Rigging & Animation
Creating animations for the weenies was the first thing I did upon joining the team. I hadn't animated or rigged anything in a long time, and was happy to get back into the swing of things with a basic shape. After all, a weenie is the equivalent of a finger.
Originally our main character's name was Frank before he become Wurst, that's why he is named as such in the rig above. Creating the joint hierarchy was interesting, as I had to figure out where and how many joints to place on him. I had to envision how a personified weenie would walk around. Would he have knees? How would he walk? How would he sit? These questions eventually led to the answer. At first I thought four joints along the body would be sufficient, but I had trouble posing him (specifically around the "waist" area) and redid the rig with a fifth joint. The joint on the top of the head was left for Unreal Engine sockets for silly hats. His origin had to be set into the middle of his body instead of at his foot because of the way the character would switch to rolling in Unreal.
I maintained proper workflow when rigging the characters. I made sure that all controllers were parented to null groups to keep their transform, rotation, and scale at zero. Because of the low complexity of the animations, I used hotkey S to key-frame all attributes for each animations. After all the animations are finished, Importing into Unreal Engine is buisiness as usual. I can adjust the timing of animations, set up blend shapes, and create my animation blueprints.
When I ran into problems getting the animations to play correctly in-game (strafe triggering when walking forward, animations not syncing) Leo Lo helped out and added some of his own code work to the animation blueprint.
Particles for Corndog Chronicles, as well as the entire artistic style, was influenced heavily by the "Totally Accurate" series of games. We knew that we wanted a minimalist style because of time constraints as well as to match the satiric nature of the project. Here are some of the particles I created.
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1. I looked a lot of "Breath of the Wild" references to create a good, minimalist particle effect. I took a subimage index into Photoshop and flattened all of its detail into one color. Then I two instances of it in cascade, one orange and one yellow, with spawn offsets that allowed the colors to constantly shift and feel a bit more believable. Lastly I added smoke particles to the bottom.
2. This is my "use for everything" particle so to speak. All of the particles in our game avoid fading, and most particles do not have transparency. They use a blocky clump mesh I created, and when a steam or smoke particle fades, it shrinks instead of becoming more transparent.
3. This is our crate breaking particle. It uses small mesh particle chunks of crate that blast into the air and shrink. A dust cloud also spawns in and fades as well.
4. This particle belongs Austin Edwards, and is an explosion imported from another game he made called Space Worm. The particle was just too good to pass up.
5. This was a simple beam we were going to use for a laser, the mesh has been made but it hasn't made it into the game yet as we are still working on the room for it.
6. Number six is an electrical shock that goes off whenever the player shoots a control panel. It acts as visual feedback that you've hit it, as well as being visually satisfying.
7. We wanted to give all the upgrade pickups a Diablo-style glow to them. So I created a beam of vertical light with a bulb bottom, with little bits of energy emanating from it to highlight the weapon upgrades in the environment.
8. This spark appears whenever a bullet hits a wall. A simple spark, the real magic is in the bullet hole decal left at the spot of impact. The bullet gets the forward vector of the player when fired and uses that to map the decal to the normals on the mesh.
9. Smoke and steam (not pictured) were disputed among the team on whether or not they should follow the rule of no transparency. We decided to allow it, and so what you see here is variance in direction of the cloud particle mesh with transparency. However, it still follows the rule of shrinking instead of becoming completely transparent when the particle dies.
10. Do you like Looney Tunes? That's where the idea for this particle came from. If the player falls down a hole, this particle spawns in their place. I was inspired by Wiley Coyote when he falls down the canyon. Once again, it was created with clever use of cloud mesh particles.