Not sure how to use a multi-quote feature on this forum...
@Shindoh - You're right in everything you say. It's probably something I'll need to play around with. I just panicked when I started working on the running animation, wondering if I'm going to run in issues with this.
But yes, a wolf's paws all land in roughly the same spot. The issue I'll have is that the sprite's hotspot isn't going to be matched up to the wolf's... center of gravity? IE: When he's jumping up, his paws and attachment to the platform are at his rear, like in my original sprite above. But when he lands, his paws are at his front (image below). The hotspot, and the only thing the engine really cares about, will always be at the center of the sprite though. The player will be judging by the wolf's feet.
But as you say, it may well be something I can find the right balance for. And I plan on creating a lot of animations to make it look and feel right. So long as it CAN be done, I'll try my best to do it :)
<img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/landing.png" border="0" />
@Lucid - It is my own artwork, thanks for the compliment :) And yes, I plan on creating a lot of animations for this, and agree that a different stopping animation depending on the current animation frame would be important. I don't see any issues with getting that to work. I also want a climbing animation, for when the wolf is only just hitting the right height to climb up to a higher platform, which I have plenty of ideas for creating. The only part that scares me is the jumping animation. Naturally a wolf jumps from his hind legs of course, so I'm not sure how to handle a jump command being issued when the wolf is on his front legs, or mid-air in his run cycle. Jumping back to a hind leg frame could look jarring...
But that's something I'll tackle at a later date. For now I'm working on the run animation. I plan on completing 8 main frames, and editing them in Anime Studio to blend them together nicely. I don't have much experience in that program yet aside from animating trees, but if it's a subject you enjoy then I'd love some feedback from you when I've completed my first pass at the wolf's run cycle.
So far, I've done 6 of the 8 main frames, and should be done by the weekend. I'll post an animated image then :)
@Tom - That's something I have in mind, yes, but I'm worried about... teleportation, for lack of a better word. It's such a long sprite when he's standing that on small platforms he'll pretty much always have one of his paws close to a ledge. I'd have to find a way to balance it, but I can imagine it looking strange if the wolf is triggered as being close enough to the left edge to pull him back to a squatting animation on the left ledge, and after half a meter of walking forwards he's triggered as having his front paws close enough to pull him forward into a squatting animation on the right ledge.
I guess the easy way out is to only have long platforms =P