GAF Indie Game Development Thread 2: High Res Work for Low Res Pay

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Apr 11, 2014
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Los Angeles, CA
What do you bring to the table? What's your skillset?

Collaborations can be hard to arrange, and it depends greatly on what you can bring to the table. If you have money and are paying then anything is obviously possible.
Haha, well not money. That would be a lot easier.

As far as skillset I could put in a resume right this second, art/graphic design would be the biggest. This is some character art I've done for it:




I think I'm good enough to make sure everything looks appealing and professional. And, more importantly, can do most of the in game art outside of animation. Aside from that, I've got gameplay systems worked out, though obviously can't put them into play to test them out by actually programming anything. I'm also a writer, which would be important as I tend to want to do more story driven games. I have a lot of it written and the entire plot/scenarios figured out.
 
Apr 11, 2014
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Lots of larger cities have semi-regular meetups so googling for 'LA indie developer meetup' might be a place to start.

You may also want to try out the TIGSource Forums.
I've done that and actually found a place a year back called Glitch City. Very cool place to meet people, but most everyone there was so involved with something already that it became a bit of dead end. I did get to chat with the guys behind Hyper Light Drifter, who were super cool. May be a good time to revisit them, though.

Also, thank you for the link! Will definitely check that out tonight.
 
May 27, 2011
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Haha, well not money. That would be a lot easier.

As far as skillset I could put in a resume right this second, art/graphic design would be the biggest. This is some character art I've done for it:




I think I'm good enough to make sure everything looks appealing and professional. And, more importantly, can do most of the in game art outside of animation. Aside from that, I've got gameplay systems worked out, though obviously can't put them into play to test them out by actually programming anything. I'm also a writer, which would be important as I tend to want to do more story driven games. I have a lot of it written and the entire plot/scenarios figured out.
Well, you had me till the last paragraph. Animation is huge. I mean huge. Most indies involve people wearing multiple hats, and when people say they do "art" on an indie project it almost always includes concepts, backgrounds, tilesets, character design, sprites and animation. The whole thing. So that's a big thing there.

Outside of that, it's tough to find a team, especially on a project you are bringing the idea to the table: it's much easier to hop on a project that needs a skillset you are offering. I know you don't know programming and don't think you'd think anything to learn it, which is fine. But I'd urge you to at least be able to bring a prototype or proof of concept to the table. I.e. mess around with gamemaker or something and get something to show people, even if it's basic. Prove the concept to other people, kind of thing. That's a big deal. Also, learn how to animate. I have no clue with art stuff, but if you want to do indie stuff, unless you want to bring an animator to a project (pretty high overhead for another artist on the team just to animate stuff), you're gonna need to know how to do that.
 
Jan 21, 2011
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Here's a tiny demo scene I made with my first tileset and the bushes & destroyed bushes I created today. I'm a total beginner, so this is something I'm really proud of. (This is also my new Twitter header image, so I tried to make it fit that well.)




As you can probably figure, this is supposed to become a Gameboy styled 2D top down action adventure, similar to the Zelda series.
My aim is to create only original sprites that look different from Zelda, but it's sometimes really hard at that small a resolution.
 
Apr 11, 2014
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Well, you had me till the last paragraph. Animation is huge. I mean huge. Most indies involve people wearing multiple hats, and when people say they do "art" on an indie project it almost always includes concepts, backgrounds, tilesets, character design, sprites and animation. The whole thing. So that's a big thing there.

Outside of that, it's tough to find a team, especially on a project you are bringing the idea to the table: it's much easier to hop on a project that needs a skillset you are offering. I know you don't know programming and don't think you'd think anything to learn it, which is fine. But I'd urge you to at least be able to bring a prototype or proof of concept to the table. I.e. mess around with gamemaker or something and get something to show people, even if it's basic. Prove the concept to other people, kind of thing. That's a big deal. Also, learn how to animate. I have no clue with art stuff, but if you want to do indie stuff, unless you want to bring an animator to a project (pretty high overhead for another artist on the team just to animate stuff), you're gonna need to know how to do that.
Yeah, it admittedly is a huge downside. I'm trying to learn some basic stuff, like enough to be able to at least do idle battle animation and such, but I just don't see that something I'd ever be super proficient at. Honestly, even drawing isn't something I'd consider my main focus; I much prefer writing and gameplay design. But, it is something I'm fairly decent at and am trying to use it to my advantage.

