Junk ET: Kradle
A new enemy for our roguelike, Junk ET. Up until this point, all of the game's enemies (which are beautifully designed) were created by the other artist on the team, Sergei, but I had a chance to come up with a creature this week.
We use a program called Spine for enemies' 2D animation. Think of it as a sort of puppet-style animation tool, where different sprites are pieced together at joints (or "bones") and animated independently. I'm used to the old fashioned frame-by-frame way of animating, so this process is still a bit new to me, but it turns out you can do some really cool, inspiring stuff with this method.
Basically, you break the whole creature into separate pieces where joints should go. You can see in the illustration above that the main body is its own sprite, the legs are broken into 4 parts, and each tentacle is separated into thirds. I box them up and send them to the programmers to animate in Spine so that they can bring it to life in the game itself.
I tried a couple of experiments with this joint-based animation style to see what I could do. (I made these with Flash since I'm more comfortable with the tool at the moment, but Spine is basically the same concept, but more robust as far as I could tell).
The rest of the team's much more experienced with it, and fortunately, most of the game's Spine animations will be left in their capable hands. But these were fun experiments, and I want to try a few more if I get the chance.
If Junk ET sounds like a game you want to play, you can do just that right now. Check out the dropdown list (the 3 horizontal lines) at the top of our homepage and choose Register. Create an account and you can download the latest build onto your Mac or PC and give it a whirl!
If you like what you've played, give it a vote on Steam Greenlight. Every vote means we're one step closer to being able to release the full game on Steam, which is a pretty darn popular platform among gamers. Being on Steam would allow us to reach a wide range of players like yourself when the game is ready for release.