This WIP note can be find in Portuguese at this adress :
Thank you ElvisSparda !!
The WIP video #9 is finally out. I hope you'll the work done :
Video Analysis :
About the music
First of all, I want to thanks Jim Thach, who did the AoT inspired track you can hear in this video and who gave me the permission to use it. I can finally stop ripping music from the anime, and use original content in my videos at last :D
The major focus of this update was the counter action. It really wasn't something easy to implement for me and I had to redo it several time in order to have something that would look OK.
The main difficulty came from the interaction between the player and the titan. Since the titan attacks you by grabbing you with his hand trying to match your position, the pose of his arm is not always the same. His hand will go down to grab you if you're flying low, to the left if you're flying to his left, ... etc. So the trajectory that the player need to take to cut along the arm is variable. And it'll be even more when there'll be more titan, with different proportion! That means I can't go directly into Maya, and simply create an animation of the player spiraling around a titan arm.
To make it works in any situation, I had to work that a bit in script. I broke up the whole action in 3 steps:
1- First, the player come right in front of the arm before cutting it. Since the player can be anywhere in space when the counter action input is pressed, it really ease the process if I can bring him in a pre-determined location before doing anything else. So, whatever the location of the player is when the counter is launched, the character will always place himself right in front of the Titan hand.
At this point, it's easy to work on a nice composition with the camera, since the location of the player is predictable.
2- The second step is the spiraling movement along the arm. For that, I'm using the bones location of the Titan. First, the character reach the bone of the hand. When it reached it, he then move toward the elbow, and then the shoulder.
As for the spiraling effect, I had to parent the mesh to an empty, invisible object to make it work. It means that I now have 2 entities : a dummy, and a mesh, with the mesh following the dummy. This way, I can apply secondary movement to my mesh. So with this set up, I have the dummy running along the arm in straight line, and by giving an orbiting effect to the mesh around the dummy, I easily created a spiraling effect.
3- The last step, is pretty much the first one, in reversed. The idea here is the same
The last thing I had to pay attention to was the behavior of the titan. What I mean by that is that to make everything looks good, I had to slow down the movements of the titan during the counter. If I didn't, the titan would have bring back his arm down, along his body, in its rest pose, during the counter, which is would have looked weird. So I had to almost freeze the titan (currently the speed is bring down to 10%) in order to make it looks ok.
Red titan :
I know, that titan turning red is ugly, but the effect is placeholder :D. The idea behind it is to give to player some kind of feedback on when he has managed to do well timed dodge, and when he can launch a counter attack. I'm planning to find some better visual idea later on
About the difficulty :
I know that a lot of people will be wondering about the difficulty of the game, and how easy it is now to kill a titan. But like I already said, right now I'm still trying to implement all the feature first, and then I'll balance everything together. I'm still not sure what all the conditions should be to be able to launch a counter attack. Will it use energy, like a mana system? Will there be a countdown system? Can it be interupted? ... etc. For now I still don't know, and I don't plan to start thinking about it before all the features are in place.
I also started to learn VFX a bit more extensively, starting with smoke trail and blood splat. It took me a bit to have something that I would consider okay-ish, because I was looking for something a bit cartoony, closer to the anime, with well defined edges, and not too much semi-transparent. I found out it was a bit difficult to find good learning material for this kind of style so I had to experiment a lot, and I did a lot of tries and errors (it seems like it's much easier to find example of realistic particle effect).
And Finally, some Bigger News :
I know that a lot of people are waiting to actually be able to play the game. So the next update will be a playable prototype! Now that I said it, I'll have to make it happens :D
Unfortunately, I won't feature Titans in this prototype, as I still think the combat mechanics and AI behavior is still not ready enough to be played, so please don't expect them in the prototype demo.
But I don't want to just release a boring simple free roaming demo either. I hope I'll be able to add some objective in this demo, so people could have at least a little bit of fun playing it, while learning the 3DMG mechanics. (Let's hope so ... :D)
The update #9 hasn't be easy on my mental. I might have been a bit too much optimistic on my skill, so I think it would do me good to work on something a bit more straightforward for a while :D.
I'll do my best to give you that before the end of the year, but I'm not promising anything ;).
Thanks again for your support!