Meet the Team: Turbo Torbo

Since we haven’t talked much about the people behind Rubikon yet (and because we are more of a social media-shy bunch in general), we take the chance and present our team in the most appropriate way: An old school character sheet 😉

The first one is our artist Turbo Torbo, master of the pixels at day and game design contributor at night.

Stay tuned for the rest of the team in the coming weeks!

#ScreenshotSaturday: Our Animation Process

Torben here, the artist behind Rubikons graphics. We got some questions, how we do our sprite animations for Rubikon and whether its rotoscopy or not. Well, kinda sorta. Thats why I want to give you a quick overview of our process for this weeks screenshot saturday. So here we go:

Step 1: Base Animation in Unity

As a starting point for our base animations (walk, run, attacks etc) I use 3D animations from Mixamo that get tweked later on until they fit our project. More specific / simpler animations (interacting with a specific item, idles) are done from scratch and do not involve this step.

I import the 3D model and animation in a template Unity project with a camera set up to match the angle we need for our game. From there I export all needed keyframes with the help of the awesome Unity plugin Frame Exporter.

Step 02: Work-In-Progress Spritesheet in Photoshop

After that I throw them into a Photoshop project to quickly change the sizes of our frames to match the rest of the animations. With the help of John Wordsworths Sprite Sheet Generator for Photoshop I export them as a work-in-progress-spritesheet for further work in Aseprite.

All of this is just the preparation for the actual animation and does not take a lot of time. For me its well worth the hassle because of the fluid & natural movement of the animation afterwards, as well as the saved time that I would otherwise need to get the angles and perspectives right, would I draw every frame from scratch.

Step 03: Rough Tracing in Aseprite

The spritesheet then gets imported into Aseprite. I trace the frames roughly with a fixed set of colours for depth and defined layers for items. We changed this set up quite a bit while in development and as of now we have a some seperate layers for arms, torso, head and so forth.

From here I export a rough spritesheet, we import it into Unity und try it out. In general this is the most important part of the process, because there is always some tweaking in regards to timing, weight and perspective involved, as well as some back & forth with the other team members until we are satisfied with it.

Step 04: Refining In Aseprite

If we are happy with the rough version and everything works within the project we refine the graphics. This is usually the most satisfying part of the process, because you can finally see your graphics come to life 🙂

Step 05: Import into Unity

After exporting all layers seperately from Aseprite our code master Tony adds the animation to our character prefab in Unity so we can test it and tweak all remaining issues that might occur with the new graphics.

And thats it. We hope this little insight was interesting and if you have any thoughts or questions feel free to post them in the comments. Peace!

#ScreenshotSaturday: Animator Revised

Last weeks Screenshot of our animation controller in Unity got quite some attention. A lot of people mentioned, that we should look into blend trees to improve the controller. So our programmer Tony reworked the controller this week from the ground up. Looks so clean and organized now and it will be way easier to use in the the future 🙂

Screenshot Saturday: Ketu, The Traveller

This week we spent some time figuring out our main character Ketu. A rogue-ish and agile person, grown up on the road, travelled from far away to finally find some answers. But answers to what questions? Well, we won’t tell you yet 😉

“But can’t I play as a woman instead” you ask? We got you covered. Customization options are already planned, to enable you to change up your character to fit your taste. Neat, isn’t it?

Screenshot Saturday: The Mill

For this weeks Screenshot Saturday we present you our second location: The old mill. Down by the creek and over the old bridge lies the home of a lonely old, broken farmer, tending to his crops and waiting for the fall.

It is the second stop the player reaches in our gameplay demo. We tried to create a solitary and melancholic atmosphere here, do you think we managed? What detail do you like, what gives you the feels?

Week In Review: Trees, Location Setup and Smooth Arrows

We approach. A productive week lies behind us:

Visuals

  • Deciduous Trees for the camp added with animating treetops
  • 2nd scene sketch
  • 2nd scene scribble in progress

Code

  • Enemy block and pursuit in progress
  • Camp asset setup
  • Humanoid shadows
  • AI looking for seat nearby and sits down
  • AI movement refactoring. Was looking for shortest route in the 8-way-movement, but that looked weird and jittered. AI now heading towards target until the next possible direction change leads directly to it.
  • Tree prefabs
  • AI input refactoring. AI now moves via target position instead of desired direction.
  • Shadows fade slightly in the clouds shadows
  • Dynamic Post Processing. Areas can be declared bright, sober, dark wood etc which affects the post exposure / saturation / contrast of the camera.
  • Horizontal arrow shooting refactored. Added air drag, improved collision.
  • Vertical arrow shooting in progress

Videos will follow as soon. And don’t miss out on some sweet impressions on #ScreenshotSaturday! Have a good one!