Over the past year or so, I’ve religiously been animating skateboarding in 3ds max. I have been thinking of the best possible ways to get as many people to enjoy these animations as possible, so I have decided a skateboarding game would be the best way to go. I got kicked out of art school a while ago, but I’ve recruited a few people still there who are down with the cause and want to see my animations in a game.
The idea is a side scrolling skateboarding game that is focused on characters, and slightly more on realism than on big combos. the idea would be each trick requires an input to begin flipping the board as well as one to stop it from flipping necessary to land the trick. further inputs would be required to land in different grinds/manuals/etc. this might be hard to understand, so here was the first previs clip, put on a phone screen with fingers added to explain controls. in this video “spins” were controlled by flicking the phone as you do the trick, however we’ve decided to make each spinning trick it’s own animation, to make for more actual “Tricks” and because we want to include multiple “paths” in each 2.5d line, certain ones accessible by hitting a backside or frontside trick at the right time.
the video doesn’t make it very apparent to a layman, but for control sake the screen is effectively cut in half. pushing is done by swiping quickly through both regions, but becomes less effective after each push. Touching either side begins the skater crouching for a nollie or ollie or fakie or switch trick respective to stance. the finger is then flicked one of 8 directions to begin the flip trick. the screen must be touched again (in either region) to stop the flip trick. simply touching the screen will stop the flip and allow the skater to land on the board, however holding either side (or further dragging in one of 4 directions per finger) can allow the skater to land grinding or manualing depending on the surface underneath. once in the grind/manual, the finger must remain on screen and slide to adjust the skaters balance, which will be made apparent by which way he will lean/wobble. another flick and release of the finger will do another trick, and so on.
here was the second pre-vis: this used what originally were all planned to be game animations: notice that all tricks blend into the same “Catch” pose where the character is highest in the air, and then (for this) the same fall and landing, but different caliber tricks would be given different landing animations depending on different variables. this also exemplifies the gameplay time for each level. since the gameplay requires a lot of intense focus, the trick runs would be shorter lines, maybe 15-45 seconds per level.
the game would feature hundreds of different tricks for every skater (only 32 could be mapped and accessed per run: 8 ollie, 8 nollie, 8 switch, 8 fakie), and with multiple different animations for each trick depending on how good the swipe was, and how close to the end frame of the fliptrick animation the “Catch” imput is given on, no two runs would be quite the same. for far future focus stuff: stat tracking, multiplayer races/trick runs, persistent replays/ghosts, DLC maps/characters. that’s all far future stuff, right now the most important thing is to know where to start, which I do not. I have, with the help of 2 game design majors, only barely managed to get my first character so far put into the game engine, and replaced the side scroller pawn with him, unfortunately, he now cannot seem to be controlled. if I hit “Simulate” all his animations play, and it makes me happy, but this is far from a game.
That is the most recent pre-vis. still no sloppy tricks, but a switch trick anim and some manual stuff (idk how we would add those anims but w/e)
I know this is a lot of pre-vis footage for still nothing playable, but I have absolutely no programming experience, and throught my entire game design career have sought to avoid walls of code like the plague. I stick more to the character animation and environment art side of things.
The only experience I have with game making is a series of cash-in slenderman fangames for which the level design is my contribution, the horribly unpopular original title that the studio came out with afterwards, and these FPS Creator Games(my favourites), which are not made by a competent engine but do showcase my animations and media well, are some of the absolute favourite amongst the community and go to show that I can optimize for just about anything considering the engine can’t really handle more than 150k polygons onscreen at once and has one of the most finnicky culling systems I have ever encountered.
I would appreciate any help this community can offer my team and I, SPECIFICALLY ways to begin protoyping this control scheme, and important tutorials or plugins that might be helpful to the cause. I’d also like to see anything about how to reference animations in unreal. If you’d like to hear more about how the animation system or control scheme is planned to work, skype me because I’ve been thinking on it for a while, and trying to figure out how to produce an animation that will effectively demonstrate it. If you’d like to help with this, or the game in general, I love you. Skype me. I’d love to hear any comments on the idea, and whether or not it would even be effective in unreal.
here is all the whole team and i have managed to figure out in the game engine so far: