Monday, May 29, 2017

Sharks in ADOM

SPOILER ALERT: ADOM has sharks. And some other marine wildlife.

Sharks are one of those creatures where ASCII and graphical versions of the game are really at odds when it comes to how difficult it is to depict the creature.

In ASCII the shark looks roughly like this:


So that's pretty simple :) But as an animated graphical sprite the shark adds a very special challenge:
it moves in the "depth" plane rather than horizontally or vertically relative to the "camera". That means our limb-based movement animation is just no good. Custom frames are a must.

"Depth" (or z-axis) based movement is really tricky to get right. We want to get the sharks body to visibly bend, but at the same time the silhouette will remain largely unchanged. Not an easy feat!

On the upside the movement itself is pretty straightforward, so I can probably get away with just winging it instead of analyzing references in great detail (or so I hope! You be the judge ;))

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Advanced ADOM Animations

So, you know, ADOM is at least in part an AAA product - the Advanced ADOM Animations part ;)

As you already know, to have a complete set we need to go through about 550 monster sprites to animate. That's a *lot*. We needed a way to get through them (relatively) fast. One of our methods to speed things up is using a single animation set for all monsters with similar anatomy. For example  all humanoids  share the same basic animation set. That way we still have to prepare 550 sprites, but we don't have to invent 550 individual animations. (The system can be easily extended, so although this is a good starting point it doesn't mean we won't customize the animations further down the line).

We also try to make the animations minimalistic at this stage - so no fancy extra frames, no unnecessary elements, limbs, etc.

This is all well and good, but every once in a while we run into a monster that just doesn't work well within these limitations.

We've had some good honest feedback back in February about the early animation attempts. Just a quick recap of the animation gif that post contained:

Monday, May 15, 2017

ADOM Arcana supplement unveiled

Hi everyone!

Today I'd like to give you brief teaser about one of the most rare ADOM collectibles to be created during the Resurrect ADOM Development crowdfunding campaign: The ADOM Arcana supplement.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Customizable Player Character

So in today's episode of "what exciting stuff I animated this week" ...nah, just kidding, let's not go there this time. (We do have all generic monsters covered, by the way. All that's left are dragons, elemental creatures, balors, sharks, eels and such. You know, the *hard* and *important* ones. But that also means you could run a game of ADOM and not run into a lot of static sprites at this point, which is great :) 

Instead let's focus on the Player sprites for a change. As I mentioned some time ago, having modular animated sprites opens up the road to something we've always wanted to see in the game - more detailed player character representations. I've been doing workload calculations for that this week, I've also have some prototypes ready, so let's take a look at what's in the pipeline. We're showing this off early because we're interested in your opinions on the matter. :)

First of all, for pure gameplay reasons we'd like the PC sprite to show actual armor worn. Right now the "torso" and "legs" parts are merged into one sprite and are based on class rather than equipment. So you have a "robe" for casters, "leather" for lighter classes and "plate" for warriors and such. This can be very misleading if you're a warrior but your chainmail just got eaten by a Rust Monster.

With the planned changes finally you'll be able to see that shiny new scale mail you just donned. A personal highlight for me are Thick Furs (also seen in the gif below), finally proper attire for ADOMs barbarians :)