Posted by Kim on May 26, 2021, 9:00amOkay, so if we're going to start with Liberated Pixel Cup assets, we're still left with a ton of questions and decisions. One of the first big ones is: what should our avatars be able to do?
The Liberated Pixel Cup set out to make assets that could be used for as many different kinds of games and purposes as possible, and as such, their base avatar sheet ended up looking something like this:
(click here to see the source of this sheet)
From top to bottom, this includes the following animations: spell casting, thrusting (as in a spear), walking, slashing, drawing a bow, and collapsing.
Many LPC sprite bases take this even further, and add on additional animations for picking things up, jumping, blocking, etc.
We'd have to decide, what would OUR avatars actually need to do? What might we want them to do? What's the best balance between not overwhelming aspiring asset artists, and allowing our very own mini-games and creative maps to flourish in ways we didn't expect?
Clearly, the base minimum that we'd need to get by is standing and walking. Would we also want to add sitting poses? Should the avatar sit with the legs folded under itself, or cross legged, so it could sit on the ground? Should it be drawn with the legs dangling down as is better visually for sitting on furniture or piloting a starship? Should we include both types of sitting? What about lying down?
Should we include the basic "slash" animation to signify general action, as we did for the farming game? Or should we retain only the walking animation, but include a series of one-frame poses for giving reactions or striking attitudes?
The balance I tried for the farming game itself was utilizing only the walking and slashing animations, which caused our sprite sheets for that purpose to look like this:
Not quite as wild as the above example, but still quite a lot of poses that new clothing or other accessories would need to be drawn for!
Once we had launched avatars and maps, it would be extremely difficult to add or remove support for a type of avatar action, not least because if we ever added a new action, every bit of hair/clothing/accessory art that had been created would have to be revisited and expanded by their artists. Whatever balance we struck between ease of creating new assets and greater capability would likely be the balance we had to stick with until the bitter end.
This is a set of questions I'm still very actively wrestling with. Feedback and ideas are very welcome!