Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:31 pm

I'm glad you're liking how it might be put together. It could be more or less complex than what I stated once the animation system is done, but that's the general idea of what you can expect from it.

Er, it's not a visual problem of switching anymore than the dancing in official Shantae games, I'm just stucking to figure out how to get the animation system to switch animations when told too without causing Shantae's limb frames to spaz out of control. You gotta remember, this might be the only easy part of writing the engine! =P Tweening is also a long way off, I may not get to that until we're close to reaching a stable build. I know it's possible, I just haven't imagined how to go about it yet with everything else I have to focus on. (It won't smooth any animated frames, though, just the movements mechanics of the hip.)

Oh, and the body parts won't be loaded dynamically, that would be too slow and cause hiccups. (It would be cool if I could stream frames like older cartridge based games can, but the frames are too big in HD format for that to work anyway. The game would slow down as five different parst are loaded at a time.) Shantae's sprites will be pre-cached at the start of the room, or before the fade out transition has time to start, and since everything related to body parts will be kept in their own GIF files for each limb, knowing which ones to use won't have me switch resources constantly. Changing assets is a pretty scare thing to do in-game if you want to run the risk of error messages or missing sprites.

In a sense the frames will be put into place, but you still have to tell it where those frames should go on the body, (And in the case of switching animations, those might require different origin values per animation, which you can specify in that step when you need to.) which is why I want to create a way to visually post anchors for differing frames in the Animation Tester, cutting down on the confusion and guess-work of handling that manually in text files.
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:17 am

Huh? How comes this has fallen silent again? o_O

Anyway, have you started programming already?
Or are you still looking for more ideas?
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:54 pm

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Huh? How comes this has fallen silent again? o_O

Anyway, have you started programming already?
Or are you still looking for more ideas?

Sorry about that guys. I was hard at work on some major art projects (including this one). Anyway, here's what I got for Shantae's body parts.



So for now, Shantae's body is made up of 8 parts (head, chest, hip, arms, legs, and ponytail). I ran into a few problems with her design. I couldn't figure out how to make the bangs of her hair look right when view from the front, so I searched for an image of her from a front view to see if that problem has already been addressed by WayForward. Thankfully, Robert DeJesus has took care of that problem with his version of Shantae. So, I used his version of her hair bangs to make it work. Also, her head is bigger. That's all part of this inbetween chibi and serious style I wanna try out. In fact, she looks like she could be in the Mighty series now. Tell me what you think?

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:27 pm

This looks rather basic and oversimplified.
Unless it just serves as a visual example of how things could look.

Looks nice. But I'd work on her design a little. Wink
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:34 pm

Yeah, all the artwork is currently going to be basic and simple until we're sure what we got works the way we want it to.

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:14 pm

Okay. Just making sure.

Keep up the good work. Extra Smile
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:17 am

Well, that's definitely something I can use as a dummy for setting up the animation system either way. ^^ The face is a little creepy to me, but as you said, it's just an example while you compile more serious bits and bobs. I'm guessing the proportions used here are what you wanted, though?

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Huh? How comes this has fallen silent again? o_O

Anyway, have you started programming already?
Or are you still looking for more ideas?

Nah, I'm just busy wrapping up a request that's long overdue so I can properly balance out working on both the fan game engine and the other requests I've accepted on deviantArt. That's not to say no work is getting done on the programming front though, the project script files are already arranged and setup in the source file, the real stuff begins when I start putting together all the ideas I'm building up for the animation system. After that's done, I can begin doing serious programming everywhere else, since the whole engine will be closely tied to the animation system's inner workings.
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:07 pm

.Luke wrote: Well, that's definitely something I can use as a dummy for setting up the animation system either way. ^^ The face is a little creepy to me, but as you said, it's just an example while you compile more serious bits and bobs. I'm guessing the proportions used here are what you wanted, though?

Yeah, I'm thinking the proportions will look like this. I promise the extra happy, creepy Shantae face will be improved lol.

I'm curious to know if her body should be broken into more than just 8 parts now. I think it would be easier to make her dance animations with each arm and leg being made of two pieces (elbow and knees may help as well) and the hip being made of 3 pieces (for smoother belly movement). I'll have to wait and see how the animation will look first, but I just have this gut feeling that there may need to be more pieces.

Also, I'm redesigning the look of the gameplay screen for 2 player mode and getting a quick sketch of how the HUD could look with the background art in mind (for 1 and 2 player mode).

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:24 pm

While that would make her movements slightly smoother, you will have to be careful if you decide to separate Shantae into even more pieces. If her head or limbs don't change angles enough to reflect what the body is doing, it would look like a marionette doll being flopped around, (Compare any hand-drawn Disney film to a typical vector cartoon, like 6teen, and you'll see what I mean.) so making fluid animations that don't look partly stiff with swatch effects might be more challenging to compile.

Outside of that, I'm sure it would make sense to split each limb into two pieces, (They wouldn't need knee/elbow joints so long as both parts connect properly.) but that will require movement mechanics for the arms and legs too. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how it would work without cutting out the chances of us implementing tweening of hip movements, because if I try to tween the limbs too, there would be whole milliseconds where two frames aren't contacting as intended.

