Coffee Diary 22/8/22


Hey Exanimates,

This week we've trying to move forward with a few different things. The art and content guys are currently split between making some furnishings and unique elements for the new level, working on the level that comes after this and updating some of the weapons and armour for the new procedural item systems. Madoc has also been making some quality of life improvements to the development tools to streamline some of this.

In terms of Force thaumaturgy we've got the core interactions with physical objects working well. We're still hoping to improve how it interacts with characters when applied to their legs, as currently some powers can be accurately aimed at any part of the body. Due to the small surface area of legs, how force works and various factors this isn't currently very impressive. We did go down a bit of a rabbit hole here, with testing new mechanics for feet sliding and a whole new sort of inverse kinematics system which could have some cool future applications, but didn't really solve our immediate problem.

Inverse kinematics is kind of like reverse animation, where instead of having an animation to produce a result, you dynamically create an animation to achieve a certain result. Usually this is used when you want to do something like make a hand reach out to a specific point in space or place feet in a particular position. Exanima doesn't use traditional animation as motion is generated by virtual muscles with less predictable outcomes, and especially the legs play a more functional role that goes far beyond putting them in certain poses, and requires a good amount of "magic" (something that works, but you can't really explain why) to make it all result in good smooth movement. This new hybrid IK system could possibly with more work be adapted for leg motion with a bit less "magic", but as it is it's not really suitable. It is however something that should work quite well for precise arm movements such as gesturing, some direct interactions with the environment and perhaps even have some combat applications.

Things are coming together, but there's still a few things to tackle for the full update. We're currently looking to make progress on as many fronts as possible to get a better idea of where we need to focus our efforts or just get certain things out of the way, and spend less time trying to further improve what's already there. We'll keep you updated as always.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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