Sparks Fly and Crew Sits
Hey Folks! Made some decent progress today on some visual features which should help in the upcoming teaser.
First, I finished getting crew to sit correctly in ship equipment like toilets and nav stations. I ended up adding a new field to objects to store the current idle animation name, and allowed interactions to change that. This way, when the crew is awaiting a response from equipment, like when using a control station's UI, instead of the default standing "Idle" animation, it can use "Sitting" as the idle animation.
I also had to fix a bit of the data so the crew starts out "using" the station, using the typical standing anim. That allows the AI to approach the station normally without sit-hovering across the floor. Then, once they arrive at the station's "use" point, it switches to an interaction that teleports them to the "sit" point, and triggers their "Sitting" animation. It also changes their idle animation to "Sitting," so when they finish sitting and start waiting for the UI to appear, they remain seated.
Finally, I added a new interaction called "DoneUsing" which restores the standing idle animation, and teleports back to the "use" point. This produces a pretty normal-looking succession of animations and positions when using ship equipment.
While I was there, I fleshed-out the sitting animation to involve some head turning, button-pushing with arms/hands, and leg positions more like a relaxed person. They now look like they're using the station while seated, which is pretty cool. You can see that on today's screenshot, to the right.
With that done, I started working on the next shot: the crew repairing equipment, which needs a visual effect for sparks. This took a bit of fiddling to get good settings and sprites for, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome so far. Today's screenshot on the left has a sample of this. Sort of a lens flare combined with blue shadow-caster light, and some white-hot sparks emanating, that fade into yellow and then red as they cool off. They even bounce against walls and floor!
I still have a few things to tweak with respect to these sprites, scaling, and params. But the next thing will be to assign some sort of controller to make the sprite and shadow caster flicker more, instead of sitting there static.
And once that's done, I have to figure out how to attach this to the crew's hands without messing up scaling/orientation.
Still, though, I think it looks pretty good!