Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

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lou
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Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by lou »

This is more of an opinion piece than anything. As of this time, I am still not 100% on whether I want the game to feature a "walking in place" animation when a unit is idle, or to create a separate standing animation.

Bits and pieces of this I wrote a while back. Some of it I remember from when Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark was in development, pretty early on, maybe in 2014.

If you're familiar with the genre, you likely have an opinion on this. To make this easier to write about, let's call the "walking in place" animation WALK and having an idle animation, IDLE.

http://dusktactics.com/doc/_media/toluct.gif
So for an example of games that use the WALK method, we have Tactics Ogre, and Final Fantasy Tactics as seen ABOVE.

http://dusktactics.com/doc/_media/idle.gif
Games in the Disgaea series, on the other hand, feature an idle animation for when the unit is standing in place as seen ABOVE.

It seems pretty obvious that the IDLE method is more artistically representative of it's characters and because of this usually requires more resources. Disgaea in and of itself has always featured very dynamic character art. These extremely large and detailed sprites show not only various animations, but actually even go so far as to show detailed facial expressions and emotions.

The WALK method is thought to be derived from older games and their issues with both memory and size. In some cases this is true, and in other cases it was purposeful. Some of the first games in the tactics genre many of us played featured characters that use the WALK method making it very nostalgic.

Personally, I like both methods but do have a preference for the WALK method. To me, the WALK method was used as a more representational method since many of these games have to minimize grand scale battles. Units are often not wearing the exact items we have them equipped with, sometimes even their scale is off.

In some series the unit you see is actually meant to be a group of units. Ogre Battle had something like this and it was also seen in some of the Dept. Heaven series games. Hoshigami Ruining Blue Earth is a good example of this. When battle starts, you see that there are multiple units instead of just one. While this holds no bearing on Dusk Tactics specifically, it's just something that has influenced me over time.

My best arguments for doing the WALK method as follows:
  • Getting information out quickly. Debuff/buff-wise it's a lot easier, at a glance, to tell who is sped up or slowed down.
  • Again with information, to show who has already moved this turn. If I were to do a WALK method, it would be the Tactics Ogre style, where units whose turn was over would take a standing animation and have a darkened "look" to them.
  • A smaller, but valid point besides nostalgia, for me, would be the amount of extra frames required. It also puts a slightly larger sprite sheet in play, and slightly more overhead. Again this is a VERY small point and for modern computers, not really a problem. My focus is more on the cost of this.
  • Lastly, nostalgia is strong, but it's not everything. I've always just loved it, and I honestly can't put my finger on exactly why, but older RPGs and tactics games were iconic with the WALK method.
If I had the funding, I'd honestly at least make it an option. Having both methods and let the user decide.

To be continued...
Dusk Tactics - http://dusktactics.com

MichaelRT17
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Re: Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by MichaelRT17 »

WALK method all the way.

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lou
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Re: Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by lou »

MichaelRT17 wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:24 pm
WALK method all the way.
Haha, awesome! I honestly thought I'd be alone in the WALK method.

I remember during Fell Seal's early days they had the WALK method and over time multiple groups starting commenting on it and they eventually switched it to what it is now. Granted their larger sprites may be better for having idle animations.
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Brundk
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Re: Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by Brundk »

WALK method for sure!

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lou
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Re: Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by lou »

Getting a lot of support for the WALK method!! I mean sure it's not a large sample size, but I was expecting little to no support.
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CmdrLee
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Re: Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by CmdrLee »

If I were to do a WALK method, it would be the Tactics Ogre style, where units whose turn was over would take a standing animation and have a darkened "look" to them.
For me, the WALK method is the ideal approach for this. Knowing which characters are left to move is important especially if the last character's move didn't turn out the way you expected it to.

I like the look of the IDLE method better, but the WALK method is more functional. How's that for a non-answer? :lol:
 
...well, that could have been planned better.

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lou
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Re: Sprite Animations - Walking in Place

Post by lou »

Haha, pretty much the same as my non-answer when dealing with this topic.

I too enjoy the functionality but also like a good idle animation...
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