I got a bit confused as to what to work on next. The obvious thing to do next was the spear version of the enemy, but I got discouraged that I seemed to be making so many versions of the same animation with just the weapons switched out. I spent a little while thinking about whether I should be doing this different, IE creating a single animation for each movement and then overlaying the weapon animations in with code, but on reflection I realized it was really only a few different versions, and in order to make many of those animations look good I’d want to change them substantially anyway, so it was really something I’ll just have to work through. I’ll still need to do the software stuff I was thinking of in order to give them different masks and have those masks react separately to the main body, but that’s not super urgent (though will have to be done before I can call these guys really finished).
Anyway, one of the advantages to working solo on a project, and one which I haven’t been taking advantage of nearly enough, is that when one aspect of the project gets stressful or onerous or boring I can always work on something else for a bit. I think I should be looking for opportunities like this to switch up and keep my brain fresh, because I’m coming to realize that not only do I need to manage my time and energy on this project, I also need to manage my interest: Anything that keeps things fun, fresh, and interesting is going to be valuable to the long term health of the project, as well as, incidentally, my happiness and satisfaction.
So all that is just a long and rambling way of saying that I took a bit of a break from that horseshit today to try to figure out a character design.
So this is a first 1-2 hour pass at designing the character of Dawn. This has a number of elements that I’m pretty much decided on and a number more that I’m a bit iffy on still. I intentionally fucked with her proportions to make her seem more inhuman, but that’s a tricky path to walk – go too far and it just looks like you’re a bad artist who doesn’t know proportions, though that’s something that could probably be fixed with time and effort. I have a similar problem with her face: It’s important that she has eyes and a mouth to speak, but I honestly don’t know why she’d have a nose. The only reason I ended up drawing her one is because any face without one ended up looking kind of stupid, like a jack-o-lantern – seasonally appropriate I suppose, but not what’s called for. I was going for a red clay kind of skin tone, and I think I undershot that a bit here. I’m finding myself subtly but noticeably influenced by the design of Rose Quartz from Steven Universe, which is appropriate to the character at least – strong, gentle, and absent at the beginning of the story.
Oh well, not perfect but like I said it’s a first pass. Hopefully by next update I’ll have a design I’m happy with.