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Discuss: Interview with AmiEvil

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Red Warlock
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Discuss: Interview with AmiEvil

Read the original update here: https://cityoftitans.com/content/interview-amievil

Feel free to comment on the update below.

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Red Warlock
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Also, some clarification on

Also, some clarification on those last two GIFs in the update….

The first shows a character in transition from walking to wall crawling to wall running.

The second shows a character from wall running into jumping off a building…

We thought those GIFs would be of interest to people who want to know what speeding up a wall might look like whether from speeding to the wall or crawling to running up a wall…

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Renkage
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I enjoy what I am seeing.

I enjoy what I am seeing. However, I do have a question and I'm sorry if this was already answered in the past. Is wall crawling and wall running separate powers? Was always under the assumption that wall running was just a sprint form of wall crawling, similar to going from hover to flying.

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Red Warlock
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Renkage wrote:
Renkage wrote:

I enjoy what I am seeing. However, I do have a question and I'm sorry if this was already answered in the past. Is wall crawling and wall running separate powers? Was always under the assumption that wall running was just a sprint form of wall crawling, similar to going from hover to flying.

This is a very understandable question as players have only seen small segments of video of wall crawling and this is the first tidbit we have shown of wall running.

*EDITED: I asked some folks for clarification... There are a few ways that wall running will be a part of a few travel powers. Super Speed can propel a player fast enough to run up a wall almost appearing to defy gravity. Parkour travel power is more gravity-based, but can run in short bits up along walls.

There is still some work to be done on wall running and wall crawling animations, but you can see a bit of how wall crawling, wall running, and even Parkour will look in these GIFs. Feel free to ask more questions if you have them...

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amievil
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Keep in mind these were sneak

Keep in mind these were sneak peaks. I am working on functionality right now. The actual implementation and interaction of the powers are not at a point I can discuss atm.

Senior Gameplay Engineer.

Redlynne
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FEEDBACK!

FEEDBACK!


First, melee combat animations.
Pay attention to the FEET in this animated gif. Ignore everything above the ankles.

Are you seeing what I'm seeing? The feet are sliding around on the ground as if there was no ground friction. At no point do the feet get PLANTED and STAY THERE in order to muscle chain through the rest of the body creating the hit(s) that you're seeing.
What we're looking at here is essentially an artifact of how computers model animation of avatars, because everything is "center of avatar doesn't move" while all the limbs flail around that immobile point. That's why when the $Target gets hit, they "react" but they don't shift their location. Their body animates (feet and legs slide) but their body doesn't MOVE away from the hit they've taken.

Now, to be fair to amievil ... that's probably a refinement that's meant to be added later ... but I wanted to point out the simple fact that if feet have no friction with the ground, melee attacks are going to look comical rather than powerful.


Second, wall running.
Pay attention to the angle position relative to the wall of the lower and upper body.


From what I can see, there appears to be a fundamental body posture problem going on here when running on walls.
The lower body is staying perpendicular to the surface being run on, but then the upper body bends forwards at the waist, creating a decidedly odd shape that looks kind of like ... __/ ... if you'll forgive the ASCII art attempt.

This is where as a dev there needs to be an appreciation for the difference between 2 contact points vs 4 contact points styled movement.

For a 2 contact points movement style up a vertical wall, both the lower body and the upper body need to be aligned together at a specific angle akin to a sort of Ninja Run (or a Running Stickman, if you prefer).

The basic idea here is that the faster you're running, the more you need to lean forward.

The whole idea is that by leaning forwards you're literally FALLING FORWARDS and simply using your legs under you to "catch" yourself from toppling over onto your face in order to run. So body posture (head to foot) "dictates" how fast you can run ... which works fine on the ground, where "down is DOWN" while running. But as soon as you start wall running with a 2 contact points movement style, things start getting a little wonky ... because "down is SIDEWAYS" when you're running on a wall (forward, left, back or right, depending on your direction).

So in order to make the "running on a wall" using 2 contact points movement style look good you need to start with the horizontal flat ground running pose/posture/animation and then add an additional "tilt bias" to the final posing so as to angle the lower and upper body away from gravity somewhat more.

The idea being that you take the regular "flat ground run" animation and when running UP a wall you increase the forward lean away from gravity so as to show the run UP is overcoming gravity as part of the movement.
When running DOWN a wall, you reduce the forward lean again, away from gravity so as to show the run DOWN is partially resisting gravity in order to maintain control of the movement.
When running SIDEWAYS on a wall, you keep the regular "flat ground" run animation but then add a lean to the side component to the movement to show the resistance to gravity as part of the movement.

In vector terms, when not running on flat ground, you simply add more "angle" to the posture of the run animation with the direction of that additional lean angle being one that is meant to counter the pull of gravity.
So lean forward more as the surface slopes upwards in your direction of movement.
Lean backwards more as the surface slopes down from your direction of movement.
Lean sideways "against gravity" if the surface slopes to the side from your direction of movement.

If you can pull all of that together amievil with how wall running works in a 2 contact point context, you'll be doing good work!


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Tannim222
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All those animations are

All those animations are being used in prototyping. Especially the wall running animations weren’t even using our model. Everything in the wall running gif is from AmIEvil’s testing project.

He makes sure he can get the actual mechanic working before bribing over the code to our combat test island project.

Getting things to look right is less of a concern when prototyping. It’s more about the fundamental functionality than “does it look pretty?”. Fixing the animations or using better animations comes later.


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Red Warlock wrote:
Red Warlock wrote:

The first shows a character in transition from walking to wall crawling to wall running.

That transition looks pretty smooth. Here's what I see:

  1. A character running towards a wall.
  2. The character commences a jump animation of some kind. While my eye may not be quick enough to discern any changes in footwork, the upper body and arms (using both arms to help spring up) does occur before any vertical motion is achieved.
  3. One arm reaches for the wall and the other falls behind. I'm not sure why both arms don't reach for the wall, especially since it was the left leg that was used for the jump it would be more natural for the left arm to be the one most forward at that moment. Does it have something to do with the angle the body assumes upon contact with the wall (frames 22 through 24)? Is there some sort of commonality at work here with a normal jump animation sequence?
  4. The transition from wall crawling to wall walking is immediate, not showing any actual crawling frames. According to the animation frames, the hands don't move but the lower body curves under as the legs start moving. I like this transition and it seems natural like a sprinter leaving the blocks.

All told, I really like the transitions shown. There's something wonky going on between frames 21 and 25 with both the angled body and the leg movements. But that happens in such a blink of an eye, it's probably not a big deal.

Red Warlock wrote:

The second shows a character from wall running into jumping off a building…

I think the wall running is okay. The L-shape of the body is a bit off, but not so much that it is off-putting. I understand this is a compromise between several factors. 1) Capitalize on the existing running animations of both the upper and lower body. 2) Angle the upper body in an effort to provide the immersive feeling that gravity is still in effect. One wonders how running sideways will be handled, however, as this L shape won't work for that.

The transition from wall to horizontal still needs work. The running-over-air in defiance of gravity looks more like a Looney Tunes skit than a transition from running on a wall to running on a horizontal surface. From examining the animation frames, it looks like the character transitioned to horizontal and then you entered the jump sequence. I think it would work far better if the character actually "jumped" up from the wall before the transition, continuing in a vertical direction past the threshold, and as the camera makes the transition from vertical to horizontal, the character also rotates and advances in a horizontal direction such that when they come back down, they are on the horizontal surface. Kinda like this:

Red Warlock wrote:

We thought those GIFs would be of interest to people who want to know what speeding up a wall might look like whether from speeding to the wall or crawling to running up a wall…

Very much appreciated. I hope this feedback has some value.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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As of right now all you have

As of right now all you have seen is WIP and will change.The actual transition from running up to reaching the top has not even been added, but will work mostly as Huckleberry depicted. The natural progression of the work I do is get it working first and foremost. Then I add in things like transitional animations and conditions. The very last thing I do is make it look right. Hope this helps in terms of understanding what you are seeing.

Senior Gameplay Engineer.

Redlynne
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amievil wrote:
amievil wrote:

The very last thing I do is make it look right. Hope this helps in terms of understanding what you are seeing.

Which is FAIR ... so long as you're aware (and every indication is that you are) that the "Player Experience" elements are quite incomplete at this point (Work In Progress).
So long as we understand you're not "done" with this stuff yet and development is continuing and ongoing, that's a more fulsome explanation of where things are going ... and how much further you have to go to reach a state of near completeness.


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[img]https://cityoftitans.com

Hmmm...

I'm expecting a boring answer here, but I am curious what the enclosing ring is at the end of the gif. Is it simply a placeholder from a borrowed asset? Or a signifier of the end of the ability?

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Iathor
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Renkage wrote:
Renkage wrote:

I'm expecting a boring answer here, but I am curious what the enclosing ring is at the end of the gif. Is it simply a placeholder from a borrowed asset? Or a signifier of the end of the ability?

I believe that’s what’s currently being used as a target marker, but I seem to recall it’s not necessarily the final version.

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I think what Redlynne's

I think what Redlynne's feedback was about, is that in any 'pedal' (foot) movement, at least part of the effort is to counter gravity. Actually, to Use gravity to produce friction and move along a surface.
Spiders, use magnets to stick their feet to walls. *grin* No, not really, they actually use velcro. It's the Geckos that use magnets... well, atomic attraction... Alright, we have no need to specify how it works, but Movement is all about working with/against gravity.
Skiing is 'tying some wood to your feet and flinging yourself down a mountain'.

Gravity is the favorite plaything of athletic people.

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These comments from AmiEvil

These comments from AmiEvil make me very happy:

- 'All travel powers are just that, powers. They should make you feel powerful.'
- 'Combat for me is about feel. If it doesn’t feel right it will not be fun. I am making sure everything will feel right, and I plan to make it enjoyable for all.'
- 'Things not shown include the feel for players that do not want twitch gameplay. I am going to great lengths to make it enjoyable for all.'

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Gravity is the favorite plaything of athletic people.

So, I think what I was trying to say is that what is 'wrong' with movement powers is when they don't appear to interface with Gravity 'properly'.