Mini Monster Maker - First Game

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
Thanks for the help everybody - your support is awesome! This is the only place I've gotten any real constructive criticism on my doodles - and it's a huge help. I know I'm just a noob right now, but when I get more exp in stencyl, I'll be sure to help the new noobs!

So, I scratched the earlier test. Sometimes, it happens. When something isn't right, and you can't/won't repair it - time to move on. I took your feedback to heart and decided to study the link that merrak sent me. Wow! Awesome resource.

Now missing only raise and lower the height of hips and head.

You were being generous - I was erring in a lot of ways I didn't realize. Thanks for this graphic though! It visualized the movement in a nice way, very helpful.

Quote from: merrak
The motion still looks a bit stiff to me. I think with the amount of detail you have, more frames might make it easier to get more fluid motion

Your tip here was spot on. 4 frames is too short for a walk cycle. I studied the muybridge photo series you suggested, and I realized the little suit guy was off in more ways than one!

Quote from: ceosol
I think two extra frames, at the "down" point for each leg (in guri's picture) - showing the knee bend better would make it more fluid.

I actually added more - the two you suggested, and two more as well; on the other end of the cycle, when the figure is the tallest. After some experimentation, I think this balance makes it the most fluid..

I'm still not sure what's off, but this sketch feels more right to me than the earlier test. So now, I'll have to do a million more of these until it's second nature.

ceosol

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That definitely looks better. What I am noticing is that the torso skips backwards on the leg extension frame.

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
That definitely looks better. What I am noticing is that the torso skips backwards on the leg extension frame.

You're right. And I think the laziness in the way I handled the head/hair is hurting me here too. I'll try to be more precise - this is trickier than it looks.

gurigraphics

  • Posts: 688
Much better.
A game does not require a movement so perfect. But as you can do that better.
However, the closer of the real, more higher are the requirement. The more real, even the personality of the character ends up being expressed in the way he walks. And also is easier to realize the errors and inconsistencies. There is a technical name for it but I do not remember. I know that in "realistic animations" you realize robotic movements more easily.  And that is worse than doing something much less real.

Anyway, you need use a silhouette more darker to this get easier.
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com.br/2006/05/animation-school-lesson-5-line-of.html

Edit: I remember what was the effect:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 01:04:49 pm by gurigraphics »

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
However, the closer of the real, more higher are the requirement. The more real, even the personality of the character ends up being expressed in the way he walks. And also is easier to realize the errors and inconsistencies. There is a technical name for it but I do not remember. I know that in "realistic animations" you realize robotic movements more easily.  And that is worse than doing something much less real.

You are right - and thanks for pointing this out to me. My painting style is more realistic and less cartoony, so I'm having a personal conflict about what to do in this situation. I think for now, I'll shy away from human portrayal until I can figure out my strategy.

(My most fantastical-ish paintings are still realism-styled, even if they're strange... see this one for an example: http://laurafolio.com/kara-and-wisscha/)

So I think perhaps I might need to either practice 10 years and get perfect at human animation in my current style or practice only a few years to develop a new style. This only applies to human movement (I think), as all the reading I've done since you told me about this has mentioned that for animals and other movements, there is more forgiveness - which makes sense. We're tuned in to our own species.

Anyway, you need use a silhouette more darker to this get easier.
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com.br/2006/05/animation-school-lesson-5-line-of.html

I have a lot to work on - thank you for the pointers and help!

gurigraphics

  • Posts: 688
Quote
I might need to either practice 10 years and get perfect at human animation in my current style or practice only a few years to develop a new style.

Do not exaggerate girl.  :)

One week you can. Just make the image smaller. Max 160px height.

To start, use any reference and draw over
https://goo.gl/nK9aoU
https://goo.gl/z2xHC9

If the movement of the silhouette have look good, just paint over.

When low-resolution have look good, you increase the difficulty and detail.
If you try to go straight to perfect, you will only get lost and frustrated.



LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
Do not exaggerate girl.  :)

One week you can. Just make the image smaller. Max 160px height.

You're right - I'm worrying when I shouldn't. Your suggestions are great; thanks for all the help. I still think it will take me a few years before I am satisfied with my animations - but that's normal for me.. I am always trying to do better. It took me 10 years to be happy with my paintings, I always had in my head a way to do better as soon as I finished one. It can be frustrating but fun, and a great challenge.

Quote
When low-resolution have look good, you increase the difficulty and detail.
If you try to go straight to perfect, you will only get lost and frustrated.
Luckily, when I am lost, I try again.  I'm too stubborn to get frustrated for long. The idea to start small and work up is a great idea though.

Thanks for your encouragement and advice - I am studying on YouTube and blogs, and references that this community has provided... this whole process has made me really appreciate the complexity and beauty of games in a whole new way.

I hope to post a new animation soon, when I get another one I like enough. (Last night's was rubbish! )

ceosol

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I saw your post in Guri's topic - I didn't want to derail that thread :)

I can't believe Myst and EQ were two of your favorite games. Those two and "Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be a Hero" are my top three favorite games. I mentioned wanting to make a monster building  game before, but I would LOVE making a Myst game.

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
Ahaha, Oh man. I missed the Hero's Quest one I guess, bummer! I never played it, but I bet I would have liked it judging by your similarity in taste it seems.

Yeah, back in the day, Myst had the best graphics I had ever seen for a game, and the way the game and the story unfolded was masterful. The story in that game was what made it compelling, imo, graphics aside. I remember taking notes on some of the screens just to remember certain details I thought would be necessary for later puzzles! I had a whole notebook filled with notes... for a game! Ahahaha. Who takes notes on a game? Me, that's who. I'm such a nerd sometimes.

I would love to eventually make a Myst game too - I think that's my end goal - it'll take a lot of time for me to get to that point though - I'm still struggling with basic 2D animation! I'd like to migrate to learning Unity once I've figured out basic gaming techniques in Stencyl... as I think the myst-style games do better in a 3D world. And while Merrak accomplished the creation of an isometric possibility in Stencyl... (which is incredible, don't get me wrong, I still can't get my head around that yet!) I think I'd rather use Unity for 3D games (from what I've read, anyhow, I haven't done a whole lot of research about 3D game engines yet... it's not time for me to really think about it!).

Anyway, as you can see, I haven't really let myself get ahead of my skills... baby steps! I'm going to create some basic 2D games that probably no one will play... but it will be the necessary learning experience I need to make something people will actually enjoy.

 I also have a lot of goofy and silly stories, but not a whole lot of mystery stories, so that's something else I need to work on.

I wish there were more hours in the day so I could learn everything as quickly as I want to! (darn life gets in the way)

So anyhow (sorry about my rambling), besides the client's space race game, what else are you working on lately?

merrak

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The original Myst was a 2D game, given that the world is just still images with a few embedded QuickTime clips. It felt more like a visual novel than anything else. It could easily be done in Stencyl. Wasn't the original put together with Hypercard? But I also get the impression Myst hasn't aged very well... hence the various remakes in true 3D.

For a 3D game with perspective, camera, textures, and 3D game world, Stencyl doesn't make much sense to me. If you only need two or three of the qualities I mentioned, Stencyl can work pretty well. For example, the isometric game you mentioned has 3D camera, textures, and world, but not perspective. I can't say whether or not it would have been easier to write that in Unity, since I haven't used Unity before. I wouldn't expect the answer to be simple, either. I had to rewrite parts of the engine to make the isometric game work... but the time that cost me could also have been made up given the tools Stencyl provides that Unity wouldn't.

