Proving to the Producer (Tech, Video)
One of the hardest challenges the technical department has come across has nothing to do with code at all, but is a limitation of imagination. Those who don't have experience working with the code often have difficulty imagining just what it is we can actually do with the engine.
They come from older systems, older games, and often can't grasp that the limitations they grew used to just don't exist anymore. To prove that we can do more, often times we need to build little demonstrations.
But, instead of wasting time on just a throwaway demo, we incorporate these into other systems we are prototyping, so we can reuse the code and systems later on.
One area which some folk were having a tough time grasping was the ability to blend and vary the length of animations. We needed to demonstrate, so we incorporated a system to do so into our character creation camera control UI framework, allowing us to mix animations to go from standing still, to walking, to jogging, to running, and even adding in a jumping animation to the mix.
And these systems can be reused later on when we do the animation selection and posing system for the avatar builder. There is no waste, just the need to demonstrate a system with an eye for reuse later on - like the reuse of the 4th of July explosions. Reduce, reuse, recycle, as the saying goes.
Obviously, the UI itself has not been fully developed, none of the lovely artwork which will be featured by the time we release it. This is just the proof framework, the underlying guts exposed to the world.
But what it can do already is close to feature complete. As you can see, the controls enable us to control the position of the camera and player model. We can scale it, focus on the face or body, and manipulate the way it behaves. Whatever we need. Now it will be progressed to the artists, to help improve the look and feel of the system.
And adding more controls, from color picking to material selection, is relatively straightforward as well. Symmetrical, or not, no problem for the framework to handle. We expect that the basic system here will be used throughout the costume selection and power construction areas.
Of course, this is just the beginning, the very baby beginnings of the character builder. You'll see more as time goes on.
Don't forget about our T-shirt of the month, available until September 30th.
Discuss the update here: http://cityoftitans.com/forum/discuss-proving-producer