And yeah, been considering messing around with some game makers, even if it's just RPG maker. I think most of the broader strokes of gameplay could be done in that.
 
Oct 19, 2004
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I think I'm good enough to make sure everything looks appealing and professional. And, more importantly, can do most of the in game art outside of animation. Aside from that, I've got gameplay systems worked out, though obviously can't put them into play to test them out by actually programming anything. I'm also a writer, which would be important as I tend to want to do more story driven games. I have a lot of it written and the entire plot/scenarios figured out.
Might as well tell you now, since you'll learn it eventually:

Nobody cares about your ideas unless you can deliver them in some meaningful way. And no, a design doc doesn't count. Nobody reads them.

Everyone making games has ideas and things they're passionate about. The trick for getting a team is making something that makes other people passionate about it. But that means you have to make something. Sometimes you have to make many somethings.

Ultimately, you should work on something you can do yourself, because indie devs are incredibly unreliable unless you're paying them. Then, if you get help -- great -- your project will be even better!

Something that are just starting out often don't understand how much programming (or at least scripting) game designers do. You don't get to just write out how things should work and then a programmer makes the magic happen. Especially because it never will work the way you think the first time, and you'll need to be able to get in there and iterate.

That said, there are a lot of tools out there that ease the programming load a lot. RPG Maker, Game Maker, and so on. You have more art talent than I do (because I have basically none) but I'm still making the art assets for my game because, well, that's often what you have to do as an indie dev unless you're very lucky or established (or both). Even in these environments, though, you're going to be doing some light scripting at the least. Don't fear it. You can do it. But it's going to take work.

Something you should really consider, if you just want to do art and writing, is doing a graphic adventure. There are frameworks that make them pretty damn easy, and it's like designing a flow chart. There'll be a lot of writing and static art -- your strong suits anyway -- and you'll be able to actually finish something.

Look around for Adventure Maker or use Twine or something. There's an established community for these types of games as well so look into that. Or suck it up and learn some coding :)
 
Jun 27, 2012
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There's multiple ways around this issue. I think the simplest one for you would be to have your OnTriggerEnter function change a state, rather than actually activate the warp.

What you should do is set a flag when the trigger is entered. Whilst this flag is active, calculate the distance between the center point of the trigger (or whatever object it is attached to) and your player character. If that distance is with a certain threshold (Which would be defined as a distance at which your player could be deemed "fully inside" the trigger) then you activate the warp.

Of course, if the player exits the trigger (OnTriggerExit) then you simply just revert that flag back so it stops doing the calculation.

I think that would do the job :)
Hmm... there'd be a problem since warp colliders are sometimes rectangular. I'd probably want to do something that actually checks if the collider is fully inside another, not by distance, but by coverage.
 
Dec 6, 2008
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Something is really bothering me about the Unlocks text. Reckon it's the alignment? I can't tell.
yep, I think it's alignment and spacing. Try centering everything to compensate the difference of length between texts, and adding some space between "new unlocks" and the unlocks themselves. Not a fan of the reverse "!" too, I think it gives a strange look to alignment.
 
Nov 1, 2015
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Hmm... there'd be a problem since warp colliders are sometimes rectangular. I'd probably want to do something that actually checks if the collider is fully inside another, not by distance, but by coverage.
Im pretty sure it'll still work, otherwise, you're going to have to to this:

  • Get the positions of the TopLeft, Topright, BottomLeft and BottomRight corner of the warp
  • Get the positions of the TopLeft, TopRight, BottomLeft, BottomRight of the player
  • Iterate over the corners of the player and do the calculation detailed in this video

The above video shows you how to determine if two axis-aligned bounding boxes are colliding. If you repeat that process using every corner on your player and find that all the player's corners are colliding at the same time, then it will be fully inside the warp tirgger.

Also, some extra notes:
  • For consistency's sake, try to make all your warp colliders the same size and same shape
  • For successful results using this method, your warp will need to be visibly larger than the player.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Hey guys, I'm working on a top down 2D action adventure (in the vein of 'The Legend of Zelda' series) and am trying to determine which bush tile I should use.

http://i.imgur.com/nJU1mKJ.png[img]

Here's the poll: [url]http://goo.gl/forms/R9zaWzqK9P[/url]

Any answer is appreciated! Thanks a lot.[/QUOTE]

Voted for 5, but actually they all look good to me (out of context at least).


