InDee Toons: Customizable Animated Game Characters

Discussion of tools and resources for game developers

Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:24 pm

Hey guys,

I am currently running a Kickstarter for a library of animated game characters that can easily be integrated into Construct 2.
The project's name is "InDee Toons" (easy to find) and the characters were animated with the skeletal animation tool Spine.

I will provide 50 animated characters as precompiled sprites, the skeleton and animation data for Spine and the body parts as images.
To create unique characters, you can combine the parts of different toons and adjust their size and color to your needs.
On top of that, every toon has a (different) custom head generator that allows you to create individual faces.

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Last edited by Dee on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:30 pm

Looks great. Would be awesome if the animations were spriter but since construct 2 has a sprinter plugin but I guess we could use the images to make our own animations
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:54 pm

Thank you.
The animation frames are actually pre-rendered images, so you don't even need a plugin.
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:59 pm

I love the idea, but the characters seem to only be suitable for an undead game. Also, prerendered images are a bit bad for that style: I bet people would rather have you break them into components to use with 2D animation packages, instead of having to rely on your own animations.

For instance what if I want the girl holding the axe while wearing the eyepatch?
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:07 pm

Yes, so far there are a lot of zombies and "monstery" looking characters. But there are still about 20 characters to be made, and the backers are supposed to decide what kind of toons they want me to add to the stock.

Breaking the animations into components is not possible, as they are different in size and animations, so I cannot provide them as layers.
If we want the girl to hold the axe, the position and rotation would have to be changed, as she is smaller than him.

The only solution for really customizable characters I can think of so far would be an ordering service where you can choose the features of the toon.
If anybody comes up with a better solution to create customized characters out of a selection of premade body parts on your own, please let me know.
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Post » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:03 am

Dee wrote:If anybody comes up with a better solution to create customized characters out of a selection of premade body parts on your own, please let me know.

...Spriter? Spine?

How were you making animations before?
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Post » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:51 am

Sure, providing the raw skeleton and animation data and body parts would be a solution.
However that would limit the usage of the characters to the people owning such a tool. And it would be like giving out the source code of a program.

Before using Spine, I used a very old tool named "skeleton".
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Post » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:10 pm

Dee wrote:However that would limit the usage of the characters to the people owning such a tool.

Provide the files in a variety of formats, and also precompiled sprites for those who don't have the tools.

Dee wrote:And it would be like giving out the source code of a program.

And? There are prefab animations included with most packages. The "meat" of your kickstarter are the characters, not the animations.

If people could simply replicate the characters if you gave them the source files, they wouldn't be needing you in the first place.

As an analogue, the source code for Angry Birds is worthless, every two-bit programmer knows how to code something like that.
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Post » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:02 pm

Okay, I agree with you and I thank you for your feedback.
However there are some things to consider:
As the characters differ in size, bone length and other things, people would have to adjust the parts first to match the animations.
Let's take the example of the wizard girl holding the axe instead of the staff, the glow effect of the axe would have to be repositioned onto the axe, as the axe is a lot shorter.

What would a character pack consist of? Only the precompiled sprites together with the source files of the skeleton and the animations? So you would have to purchase another character that wears an eyepatch if you want your toon to wear one?

Or would a complete character consist of all possible parts applicable to him, already resized and worked into the source data?
(Of course the would have to be various different attack animations for each toon, as you cannot stab with an axe, compared to a dagger,...)

I really love the idea of heavily customizable characters, I just don't see how this could be done for high-res sprites of that kind.

*Edit:
I discovered a kickstarter project named "Indie Graphics Builder #2":
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The characters can only be composed of different parts because they have all the same basic doll with the same shapes and sizes.
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Post » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:03 pm

I don't know about Spine, but Spriter had plans for making animations reusable.
Also an animation in Spriter can have many different animations, as the animations are just data.
Check out Brashmonkey.com they are already doing what you are trying.
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