This is Bananattack.

Tag: animation

Resonance Rebirth

Posted by Overkill on November 30, 2008 at 6:20 pm under Uncategorized

So this week, I began working on Resonance for the first time in a long while!

So what did I accomplish? Read on!

Walk Cycles: Boy, I suck at animating

First thing I spent time looking into was trying to make some walk cycles. I struggled with a 4-frame walk cycle, but there’s a bunch of things off with it that still need to be fixed.

Here’s the sprite sheet with a walk frames:

I’m too embarrassed to show it off in motion right now because it looks really… odd. I think I need to up the frame count and stop using ping-pong style frame switching.

I might just start over, since it only took a couple hours.

Abilities: Take Two

I also started to give thoughts to another aspect of Resonance, the ability system.

Currently abilities in Resonance just don’t feel “fun”, and are sort of overcomplicated with the whole level-based-on-position-to-beacon. I decided that this need to be changed. I present my — I hesitate to say “new”, but — fresh ideas on ability management!

Well
 
 
All abilities are on/off, not level scaled. This means that you don’t need to worry about a level 3 jump boost becoming a level 1 jump boost and trying to memorize what the hell the difference is.

It means that I actually KNOW where each ability’s useful range begins and ends. Right now, the level 4 power is given by a like 1/8 of the broadcast range, and level 3 by 1/4 broadcast, and level 2 by 1/2 broadcast, which is just horrendous to deal with level design wise, and also DEFINITELY not clear to the user where something starts and ends.

This also improves how I can present the information on the HUD, since now I can show a show a gauge that indicates your distance from a beacon, instead of an arbitrary “level” indicator. And when an ability is near the “fizzle-out” distance, I can display nifty warning effects.
 
 
Abilities are distributed over “channels”, and are received by “equipment”, where each beacon in the world has an assigned channel it broadcasts on, and each equipment piece has a channel/channels it “listens” to. So you have, say a Weapon, Armor and Shoes, which determine different aspects of your ability listening.

At first this seems like a complicated thing to introduce, but hear me out!
 
 
Abilities on the same channel can be mixed.

So let’s say an “Alpha” Pistol can pick up on all modifiers broadcasted to the Alpha channel.

So there’s a base power: shooting stuff. Overlayed on top of that are the abilities in that channel.

So say you bump into an Alpha beacon which broadcasts “Frenzy”, it will turn your weapon into an automatic. And another Alpha beacon elsewhere broadcasts “Electrify”, which will make your weapon shoot powerful shockwaves. Walk into a region that broadcasts both Frenzy and Electrify, and you get a machine gun with electrical rounds.

Meanwhile, a “Beta” Sword picks up on all modifiers broadcasted to the Beta channel. A beta Frenzy will give you a rapid slashing attack, which is different behaviour from the gun.

Perhaps your final Shoes pick up on every channel, then, you get a Alpha Double Jump, a Beta Sprint, and you can use either at the same time, since the equipment listens to both channels.
 
 
But there’s more! Channels can be jammed and “bad” broadcasts can be made.

So listening to only one channel with equipment has the disadvantage of jamming preventing any abilities on the channel going through.

Bad broadcasts are also possible, so equipment that listens to multiple channels is more vulnerable. So something like reducing visibilty on screen, or gradual damage to the equipment holder could be employed.

These are both mechanics the enemies (who I plan on describing more in a later post) can use.
 
 
New channels are found as you go on, so for starters, there might be two channels, but later you’ll get equipment that listens to far-out there channels.
 
 
Certain enemies can listen to channels for abilities too, so any ability (good or bad) is picked up by the enemy’s equipment that can listen to special “enemy” channels (which you get access to later). And later enemies could be able to listen to every channel, to introduce a challenge further on.

Abilities: The Tough Part

Okay, so I sort of lied, I made the system more “comprehensible” and simpler for level/game design.

This isn’t exactly making the game’s ability any system simpler codewise. It’s more complex in code.

So in summary the new immediate things to do:

  • Make beacons that are on/off by range
  • Channels are introduced — need to give them cooler names than greek letters
  • Beacons have a single assigned channel for their abilities
  • Equipment has a base ability, and a list of channels it can listen to
  • The equipment interprets how to apply each power received to its base skill, and (weapons especially) should smartly mix combinations of powers on a channel.
  • A HUD of some sort needs to be planned out
  • I need to make enemies
  • Those enemies need to use equipment + modifiers and employing jammers smartly somehow, and this means clever AI (eek?) or smart scenario planning.

That’s about it for now. Also a warm hello to Kael and Zaril, who also seem to be making sidescrollery things.

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