I think the best engine to use would come down to whether or not you're trying to make a game like the original Myst, or like the 3D reboots. I can't imagine Stencyl not being the easier engine to work with for the original style... but for a 3D game with 3D movement, Unity ought to be the best choice.

ceosol

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Stencyl can do anything that any other engine can do. However, Unity3D does the 3D rendering calculations for you. In Stencyl, you have to program everything yourself. Merrak and I - and some others - have played around with first-person 3D perspectives. I had a game where you could move around inside of a square room. I don't know where that one went to. merrak is much further along than I am (curse his mathematics :D )

merrak's 3D flight simulator: http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,47361.msg262863.html#msg262863

my brief attempt at creating a rail shooter: http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,34994.msg262211.html#msg262211

here's very quick work on a first-person shooter: http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/30171

I'm not saying that you would want to make a Stencyl 3D games, but it is a possibility. However, as merrak stated, Myst was a 2D game. It could absolutely be made in Stencyl.

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
I think the best engine to use would come down to whether or not you're trying to make a game like the original Myst, or like the 3D reboots. I can't imagine Stencyl not being the easier engine to work with for the original style... but for a 3D game with 3D movement, Unity ought to be the best choice.

While I haven't played the 3D reboots, I just feel like a 90s style doesn't resonate the way it used to.  That's not to knock the game at all! It was awesome for the time. But the technology has advanced, and so people's expectations have raised with that. The original Myst may have been 2D, but for me, it felt 3D (it was so long ago, but now that I think about it, you're right - it was a lot of panning animated shots).

More than anything, the experience was immersive, which, sure, I think could be accomplished with Stencyl in a 2D way. But to me, when I play immersive games now, I tend to feel frustrated if I can't freely explore the way you can in a true 3D game. I can imagine this future-game I someday make being a blend of my favorite 3D solo RPG type games with a puzzle and strategy-based long course story quest line (instead of the typical RPG type killing mobs for exp, farming for items and crafting materials for better gear).

But honestly, it is too premature for me to even consider such things.

I'm not saying that you would want to make a Stencyl 3D games, but it is a possibility. However, as merrak stated, Myst was a 2D game. It could absolutely be made in Stencyl.

You are absolutely correct, of course. And perhaps I expressed myself poorly - I'm thrilled with Stencyl. I'm having a blast. I think it's ideal for games and apps too (hey I started here first, I think it's a great tool). I just think sometimes by choosing the tool that is made for the job at hand, you can focus more on the creation of the game, and less on making it work the way you need it to. That's why I'm using stencyl instead of teaching myself advanced javascript! Knowing that if I need to figure out how to make Stencyl work beyond it's capabilities - I could - it's amazing. And you two are proof of that with your builds!

That being said, maybe by the time I figure out what the heck I'm doing, you brilliant masterminds will have the 3D Stencyl Engine purring like a well-oiled machine!

I'm glad, in either way, to make new friends here and discuss games in a way I have never even considered - it's fun! I think I might like making games more than I like playing them, which says a lot!

« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 07:14:27 pm by LadyLala »

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
I hope to post a new animation soon, when I get another one I like enough.

Here we go. I've just finished the keyframes on a new animation - I have a lot of video of myself doing  BMX tricks, it makes a great reference and since I'm the one doing the action, I think I can draw it easier. I'm drawing in wireframes until I like the motion; then I'll go back and do the linework.

I've been watching a lot of 2D animation tutorials on YouTube, and learning about keyframing and action arcs, thank you to this community for pointing my faults and steering me in the right direction. I'm enjoying all these doodles, but sometimes it gets repetitive in the tweening stage - so I don't tween unless I like it enough!

ceosol

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  • Posts: 2263
Really nice. I especially like the impact lines in frames 3, 4 and 7. In frames 2 and 4 your pelvis is missing :P

LadyLala

  • Posts: 38
Haha, you're right! I'll have to fix that when I add more frames. Here's another silly doodle animation - this time more on-topic than this thread has been lately....

When I drew the basic sketch for this monster, I drew each part of the creature on a separate layer. So, this is me playing around with the ability to manipulate the same drawing instead of redrawing each frame.

Not too great, but it's part of the process.... Having some fun!