Korin has been hard at work animating, re-animating, and re-re-animating AdventureQuest 3D's upcoming new class skill animations. We do a lot of iteration we when make things... especially combat! That is... we build it, play with it, tweak it, play with it more. Then we release it for you to check out. Then based on your feedback, we keep making it better.
We have four classes releasing when BETA goes live.
We wanted them to be as unique and interesting as possible. Like DragonFable, we made the Mage's default attack a ranged magic spell that matches the element of the weapon you are holding. It is pretty fun. The warrior's basic attack chooses randomly from a pool of epic swings. We added whirling attacks, and spin kicks, and have been working on new casting animations. Honestly, AdventureQuest 3D probably should have been named "DragonFable 3D" considering how much the characters, animations, and general feel has been derived from it. If you are a fan of DragonFable, the Warrior's jump attack will fill you with a nostolgic glee.
I have vowed in the future to write shorter design notes posts... but until then, we should dig into a meaty topic worth our time.
Our attacks are 1 second long. Yup. ONE SECOND. In my experience the difference between an attack that feels great and one this is not... is best demonstrated in amazingly animated battle anime. Notably, they do not show the swing. You see the wind up... the WOOOSH! ... a instantly you are looking at the moment after the swing... almost frozen in place just long enough to digest what had happened. That is, you never actually see the swing. It is an art. The motion trail tells most of the story of what had happened, along with the crunch meaty thwack sound FX.
When I was testing for my 3rd Degree Black Belt we spent an incredible amount of effort mastering this for our forms. The term our Master used was explosive energy. We would breath in along with a powerful yet graceful gesture as we prepared to strike... then "BAM!!!!" If we executed it properly, you never saw the punch or kick at all. You just saw a fully extended technique... with the sleeves and leggings rustling with force like you shot a cannon our of your uniform. There was also that loud snap sound your uniform made. I love that sound.
When we animated the warrior the second time, we stood in front of Korin and made the motions and he animated them like we moved. The strikes were rigid... which made sense, because that is how I look when I fight. More like a samurai than a berserker. Dage said to truly capture the intensity we needed to add an additional level of aggressiveness and just enough over-exageration to make the moves pop. Korin just sent me the files a little bit ago. Oh yeah... it feels really good. REALLY GOOD.
In the next major Alpha Test these animations will go live-- cannot wait for your feedback. It really feels like we are improving rapidly-- not just at making 3D stuff, but at working as a cohesive and creative team.
I worked with Rolith & Miko today on 3D Character pages. check back tomorrow for more on this.