I'm currently working on a game called "After Corruption"
It's a survival horror game themed like a playstation 1 title.
This second dev log is going to focus on character design choices, inventory management and combat.
When designing in 2D and 3D there are different options for how to animation characters.
1. You can have pre-built "flat" sprites
2. Rigged characters; meaning they have a basic skeleton with a mesh around it
3. Programmatic animations
1. Pre-built sprites give you the most direct control, but take the most time to create/setup
2. Rigging relatively quick to setup but can require a level of configuration for certain models
3. Programmatic animations can take a lot of time to setup, but give you a lot of control over the result
Note that rigging in 2D is technically the same as rigging in 3D but most animation sets are basic on 3D humanoid data. Any pure 2D sets will be unique and won't be compatible with "normal" humanoid animation libraries like mixamo.
I don't have an example of programmatic animations, but there is a good GDC talk by Wolfire Games about how they used programmatic 3d animation in their game Overgrowth.
My last game I worked on was a 2D pixel art game and required that I hand make all the characters by hand. There were 7 characters with 10 sprites each so adding additional animations ends up being a lot of work. Moving into 3D I could take advantage of using 3D rigging.
The next decision I had was on the enemy types.
I have two basic choices:
Non humanoid rig:
Humanoid rigs would allow me to re-use pre-existing assets and from a design standpoint humanoids are easy to visually understand. Non-humanoid rigs would have the same problem as 2D rigs and would require that I make my own animations. I had debated with myself for a while on what path I wanted to take from a technical and a story standpoint. I didn't want to use zombies, but I found that non-humanoid enemy types were going to add too much time to the project for it to be feasible. I decided to use zombie adjacent enemies and have these infected/mutated humans with these tentacles growing out of their body. I made and animated the tentacles separately from the main bodies so I could keep the base model humanoid.
I did end up making 1 standard enemy that would be non-humanoid but the majority of enemies would rely on basic humanoid actions.
I created a base texture for the enemy and player model, and then created separate layers for clothing. I could load the clothing layers as templates and then flatting them down to make a unique single texture to use on an enemy.
I added a lot to the inventory screen both visually and functionally. You can now move items (which is use for the gun mod system), combine items (like putting two small medkits together for a medium one), equip weapons, look at item info, and drop items.
Dropping items is something I've debated with myself about. I originally wanted to use an item box mechanic, but because each map will only have a single "safe" room requiring the player come back to the same area of the map everytime they wanted to do inventory management seemed like a bad idea. I could have the player destroy items like some games do, but I felt like I'd take the Resident Evil 0 route.
I added 4 of the basic weapon mod items into the game. They add an element type damage to any type of weapon that is equipped.
Lastly I'm tweaking some small animation stuff like head tracking when the player is near and item or enemy.