Well, that was manic. I had family stuff to do this weekend, but I didn’t wanna miss LD, so I’ve cobbled together what turned out to be pretty much the tutorial level of what I originally had in mind…
So here’s what I learned:
Don’t try to Ludum Dare on a weekend when you have other commitments
Importing a rigged & animated character into Unity with ONE anim is not a sufficient test case for importing a rigged and animated character with SEVERAL anims. This cost me hours of trawling the internet and experimentation. FWIW…the problem was that either Blender didn’t export (or Unity didn’t import) the entire timeline – only the active preview range.
Rigging for forward kinematics is a doddle (if you’re not too concerned about balancing the vertex weights). Setting up the armature for IK makes my head hurt, and there seem to be as many variants as there are riggers.
I have noticed a pattern in my LD projects already. All three are heavy on polish and embarassingly light on content. This, I think, is the habit of over a decade of AAA development where the level designs are handed to me and I need to focus on getting the implementation just right. For the next miniLD I must deliberately make an ugly game that is fully featured and balanced.
That said, I did go into this one deliberately intending to kickstart my character modelling/rigging/animating skills. I’m quite pleased with the results. I had to force myself to stop at the minimum set of anims, otherwise I could have blown the entire weekend doing anims for every situation. Also, I made no effort to make the feet match the floor on the walk, and I know the recoil is abysmal. But I’ve seen worse in retail games, so nyer.
The actual mechanics I intended to implement were much more elaborate – with three colours of firefly, three colours of flower that they like to hang out near, and dark levels that you can only traverse when carrying a firefly – so you would have to do elaborate back and forth puzzles to get all the fireflies back to the jar. I’ll knock a couple up this week and see if it turns out as fun as I’d hoped…
Tags: animation, blender, fireflies, postmortem, unity