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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Game Project Update: Animating and Spriting

Regular readers would know that in addition to shamelessly exposing my privacy to the Malaysian busybodies, I used this blog partially as a developer’s log for my game project, Unlocking Pandora. For those who had just recently metamorph’d into a busybody, you can click the link to find out more about my project.

The short-stuff of the assignment is that I’m working on something that might help me get a head start of my thesis paper v2.0. Unlocking Pandora is a PC role-playing game (RPG) similar to Final Fantasy 1-4 graphic style; you choose a party of fighters, you upgrade by fighting monsters and you save the world by killing the powerful evil guy.

For quite a long time I had to put this project on hold because of my school’s website project but that’s old news now. So when I wasn’t reviewing the last two non-RPG games, I was planning on working of some sprite edits (I’m no good at customizing my own character sprites though).

But that didn’t work because I was distracted by some new material I’ve collected. So instead, I’m gathering graphical stuff and dissect them to arrange into RPG Maker 2003 (RM2K3) format.

This is one of the four new battleset edits I’m working on. The animation for this graphic is used for my healer character’s attack spells.

Like the cell animation techniques that Astro’s TV channel, Nickelodeon, had taught us, I have to arrange each box of graphic one by one in a timely sequence. Recolouring, resizing and transparencies are part of the flexible editing options in the software. Here’s something what I planned to achieve.

These are some of the battlers’ examples, but not necessarily I’ll decide on this design.

And place them in the default battle system like these (old works showing here, by the way but you get the picture, right...?).

Every character’s specialized attack or magical upgrade gets its own animation.

It’ll be a b**ch to calibrate and arrange to make it look really nice but I’m kind of veerrrrry particular about it (I rarely make an animation less than 50 frames now). So far, I’ve got 2 characters whose attack animations are good and done, which makes 7 others to create.

As for other animations, I got some of the generic ones done. But then there are the specialized enemy attacks (a boss sends out a great evil-blue beam!) and monster sprite’s attacks (generic monster strikes and status disability) and sequence/events-triggered animation (like feathers falling very, very slowly from the sky).

I’ll calculate how much animation cells I’ll have to face-off but since I’ve already know that it’ll be annoyingly humungous, I don’t think I want to scare myself with the details (aaccck!).

Speaking of humungous jobs, I’ve made some new problems with a sprite graphics relative to my storyline. In the storyline, my protagonist uses a unique magic circle to draw power out from the earth to *cough* spoiler *cough* against the bad guys. Currently, this is the magic circle sprite graphic I’m thinking of using.

I’m working out a scene sequence but the magic circle doesn’t seem dramatic enough for this scene.

The magic circle I’ve first tried for now seems... kind of wimpy. And it’s too much a reminiscent of Ahriman’s Prophecy’s Power of Eight. So I’ve changed my mind and saved that circle for other stuff, maybe in side-quests.

But now I’ve created a problem of what to use in making a more dramatic magic circle. Looks like it’s going to be another long trip to MS Paint. But I got the ball rolling and I’m sticking with its current course.

The magic circle is significant for the storyline as an informative guide to the magical world of the game, plot development for my protagonist and a nature of the gameplay. There will be eight components, each one representing a raw magical power and so there’s a kind of puzzle system attached to it.

After much doodling, I’ve decided that the bottom-most pattern will suit. Now I’ll just have to resize, adjust and maybe even animate it.

If you’ve read this long, then you’re a bigger busybody that I thought. Okay, the rest of the changes and additions I’ve made are:
1. A game hint system that will tell the answers to quests but will also cost level points.
2. Storyline extensions, mostly in Act 2 and Act 3. Side-quests for both Acts are still in the thinking cap.
3. Music and sound effects are finally finalized! I got two sound effects that are quite big in size but I’m keeping them because it’s the sounds of two people having fun-sex. This way, I can create a Vegas brothel. In my game, that is.

I’m still considering making my two non-playable characters into playable characters since their roles is looking to become more and more significant into the storyline. It’s not that I’m afraid to do the battler and battle animation graphic work (I’ve a full year to complete this project after all), it’s whether turning them into playable characters will affect the intrigue of their backgrounds.

Aaaah... the power of the imagination. Busybody enough for you?

4 Minds bloomed here too...:

kyels said...

Interesting project!


It reminds me of Little Fighter because the characters are chibi-like and they're cute!

Quickening said...

Late reply, school busy-ness...

Thanks! These little pixel characters were the free art of the REFMAP team. I regularly visit their sites and their members' sites to find new character poses whenever I couldn't sprite my on art. My friend Nessiah from DevianArt is drawing the full-body character art as well.

usws said...

I'm a bigger busy body than you thought and all i can say now is WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW x10000!! I'm dumbfounded by every single *very susah* step you take in making this RPG and i mean it in a good way too! OMG, i really need to find something as cool as that and start doing it.


Quickening said...

@usws: Good luck! If you plan on trying out the same game-making software as I am, I strongly recommend that you take a trip to
That's where I got my inspirations and there are many, many forum members who can help you (they support open source games!).

If you have trouble getting started on your first RPG Maker 2003, I'm always here in this blog.

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