Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ben: A Redesign!

Time for a project update!  I've been really busy lately with a redesign of the game.  After looking at some of the things that I liked and didn't like, I came to the conclusion that it would really benefit from a restart.  What would I do different if I started over?  The characters would be built with Cut-Out/Skeletal animation (mostly), the art would still be retro, but at twice the size, the levels would be built with repeatable tiles, and the controls would be streamlined.

Well, I can show the first couple of changes.

After getting some flack on the internet for the original design basically being Superman, I decided a redesign was in order.  I took a bunch of unflattering reference photos of myself and got as far from the last design as I could (except for the cape).  Another problem with the original design was the short legs.  It looked tolerable standing up, but tipping him on his side while flying was a little ridiculous.  Those tiny legs just didn't hold up. 

With the new design in place, I built the character up in pieces from both the front and side angles (additional angles coming).  Then, I started rigging the bodies with a skeleton so that they could be animated.

Skeletal Animation rigged in Toon Boom Animate Pro
With the rigging in place, I animated a simple "idle" loop and attached a cape animation.  I did the two separate to break up the cycle.

Idle Animation next to Original Design (Left)
Next, I started rebuilding the backgrounds.  I reworked my first "shop" in a more simplified design to keep my file size down.  The new version is bigger and only 12kb.

There is still plenty more to do, but I thought I would show some of the new changes.  You can see much more at my personal blog:


Original art and after derezzing in Photoshop

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