After a little bit over three years of development time, we’re very happy with the quality level of the game.
Have a look at the release date announcement trailer below:
We hit a milestone recently when we finished animating our first character for Tahira. The Claw animations consist of 480 drawn key frames, which took our dedicated artist Peter Simpson a month to do. I’ll be detailing the process in another update at some point in the future, but for now enjoy some rotoscoped 2D animation.
We dressed our friend Matt up as our barbarian character and asked him to act out the different moves we needed. He did a fantastic job, but we had a bit of trouble getting the death animation right, as you can see in the video below. But on the upside, I was given the perfect footage to score with some of the beautiful and frantic music from Amelie.
Watch on for hilarity.
This was the final test in our animation pipeline. We learnt some big lessons, which I’ll go into more detail on in another article. There were two big changes we made after running this test. The first was making a concerted effort to make sure the action in the reference footage looped back to its starting point. All of our animations need to loop and it saves a lot of animation work to have that done in the reference footage rather than in the animation process.
The other big change was moving to using a 3D head and 3D sword instead of using the reference footage. It proved very time consuming for Peter to have to make up the head shape and guess the angle of the sword. Instead he modeled a head and sword and then tracked them into the reference footage. This added step takes a little bit of time but saves far more than it adds.
As we were developing our animation pipeline we ran a number of tests to make sure there would be no nasty surprises when we moved into production. This was our final attack animation test in that process. We have since added one more step, which allows us to change the timing of the animations to make them punchier.
We learnt a few lessons that seem obvious in hindsight, but that’s why testing like this is so important. I’ve embedded our animation tests below. The bottom one is the first one we did.