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Weekly Shiryo Update from The Shiryo Team #29

We have both quality information and new visuals — as our Lead Game Dev Rick joins us to give us the latest updates on game development progress, alongside him is Lead Animator Connor with fresh animations to show the community and a breakdown of each!

We hope you enjoy this week’s update, let’s get into things!

Development Progress

Hey what’s up community, Rick here again for another weekly summary of dev progress!

To start with (as can be expected with us) is our start of the week team meeting.

Some of the points and tasks we covered included;

We started by going over and confirming the community-selected cards, potential balancing issues, identifying the associated assets that might need to be brought forward in their production queue and so forth.

Leading on from that, we confirmed how we were going to deal with card/assets that operated outside of the bounds of the anim/ability system. (We’ve reached a point now where we have enough ability exceptions, that it was worth the time to discuss the implementation of a system to handle outliers now).

It’s an easy pitfall to worry about and attempt to fix things that aren’t a problem yet. So quoting… I don’t remember who. “But don’t solve problems that don’t exist yet”.

We then had an animation review of last week’s set of assets that were created.

This includes a breakdown of the defined states, the visuals, physics and art execution and how well they match the design concept. Furthermore, identification of any changes (if needed) and either the acceptance and confirmation for export or to be sent back into the production queue for alteration.

Connor has included some of the development documentation and specific state and ability animations here. We thought you would appreciate the individual anim layers and some of the process behind creating them, so we’ll take some time covering those now.

Animations presented by Lead Animator, Connor

(The animations to go with this write-up can be downloaded from the Shiryo Announcement channel here; https://t.me/Shriyoinuann/826 )

Chainfreezing Hound- ID: 127

Effect- Water 3: Ongoing: adjacent Beasts have Freeze.

This animation will fire either once a player has reached 3 water element or straight after the beast has been played if the player already has the desired element amount. The animation has been exported in two halves- Left and Right as the left anim wouldn’t need to be shown if the card is situated on the furthest left of the board and same with the right. Both can be played both together when there are adjacent beasts. Once a new beast is played on either side we can replay the animation again to buff newly placed beasts. The animation was designed using previous styles of other water and ice spells, I also wanted to give the effect that the beast was exhaling frozen air onto allied beasts. The water ongoing animation is included in the video to show how the card would look in game.

Damnation Fire- ID: 94

Choose a hostile Beast, destroy it at the beginning of your next turn.

Receiving animation and ongoing animation. (Community picked card)

I designed this animation using the card art from the spell card and adding fire effects to portray a fiery wolf head fade in and out to afflict the target beast with the debuff. The ongoing animation will start midway through the receiving animation and then loop through until the target beast is destroyed the following turn. Originally I was planning to design the ongoing animation to show flames rotate around the card edge but after comparing previous animations and abilities I thought it to be too much going on with several animations firing at once, it can easily get too messy with layering and multiple colours on a single card. Eventually I decided on a subtle glow and pulse along with looping embers rising from the card.

Beast On Placed

This animation will fire once a player has released a beast onto the board after dragging from the player hand. The animation will go alongside a skeletal animation created in blender which will raise the card up before dropping it down onto the board in the same timing as the current 2D animation. Currently this animation was designed for basic and common cards and is in white so that we can tint the colours in engine to correlate to the rarity of the played beasts. I will then create extra effects to layer above the current animation for more impactful rarity types and then a unique animation for the Mythic elemental beasts. There will also be an impact animation shown underneath the card once it has landed on the board.

Fulmination- ID: 114

All friendly Thunder Beasts will attack twice this turn.

Spell animation fired on played and receiving animation (Community picked card)

For this animation I took a lot of inspiration from both the card art and also previous thunder type spells and abilities used. Lightning is fired from the Avatar area to create a lightning ball which expands and then explodes, sparks fire from the explosion to hit and buff friendly played beasts. Each friendly beast afflicted by the buff will then play the receiving animation showing a shock around the card edge allowing the beast to attack twice.

Snowmane Brute- ID: 130

Water 2: Growl: Deal 3 damage to a Frozen Beast.

This animation will be fired by player targeted choice once the growl animation has been played. I used inspiration from both the standard attack animation and previous ice abilities and spells to tie it together. We would show the damage number indicator in red above the animation as it is being played. We may decide to use this animation in future for other water/ice damaging abilities.

Continuing updates from Rick: We also discussed any potential workflow issues and amendments that we would be implementing, and also dived into the progress of gaining another senior coder on the team.

Hiring is still in process, it REALLY is a very competitive market to acquire developers at the moment who have both the necessary experience level that we need… and who are able to be rapidly onboarded onto the Shiryo team.

It’s typically my first task of the day to screen and reply to potential candidates, as well as to scout potential talent across the different networks available to us. It is a top, top priority.

The continuation of the “High level anim/ability system review”

This is my current sprint task, working closely with Connor (Lead Anim) to ensure as efficient compatibility between our workflows as possible. This also includes one of the additional priority outcomes, which is to migrate from a variable source — to a digitised documentation process.
As such we include time to confirm the created digitised design and review documentation and its formatting.

As we expand the scale and capabilities of the animation system, I am ensuring its modularity and compatibility with the ability system / game-state.

As more individual components are added and dialled in…we document this digitally — allowing future additions, planning and review.

I typically use a ‘fast and dirty’ pencil/paper, blank wall/post-it method for rapid design and review. However, a more ‘proper’ formatted visual digital version is used as our primary high-level code design. I’ll be aiming to share with you this design visual once fully migrated to digital.

Some components include;

.System flow
.Major/Minor component systems
.Manual and Auto Interrupts
.Active_Player dimension state

.Anim_State / Firing_Loops
.Anim_Timings / Group_Sequencing
…..etc

This workflow is how a large-scale system like this is brought together from its individual components during development into a complete system for testing. This includes the creation of “legible and actually efficient to use” documentation in a format that team members working in different domains can operate and collaborate from.

Additionally, this review includes me updating/organising and/or the creation of the underlying game code within the current active build of Shiryo so that it is in line with the reviewed and approved code design.

This will conclude my updates for this week, once again it’s been a pleasure to share with you all a summary of some more progress as we continue to develop Shiryo.

Until next week, Wolfpack Strong!

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