Every now and then a fascinating research project comes to my attention and I have to mention it. Such is this: a research project from Cornell University Library to use artificial intelligence to automatically create in-between animation frames for traditional animation.
There are a handful of conferences that talk about the research and innovation behind the game industry. Unlike other professional subjects, there are virtually no published works like other subjects in Mathematics or Computer Science, but there are still talks and presentations to attend.
One of the biggest conferences is GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) in the USA. And I just discovered via friendly reddit commenters that they have a YouTube channel with many of their talks uploaded for free, including some very specific animation talks that I was excited to watch.
So I announced my newest project “True King” a couple weeks ago… it featured a tiny character you could barely see.
While most of the game will be like that, I spent a lot of time experimenting with my animation systems for the characters in this game. Here’s a cool video that shows what I’m working with.
This blog is about my journey as an indie game developer. But I do other things too: last year I finished my Master’s degree with a thesis on artificial intelligence. In my defense I talked about a new algorithm concept of my own design, and how it improved over existing implementations. I also secretly intended the design of this algorithm to be usable in my next game project, which I am currently working on.
So with this justification and with my last paper on the subject published, I will briefly talk about my Master’s research in the article, and why I think I may never take a job involving “academia research” again.
It’s that time of year. Black Friday eve, when North American shoppers all eagerly seek the best value for their dollar. Also, American Thanksgiving.
As expected, my two games “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” and “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth” are both on sale this year at only $1.94 on Steam. This sale lasts until December 1, although you can expect a certain “winter sale” to repeat these prices soon. If you don’t like Steam, both IndieGameStand and MacGameStore should have similar prices at similar times in the next week or so. This is my first time having games available on Steam during the infamous Winter Sale, I hope “Unfinished” will break its first milestone of 1,000 copies by next week.
More importantly, I’ve posted tutorial videos and given talks about my unusual technique of using 2D animation in 3D space, which I like to call “3D Cel Animation.” Many people have asked directly for the Unity3D files, and I finally got around to uploading them. You can find them on my GitHub account, which I now hope to update more often in the coming years. These files should work with Unity3D personal addition, v5.0 and higher, and contains the complex layout of perspective planes around an object with a script for the camera to determine which plane to make visible. You’ll have to do the drawings yourself, and I hope to see what other people come up with soon.
Look below to watch some of the old videos I put up to remind you of the process.