Happy holidays everyone! Celebration is just around the corner and we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year, we’ll see you in 2019!
Lets go a little deeper into the animation topic introduced in the last blog and talk about our approach and how we are handling them.
Animations are far more than just utilitarian character movement and how you get from point A to point B. Animations bring your world to life and determine both what kind of environments you can create and what kinds of threats you can present to the player, both in terms of AI and PvP. Ramping up the challenges you present to the player means you have to commensurately ramp up the tools you give the player to deal with them. One of the core movement designs we are working on that we simply refer to as the “Action Button” is an unarmed sprinting state that allows you to much more seamlessly interact with the environment in a similar way to something like Assassin’s Creed where you can automatically scale climbable/vaultable objects, break down doors, and enter vehicles without the need to stop and interact with a contextual action menu. A predictive ray sphere/cast will be used to determine whether or not the object that the player is targeting is interactable and will allow a seamless transition into whatever animation is necessary to interact with said object. This allows us to then ramp up the difficulty of AI since you have the means to escape and evade in a far more meaningful way than the average shooter, plus it makes PvP more interesting!
Another major concern for us is the weight of the animations and making sure that movement and transitions feel natural without being clunky. Smooth transitions are important but so is speed and responsiveness. The backend animation code has been in the works for the last month now that we have the proper high quality animations that we plan on using and we will be posting more proper demos soon. For now, here is an editor preview showing a few of the motion capture animations we will be using, enjoy!
Our Character Artist has been hard at work over the last month working on the Outlaw Faction, the chaotic evil class with a more DIY/Desert biome type of aesthetic. The Outlaw will be one of 7 playable classes with 3 additional classes planned for post launch.
More Sound Design!
Since the person writing these blogs is also the Sound Designer/Programmer for the game (hi!), you will be hearing a lot about audio. Sorry not sorry!
One formula I wanted to get right was how to handle gunshots at a variety of distances in an intuitive way. It is always frustrating in open world games when you can’t tell how far away a sound is or where it is coming from and this is especially true with gunshots. The formula I came up with was utilizing a wide variety of layers with each gunshot that can be individually peeled away as the player moves further from them. Utilizing the powerful distance attenuation and RTPC controls in Wwise with these layers creates a very realistic representation of distance that is far superior to simply reducing the volume of a single gunshot the further you are from it.
That is all for now! Thanks for reading and have a great holiday!