(late) Screenshot Saturday, I guess!

[QUOTE][IMG]http://i.cubeupload.com/thEwcI.png

Focused on getting our surveillance camera modeled, textured and (almost) scripted this week, plus other minor stuff.

Now, I'm still not sure which I prefer, the dull grey metallic one or the red and black one. I went for red and black and first but my partner suggested going for a "realistic" tone. I'm not sure going for realism is always the best though, especially when you're trying to define your aesthetic. Do you guys prefer one in particular?

On an unrelated note, I now understand pointers! And other stuff. I think. Maybe I can try to mix some C++ with my blueprints...
 
Sep 14, 2013
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working on finalizing a design.

the goal of this giant robot is that he's creepy and imposing (the sounds he makes and the way he moves will help with this).

I scribbled the main char to the right to suggest the approximate scale.



any thoughts? is the smile working for or against me on this?
Smile reminds me of characters from Spirited Away, ie scary looking but actually not scary, quite friendly, so probably not what you'regoing for. Love the art style. "Ghibli-esque" is a pretty big compliment in my world :)
 
Aug 20, 2015
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working on finalizing a design.
I'm currently replaying Twilight Princess, so it reminds me of these creepy as fuck dudes
Now, I'm still not sure which I prefer, the dull grey metallic one or the red and black one. I went for red and black and first but my partner suggested going for a "realistic" tone. I'm not sure going for realism is always the best though, especially when you're trying to define your aesthetic. Do you guys prefer one in particular?
Are these cameras gameplay significant, a la GoldenEye?
If they are, there's a good argument for making them stand out somehow from other background elements, and red emissive lines would help with that. If you're using red emissive to signify other important gameplay elements, that's another good reason to stay consistent and let players quickly parse a scene for important game elements
 
Dec 28, 2012
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Yeah, it admittedly is a huge downside. I'm trying to learn some basic stuff, like enough to be able to at least do idle battle animation and such, but I just don't see that something I'd ever be super proficient at. Honestly, even drawing isn't something I'd consider my main focus; I much prefer writing and gameplay design. But, it is something I'm fairly decent at and am trying to use it to my advantage.

And yeah, been considering messing around with some game makers, even if it's just RPG maker. I think most of the broader strokes of gameplay could be done in that.
Get out to your local meetups and meet people. LA might not be as bustling / indie friendly as Portland, but we've got multiple monthly meetups and showings, a full on FB and Slack, and subgroups (Unity PDX, Unreal PDX, Art, Programming). I imagine LA would be the same, if not bigger. I've met people, shown off my games, gotten feedback, and found job opportunities through the local meetups.
 
Apr 11, 2014
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Los Angeles, CA
Might as well tell you now, since you'll learn it eventually:

Nobody cares about your ideas unless you can deliver them in some meaningful way. And no, a design doc doesn't count. Nobody reads them.

Everyone making games has ideas and things they're passionate about. The trick for getting a team is making something that makes other people passionate about it. But that means you have to make something. Sometimes you have to make many somethings.

Ultimately, you should work on something you can do yourself, because indie devs are incredibly unreliable unless you're paying them. Then, if you get help -- great -- your project will be even better!

Something that are just starting out often don't understand how much programming (or at least scripting) game designers do. You don't get to just write out how things should work and then a programmer makes the magic happen. Especially because it never will work the way you think the first time, and you'll need to be able to get in there and iterate.

That said, there are a lot of tools out there that ease the programming load a lot. RPG Maker, Game Maker, and so on. You have more art talent than I do (because I have basically none) but I'm still making the art assets for my game because, well, that's often what you have to do as an indie dev unless you're very lucky or established (or both). Even in these environments, though, you're going to be doing some light scripting at the least. Don't fear it. You can do it. But it's going to take work.

Something you should really consider, if you just want to do art and writing, is doing a graphic adventure. There are frameworks that make them pretty damn easy, and it's like designing a flow chart. There'll be a lot of writing and static art -- your strong suits anyway -- and you'll be able to actually finish something.

