mandag den 3. september 2012

Sprites and Animations

I've finally taken the first step towards my programmer education. My current education is an IT Technician (IT Supporter) - But there's not much programming in that one. So I decided to study computer science. So over the next two years I'm reading up on some classes, to reach the requirements to get in.
What this means is, that there will effectively be less time to work on this game, but as it turns out, the need to plan my time better seems to give more productivity, so this might not be all bad for this game.
What's new?
I finally managed to put some life into this game. This update includes:
- The player rectangle has been retired, and replaced by a new player sprite.
- Rabbits have been added to the game.
- A full cycle moon has been added to the game (Before it was just a big yellow square).
- Clouds have been added to the game.
- Some minor bug fixes.
The player sprite
I finally got around to making a (almost) fully animated sprite of the player. Since this first version looks more like a female than a male, my daughter decided to name the sprite "Emma"- So until further notice, this will be the name of the player sprite.
I think I've mentioned before that all the graphics in the game are made solely by me- And it's no secret that I am not very good at drawing at all. I am... satisfied for now, with my current sprite.
After I finished making the basic frame in Paint.Net I found an awesome beta version of a program called Spriter (Made by BrashMonkey) that required me to chop up my sprite into smaller pieces. This left me with separate pictures of the hair, head, torso, legs, hands and feet. This allowed me to animate my character in a very simple way, by moving these images/parts around as desired.
This gave me the idea to create separate animations for each part, and then draw them on top of each other in the game. This allows me to change the animation, or appearance of each body part individually. So in the near future I will be adding various clothing and hairstyles, which can then easily be changes while playing. I think this is the first step towards changing equipment visually.
I still need to add the Stab and swing animation to the character.
So after some moderate success with the player sprite I decided to add rabbits to the world.
Before I started to draw them I went online and looked at various pictures of rabbits, and after that I decided to give it a go. What was really difficult was to keep the rabbit in each frame, about the same size as the rest, while at the same time showing the rabbit stretching (which it does when it jumps).
I consider the rabbits my biggest success this update. I made the entire animation strip, without testing, I then went on to program the rabbits basic AI, compiled and tested it. And voila - Hole in one. It just worked. I stared at those small bunnies jumping around my screen for like 5 minutes, and I was speechless. For me- This was the experience of the month, no doubt about it.
I did end up having to add a bit extra code to the rabbits physics method to keep them falling through the ground occasionally.
The Moon
For quite a while, my moon has just been a big yellow square. So last night I had some spare time on my hands, so I decided to make a moon. This time I decided to do this without any help. An hour later or so I had a full moon cycle strip, just ready to be implemented. I colored the moon light grey, which gives the opportunity to tint it with any color I want in game. This allows me to create various moon related events like "Blue moon", "Blood moon", "Hunters Moon", etc.
The moon will have an impact on what happens during the night, based on the current state of the moon, and based on the rare events where the moon will be colored.
Finally I managed to create some clouds to implement. Currently all clouds moves east (right). I do have a wind variable to play around with, but weather and such will not be implemented for some time.
So with all that out of the way, here's the video for this update. It's short, since all the new things does not take that long to show- Enjoy :) 
Phantobra - The Game - Part 4: Rabbits, Clouds and a Moon

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