Feasibility Question (With Pic!)

Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: 2012.01
Post: #1
Hi All,

My cousin and I want to make an iPhone game but we don't have programming experience. My cousin will be doing the art (he is a classical animator... so 2d). Below is an example of a BG he made for the possible game:

[Image: zombietest.png]

Now imagine if there was a zombie character that would walk around on this. Three questions:

1) Id the zombie would walk "away" from you and on angles.. what would this require in terms of images for frames in an animation? Would this or could this partly be handled by some sort of game engine?

2) Assuming this game had similar gameplay to a game like Machinarium, would you consider this an easy/inexpensive game to get programmed or a hard/expensive game (assuming all art is taken care by us)?

3) Since there would be a lot of art for this game.. could the capabilties of the iPhone be an issue memory wise?

Thanks!
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 1,560
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #2
(Jan 24, 2012 05:23 PM)mickyg Wrote:  1) Id the zombie would walk "away" from you and on angles.. what would this require in terms of images for frames in an animation? Would this or could this partly be handled by some sort of game engine?

Depends on the effect you're going for. You could draw animation frames at a fixed size, and they could be scaled down when drawn. Given the classic SCUMM game style you seem to be going for, though, it might look better to draw animation frames at multiple sizes.

(Jan 24, 2012 05:23 PM)mickyg Wrote:  2) Assuming this game had similar gameplay to a game like Machinarium, would you consider this an easy/inexpensive game to get programmed or a hard/expensive game (assuming all art is taken care by us)?

As this sort of thing goes, probably not particularly hard. No game is easy to write, but a simple point-and-click adventure doesn't seem like it would present a lot of really hard technical problems.

(Jan 24, 2012 05:23 PM)mickyg Wrote:  3) Since there would be a lot of art for this game.. could the capabilties of the iPhone be an issue memory wise?

File size is likely to be more of an issue than memory, since you can jettison graphics that aren't currently in use. The only things that would need to be kept in memory are the things you're currently displaying or need to display with no file I/O delay.

Good luck with your game, it looks really interesting!
Quote this message in a reply
Apprentice
Posts: 10
Joined: 2012.01
Post: #3
Ok, thanks for your feedback Thems!
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 435
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
The question of scaling the animated zombie is maybe not your main problem. For example, in the sample scene there isn't a whole lot of difference in size needed if the zombie stays within the lit areas (i.e. middle of the screen.) Even in cases where some vertical movement is allowed, other cues like tufts of grass or other bits of scenery provide the necessary depth cues when the sprite passes in front or behind them.

I think the harder problem is the look of the sprite walking towards or away from the camera. Watching legs pump up and down as a character changes their y-position s-l-o-w-l-y just looks bad.

Old cartoons and 2D games take great pains to avoid showing this movement. Typically they will move the character off-screen or behind a large object, then a moment later a much smaller sprite of the character moves back into view, already further up/back the screen.
So you'll see that 2D adventure games are typically laid out to emphasize L-R movement, and minimize or hide forward/backward movement.

(For non-player characters, you can sometimes get away with cutting away for a moment (close-up on a talking head, or a narration panel) and when you come back, they have left the room/climbed the ladder/whatever.)

You can actually animate forwards & backwards movement, but if the scenes allow a lot of different directions (i.e. open spaces) then you may need to animate that from multiple angles to make it look okay. It can be done, but I think it would give even a professional animator pause.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply