Thursday, January 24, 2013

Attraction Post #11: The Change, the Fix, and the Kickstarter

So this week has been a busy one.  I have been working steadily with the programmers in getting our model into XNA with its animations.  Before, we were importing sprite sheets and using them for our animations, but now we deciding to convert our model to FBX and use the 3D version instead.  This change took place because the 3D model will use less of the Xbox's memory than our sprite sheets.  However, getting this to work was tough.  We had multiple problems throughout the holiday break trying to bake the animations correctly.  Everything would show up fine in Maya, but in XNA the model would look like this:

This week Andrew and I sat down for a few hours troubleshooting and finally got the vertices to quit stretching to some random point in front of the character.  Ultimately, I fixed the problem by deleting the top 3 right leg joints and the IK handles associated with them, mirrored and oriented the left leg joints over, and reworked the IK handles.  After that, wahla, the model worked.

As far as the team goes, we have been doing a lot of work in various areas.  Our programmers are working on multiple new magnet ideas such as electro-magnets, (Magnets you charge up), and dynamic-magnets, (Magnets that can be moved and will move the player as well).  They have also been working hard on creating a particle system, updating the level editor, and getting our 3D model to work in XNA.  Our artists have been studying and creating concept sketches of a new form of shape design because we switched our game from being dark and somber to light and uplifting.  We are going for more of an art-deco look now, and the results will show in the game later in the year. 

Not to mention, we shot footage for our Kickstarter video this past Saturday!  We should have the Kickstarter page up and running within a couple of weeks.  We are creating a Kickstarter to help gain more exposure for our game, and we will be using the money to:
  • Pay for the fees trying to get our game greenlit on steam so that people who do not have an Xbox can play our game.  If we can't get it on Steam, it will pay for the bandwidth for making it accessible/downloadable from another site on a computer
  • Assist in the finances associated with taking our game to indie festivals so that we can show it to a broader audience and get more feedback on the game
This week we are working on creating multiple levels for our game so that we can bring our game to Utah Indie Games Night and have at least 3 levels to show off to participants.  If you can make it to the event, it's on January 31st, 7pm, at NinjaBee offices in Orem.  Maybe we will see you there!

What I accomplished this week:
  • Reviewed game/got the developer's support for our game
  • Fixed our model and worked with the programmers on making it work with XNA
  • Converted the run and idle animations to the new model
  • Created a "taking off the head" animation
  • Sent out a stable version of the model to our artists for them to start animating it
  • Logged the Kickstarter footage and started editing the footage

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