16 Nov 2016 » New Walk Animations

For the next version of C-Dogs SDL, we’re looking at improving the walk animations. This would be a good thing to do before other character enhancements, like character “textures” - think clothes, uniforms, badges and so on.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt that the character animations, dating back to good-old Cyberdogs (1994), could do with an enhancement:

Early on in C-Dogs SDL history, the animation speed was tweaked up so that the feet more or less track the ground. Before that it looked very floaty - just check out some videos of C-Dogs (the DOS game) or Cyberdogs online. Unfortunately, because of those short stubby legs, the animation speed is very fast, which makes them look like those cartoon Minions.

Instead, let’s go with a more expressive run cycle, with big leg and arm movements, even some up-and-down movement for the body. Here’s what that might look like:

What do you think? Already going from a 4-frame animation to a 6-frame animation makes it look much more expressive.

Let’s also take this chance to improve the gun-hand. The characters in C-Dogs either hold:

  • a generic blaster,
  • a knife,
  • or nothing

in their gun-hand. Let’s split out the gun from the hand, and have multiple poses, like this one for one-handed weapons:

This one works for grenades and knives too, the hand position is roughly the same.

For two-handed guns, something like this would look better:

Works nicely even though the head and leg animations are identical.

Making these changes will require splitting the sprites into different layers:

  • Head
  • Torso
  • Left arm
  • Right arm
  • Weapon
  • Legs

If we also have 8 directions (up from 4 currently), that means a lot of extra sprite work. To make this easier, perhaps the animation can be done in 3D and rendered. We’ll have to see how this looks, having nice sprites from exported 3D isn’t easy.

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15 Nov 2016 » C-Dogs 0.6.3 Released!

C-Dogs SDL 0.6.3 released; this version has some extra character faces, colors, and a cool new dogfight map by sauer2, Temple of Carnage:

And special thanks to Vadim Barkov for setting up automatic Windows and macOS deployment, which saves a ton of time on making releases.

The next version will probably contain more enhancements to the character sprites, all enabled thanks to Ronny Wester’s generous release of C-Dogs assets as CC-BY. Stay tuned for more updates on that!

Downloads and release notes: https://github.com/cxong/cdogs-sdl/releases/tag/0.6.3

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10 Nov 2016 » Animated Fans

Added animated map objects, like this fan adapted from Cyberdogs:

animated fans

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18 Oct 2016 » Bullet Mass

Recently we’ve added mass as a parameter for bullets. This decouples the amount of pushback from the amount of damage the bullet deals. Previously these were the same.

This helps improve some guns like the flamer, which deals a lot of damage but doesn’t necessarily push back a lot.

What’s interesting is that mass can be negative, which means instead of pushing back, it pulls the target forward, which allows some interesting weapon ideas…

scorpion spear weapon

This weapon only appears in the custom weapon tech demo campaign, but one day we might see more cool weapon ideas in proper campaigns!

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24 Aug 2016 » New Characters and Hats!

Work continues on extracting the original graphics format to prepare for enhancements (like improved animations). Here’s some early results enabled by that work:

new characters

These are extra character faces from Cyberdogs, now they can be played in C-Dogs SDL! But even the original C-Dogs faces have been enhanced; thanks to extra color keying work, we now have colorful shades, hats and more!

colorful shades

These changes will be part of the next release, look out for it soon!

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