Carving up Shantae into even more pieces than that would also make it more difficult to animate her fluidly without introducing the puppet-like articulation I mentioned, and maybe a tad bit of the Uncanny Valley effect. I'm quite unsure if the benefits would be worth the extra complexity, so I'm hoping you might have more insight on that idea to ease my doubts.
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:43 pm

I guess I was just thinking that having more smaller pieces moving together would work better than a few larger pieces moving together, but I see your point now. Breaking her body into more pieces doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore, especially if it means the timing of the dance animations are at risk. I guess I'll have to wait and see how the animation system works out.

By the way, you need those body part pieces in GIF format, right? Do you want me to send you GIF's of each piece or are you still okay without them for the time being?

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:09 pm

You don't have to send them to me just yet, I still gotta deal with the logical/guts part of the animation system first, but once the resource calling scripts start coming together, I'll need to connect any associated configuration files with some GIFs for testing and proding, etc; the usual debugging to make sure nothing derps up on us later on. You can hang onto them for a little while longer, and maybe iron out any flaws in them if you see any. I'll try to use as much of the weekend as I can to write/finish the bulk of the animation system, or the parts you'll need of it to test animations on your own system. Surprisingly, writing up code doesn't bore my little cousin as much as me drawing digital art does when he stays over. XD (He was in shock looking at all the guts holding my Sonic engine together!)
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:28 pm

Either way, this seems to be making progess. Which is good. Smile
Let's just hope this will continue to make that much a good progress.


When do you think, will the coding be completed for a playable basis?
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:14 pm

That's pretty hard to say; I couldn't get anything done this weekend because my little cousin has devolved into a media cow lately, so I wound up playing a lot of Spryo and got nothing done; I just want to cry. (It bores him to watch me be creative in any form now; it's like a whole day got burned off my calender. ;__; ) I remember when I was a kid, I'd be estatic watching my parents draw, one of my uncles do pixel art for school, sketching with my sis and talking up a storm, but not him. I'm normally a pretty laid-back guy, but I have to set my foot down before the weekends, which I like to use to get things done, go to waste sitting on my *** playing stupid **** games and watching Pewdiepie all day, ugh.

Meh, enough moaning about my life, but at least you know why I'm still at square one. Once this one request I'm working on is done, I'll be able to manage my time better so everything gets attention, instead of just whatever I'm in the mood for, which isn't very organized.

But as for a playable build, the first thing you can expect is an animation system we can play around with. I don't know when the game itself will be playable before its first demo, if you think about all the hard-coded elements and sprites that have to come together first; the game won't flow or work very well at all until the whole ruleset is laid down and tested thoroughly, since this is a glorified mini-game.
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:50 pm

In that case, I'm putting more effort into the animation pieces and I'll try to have everything ready for you when the animation system is good to go. I'll start off with Shantae's 6 dance moves first. Maybe I'll work in some HUD designs too.

I'm gonna be busy working on a comic submission as well. It's a paying gig, and I need to take as many of those as I can get at the moment. My deadline to get the comic done is Nov. 14 (maybe Nov. 24) and they want me to have at least 32 pages (60 pages max). I'm in no rush, and as long that there's extra time, I'm taking full advantage of it for both this fan game project and the comic submission.

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:06 pm

You should definitely place a bigger priority on the comic, in the case. It's cool you're being commissioned for one, that sounds like fun. ^_^ The Anime request piece I'm doing is finally inked so it won't be long before that's done, and I can focus a lot more on the animation system while working on lighter requests that won't involve as many little details on the characters. @_@
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:27 pm

Real quick question? What do you think about using this art style for Shantae Ret-2-Go! I like it a lot! It's very expressive, simple and easy to work with. Also worth noting that her hair style is a little different.


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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:15 am

Nice!
She looks like a real cutie. LOL. Razz

I think it'd work nicely. Wink
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:22 am

I agree. Best of all, this style would be perfect for animation! In fact, I kinda feel like making a little Flash cartoon with this.

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by .Luke on Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:18 pm

I saw this on dA last night, quite adorable and sharp. :3 Now that's taking artistic freedoms with the art style! It's so simple and expressively exaggerated, but you made it look cute, IMO. XD I'm guessing this is the compromise between serious and chibi you were going for originally? It's something I can get behind if you want to go in this direction with the art style, and it might just be easy enough for me to help you out with some of the animations too. =P

Once I get these emoticons done, I'll be more than eager to really get cracking on the engine now that I have some planning to back up the start of it. I'm just hoping it won't take me all week like it did with this forum skin, I really want to get back to my requests and coding, but if I find the right fit for chibi emoticons this'll be fun either way. XD
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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by MikeHarvey on Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:01 am

Awesome, glad to hear it! I'm gonna see if I can make some backgrounds and do some animations with this style. I never animated something on this scale but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it once I get started.

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Re: Shantae Ret-2-Go!: A Shantae dancing fan game project

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:28 pm

Discussion has been moved to the appropriate topic.
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