Animations & Particles

Animations

Well, I'm not an animator by my self so... I wasn't able to do complex animations in Moon Cheeser. During to my lack of animation skills I tried to simplify the workflow. Since Moon Cheeser's graphics are made with vectors using Inkscape, I tought about exporting the .svg files and import'em inside Blender. Why? Well there are reasons for that:

  • Blender's modifiers and shape keys are perfect for animate curves (such as a vector)
  • Blender's animation system is able to animate almost any property of the object
  • Blender is free and open source, so later on I can incorporate the .blend files with CC 4.0 in a Moon Cheeser's Bundle or something

The workflow is pretty simple: 

  1. Do the vector graphics into Inkscape
  2. Export'em as separate elements as plain SVG
  3. Turn on the SVG importer inside Blender
  4. Import the .svg
  5. Fix the origins
  6. Animate

After that I just need to make the animation and render the needed frames. One of the good things about this workflow is that even if I use very low resolution settings, the final render will be as good as possible, for instance currently all the moving objects animations (comets, star and Astromouse) are 512x256. Ok the resolution isn't that low, but I already tested 256x128 and the quality is still good. 

In Godot what I have to do is to import each of the render images and pack them into AnimatedSprite animations. This will change later because I'll pack each element sprites into 512x512 spritesheets, that way I'll reduce the video memory usage and the Achievements & Skins workflow will be easier to scale.

By using Blender's modifiers I can easily deform the vectors and render the images with any in-between I need, then I just have to import the rendered images and use the AnimationSprite Node to...animate'm:

Particles

Well particles are a very complex topic, which I also doesn't know much about. What I tried to do in Moon Cheeser is to use Godot Engine's built-in particles system, applied to Particles2D node, and use simple particles textures to simulate some effects I did manually in the first prototype of Moon Cheeser.

One of the coolest things I found is that you can basically create a "spawn box" for the particles by using Particles2D's Half Extents (horrible name for this) property, this will make the particles being instantiated at any point inside that box, instead of at the center of the particles emitter.

This is a very important property because it allowed me to use particles to simulate the comet and shooting star's tail. Apart of that, of course the ability to use Color Ramps to interpolate the particle's colors and also the emitting timeout property allowed me to do some very cool effects, such as the crater's spawn fire.

Background and gameplay

After all these awesome graphical improvements I couldn't leave Moon Cheeser's background out of the schedule, so I added a whole background layer to make everything more colorful and alive. I also changed the Planet's sprite and also animated it. So I'll leave you with one minute gameplay of Moon Cheeser! Enjoy it <3

Just a small observation, all these planet's are from one of my LD game jam entries, Keep'em Small. Nothing as good as recycling, huh?
That's all for now guys, I hope you enjoyed it. That's it, keep developing and until the next time!

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