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Arcadian Atlas is a 2D isometric tactical RPG for Mac/PC/iOS about the choices people make in pursuit of the things they love, and the havoc it wreaks on a kingdom.

Watch your footing & mind the strategic vantage points as you traverse the richly detailed pixel art world of Arcadia -- A turned back or tumble on the battlefield could cost you a friend’s life. Let the moody jazz soundtrack carry you through a thought provoking & ruthless story of love, deceit, murder, companionship & war. Meant to be a modern loveletter to classic tactical RPGs, Arcadian Atlas was designed from the ground up to incorporate more challenging battle strategies, new & balanced job classes, and more cutthroat plot twists that'll leave you wishing you hadn't gotten so attached to "that character."

Featuring dynamic job classes, a rich character driven narrative, strategic grid-based battles and a jazz infused soundtrack, Arcadian Atlas is a lushly handcrafted 2D isometric tactical RPG that takes the rich history of the genre and makes it fresh.

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Update 12: Anatomy of Animation,
Map Efficiency, and More!

Welcome all you wonderful backers to another action-packed episode of Arcadian Atlas! This time around we've got tons of details from all across the game development spectrum. Whether it be animation, portraits, map-tunage, music, or behind-the-scenes on programming - you're in the right place!

So dive on in. The waters are warm and cozy!

Anatomy of Animation

Artistically, animation is the most pain-staking process of game development. It's a multilayered art, both literally and figuratively, and we wanted to give you a peak behind that process in more depth as we finalize the animations for our core classes.

Example Animation SheetExample Animation Sheet

Each core class has a list of essential battle animations, arranged in a sheet, that are consistent across classes. What's not consistent across classes? Attacks & Skills.

Keyframe ProcessKeyframe Process

So when making new animations, we start with real-world examples and build keyframes from them. In the case of the above Apothecary Bottle Throw animation, I used myself as a base and built from it.

Skeletoning an AnimationSkeletoning an Animation

New animations typically work in stages:

  • Raw Footage - a video or gif of real-world people performing the action to be animated.
  • Skeleton - the basic shapes of an animation, typically very rough. This is used to ensure the flow of the animation looks correct before detail is added.
  • Naked Base - the naked form all classes can use before hair, clothes, and other details are added.
  • Clothed - usually the final stage where all class-specific content is added to the naked base and added to that core classes' sprite sheet.

From Naked Base to ClothedFrom Naked Base to Clothed

So in essence, any new animation we create is actually 3 animations, and from start to finish with the Apothecary Bottle Throw it looks like the example below:

Apothecary Bottle Throw ProcessApothecary Bottle Throw Process

And that's just the specialized animations! We've got a whole slew of basic movements and actions to tackle.

Back to Basics

Ah, the essentials of a fight. We've got our Idling, Walking, Injured, Charging, Jumping, Flying, Landing, Death animations, and the list goes on! And remember, that's for front views, back views, male, and female troops. 48+ unique frames per class, 2 genders, 4 classes - that's 384+ unique frames just for basic animations!

Cavalier & Ranger Walk CyclesCavalier & Ranger Walk Cycles

Over the last few months we've been steadily chipping away at them, and we're happy to say we've not only finalized the designs for our male/female Apothecary and male/female Warmancer - but we've even knocked out all of their core animations! Yep, all 384+ of them!

Apothecary & Warmancer Walk CyclesApothecary & Warmancer Walk Cycles

And now we move on to the specialized attacks for each class, one of which Becca's been hard at work on below:

Hammer SMASH!Hammer SMASH!

Serving Fierce Face

Let's face it (see what I did there?): little Apothecary and Warmancer sprites are super cute, but sometimes we need to look a person square in the high-detailed eye and give them a good talkin' to.

Portrait ProcessPortrait Process

So Becca and I have been hard at work on portraits to go with our sprites. Because there's nothing sadder than walking into a tavern and the tavern-master won't even look you in the face. That's enough reason to brawl right then and there!

Cavalier Portrait ProcessCavalier Portrait Process

Improvements Abound with Odin

And as pretty as these lil' dudes are walking, slapping, and smashing about - a video game has to be as efficient as possible. Patrick recently upgraded our Unity build with Odin Inspector, a powerful tool that's allowed him to streamline how maps, cutscenes, and menus save data and juggle database information.

We've gone from complicated and rather ugly excel files for items to completely in-engine databases with images and separate, easy-to-read and alter fields like this:

Database Improvements With OdinDatabase Improvements With Odin

But it's not just for databases! Odin has far-reaching implications for space saving, with the potential to reduce both disk and RAM space requirements by upwards of 90%! That's huge for download size and run speed! In fact, we're already applying it to how maps are constructed and saved:

Odin's Vast Improvements to Map Building & File SizesOdin's Vast Improvements to Map Building & File Sizes

So while we absolutely adore the animations and art side of Arcadian Atlas, this is easily what is making us most happy!

