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Luk last won the day on September 15 2018

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  1. Okay, so by request, I've typed out some more tutorial information for animation. This will be an intermediate level tutorial done mostly in the form of techniques and ideas to keep in mind when animating. In particular, we'll be working with a WIP walk cycle for Balduranne's panther model. Here's the file if you want to follow along: male(Original).json Okay, so we’re working on a walk cycle. For this example, let’s focus on quadruped walking. Also, if you see any weird stuttering in the gifs, that's a result of recording them, not the animation itself. (Edit: gifs aren't working. Need a tutorial on how to use the internet.) Here's the original walk cycle: Step 1: Keyframes When making a walk animation, I’d suggest starting with two keyframes. More generally speaking: when making an animation, I’d suggest starting with keyframes that show the extremes of motion. For a walk cycle, this is the moment when the animal reaches its front foot to step forward and the moment when the animal pushes its hind foot off the ground behind it. So a reach and a push. And this happens with both legs. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds like four keyframes instead of two”. Well, you’re right, but that’s harder to do at the beginning. For now, I’d say synchronize the reach and push to be at the same time and then make one keyframe for the right legs and one for the left legs. That might be a little confusing. What I’m saying is, make one keyframe where the left front leg and left hind leg are reaching forward, and then make another keyframe where the right front leg and the right hind leg are reaching forward. Result of changes: Step 2: Frame Distances Now, look at how jerky the motion is. Walk cycles don’t have to be perfectly smooth, but the very nature of walking is generally stable and repetitive. If your keyframes are too far apart from each other, the animation will have slow moments and fast moments. This can be good later on (particularly if you want a limping cycle), but for now we want stability. Stability also helps us see what else we can do to improve the animation, since jerkiness can be harder to read. So generally what I do is, I’ll place one keyframe at frame #0, and then the other keyframe at the middle of the animation. So since this animation has 35 frames total, I’ll put it at frame #17. This ensures that the frames are an even distance from each other, which gives us ideal stability. You don’t have to use #0 and #17 if you don’t want to. So long as the keyframes are equidistant from each other, you can place them anywhere and it will work fine, but using the beginning and middle of the animation just makes it a lot simpler and cleaner, if you ask me. Result: Step 3: Patterns Okay, this can be tricky because a lot of animals will vary their walking patterns depending on their speed. Some of them have like eight different patterns. In this particular case, the panther is actually made with the wrong pattern for this speed. Notice how the legs are paired diagonally (meaning the right front leg and the left hind leg have the same motion)? This is a trot, and it’s something they tend to do more when they’re sneaking as opposed to walking. Their walking pattern is actually more of a pace (I think it’s a stepping pace, if we’re being specific), where their legs are paired laterally, meaning the right front leg and the right hind leg have the same motion. Look up horse or dog gaits for a better understanding of walk/run patterns. It makes it a lot easier. They even include how many feet are touching the ground at one time. Apparently equestrian people love this stuff, idk. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_gait Result: Step 4: Body Connections Acting out animations is probably the best thing you can do. Take note of how your body moves. It moves A LOT. If you don’t know how an animal moves, just watch footage of it. If you get stuck and you’re not sure how to improve it, consider the principles of animation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_principles_of_animation As is mentioned in the article, squash and stretch are very important. Even though the ah, stretch tool doesn’t work in the editor, you can still simulate stretch through rotation and positioning. Consider the panther: When he’s reaching his front left paw forward, what do you think his shoulder is doing? Try reaching forward with your own arm and watch how your torso rotates. It probably does the same thing as the panther. A helpful mindset is to think that every piece of the animal is connected. If you move one, it should invariably affect the rest of the pieces. Oftentimes the causality isn’t that simple, but maybe that’s getting too complicated. Consider the panther