Development Update: Bits and Pieces

Greetings again after a long absence. I’m Brian Johnstone, Lead Programmer on Wulverblade, and I’ve been very busy working on our game. We’ve been neglecting this blog but we have definitely been making great progress. This is just a selection of notes letting everyone know what we’ve been up to.

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Advanced Animation Techniques: Skinning

Welcome back to the Wulverblog! This is part two of my in depth rigging and animating Tips and Tricks series. This will be a quick post covering Meshes and Skinning. Like Inverse Kinematics, this feature was added to Spine some time ago but I hadn’t gotten around to writing about our experience with it.

One of my earliest blog posts was about using a Mesh in Spine. At the time, we were able to create fluid animation by moving and keying many individual vertices. This was effective but extremely tedious. Skinning expands upon this feature and works in 2D as it does in 3D. We are able to define how much influence each bone has upon a certain vertex.

 Fig-1-Spearman-Torso-Deform

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Advanced Animation Techniques: FK & IK

Hey guys, welcome back to the Wulverblog!

Evan Doody here with yet another tech art blog post! Due to the popularity of my Intro to Skeletal Animations post, I’ve decided to write an update that covers some of our new, more advanced techniques. My next three posts will cover some of the newer features the guys over at Esoteric Software have added to Spine since the last time I wrote about it, as well as some tricks and techniques we’ve learned to implement into our workflow. This post will be covering Inverse Kinematics, or IK for short.

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PAX East 2016 and the Indie MINIBOOTH

Hey everyone, E. Doody here! It has been a very exciting time for us here on the Wulver team, and I wanted to hop on and give you all an update!

First, as Mike’s last post covers in detail, we launched our Steam Greenlight campaign on April 19th. We eagerly watched the page for feedback and comments and were Greenlit in only a week! It can be extremely nerve wracking to expose a passion project to public judgement. This brings us to our second very public, very stressful event: PAX East.

PAX East is a massive, consumer based show that takes place in Boston each year. I have been a fan of PAX for years, both as a patron and as a potential exhibitor. The best aspect of being a part of PAX East is that it is 100% a show for the gaming community. We have shown Wulverblade before at industry conferences such as GDC, but there is nothing better than getting the game in the hands of people who are, at their core, excited about seeing and playing games. To get to PAX, we used the help of the Indie MEGABOOTH.

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Greenlight – Our experience in getting through in 8 days

Hey everyone, first of all, thanks to ALL OF YOU for the votes, shares and words of encouragement, you all rock!!!

As submitting to Greenlight was our first real foray into the gaming wilderness with Wulverblade we thought we’d post up our experience in case it’s of any use to anyone else. We’re n00bs to this and we were breaking our Greenlight virginity!

Background:

First off, lets get one thing straight, we had no experience in this whatsoever. Both myself (Mike) and the Darkwind guys are all used to working on games, but not owning or releasing them. We’re contracted to work on other peoples’ projects and things like Greenlight, PR and getting exposure are not something we’ve ever done before…and we suck at it. We have some press contacts but we don’t have any in the PC gaming sector, so we knew we were going into this alone. We have, however, been in development for a good few years, been to a number of shows and now, luckily, have some die hard followers whom we love to bits and are kind enough to share our stuff on a regular basis. As we’ve always said, every last tweet, share, comment, and like makes all the difference. We really do appreciate everyone’s help.

Plan of action:

First of all, we knew our Greenlight page had to pretty, it had to show the game off in the best way possible. So we used the available formatting options to create attractive headers, gathered new screenshots and used our existing trailer. Our trailer sadly is a year old and doesn’t do the game justice, we should really have created a new one for Greenlight but sadly didn’t have time to spare with PAX around the corner. We did, however, manage to create some nice gifs to add into the body copy and lets be honest, everyone loves gifs…

brennus-power-attack

Here is the final page we went with: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=668913925

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Wulerblade is on Greenlight and at PAX East!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry again for yet another long delay between blog posts. We’ve got our heads down working hard to get this beauty finished.

We’re calling for your help now as we’ve just launched our Steam Greenlight campaign and after just 48hrs we’ve cracked into the top 100 and are sat at 76th. We need as many votes as possible so if you’d be kind enough to drop us a vote we’d be forever grateful :) All the support so far has been AMAZING. Thank you.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR US

Also, if you’re attending PAX East today or over the weekend you can get your hands on Wulverblade in the Indie Minibooth! Brian, Colin and Evan are there and will be happy to answer any questions, and let you have a play. You can also grab some nice Wulver swag while you’re there too!

Thanks again for your votes, shares and words of encouragement!

Mike.

 

 

Yey, Wulverblade got featured on Kotaku!

Hey Everyone, sorry for the lack of updates of late, we’re working seriously hard on Wulverblade at the moment and we promise some more meaty updates soon.

In the meantime, here’s a BIG THANKS to Keza McDonald (@kezamcdonald) for adding Wulverblade into Kotaku’s ’51 British Games to look out for in 2016′ article! We are mentioned alongside some very prestigious names so we feel really honoured to be in the feature!

Take a look:

http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2016/01/22/51-british-games-to-look-out-for-in-2016

Thanks again Kotaku!

 

 

Faking 3D Perspective

Hey Wulvers …. Wulverites? Wulverines (spelled with a “U” so we can’t be sued)? Whatever. It’s Evan Doody here with another tech-art blog post! This time, I’m going to shed some light on how we add depth to our environments, mainly through the use of parallax. This effect has been used to add depth in games since the beginning…of time. According to Wikipedia, “Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.” Long story short, objects in the background move slower than the camera, and foreground objects move at a rate faster than the camera.

We like to setup our environment scenes with several parallax “layers” to give off the illusion of close, far, really far, and “I think I can see my house from here” far. To do this, we created a simple script which allows us to adjust the position of each layer based on the camera position in the scene. A problem arose, however when Mike presented me with the following object: 

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Character Interactions

Hey everybody! Evan Doody here again. It’s been quite some time since my last technical blog post and I wanted to share some of the things we have been working on.

Today I’m going to briefly talk about our double layered character skeletons. As you probably know from videos, images, or previous blog posts, we’re making a 2 dimensional game that moves in 3 dimensional space. One of the many, MANY, problems this causes will arise when two characters attempt to interact with each other. For a majority of the time, it’s not important for a player to be able to tell exactly which character is standing in front of another. The player and the enemies on screen rarely overlap or interact directly. This was not the case, however, when we introduced grappling.

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