Here are the things I’ve just done…
- Added a new light, the velocity light, which either increases or decreases the velocity of anything under it
- Added bullet animations and artwork and a flash animation for when they hit things
- Added a flashing light to the enemy that flashes and rolls at you
- Added an explosion animation for enemies when they get shot
- Added working 3D sound to enemy sound effects
It’s funny because none of these things were particularly challenging or time consuming, but the game seems way different now that it looks like something. Up until this point, I was playing the game with the debug view from the Farseer Physics Engine on, but now it can function as a visual element without physics debugging to show what’s happening in the physics world.
I am going to start expanding the level I have, adding some actual platforming, and I have been asked by classmates multiple times about adding a light that the player can control, so that seems like an obvious step to take. Moving platforms are something I’d like to have as well. It still isn’t that pretty, but I guess I need to get a video up of what it looks like. I know there are some friends that would love to play whatever I’ve got too, and I’ll make that happen this Thursday to get some advice on where I should go next, and of course to just get some end-user opinion.
I have some news about other projects that I’ll be posting about soon.
I set out wanting to upload my animation to display on this very post, and tried some online .gif creators that really wreaked havoc with my source images. So I opened up Photoshop to finally use it to do something I couldn’t do easily anywhere else I tried, and figured out how to create animations. Pretty easy, and also pretty cool. I may have to start using it for the web comic also; I really need to learn what it can do that I can’t do currently, and see if it’s of any use. I’m sure that it would improve my workflow, but the program is just really intimidating for me at the moment. I could start only using Photoshop, which might be healthier for me in the long run; for now, I’ll think about it. But I’ll definitely be using it to help me animate from now on, as it’s got the functionality built in; I do have an awesome Paint.NET plugin for animation, but Photoshop made the process way, way more convenient.
So all that nonsense said, here’s what the first draft of the player looks like. And yeah, I’m aware there are no arms; I am currently trying to decide whether I want the arms locked into the spritesheet with everything else or if I want to control their position with code. To keep things simple I’ll probably just draw them in soon.
All I really have to say on this subject is that I am not an artist; and although I’ll be making a large and unrelated announcement that is purely about me making artwork tonight, the difference between stills and animation is absolutely gigantic, and animation is very hard. It’s unbelievable how much one bad frame can completely poison an animation. I am still using Paint.NET; maybe this is a mistake, maybe I should be using Flash, but I simply don’t have the time to learn it right now. I can make something that at least passes as an animation, but only after some hard work. It’s something that I’m very interested in, so while I’m not great at it, it is definitely a fun experience, but it’s also quite painstaking at times.
I’m currently working on creating the first enemy for Ne+, and with it I will be bringing my first actual animation into the project. I am creating the sprite sheet, and then will proceed to play the animation in XNA and then create an EnemyComponent which will try and attack the player. This means I will also need to have the player fire projectiles or something similar to fight enemies, and I hope to have both of these things done by Tuesday for my sprint presentation. I have a good idea of how it’s all going to work; I’ll have a collision category in Farseer that represents bullets, and then if the player bullets hit enemies the enemies will implement some action or death animation. I have a good idea of a death animation to use for my first enemy as well; Paint.NET has a bunch of cool effects that have values to manipulate, and often manipulating them in sequence offers some string of images that look like good animations to me, especially for projects on time constraints. I also have particle effects to play with, which I might use for when bullets hit platforms or something. The bullets could also emit a particle effect en route; I’m still thinking about it, however, all of this is polish-type stuff as opposed to actual new features like the basic things I want done by Tuesday.