Oh, but we forgot that we're even improving how animations are handled in the background ; ). Blend Trees will allow us to better organize all of our isometric animations within Unity so that we can finish hooking it up to our unique characters and classes faster! Possibly 75% faster! NUMBERS! BIG NUMBERS EVERYWHERE!

Blend Trees to Reduce Animation Programming LagBlend Trees to Reduce Animation Programming Lag

Tavern Tunes

But wait, there's more! We wanted to serenade you out with the latest tune Moritz is working up for our tavern patrons. Because if there's one thing you want while getting a bit tipsy (or enjoying a nice virgin piña colada perhaps?) it's some jazzy tunes:

Tavern Theme Song

Tavern Main ScreenTavern Main Screen

Oh, and why not grab a contract to smash some more things while you're at it?

Contract: Slapping VagrantContract: Slapping Vagrant

Speeding Into Summer

That's it for now, but keep your eyes peeled on our twitter page for glimpses of what's coming up in the Arcadian Atlas pipeline as we get closer to beta!

Arcadian Atlas Twitter

And we'll see all you crazy kids next time with juicy details of skills, fighting' poses, menus, and all the clockwork that makes this beauty tick!

Arcadian Atlas Update 9 - Grab-Bag of Goodies

Arcadian Atlas Update 9 - Grab-Bag of Goodies


While those backer rewards keep trickling in for equipment and accessories (everything from sandals inspired by the Aloha spirit to a Davy Crockett style...

Arcadian Atlas Update 8: Scenario Editor & Items Galore

Arcadian Atlas Update 8: Scenario Editor & Items Galore


This time we've got some updates on our Scenario Editor for Arcadian Atlas, the backbone of our transition from the world and cutscenes to battles. ALSO...

Arcadian Atlas: From Scenes to Fisticuffs

Arcadian Atlas: From Scenes to Fisticuffs

News 1 comment

It's update time again! This go-round we've got details on the transition from story to fisticuffs - or from the scenes, world, and characters of Arcadian...

Arcadian Atlas Update: Cutscene Editor

Arcadian Atlas Update: Cutscene Editor


It's that time again! We've got a special preview of the cutscene editor tool that we're using to build all the in-game cutscenes along with some gifs...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 14)

Be quiet and take my money <3

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So glad I supported the kickstarter, this is going to be an amazing game!

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good !

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love to see games that look like this being created thanks for this creationand looking forward to actually playingthis

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Medieval X-Com?

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I love FFT and Disgaea if you could add the hours of monotony that Disgaea offers Id be your #1 fan lol

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Love the art *.*

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Tactics Ogre *drools*

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You had me at FF Tactics (and Tactics Ogre!), will this game have a job/class based system?

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bbreakfast Creator

glad to hear it! and definitely, we are working on a more in-depth and multitiered job class system -- sort of a combo of FFT's classics with Tree of Savior's job branches.

Reply Good karma+2 votes

Great news, following you and your sibling on Twitter to keep up to date :D Will be backing as soon as you guys have your kickstarter up and running.

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Arcadian Atlas
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Twin Otter Studios
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Single Player

Latest tweets from @arcadianatlas, @tupeloshoney

RT @Jonahlobe: Remember that Art is not a path with mile markers to help you judge progress. Art is like an open-world game. Go w… T.co

12hours ago by tupeloshoney

grow big & strong for me lil bud Ift.tt T.co

20hours ago by tupeloshoney

RT @TupelosHoney: testing some cute n' cozy new tiles w/ some existing tiles for @ArcadianAtlas Store.steampowered.com #pixelartT.co

23hours ago by arcadianatlas

testing some cute n' cozy new tiles w/ some existing tiles for @ArcadianAtlas Store.steampowered.com #pixelartT.co

Jul 18 2018 by tupeloshoney

RT @playmoonquest: We added an F.A.Q. to the Steam page. T.co

Jul 18 2018 by tupeloshoney

nyuk nyuk nyuk T.co

Jul 17 2018 by tupeloshoney

RT @wtaylorbair: Shake that shake that shake that shake that shake that healthy butt @ArcadianAtlas #pixelart #animation #gamedevT.co

Jul 6 2018 by arcadianatlas

RT @wtaylorbair: Flavor text should at least taste good 🤷🏽‍♂️ @ArcadianAtlas #indiedev #gamedev #tacticalrpg #tactics T.co

Jul 2 2018 by arcadianatlas

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