again: You can follow along with this video to see what I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gThIDTb9k6w I’ll break down the motions and connections step by step: - Starting the motion from the rear, the panther contracts its right hind leg, pushes into the ground, and uses that force to propel itself forward. - This causes the right hind leg to extend as the body is pushed forward. - The panther’s hips are attached to the right hind leg, so they’re pulled towards that leg. Pulled down and to the right. - Now we have the left hind leg, which is attached to the hips. Since the hips are rotating down and to the right, the left hind leg is now lifted up and to the right. This places it closer to the center of the body, so it acts as a vertical pillar to hold the panther’s weight after it finishes its right hind leg push. - Okay, now what else is attached to the hips? The torso. Since the lower half of the body is reaching down and to the right, the torso has to counterbalance or the panther will fall over. So the torso rotates up and to the left. - The front left arm, having been pushed forward by the rotating torso, is now in a perfect position to reach forward for another step. - The front right arm has been pulled back into a central position like the left hind leg. It also acts as a pillar to hold the panther’s weight while the front left arm is reaching. - What else is connected to the torso? The neck. As the torso rotates, it pushes and pulls the neck with it. Pull to the right, push to the left. Since the panther wants to look straight ahead, the neck has to compensate for the torso, so it rotates in the opposing direction. - This keeps the head fairly stable, but it will compensate a bit depending on how much the torso affects the neck. The direction it rotates in is generally just towards the front. - B-but what about the ears and the tail?? Eh, they’re kind of autonomous. Sometimes they don’t rotate at all, sometimes they do. You’ll have to experiment to see what you like. Generally, I’ll animate them to show emotion, as a lot of animals will use them when attacking or fleeing. Ah, text is a poor medium for this. A good understanding of newtonian physics is also very useful here in that it can help you determine where to simulate force (every action has an equal and opposite reaction) and that can translate into a sense of weightiness in the animation. Yeah, anatomy and physics are super useful. Also music. Results: ( I was going to do a core body rotation gif first, but I messed it up and didn’t notice until after, so RIP) Okay, that’s looking better. The body movements are still a little awkward, but it’s good enough for now. Sometimes you just have to look at it again the next day to see what needs fixing. Step 5: Adding Keyframes Okay, remember what I said at the beginning about how this walk cycle should actually have at least 4 keyframes? The panther’s legs may move laterally, but they don’t move simultaneously. When the right front leg is reaching into the air, the right hind leg is already touching the ground to support it. They’re on the same rhythm, but not the same beat, if that makes sense. Ah, I can’t remember the proper musical term. So what we want to do is, add more keyframes so that each leg can touch the ground at its own pace, creating a more natural walk for the panther. You might want to look around for more information about the Stepping Pace to figure out exactly how the feet are supposed to act. If you don’t want to do that, here’s a summary: Implementing this might be a little complicated if you’ve never tried it before. It’s kind of done by adding keyframes just for one leg, duplicating the original values for the leg’s rotation and position, and then removing their original keyframe. The idea is just that you’re transposing the whole animation cycle for one leg onto a different part of the rhythm. And also making sure the leg appears to stay in place on the ground when it’s not being lifted. Definitely make sure you have a backup file saved at this point, if you’re not used to it. Alright uhhh this is getting a little too complicated to explain well.. Maybe I'll end it on this lesson and continue it later. Results: Ah, it’s fun working with more anatomically realistic models. And more work lol. So maybe it’s just me, but I feel like after this step it really started to come together. Notice how fluid the movements are? I only did the left side because A) it’ll hopefully make it easier to see what I did with the keyframes, and B) it’s late. So that’s about it for today. I can explain more if anyone has any questions. I left out a lot of the technical steps in favor of the abstract, because I feel that's more easily applied to more animations. But if you want to know precisely how I did each step, just let me know. Here's the updated json file if you wanna look it over: male_2.json
  2. Luk