Look around for Adventure Maker or use Twine or something. There's an established community for these types of games as well so look into that. Or suck it up and learn some coding :)
A harsh truth, but true all the same. As a writer in LA, I'm already all to familiar with the whole "But I have great ideas!" type of people who wonder why they're not getting anything made when they haven't actually written anything.

I appreciate the advice! I was on the fence about RPG Maker, but my as well take the plunge and see what I can do with it.

Get out to your local meetups and meet people. LA might not be as bustling / indie friendly as Portland, but we've got multiple monthly meetups and showings, a full on FB and Slack, and subgroups (Unity PDX, Unreal PDX, Art, Programming). I imagine LA would be the same, if not bigger. I've met people, shown off my games, gotten feedback, and found job opportunities through the local meetups.
Yeah, I should look again, as it's been a year or so since I've looked around all that much.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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Im pretty sure it'll still work, otherwise, you're going to have to to this:

  • Get the positions of the TopLeft, Topright, BottomLeft and BottomRight corner of the warp
  • Get the positions of the TopLeft, TopRight, BottomLeft, BottomRight of the player
  • Iterate over the corners of the player and do the calculation detailed in this video

The above video shows you how to determine if two axis-aligned bounding boxes are colliding. If you repeat that process using every corner on your player and find that all the player's corners are colliding at the same time, then it will be fully inside the warp tirgger.

Also, some extra notes:
  • For consistency's sake, try to make all your warp colliders the same size and same shape
  • For successful results using this method, your warp will need to be visibly larger than the player.
Hmm, come to think about it, my warps will always have one of the sides be 1-unit-wide, and no irregular shapes (so always 1x1 squares or *x1/1x* rectangles)...

I guess I only need to tweak the formula so that it always takes the shortest side of the collider as the "basis" for our distance calculations. (So, if x-long, check only Y; if y-long, check only x)

One does think about the castle colliders in the overworld, though, as they're 2x2 units large. Hmm... multiple rectangular colliders? (Will I enter a race condition of sorts if I try that?)

Hmm... probably should also do a starting position check... groan.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Are these cameras gameplay significant, a la GoldenEye?
If they are, there's a good argument for making them stand out somehow from other background elements, and red emissive lines would help with that. If you're using red emissive to signify other important gameplay elements, that's another good reason to stay consistent and let players quickly parse a scene for important game elements
Well, they won't be a key element but they will definitely influence gameplay at some point, so I think it's important for the player to realize that they are not part of the environment. It's not a stealth game, but at some point the cameras will serve a purpose.

They are also tracking you and watching you, and they're supposed to feel intimidating.

The lights will turn brighter and more red-tinted while they're following you, and go back to normal when simply "patrolling". This should get the attention of the player in any case, I guess.

I just don't like the dullness of that gray. Maybe I can try making it more pure (painted) white with some red touches.
 
Aug 20, 2015
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I just don't like the dullness of that gray. Maybe I can try making it more pure (painted) white with some red touches.
Security cameras are a thing where realism clashes with gameplay; IRL, security cameras are necessarily subdued, because they're mostly used for relatively covert surveillance, whereas from a gameplay perspective cameras tracking your actions are obviously a thing as a player you want to 'pop'
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Security cameras are a thing where realism clashes with gameplay; IRL, security cameras are necessarily subdued, because they're mostly used for relatively covert surveillance, whereas from a gameplay perspective cameras tracking your actions are obviously a thing as a player you want to 'pop'
Exactly :) It's like the sound the cameras make in MGS (I'm using a similar setup): cameras irl most probably are not as noisy as the ones in MGS, but the sound is there so that you know there's a camera nearby and it doesn't feel unfair when you're spotted by one. In this case, the lights are there so that you're reminded that you're being watched, too. You can't use that as a mechanic in a puzzle if the player is not conscious that they're being watched. They would feel it's unfair, illogical and unfair I guess.

Thanks, this will help me convince my partner and co-designer :p
 
Jan 28, 2008
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noonan.design
yep, I think it's alignment and spacing. Try centering everything to compensate the difference of length between texts, and adding some space between "new unlocks" and the unlocks themselves. Not a fan of the reverse "!" too, I think it gives a strange look to alignment.
Yep, you hit the nail on the head. I don't know what I was doing when I drew those exclamation marks - who does italics inverted :D? Center align has fixed it :)

Thanks for the feedback everyone :)
 
Jun 4, 2006
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My kickstarter finishes up tonight GMT and is currently £4 away from the final stretch goal, it's been a wild wide and I thank everyone here for your support, the asking price was low but it's been smashed by about 250%

If anyone wants me to write up some kickstarter stuff about how the month went and and kind of feedback from running one, i'd be happy to do so.

