Character Design Part III

Felix2003

Modernized 3D Draft of 2003 Felix

It took FOREVER but I’ve finally reached a point where the character design feels 3D.  The tool improvements were instrumental to this but honestly I needed everything to bring this to a close.

Strangely enough the last step in the process was studying the character design of the original Felix. Mostly the sprites. I think even after all this time his core construction was baked into my subconscious. I had to take a really hard look at the old design before I could move forward.

I haven’t done the final model yet but everything’s in place to get started. I was thinking of revealing it as soon as I’m done, but I think I’ll hold out.  This website will likely be going down pretty soon so I should probably be shifting my attention to the real media. Ironically that’s when things should get interesting.

Website Down and Character Status.

I know it probably seems like a sign of a dead project but I swear it isn’t. That said, there’s a fair chance this website may go down. The reality is, I’m on a budget and I’m not getting the most out of this website right now. In the event it does go down, this address will most likely link to the steam or YouTube page. Just giving the heads up.

Now on to character design!!! Adding 3D features has been a tremendous help. It hasn’t been an instance success and  thinking of new features has been an ongoing process.

I may have over emphasized the 3D a bit, drawing is still important for ironing out quick problems or having an ideal image of how the character should look, but I refused to ever go back to trying to perfectly recreate something from a 2D image.

My favorite feature, which I just added today is ability to view models with outlines. It’s almost as if I’m manipulating a 2D drawing which marries the dimensions a bit more. Lastly I’ve learned (or relearned, not sure at this point). It’s best to construct a baseline for all characters using a female, because the form is more complex, but I’m making sure to jump back from time to time, because it’s easy to start making characters too tall with a female focus.

I think I’ll finally have it pretty soon! I’m liking what I got so far, just need more testing.

 

War on Character Design

Character Design has been just kicking me in the gut repeatedly since the beginning It’s only gotten worse since 3D.  This month’s been especially brutal cause I’ve been trying!!! Trying everything in the book and I can’t get it. I have to deal with animation, bad proportions, the weirdness going on in silhouette space, bad angles,  and somehow manage to move on to the next character without the house of cards falling apart.  I keep looking for some special tip that’s going to save me from this miserable loop but that’s been my mistake.

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Less of a Leap, more of a Landing

I haven’t been able to focus as of late, lots of obligations eating into my time. I’ve also been following the presidential election pretty close (Go BERNIE!).

I still have some side things I have to keep up with but things seem to be slowing down, hopefully I’ll have more soon.

 

This is the Year

I was hoping I’d finally have some content, but I got caught up on animation systems and Right Hand / Left Hand coordinates, converting bindposes, and a bunch of other math (quaternions, ugh). Side note, I think Right Hand should be thought of as  third person coordinates and Left Hand as first person. But moving on..

I’ve been working on this game ( or engine rather) for six years now, and though I’m revealing less now than when I started, I’m finally sure it’s coming to an end.

My projections have an extremely low accuracy, but I’ll give it one more try, for old time sakes.  From the top!

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Express to Impress

One of the very last things I started working on after finish the puzzle demo, postponing World of Whimsy, and starting a Samba of the Wolves remake (yes all these things happened), was facial animation. I never got around to finishing it because I immediately, started porting the game to C++. A little over 2 and a half years later, and here we are.  Things are finally getting interesting again.

I can now say with confidence that I’ll have a pretty good facial animation system, so you can expect this game to be just as expressive, if not more so, than previous entries. I may try to make the “cut-scenes” a bit more dynamic as well, but that’s more of an after thought at the moment.

I wanted to have the entire engine (minus tweaks) done by the end of the year and simply spend the next month or so just building the game. Probably doesn’t look like it but, I’m very close to doing that, unfortunately there’s just no way I’ll finish combat by the end of this year.

I’ll post again the start of the year. Maybe I’ll even have something final I can show by then.

Oath to Order

Yep content is still slow! I’ll admit I’ve had a few off weeks and I fell out of rhythm a bit, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

I’ve been using the filler system (if you’ve never heard of it, it’s because I’ve made it up), which is essentially work from a complete framework and build your way up until you’re satisfied with the result. The problem is, I keep noticing areas were my framework isn’t good enough. I just had to restructure my stage data AGAIN because I didn’t leave room for content I’ll need. The good news is I’ve developed a habit of leaving notes all over my wall so I think I finally have a good grasp of what’s left and how to get there in an orderly fashion.

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Art Page Updated

Planting the SeedYay I’ve finally made some new art. I needed some time to let the design changes marinate. Something quick simple and conveys a message.

The Steam Greenlight page will take a bit of time, I’ve decided not to use any outdated content, so I’m going to need completely new material.

 

Where it all comes together

I’ve finally implemented my quick decoration solution for game stages. Things would’ve went a lot quicker if importing it to the game went more smoothly and I didn’t have to deal with the tool GUI but whatever it’s done! While I can’t throw together a very finalized look in within 10 minutes I can get very close, in fact stage building is actually sort of fun now where as before it was just plain stressful and that’s even more important than the speed boost.

Now that I’ve gotten that out the way, I’m going to start a new scheduling routine. I often have a habit of switching from one thing to another, getting really invested, and then when I switch back it feels as if I’m starting from scratch. So I’m starting a three day rotation between the tools,  artistic things, and game development. Teams probably don’t need to worry about things like this. |: <  If you’re wondering why tools represent a day especially after all this, it’s because there’s still some necessary features I haven’t implemented.

It’s been a very productive month, finally feels like this thing is moving. My next post will probably be some art or screens or something. I think I’ll finally make a real steam greenlight submission sometime in late October and a video will follow if I have enough footage.

Almost Pretty

I figured out a way to make pretty stages, very quickly, with a reduced file size! I’m still in the experimental phases but so far so good. One could argue, that the time I spent working on this tool could’ve been spent towards working on actual stages, BUT more than likely those stages would’ve looked awful because I would’ve gotten lazy about it at some point.

The video scene with the peppermints and the trees, using previous methods I could probably create that scene visually in 1 or 2 hours with previous methods, but I think I can  cut it down to 10-15 minutes using this new technique.

I should be done pretty soon!