I’ve made a lot of progress since the last update, including additional improvements to the effects. I finally took the time to create a 3d vector class, so now the effects are using a true 3d vector. Previously, I just used a 2d point and offset for depth. That worked until I started needing more flexibility. The projectiles are more accurate now. I was also able to add more types of effects, such as for summoning towers and pulsing power from banner zealots to portals.
I also changed the way I handle world position for entities. In order to gain flexibility with artwork layouts, I had to switch to a center point for entity positions. I used to just track an edge of entities and use its dimensions to determine the other edge position. This method constrained my layout since all artwork had to be centered within the frame.
I want to have dynamic animations, which would not be possible when only half of the frame is available for profile animations (since centered). Switching to a center point gives me the option to use an offset concept, so that animations can use the entire frame for profile and other directions. I adjust the frame during the draw so the center point stays aligned with the center of the animation within the frame. The end result is that a big creature can now stretch out and swing its weapon since the entire frame can be used. The animation will still be aligned correctly due to the offset and center point implementation.
I’ve been working with Mark Jones to use this new layout flexibility, along with some other tweaks to give more frame width. I have a test layout of a large creature in game using the older method, which limited the scale. Even with those limitations, the animation looked very cool. I can’t wait to see the updated version! We are spending extra time upfront to make sure the layout and scale work well. I think it will pay off in the end. Once we have everything set, the assets will start to flow and I will be able to show some screenshots.
Next up, I am working on the unit design. I updated the task list on the forum for this milestone. It is a packed schedule, focused on artwork, gameplay, and user interface. This is the phase where the gameplay really takes shape as the units come to life. I will be adding their combat mechanics as well as upgrade progression. This is the fun stuff Check back later for the details!