I'm going to shout out a few other kickstarters in an update tonight and I know of one or two being run by gaffers so i'll give a good word about them.
 
Jul 13, 2011
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Argentina
My kickstarter finishes up tonight GMT and is currently £4 away from the final stretch goal, it's been a wild wide and I thank everyone here for your support, the asking price was low but it's been smashed by about 250%

If anyone wants me to write up some kickstarter stuff about how the month went and and kind of feedback from running one, i'd be happy to do so.

I'm going to shout out a few other kickstarters in an update tonight and I know of one or two being run by gaffers so i'll give a good word about them.
Congrats! I think it'd be a great boon to those of us looking into running a kickstarter if you'd do a write-up about how the campaign went, the ways you reached out to people and all that.
 
Nov 18, 2013
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So I want to be able to make music for my game but I have no idea where to start. Should I just mess around with an audio workstation and see what I can do or should I start with reading music theory and try and tackle it from that angle? Kind of have no idea how I should approach this.
 
May 26, 2014
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Chicago, IL
So I want to be able to make music for my game but I have no idea where to start. Should I just mess around with an audio workstation and see what I can do or should I start with reading music theory and try and tackle it from that angle? Kind of have no idea how I should approach this.
If you don't have any experience in writing music you can easily make anything sound baller using the Pentatonic Scale.

If you can play anything and want to use a DAW I would suggest learning how to use instruments and learn how to create sounds with different shapes, LFOs, filters, etc - all dem buttons and knobs. Learn the difference between subtractive, FM and graintable synths and be baller.

Then learn how to properly hi, low, bandpass and comb each track so it doesn't sound like mud.

Or if you just want to muck around I'd get some freebie synths and limit yourself to 6 total tracks with drums taking 2 of the 6 for hi/low end.

IDK what you're going for tho.
 
Jul 13, 2011
6,025
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Argentina
If you don't have any experience in writing music you can easily make anything sound baller using the Pentatonic Scale.

If you can play anything and want to use a DAW I would suggest learning how to use instruments and learn how to create sounds with different shapes, LFOs, filters, etc - all dem buttons and knobs. Learn the difference between subtractive, FM and graintable synths and be baller.

Then learn how to properly hi, low, bandpass and comb each track so it doesn't sound like mud.

Or if you just want to muck around I'd get some freebie synths and limit yourself to 6 total tracks with drums taking 2 of the 6 for hi/low end.

IDK what you're going for tho.
On top of this, you could also look into MIDI as well. I remember using an ancient program called MidiMaker that was incredibly easy to use. Trackers/synths are kind of more complex at first in comparison, IMO.
 
May 26, 2014
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Chicago, IL
On top of this, you could also look into MIDI as well. I remember using an ancient program called MidiMaker that was incredibly easy to use. Trackers/synths are kind of more complex at first in comparison, IMO.
Everything is MIDI nowadays. All the VSTs, synths, etc. There are a whole bunch of standalone stuff you can toy with from exceedingly simple to complex. All depends on how far you want to go at your experience level.
 
Oct 19, 2004
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Los Angeles, CA
A harsh truth, but true all the same. As a writer in LA, I'm already all to familiar with the whole "But I have great ideas!" type of people who wonder why they're not getting anything made when they haven't actually written anything.

I appreciate the advice! I was on the fence about RPG Maker, but my as well take the plunge and see what I can do with it.
Cool :D
I'm glad I didn't discourage you. It's definitely harsh but something I wish I had known earlier in my life.

There's nothing wrong with RPG Maker so don't feel down about using it. Also, like I said, really consider doing a graphic adventure game. At any rate, an important thing to remember as an indie dev is that restrictions are usually a good thing. It doesn't seem like it but once you actually start making something, your ideas will transform in weird and wonderful ways out of necessity and problem-solving, and through this process become even better than before. Embrace the restrictions of RPG Maker or Twine or whatever you use.

