behindscne

Behind-the-Scenes #2 – Battle Sprites

The battle system in Eternal Eden Reboot is reminiscent of Chrono Trigger, a legendary classic from the 1990s. Here are two simple tech videos, recorded around the same period of time my Indiegogo campaign was running.

It was a long time ago, so expect something way more sophisticated for the final version. I didn’t want to show these videos during the Indiegogo campaign because they didn’t felt very polished, and using assets by Square-Enix felt like a bad idea. Dorian was the main sprite artist for Eternal Eden but he became busy with his own project (Dark Blood Chronicles), so my project was left with a big hole. I was mostly busy with programming tasks, so updates suffered greatly because of that situation. The indiegogo campaign raised $5500 and it wasn’t sufficient to offer decent wages to new talented artists, it was just enough to let me focus on the engine.

Now that creating sprites is one of the last milestones, I decided to deal with the task myself. Anyway, it’s a skill I truly need to acquire for future events. Initially, I intended to use a 2D animation software like Spriter Pro or Spine, but 3D felt like a better alternative. Let’s remind that battlers in Eternal Eden need to be drawn in four different directions, so using one single source for auto-generating all those poses is somehow more appealing.

Here’s an example of template I’m using for the workflow.

The coolest fact is that the animated volume of this jelly monster is mathematically accurate. I wouldn’t have achieved that same goal easily by sketching it manually. Alas, I’m not one of those super skilled artists. So using 3D saves a lot of time for maintaining proportions. Note that this monster is just a quick test and will probably not appear in the game, so I didn’t bother perfecting it.

slime_demo_02

I gained some experience with Blender during the previous years. For instance, I’ve used it to built some key scenes in Eternal Eden: Ecclesia, which I think helped to make the game shine.

01

blender_01

Yet my experience with animation is limited. It’s why I allocated every day of March to learn as much as I could about topology, rigging and other related subjects. I’ve downloaded a large amount of video courses, almost anything I could find on YouTube, and filled my 1T external drive with them. The learning curve is steep (Blender is reputed to be complicated due to its anti-friendly design), but I’m gradually grasping the concepts.

These 3D techniques will definitely be handy to animate bosses like these two big guys:

06

Dandell-o_15d

(Sorry for the typos and bad sentence structures. I didn’t have any energy left to revise my post tonight. I’m still not feeling very well… Apparently, the virus is persistent this year.)

3 thoughts on “Behind-the-Scenes #2 – Battle Sprites

  1. `

    The learning curve is steep (Blender is reputed to be complicated due to its anti-friendly design), but I’m gradually grasping the concepts.

    It’s the case with all professional apps, the more complex the UI the more powerful the program is.

    But this, of course, means more learning and further release date for EE…

  2. I’m almost done learning what is required for Eternal Eden. Recent weeks were hardly restful, and being sick was beyond frustrating, but I’m glad I stuck to it. It’s a skill I should have acquired a long time ago. It will allow to be up-to-date with the current completion on Steam.

    It’s the case with all professional apps, the more complex the UI the more powerful the program is.

    Blender is powerful but isn’t without huge flaws. I think learning 3D would have been much faster with Maya or Studio Max. Anyway, Blender is totally free and it’s awesome once you get used to it.

    Here’s a very interesting video on software usability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYiiD-p2q80&nohtml5=False (it’s an examination of Blender’s flaws, but it’s also insightful for any other types of software)

  3. Considering it was an alpha stage, those Tech Demo rock! (such nostalgia)
    I agree with your decision to invest in 3d for sprites, 2d – if any faster – would have looked so cliche for the genre.
    The strong point of your project is doing things unconventionally – even clashing with today standards – to achieve something truly unique.

    PS
    Get well soon!

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