HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea is a charming open-world single-player RTS loaded with quirky characters, beautiful planetary design and a healthy dollop of humor. It combines classic resource management, technology research and civilization building with intuitive tower-defense gameplay.

Post news Report RSS DevBlog #6 - HYPERNOVA: Animations

Walking, jumping, attacking, dying, eating, biting, turning, flying, exploding, running, landing, drilling, closing, digging, throwing… hundreds of small key-framed sequences that make a game alive.

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The main challenge with animations in Hypernova was performance. In a strategy game, a great number of units may be displayed on the screen at once, so performance can quickly become an issue.

While the programmers did a great job in hiding all the assets on the map not actually being seen, each building and creature also had to be optimized as much as possible. Optimization included low mesh polycounts, LOD (level of detail) meshes, shadow meshes and simpler skeletons. The buildings in the game are organic/robotic and technically don’t differ much from the creatures.

All the buildings and non-bipedal creatures were animated in Maya, using simple custom rigs.

A building rig example:piscture1


A creature rig example:picture2


Since the creatures in the game don’t do much more than walk, attack and die, the animator setups in Unity could also be kept as simple as possible:

picture3


Because of the small size on the screen, each creature had to have a very distinctive walk and attack animations. The average length of both attack and walk animations was roughly 30 frames.

A non-bipedal walk cycle example:PWalk1


Roughly half of the creatures were bipeds and were animated in Motion Builder, where the animations could be retargeted from creature to creature and easily retimed and modified. (No motion capture was used for creature animations)

picture5


picture6


A bipedal walk cycle example:MWalk2


The only two examples of complex animation are the intro and the outro. Both were animated in Motion Builder. (No animation was done in Unity)

Intro scene in Motion Builder:picture7


Intro scene in Unity:picture8


For better performance and predictability, the use of physics was limited to intro and outro.

Physics objects, used for simulating floppy ears, can be seen in the picture below:

picture9


And finally all this in action :)


Available now on

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That's it for now. Thank you for reading, cheers!
- Samo.


www.HypernovaGame.com

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HYPERNOVA: Escape from Hadea
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ActaLogic
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