Monday 1 December 2008

Custom Animations

One of the improvements Monkey Island 2 had over the original was the use gestures. It made the characters seem more real if they were gesticulating as they talked, rather than just standing there with their mouths opening and closing.

Alongside the scripting system XAGE uses, I've added a simple Custom Animation structure, which simply lets you string together a series of frames at timed intervals. This allows a certain deal of flexibility and enables the creator to add their own gesticulations.

Here's a short clip that shows custom animations, along with character scaling, object occlusion, multiple rooms and background scrolling:

As part of the engine's release I want to include a small sample game (a handful of rooms, characters and scripts). Obviously I can't distrubute Lucasarts graphics as part of the package, so I need to stat thinking about either rolling my own or using the art from a different game.

I really like Murder in a Wheel; it's a good match for XAGE . Are there any public domain adventure game art assets, or is it likely anyone would let me use their artwork for my sample game?


SSH said...

Check out Reality on the Norm which has oodles of assets. Some may be in an AGS format, but you can import then to AGS and then just export again.

Clarvalon said...

I had a look at RON and whilst I like the concept I wasn't overly impressed with the art style. It seemed reminiscent of Maniac Mansion - tall, gangly, similar-looking characters. I definitely prefer the stocky, 'painted' Monkey Island art style though I guess finding anything like this in the public domain is expecting too much.

Also there were forum posts stating that people should not use RON graphics in non-RON games, and as RON is an AGS afiliated project, it's a bit of a closed shop.

Dualnames said...

First congrats on your effort, secondly, well, you could find someone to do the artwork. I'd like to case.

Clarvalon said...

Thanks for the offer. Do you happen to have any existing artwork I could have a look at? In an ideal world I would take some already existing graphics that I can place straight into the sample game. This way I can I can concentrate on making the tool as user-friendly as possible.

Ricardo Rocha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clarvalon said...

Hi RiCKeN,

Yes, I've been developing XAGE for some time now. The executable and creation tool are not yet available to the public. I am currently making the necessary changes to allow for the release of an alpha version, probably only for one or two interested people to get some initial feedback on useability.

Once its ready for official release then it will be free to download for non-commercial use. The ETA on this depends on various factors:
1) How long I get to spend on the engine.
2) How long creating the sample game takes (a fair while if I have to create my own graphics from scratch).

Dualnames said...

Well, yes, check this link

(the game might suck)

Clarvalon said...

Thanks DN - always nice to encounter another Hitchhikers enthusiast.

I've only had the chance to have a quick look at Starship Poseidon so far, but the menus and introduction have a nice polished feel and the art style is consistent - defintely something lacking in a lot of AGS games I've noticed.

I'm polishing a few things up but should have a private alpha version of the engine & tool ready sometime in the next fortnight. If you're interested, I can send it your way for some feedback.

The offer extends to anyone else who's interested. I'll post more when I've made progress.

Ben304 said...

I am interested in seeing an alpha build of the engine. Will it be able to create a compiled game? I would enjoy have a play around with it :)

Laura said...

I would love to try out the Alpha, we are building an adventure game and are both artists/game geeks rather than programmers.

Let me know!

Dualnames said...

Well, in case you want to get to me for some graphics , there's an email adress at my for hitchhiker's I'm actually remaking the infocom's game (weird i know) using AGS.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dude,
Lovely engine. I've been waiting for someone to produce a cross engine xna thing for a while now. I do music for games and paint (backgrounds acrylic). You can hear one of my tunes here

If you want backgrounds then just tell me what to paint. If you want music then describe what it's for.

I was about to attempt to write an engine myself. So if you want a colaborator let me know. Even if you just want the music.

Find me at chris (The well known email symbol) leate (dot) com.

Cheers. If anyone else wants some music let me know too. Professional projects only though. Tar