Posted in Hidden Asset Videos

Semi-random character appearance

August 30th, 2010 - 5:54 pm

In the last video update, we had multiple NPCs randomly walking around, which was a big step towards the initial engine for the demo. They all looked the same though, like a bunch of clones, twins or ‘Malkoviches’. The latest work on the engine remedies that by creating the look of the characters by semi-randomly combining and coloring different body parts.


Watch it in HD!

As you can see, none of the characters look exactly the same. Some of them look a bit similar, though, but that’s just because this test only has 2 types of shirts, 2 pants, 2 shoes, 2 hair styles and 6 hats to choose from (the guard uniforms aren’t combined with the other clothing types, so I’m not counting the uniform pants, shirts and shoes in this). Imagine the level of variety that can be produced with 10 types of each clothing part instead of just 2!

It does take quite some time to prepare all the various sprites for this – each character frame consists of about 15 sprites and there are 10 frames in this animation and a bunch of different sprites for each body part, so if you do the math, it really adds up – but I think the results are definitely worth it. I’ve also optimized my work flow in creating these sprites, so I can knock them out pretty quickly now.

I’m currently working on creating the sprites for the other seven directions (well, actually just 4, as three of them are just existing sprites mirrored), as well as for the running animation and the neutral position. This’ll probably take considerable time, so it might be awhile before the next video update – unless I do some work on other parts of the engine that are worth sharing. We’ll see.

Comments

William Hales

August 31st, 2010 5:54 pm

Very good work! But why is 3/4 of the video grey?

Christian Knudsen

August 31st, 2010 5:54 pm

That’s just because I’ve only generated the 30 characters for this test. I could just have generated 120 to fill the entire screen. I’ll probably do that in the future. :)

GLI

August 31st, 2010 5:54 pm

I wrote before something about wrong proportions but it looks that bare feet are correct and only shoes are too big (like for clowns)…

Lexus

September 6th, 2010 5:54 pm

Clothes! Progress!
Are the people ‘moving’, or is it just an animation of their legs walking?

Christian Knudsen

September 6th, 2010 5:54 pm

Well, this is the walking animation. To get the characters to ‘move’, it’s just a matter of changing the coordinates of where the full sprite is drawn to. Characters moving is already implemented in the engine, so this animation is just to check that all the sprite parts are placed correctly on the full character sprite.

Lexus

September 9th, 2010 5:54 pm

Oh… My mistake.
Am waiting in extreme anticipation to the next video and eventually the demo.

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