Saturday, March 18, 2017

Animation and Line of Sight live previews

As Jochen moves on with the community server (I hope we can get some more details soon as it seems to have sparked some interest ;)) the graphical side has been progressing nicely these past two weeks.

First of all we wanted to give you a quick high quality sneak peek of what animations feel like in action. Take a look at a lone PC wandering through Dwarftown. We added some extras just to keep things interesting. Don't worry, it's just created in Exploration Mode with a Wand of Wishing. Killer Bugs won't be part of Dwarftowns' fauna in the next patch ;)

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Generally we want animations to be rather non-intrusive, so the frequency at which they trigger as well as how pronounced they are will be tweaked based on feedback.

Glad to say all low-level and key NPCs are finally animation-ready, I'm currently adding the last batch from this set to the animation engine. There's about 20% of the total sprite count left, mostly more complex stuff like dragons, sharks (still haven't figured out these guys) and other epic monsters that deserve more attention. Hope animation closed beta can begin sooner rather than later.

Line of Sight still has some rough edges, especially when Line of Sight and Unexplored tiles meet. Still, it works just fine on explored areas, so have a look at it in action. This orc barbarians' abysmal Perception score helps with displaying Line of Sight in a small window ;)

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We don't have pics yet but Zeno is hard at work improving our animation system yet again, adding alpha handling. In other words sprites will be able to change their opacity in each frame. You know, that gives us pulsating glows, ghosts fading in and out of view and so on. Cool stuff that we'd like to showcase sooner rather than later :)

And last but not least Lucas is still adding even more weapon sounds (:O). It's cool how detailed they are, including chain links clinking on a flail hit.

This stuff when put together probably deserves a showcase video or something, before we unleash all this material on the Steam beta branch ;)

See you all next week!


  1. Field of view highlight is looking awesome!
    Guys, did you notice highlighted cell under invisible misunderstood pointer that changes as long as you move? Isn't it annoying for you too? Any chances to hide it as long as the mouse pointer hidden sooner or later?

  2. Oh hey, that seems like a bug. The pointer auto-hides after 5 secs by default, so I guess all traces of it, including the cell highlight should be gone :) I'll add an RFE. Thanks for pointing it out!

  3. Looking great so far!
    One suggestion - try putting some animals and the like with a few UNANIMATED skeletons/zombies on the same game screen and see how that looks. Right now the undead/unliving have breathing animations. I would suggest considering eliminating the breathing to create a contrast and emphasize how different and unnatural they are compared to the living creatures. Their animations could be something like changing where their spears point for skeletons or maybe a dimming/brightening of a faint light in their eye sockets, a clenching/unclenching of the fists for the shown golem? Maybe no animation at all? Don't know but I'm sure you will come up with some great ideas if you go for it :)
    Two more things:
    1) really love the pincers moving on the ant, details like that are great,
    2) it is really nice to hear what you are up to and have some regular info stream about the progress of a favorite game :)
    Best of luck to you all and a quick recovery for Thomas.

    1. That's a very good point!

      For now a whole huge group of "two arms, two legs and a head" creatures share the "humanoid" animation template, mostly to save time. Somehow I'd really like the whole huge set of 550 monsters ready and more or less moving before sorting out the details.

      Once we get everything in place there will be time for tweaks. I expect a lot of monsters will deserve some extra love :)

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