Dev Blog 42 – More Animation Work

After our huge mo-cap recording session last week, we’ve been working on cleaning up the data and prepping the animations for use in game. So far the results look like a huge improvement, and we’re all extremely excited to get the whole batch imported in a rough state for us to preview.

Here’s a sample of some raw mo-cap data, on a preview skeleton; there are still numerous tweaks such as adding hand animations, blending between different states at the end of the attack, and more. Even in this raw state, they already look far superior to the previous batch.

MotiveImpact

In other animations news, we’ve also been overhauling the player’s attack animations and camera movements. Another common piece of feedback we’ve gotten time and time again from you guys is that the player’s attacks didn’t feel impactful enough; they’re already looking much, much better. Once we’ve imported the new NPC hit reactions and tie them all together with the player’s attacks, it will be a huge improvement over the earlier version we showed in our last trailer.

We also made some further progress on optimization. In this case, it meant going over each and every material in the project, and packing some textures even more efficiently. Overall combined with last week’s work, this has resulted in huge texture memory savings. We’ve actually got a pretty safe margin at the moment when it comes to our minimum and recommended GPU specs, which means we can push certain things even further before launch.

Lastly, more progress has been made on saving/loading; items and player inventory are now successfully saved, which was one of the larger challenges. Also, saving/loading speed has been increased by 1000%. Yes, that is a real statistic, the new method we built is literally 1000 times faster. Feels good.

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Dev Blog 41 – Mo cap, Mo combat

So much mo cap. So many new animations (214, to be exact!). So many sore muscles. Worth it!

At long last we finally got back into some more mo-cap this week. Our animations are, frankly, one of the weakest points in the game currently, and we’ve gotten a fair bit of feedback over the past months. We’ve been extremely eager to remedy this, and have put a great deal of thought into why the last batch didn’t turn out, and how we should go about improving them.

In short, the animations overall need more… oomph. The impacts were not forceful enough, the run cycles weren’t “immediate” enough, and the combat felt too stiff in general. With this new batch, we’ve put extra attention into making every animation feel natural, emotional, and forceful.

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Dev Blog 40 – Saving the day

And thus ends another week of development. The big item on the list this week was the beginning of a proper save/load system, which was being put off in favor of gameplay development. Finally time to bite the bullet on that one and get it done!

Sorted out a few bugs/polish issues with the new player character, and HUGELY smoothed out the transitions between crouching/standing while aiming or in menus. Overall player movement and navigation feels much better.

We’ve also made solid progress on implementing a new melee weapon which was finished up being textured last week. We’re excited about the special effects for this one; should be a ton of fun to play with soon!

And last but not least, a great deal of work for done in the art department. We’re about halfway-done a huge detail pass on Oasis, the exterior courtyard area. There’s a new female NPC in the works. There’s also a ton of new consumable items being finished off, including new medical and stim items. Cool stuff all around.

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Dev Blog 39 – Back at it

Happy friday!

We’re back from our summer break last week, full of renewed energy, vigor, and sunburns! Feels good to be back at it; as you might remember, we’ve got some exciting stuff coming up soon, namely a whole ton of new animation work for the NPCs. We’ve also updated the player character model, which means our full-body-awareness will look and animate even better.

We’ve also finished up work on a new melee weapon. Can’t wait for this one to get integrated, it’s going to be a ton of fun to use.

Progress has also been made on some crucial game systems, such as player re-spawning, menu navigation, and saving/loading which has just begun.

In less exciting news, we had some server-migration… issues… that took up a chunk of the week, which thankfully has been mostly taken care of.

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