And lastly, keep us posted in this thread with your progress!
 
My kickstarter finishes up tonight GMT and is currently £4 away from the final stretch goal, it's been a wild wide and I thank everyone here for your support, the asking price was low but it's been smashed by about 250%

If anyone wants me to write up some kickstarter stuff about how the month went and and kind of feedback from running one, i'd be happy to do so.

I'm going to shout out a few other kickstarters in an update tonight and I know of one or two being run by gaffers so i'll give a good word about them.
Sorry I missed it, but what was it?
 
Jul 25, 2014
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My kickstarter finishes up tonight GMT and is currently £4 away from the final stretch goal, it's been a wild wide and I thank everyone here for your support, the asking price was low but it's been smashed by about 250%

If anyone wants me to write up some kickstarter stuff about how the month went and and kind of feedback from running one, i'd be happy to do so.

I'm going to shout out a few other kickstarters in an update tonight and I know of one or two being run by gaffers so i'll give a good word about them.
Congratulations, I´ve been following the kickstarter and had my wallet ready in case the final stretch goal wasn´t reached but in the end it wasn´t necessary. I´ll also be interested in hearing about your experience with KS.

Keep trucking!
 
Jun 27, 2012
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Started work with NPCs, first with placeholder sprites (recoloured player sprites)...

Was thinking, well, how do I reuse animations for NPCs which might come in more than one flavour? Or for the matter, other player characters... Basically, if there's a way to easily "copy and paste" sprite sheet data and apply it to other identical-in-structure sprite sheets, and reuse animations...

Confused?

I have an NPCDebug.png sprite sheet right now. It has sprites for standing and walking in all four cardinal directions, and nothing else at the moment.

When I eventually create a new NPCGenericDude.png sprite sheet in the future, with the identical structure (so the standing and walking sprites are at the same positions, just looking different), how would one reuse the "slicing" and created animations that rely on the former sprite sheet, pointing to the new sprite sheet instead?

(I hope this is possible in Unity 5.3.x's 2D)

HYPOTHETICAL: Cthulhu Romance DLC for my not Cthulhu Dating Sim.

CHALLENGES:

- Can't do any new VO.



hmmmmmmmm.
It's Cthulhu. Be creative? Maybe garbled noises? I dunno... but it sounds like the thing that you don't really need "VO"...
 
Sep 9, 2014
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I haven't posted anything on this game in ages, been too busy completely changing a lot of the level design to suit the gameplay better. It was going to be more of a metroidvania at first but I ended up scrapping that idea, now it's stage based and you have to look for key places to tag with graffiti in order to clear each one.
 
Jun 4, 2006
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I haven't posted anything on this game in ages, been too busy completely changing a lot of the level design to suit the gameplay better. It was going to be more more of metroidvania at first but I ended up scrapping that idea, now it's stage based and you have to look for key places to tag with graffiti in order to clear each one.
This looks really cool, and big sprites are love <3
 
Sep 20, 2011
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Indie-GAF,

I've been using UDK for years and more recently UE4, but I want to delve deeper into Unity.

I've prevented myself from doing this due to have very limited C# knowledge, can anyone recommend some C# tutorials or reading material for an absolute beginner?
I know playmaker exists but I would rather have the freedom of being able to create my own things from programming, rather than rely on a visual scripting tool.
 
Nov 17, 2014
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Indie-GAF,

I've been using UDK for years and more recently UE4, but I want to delve deeper into Unity.

I've prevented myself from doing this due to have very limited C# knowledge, can anyone recommend some C# tutorials or reading material for an absolute beginner?
I know playmaker exists but I would rather have the freedom of being able to create my own things from programming, rather than rely on a visual scripting tool.
The Unity scripting tutorials are really good at giving you the basics of C#. If you're familiar with C++ from UDK/UE4 then C# shouldn't be too difficult to pick up.
 
Feb 15, 2013
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395
Columbus, OH
www.twitter.com
Bomber Crew started off as a 2D game. We've recently switched to 3D- but here's a couple of clips from our 2D prototypes, which we just dug up! Interesting to see how much it has changed in the last 2 months!
dynamic damage system:

interactions:


how it looks now:
I love it!!

Is this sort of an FTL type game, but set in WW2? <3
 
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