1/18/17 – Progress report – Animations, rolls, grabs, and hand pains

It’s been a long time since the last update, longer than I’ve ever gone without a blog post, but at least I have a lot to show for it!

First off, I finished all the animations! In the last post I said there were only 3 left, but that ended up being wrong. Several of the special attacks required separate animations for if they hit or miss, if they’re on the ground or in the air, or any combination of the bunch. There have also been a few incidental animations for grabbing that I needed to do, which brings the total animations count for the first character at a whopping 98.

It’s pretty likely I’ll need to do a few more animations before I finish everything, but this is still a huge milestone! I made an excel sheet when I first started with all the animations I thought I would need for all the features I have in the game, and that list has been finished.

Next up, I finished blocking, rolling and spotdodging. There wasn’t too much to this except that I finally decided to code in invincibility and intangibility properly. The former means you can hit them but they won’t take damage, the second means that your attacks will go straight through them with no effect at all. Overall this part wasn’t too bad.

About as I was finishing up this section I started to feel serious tightness and pain in my right hand and wrist. This isn’t completely new, but it’s never felt that bad before. Part of it was using a desk setup I wasn’t as comfortable on while visiting family, but part of it was my own desk setup at home not being optimized for ergonomics. After taking a few days off to give my hand a break, I got home and set up a goofy but effective setup and now I am mostly pain-free.

Back to the game, I also imported the dance into the game as a taunt. It looks pretty nice, but I’ll probably use it as a victory animation instead once I get around to making a victory screen.

The final thing I have to report as finished is grabs and throws. Man, these were a huge pain! It felt like every step of the way I was up against both a technical and mental wall. Getting the characters to register the hitboxes as grab hitboxes instead of attack hitboxes, restricting the states you can grab someone out of, getting the victim to actually be held in the grabber’s hand… there were a lot of problems that took a while to solve. To compound the issue, each throw has different properties for what the attacker and victim have to do during the throw, as they get hit, etc. They were eventually all solved though, and today I’m happy to say every throw works exactly how I want them to.

In all likelihood, grabs and throws were probably the final difficult thing to animate and code. After this all that’s left is ledge stuff, parrying, special attacks (might be difficult), and a handful of small things like menus. The finish line approaches!

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