    Balance Survey

    Hey party people. It's been a couple updates since I made some gameplay changes. I'd like to hear what people think about the state of the game now. Is there anything you find frustrating? Wolves still got you down? How do you feel about food? What about night time? How often do you find dungeons/lore? At what point do you feel like you no longer have to worry about surviving? Any other complaints? Now's your chance to let me know and I'll do what I can to fix them! I know a lot of you guys play on modded servers too, so if you can just preface that beforehand that would be great.
  3. Ah, that's an interesting take on the drifters, although I think maybe there's too much focus on "intellectual deficiency". Assuming the Eternals are human-like in appearance, I would assume the drifters have a lot of problems going on. On that topic, there's a heavy dose of social darwinism here, which is something that should probably be approached rather carefully. Not saying it needs to be avoided altogether, but it can get really bad really quick if you're not careful with how you handle it. My question for you here is, who or what is the player? Seems like the timeline is setting up a big revival coinciding with the start of the game. Are you seeing this whole concept as more of a mythology or an actual history? As in, would you say all this actually happened or would you say it's merely society's beliefs? The biggest difference I see between the two is that one option leaves room for present interaction with the Eternals and the Pantheon in-game.
  4. I think in a lot of ways our world gen is pretty solid, but I do think it could be better. Oceans are nice, ya know?
  5. I agree from a purely narrative standpoint, it would be cool to make players lose control, and I'm certainly aware it happens in real life. However the disconnect between player and avatar can lead to problems when you take away control. When you lose control in real life, you generally have bigger things to worry about. The player is not caught up in the same fear that the avatar is, so they can't totally empathize with the lack of abilities. This is where it can be frustrating, because they'll know what they want to do but they won't be able to do it. On top of that, there's breaking the suspension of disbelief that comes from changing player controls on the fly. The goal of that fear would be to grip the player and keep them in the moment, but when they have to fumble around trying to figure out their controls, that can take them out of the moment. I do agree that frustration is not necessarily a bad thing, though. It's just quite difficult to use well. I think games have a long way to go on that. At times it reminds me of dissonance in music theory. As though we're still in the Classical era trying to figure out perfect design. I really enjoyed Bennett Foddy's thoughts on the matter in Getting Over It.
  6. That's surprisingly similar to ideas we've thrown around internally regarding this mechanic. Yeah, we'd eventually like to make some sort of sanity mechanic that incorporates some of the things you're talking about. And I've already planned the story to work in concert with that. It's just a matter of figuring out the details and implementing it. So look forward to it! Your wish will more or less be granted I hope. Some things I'm considering in regards to this: We've thought about loss of character control before, but I'm pretty sure that would be incredibly frustrating to play with. I definitely want a solution that's better than Don't Starve's darkness/sanity mechanic (although other team members like that mechanic >.>). But yeah, it still serves as good inspiration. Between that, Darkest Dungeon, and Bloodborne I think there are some interesting ideas that can be improved upon. However, first and foremost it should work well in a voxel environment.
  7. Changing parent/child hierarchy sounds soo nice.
  8. No, that's not what I'm saying, and I'm sorry if it came across that way. I've been participating in this discussion for the sake of considering new ideas and trying to understand our players' perspectives. Your posts seemed to indicate that you felt smithing was endangered in some way by "repairing" as a game mechanic, so I was just trying to find out what was endangered. Whether it was the importance of smithing in the survival process or if it was the act of smithing for you personally. And even if the issue is just that you happen to like playing the game a certain way and this repairing concept endangers that, that's still important for me to know.
  9. Redram, I could see how smithing wouldn't feel tedious if you smithed really efficiently like that, and I can understand not wanting to lessen the smithing experience. Out of curiosity, would it still bother you if the smithing system was left completely like it is? So theoretically, you could keep playing the game as you like, but others could use repair kits or grindstones if they want to. Would the incurring resource inefficiency bother you? Or would you feel like the smithing system has been done an injustice because people are less likely to use it? I'm not super opposed to smithing repair kits nor to them being tier sensitive, but I dunno, putting those two things together with a 1 to 1 equivalent metal cost seems like you should just smith the tool instead. Also, I think your concept sounds pretty good, Tony. Admittedly, I think I just like the idea of durability being visible in the 3D model and icon.
  10. I would assume a grindstone would take less time to use than it would take to make an entirely new tool. Or at the very least, it would take less resources. Which would save time. Which reduces the tedium, at least between those two options. It seems like the metal tiering system would still work fine. There are sitll plenty of advantages to having an iron pickaxe instead of a copper pickaxe. And your tools would still break eventually, assuming max durability would drop with each repair. I'm assuming the whole point of this discussion is to find a way to reduce the tedium of having to remake tools, right? That's ultimately the purpose of repairing, isn't it? I think smithing is fun, sure, but I don't really have fun making my fourth or fifth pickaxe. Don't you find that tedious, Redram? Or is it just that you're more concerned about a bad solution than a mediocre problem? I think effeciency loss is a cool idea in theory, but I agree that it could be quite confusing and frustrating. It would need to be very clear what's happening if it were implemented. Which, it could probably could be made clear quite easily, actually. Just having the 3D model and icon eroding in front of you would probably do it. I'm not sure I agree about the hard choices of what tools to bring on a trip. I think it's kind of silly to have to bring three pickaxes when you go mining, but it seems like those slots would be filled anyway if you brought repair kits instead, wouldn't they? And they would both be emptied as the trip continued. The kits would be consumed and the extra picks would break.
  11. Luk

