posts dated from: february 2014

Dev Log: More Explosions

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Been having a lot of fun with my workflow of animating in Flash, exporting to a SWF, and then using ShoeBox to convert to a sprite sheet. There are some hiccups in the pipeline still, but hopefully I can get them ironed out before I get any deeper in the art department.

I should really be working on the actual game part of this game, and probably all the systems that are going to be needed to be intertwined, but at this point I'm having way too much fun with particles. I've been bound by the word of Flash and ActionScript 3 for so long. Having 30 particles on the screen in Offspring Fling was a nightmare for performance, but now in the land of SFML, C#, and Otter, I can spawn hundreds of particles and the game doesn't hitch at all -- not even in debug mode!

Doodle Post

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Dev Log: Explosions

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Been working on getting some particle effects going lately. At first I was trying out a workflow of animating in Graphics Gale since it's so easy to use for animating pixel art. The entire process was animating in Graphics Gale, upscaling in Image Resizer using an HQ 4x filter, then downscaling it and cleaning it up in Photoshop. Although this yielded some pretty decent results, the actual pipeline of getting it into the game from Graphics Gale was becoming a huge pain. Here's a sprite from this process:

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I did give Flash a try before this, and all I could find was this tutorial on how to export to a sprite sheet. I had a lot of issues with this process. First the entire SWF document couldn't be exported, only a symbol. Second is the fact that you pretty much have no control over the pixel size of a symbol, and therefore the size of the export. Thirdly the export to sprite sheet just didn't have enough options for my needs. This is why I passed on Flash initially.

Then I discovered that you can just export an entire swf has a .png sequence. Hooray! I can export a bunch of images of an animation, and since I can define the size of the swf, I can define the size of the png exports. Now all I need to do is somehow turn it into a sprite sheet.

That's where Shoebox comes in. This program is an Adobe AIR application that is sort of a swiss army knife for 2d game development. One of the features that I'm using in my current process is the frame sheet builder.

At first I was using the frame sheet builder with a sequence of png files, but then I discovered you can just use an exported swf file instead. So after all of that, my current pipeline for animating frame by frame stuff is Flash, export to SWF, use Shoebox to convert it into a sprite sheet, and then import it into the game. It's not a terrible workflow at all, but sometimes using Flash is a little infuriating.

Screenshot Saturday

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Just a quick post for Screenshot Saturday. Working on getting a first pass of art in the game and hopefully have something to show by GDC time. I'm still figuring out the whole work flow with Spine, and also high res assets. For now it's looking like Flash is my best bet, at least for particles, but for other frame by frame stuff I'm still not sure what I'm going to do to achieve the look that Photoshop gives me...

I'll save those details for a future blog post though!

Doodle Post

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Going to try testing out a Spine animation with drawing! Going to find out how to go about breaking stuff into moveable pieces...

Dev Log: Otter Spine Animations

Dev Log: Otter Spine Animations
Today is a very awesome day, for I finally got Spine animations running in Otter! I only have the super basic stuff right now, but I'm hoping to expand the support as I tinker around with Otter and my next game.

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This is a quick test of the test animation that comes with Spine. Right now a skeleton can be loaded up, and play its animations in the most simple way. The next steps will be getting all of the cool spine functionality in and running, like being able to manipulate bones and mix animations and all that kinda stuff.

This hasn't been pushed to Otter yet, and probably won't be for at least a few more days as I test it out and hopefully work out any show stopping bugs that might appear.

While making the Otter implementation of Spine I made great use of the Spine csharp runtime which I just dragged and dropped into Otter, and I also referenced the XNA runtime, along with C#Punk's implementation of a SpineAnimation graphic type.