Today we would like to talk about the creatures of Galatea 37 and Mr. Riggs himself. While creatures and buildings are completely different categories of game objects, you will see that there is a lot of overlap when it comes to designing them. We will also tell you a little bit about how we animate our creatures and make them behave in an organic, believable way.
Most Canoptrix simply mind their own business if you don't provoke them.
They even try to move away from Mr. Riggs.
Let’s start with the creature design. In The Riftbreaker you visit a distant planet, so naturally, we want the creatures to feel strange and alien. The ones that you can currently see in the game (during our streams, for example, Tue & Thu, 3 PM CET) are ‘sci-fi classics’. Their size and features are meant to give you a general idea of what they’re capable of. The Canoptrix are small, wolf-like creatures that travel, hunt and attack in packs. Their strength lies in numbers. Arachnoids live in large colonies and are quite aggressive. Hammeroceroses are tough and usually calm. The creature’s appearance can tell you a lot about the general characteristics, but what about their behaviors?
Out in the wild, even the nasty Arachnoids seem pretty relaxed.
Some dig in the ground looking for food, others just lie down in the sun.
That’s when animations and states come into play. The creatures you meet during your adventure can appear in different states. They can be idle, which means that they will simply go about their day, looking for food, scratching their heads or mingling with other members of the pack. If you annoy or threaten the innocent beasts, they will either start chasing you or try to intimidate you. Finally, when they are in ‘attack mode’ the monsters will do whatever it takes to destroy you. That means they will chase and attack you whenever possible. All creatures have custom animations designed for all states and interaction possibilities.
Poor beast, it didn't even see what was coming.
Notice all the different animations and how they blend into each other.
We mentioned Mr. Riggs at the beginning, so how does he fit into the discussion about monsters? The thing that is common for all ‘living’ things in The Riftbreaker is animation blending. This cryptic term simply means that the game doesn’t have to wait until one animation is over to apply another one to the in-game unit. Instead, The Schmetterling Engine will find the points where the two animations can be connected and mixed into one fluent set of moves. This way we achieve a realistic moveset without the need to record hundreds of ‘between’ states.
Here we can see Mr. Riggs quickly switching between various moves almost seamlessly.
This also allows us to combine moves, such as slash and dash.
Would you like to learn more about how we approach animating and designing creatures in The Riftbreaker? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to join our Discord server at www.discord.gg/exorstudios - if you have any burning questions you can get the answers there the quickest.
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