Obstacles Development

Today's Devlog is about the art development for the "obstacles" in the game! They took a lot more work than I anticipated, but I did learn a lot about frame by frame animation:

The process was similar to the character animation, just a lot more laborious. Since this animation has a lot of overlapping parts, and a single "tentacle" should be at times in front and behind the other, I couldn't wrap my head around how to make it in a cutout animation style. So I decided to animate it traditionally, drawing frame by frame.

For that I used Krita, the same open source software I've been using to do all the art, since it also has animation capabilities. It was a fun process, with a lot of learning while I was doing the sketch animations and discovering the best key poses for each animation:

But taking the animations sketches to final form, took a lot more than I expected. With every color I'd choose to add meaning I'd have to go over all the animation frames, I decided to go with a simple, base color and light color only scheme. It did work for this game as I want the "abyss" to be like a "living darkness" so I did like the end results.

If I had to do it over though, I think I'd do a simple bone animation, without caring for the overlap at first, and then, if the software allows it, use some kind of mask to erase the overlapping parts, and animate only that "mask" in a frame by frame fashion.

So if there's any more experienced animators reading this devlog, please tell me in the comments what your approach would be! Is there more efficient ways to go around this? Or specific software that would have helped? I only had the idea about animating the "masks" over a bone animation in the end of this process, but I don't think "DargonBones" has this option, does spine have it?

Anyway, now that I have all the obstacles animations, I'm only missing the "shooting" and "Dying" animations for the player! I'm off to do them and bring it all together in the game! Expect a new version release in the next coming days!

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