    Tutorial Map

    Oh whoops. Didn't check the date of the original post. Well, not too much has changed mechanically since then, so it's still worth a look.
  12. Luk

    Tutorial Map

    Thanks for this, Milo. I'll take a look at it! Still working on an official tutorial on my end.
  13. I know we have a couple people who seem quite knowledgeable about blacksmithing. I'm curious, how does one repair a hammer in real life? Assuming it's the metal that is damaged and not just the wooden haft. Reading Stroam's response, it seems like it would go on the grindstone anyway. Speaking more bluntly (LOL), it seems like repairs are generally more needed for sharp tools, right? The edge of a sword is certainly going to go dull before a hammer would break. And, actually, a hammer is like the only tool we currently have (off the top of my head) that is really blunt. It seems totally logical to me that one would sharpen a pickaxe or a shovel on a grindstone, since they have edges and points. I like the idea that repairs refill your durability, but drop maximum durability as well. Potentially a sharpening could temporarily improve the tool's efficiency or something as well. And while there is concern about it making smithing obsolete... I guess I'm not totally opposed to that? The constantly-remaking-tools concept feels a bit like an artifact from older games to me. You'll still need better tools to get better resources, so you'll still be making new iterations. Just maybe you don't have to make the same iteration over and over. And you would still need metal as well, since you have like 10 other tools to make for whatever tech level you're at. In general, I'm concerned with the balance between tedium and challenge in VS. I'd prefer challenge to come about in ways that don't require grinding. Grinding in the metagame sense, not the grindstone repairing sense. Lol, kind of ironic.
  14. Hey this is a really cool concept! I particularly like the idea of repairing bows and making fire and poison arrows.
  15. Luk

    The ECGC Report!

    Hello Vintarians! As some of you may know, Lo-Phi (Hayden) and I showcased Vintage Story at the East Coast Game Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina last week. This was a nice opportunity for us to share the game with the public and get some valuable feedback from industry professionals as well. So what kind of feedback did we get? Well, we realized pretty quickly that it was hard for players to just jump in and enjoy the game, since it can be a little complex. With that in mind, I’m planning to do some work to provide in-game tutorial information for new players to work off of. Hit me up on the forums or in Discord if there was any concept that tripped you up early or anything you’d like to suggest for a better new player experience. However! The conference attendees were generally impressed once they started to understand the game’s depth and detail. In particular, things like the crafting systems, worldgen, and visuals were highly praised. We had a couple level designers, animators, and 3D modelers who appreciated the potential that our creative tools and model editor offer. Beyond that, many of the players excitedly suggested that we allow for custom tools and weapons using the voxel-based crafting system. Who knows? Maybe that’s something we’ll see in the future! All in all, it was an enjoyable experience and one that gave us another chance to improve Vintage Story even further. Now it’s time for us to get to work and show our dedication to any new players that might have signed up after ECGC came to a close. Also, we’ll be presenting Vintage Story again in July for the ReVersed Festival in Vienna! Come say hello to the European team members!
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