Howdy, my names Michael Bryant and I’m an Animator and 3D Artist at Dojo Arcade. In this blog post I’ll be talking about the animations for the creatures, the process of having so many attachments and how we made it as efficient as possible to do this task.
There are over 200 attachments in Creature Battle Lab, with more being added constantly, with animations being applied to them. The plan was that each attachment would have 12 different animated cycles (the cycles being run, melee, dash, knock back, idle, idle customiser, projectile, victory, loss, aoe, stun, shield) and then in unity we could transition between them during battling. Animating over 200 animations would require lots of work so we grouped similar looking attachments with their retrospective controllers. Obviously this meant creating spreadsheets and planning out these categories appropriately, I believe we had around 5 attachments using one animation controller, so they are quite unique but still offer varied animations in game!
The attachments themselves aren’t rigged but were animated using their pivots, it was quite limiting to the possibilities of the movement but you can understand with such a high volume of models this was the best option. Using unity’s built in animation system; controllers were setup and their animations attached, also creating a blend tree for the movement cycle. This movement blend tree would mean that as the creature moves he becomes faster and when he nears his destination becomes slower.The turn motion for the creatures movement was something that was quite difficult to understand at first, we didn’t rely on a motion tree in the controller, but created it in code, which required Ted, our programmer to work his magic.
With the attachments not having a rig attached gave me more creative freedom as I didn’t have as many restrictions so I tried to make the animations as unique as possible and tried to give each attachment a wacky cartoon character to suit the style of the game that could be associated with each move.
Check out some of the clips and tell us what you think.