Dev Update #68: Breathing Life through Animation

By January 10, 2018Dev Updates

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you’re just amazed that it was only a week? That’s what we’re dealing with right now. With the heaviest work of the UI being finished and out of the way, that left us a lot of room to get to work on some major developments. Better than that, we’ve chosen to hit Gears of Eden on two fronts: the aesthetics of the game, and its very functionality.

One of the major visual themes of this game revolves around the ability to express emotions. Sure, we want it to have that cool, technical vibe that Sci-Fi does so well, but it’s just as important that you can read the faces of our characters. An impressive example of this is Baymax from Big Hero Six. The character itself has very little range of motion and yet, through a few details in his visual design and the way he overcomes his bulk, you’re able to learn a lot about the character and, just as importantly, you’re able to connect with him. We’re opting for a curious rover as our protagonist (instead of an attentive balloon person), but the concepts still apply! Recently, we shared with you an animation of that beginning to take shape, but we’re not done yet! This new rover design can do so much more than the original ever could, and we can’t wait to see it fully in action.

Now about that functionality, right? We talk a lot about crafting. Even when we’re not, we’re probably talking about something involved with crafting. The whole UI upgrade we’ve been working on? That has been to facilitate our more advanced crafting system. Well now, we can safely say that there are over 30 craftable items in-game and we’re already making a lot of headway on implementing what each of them do. This seems like an obvious thing from a design standpoint, but when it comes to the actual programming, it’s a bit more complicated. Hopefully it goes without saying, but the number of craftable items is going to continue expanding all through game development as new systems are put in place.

I’m very proud to say that this isn’t even everything that we’ve accomplished this week… but the rest needs to be saved for next week when it’ll make more sense. Until then, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest and greatest Gears of Eden news, and pop by our Discord server if you want to hang out and maybe even catch us working! As a final note for those of you just dying to know what secret thing we’ll be talking about next week … the cover image for this week is a very big hint. See you soon!

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