[How do I] build customizable animated characters

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  • Hi

    I managed to implement multiple characters and other mobs with lots of animations in my 8-way isometric game and everything is fine so far. I worked out how to trigger the right animations, sort by y, custom shadows, jumping and basic movement. As I'm planning to make the player character and enemies customizable (custom cloth/armor, weapons, hair styles) and don't want to include every possible combination (my game size would explode) I'm looking for a way to build my mobs as a combination of modular parts.

    Is there a way to achieve this in Construct2?

    I have humanoid mobs with

    • lots of animations (walk, run, jump, fall, attack 0 - x, cheer etc.)
    • customizable weapons (sword, shield, dagger, mace etc.)
    • customizable armor (head, back, torso, arms, legs, shoes, hands)
    • customizable body (currently only different skins)

    I would maybe implement different character sizes and proportions but that depends on the possibilities of Construct2 (or custom plugins/behaviors) to assemble a character from all those parts.

    My first idea was to create all parts with all animations, create a layer cake character and trigger the animations for all parts. As this would take quite a lot of time, I wanted to ask the community if there is a better way do go about this that would either save me lots of time or provide me with a scalable solution.

    One Problem I see is the sorting of all parts. To keep it more simple I wouldn't sort all parts but the collision objects of all items and characters in the game (which are on a lower layer). This way there would be only one collision item per character but about 9 (or more) animated sprite parts and I could sort all parts as one entity.

    I'm not developing for the arcade as I allready have lots of plugins and behaviors from rexrainbow 00Rez and Pode so any solution involving behaviors and plugins is welcome as well!

  • I think the easiest will be, when Spriter is final and the Importer PlugIn for C2 has been developed. Until then, I am also looking for a solution at the moment and playing around with Origin Points to attach graphics to the character... it is not that easy and I do hope someone else has an easier solution available :)

  • Ubivis

    I've read a bit about Spriter during the kickstarter campaign. Could you explain the planned Importer Plugin in 2 - 3 sentences? I'm not aware of any details.

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  • I think lucid is more the one who can tell you, but you can visit his Website for a free Beta and a lot of background info :)

    There is no PlugIn yet developed for C2, so no idea how it will work in the end.

  • you have the right idea with the layer cake method that is how itd be done (in pretty much every 2d game regardless of c2 or not) but instead of tryin to make sure you trigger the right animations on all the different parts just each step set those parts animation and frame to the main parts. Then you only have to worry about making sure the main part (body prolly) is animated correctly in your events.

    Thinkin about it now you can see why most 2d games dont have a visual gear effect right?

  • Thinkin about it now you can see why most 2d games dont have a visual gear effect right?

    But people love eye candy (in addition to good gameplay and stuff) ^^

    Customization is a big plus for many people. Gotta find a way to get it to work if I want people to actually like their characters.

    I'll try and find a good way to "bake my layer cake" without making a mess in my development kitchen. I'll probably write a "change animation" funktion so I only have to change animations in one place and I can call that animation whenever an event calls for a new animation.

  • Hi everybody, aridale & Ubivis

    gotta revive an old thread/question but theres a new thing nagging me with my project.

    I managed to layer all parts correctly but as I'm using rex_zSorter from rexrainbow I'm getting problems with all the small sprite parts. I have 2 ideas for a workaround so far:

    1) increase size of all sprites to match and let rex sort them out.

    • I have the feeling that this won't work and it would be a lot of work to change all sprite images for this attempt

    2) only sort the base/collision sprites of all mobs and get the z-index from those to sort all sprite parts afterwards

    • every tick
    • get z-index of base sprites
    • start loop for all mobs
    • - start loop for all parts of each mob
    • - sort parts based on internal z-index for sprite parts with a function
    • - end loop for parts
    • end loop for mobs

    Does that sound realistic? I have about 12 - 15 sprite parts for each mob and on a busy screen there might be about 10 - 20 mobs which leaves us with something between 120 and 300 sprites to be sorted every tick...

    Before I start coding that I'd like to know what you think. Should this solution (2) work and might this result in performance issues?

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