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Shoot for the Stars Devlog 26: Lively Sprites

In the world of Shoot for the Stars we look to make sure all the characters have a liveliness to them. As a team of game developers, looking for inspiration happens every time we play existing games. Our team’s animator has been paying close attention to sprite choices in existing games and how sprites have been handled on both the 2D and 3D level.

One thing that really stood out to her was the interaction of sprites in various modern games and how “alive” a sprite becomes upon talking to them. This being anything from hand gestures to head and body movements. Taking this into consideration got her gears turning and she went straight to work on drawing out various poses for the characters.

Some of the first things that came to mind were idle animations. When a character stands still, we want them to feel alive and have subtle movement. In our previous game, “Hyde & Zeke” this was also something taken into consideration, as Hyde always has something moving on him.

Not only does sprite animation play a role in creating more engaging characters, but it also serves the purpose of user feedback. Players will directly interact with characters in the world when the dialogue box appears on screen; however, players will also indirectly interact with NPCs by seeing the animations that play while speaking with them. These interactions not only serve to communicate story and world building, but also are feedback to the player who they are talking to and what is occurring in the game.

After creating the idle animations, a “transition and a “talking animation” is currently being tested. Using a combination of frame by frame animation as well as puppet animation, we have a more dynamic range of personality for a sprite.

Thank you once again TerraZone fans for taking a look at our weekly updates. While we’ve been working on animation, we've also been working on world building! Next time we will be discussing some of the fictitious media that exists in the world of TerraZone. What franchise do the NPCs like other than TerraZone? Make sure to subscribe to our Twitter to get the latest updates and be notified when the next devlog releases!

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