Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
If the ability to create mods is supported by a game and considered one of its features,
then testers need to be able to define mods to verify this capability. It's also important
to check that any tools provided with the game to support modding work properly
and have a friendly enough interface for non-programmers and non-artists to use.
Sometimes tester-created content can end up in the released version of the game. The
test team that worked on the Battle Realms map editor saw some of their skirmish
maps included alongside the maps created by the professional level editors.
Some companies or projects may establish specialized artist positions with titles such as:
2D Artist
3D Artist
Environment Artist
Texture Artist
Vehicle Artist
Character Modeler
Animators add realism and motion to the game. Animations need to be smooth and
properly scaled in terms of time and space, taking gravity into account. An animation
is made up of a series of frames. Each frame contains a specific pose and when frames
are played together, your eyes fill in the blanks between poses.
The animation may also be done at a component level, where the subject of the ani-
mation is defined as a set of connected elements. A skeleton defines the ways in which
these elements connect to one another. In this case, poses are defined for each element
that gets calculated and drawn independently in the game, but remain connected
according to the relationship defined by the animator. Figure 4.1 shows an example of
a skeleton frame with its connected elements.
Characters and creatures are believable when they are properly animated. On a large
scale, they are animated to walk, run, and jump. Their movement needs to be consis-
tent with their weight, physiology, and the local force of gravity. At a smaller level,
facial expressions and body language are animated to communicate emotion. Even
when a character is not moving around in the game space, many games provide an in-
place animation, such as small movements that accompany breathing, to maintain the
sense that the character or creature has life. This standing pose, known as an “idle�?
animation, can also communicate the character's feelings or attitude.
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