Blade Ballet Devlog: Inertial Offset, Battle Charge, Badges

Better late than never! We've been hard at work putting together something awesome that will be announced next week. All will be revealed in time... For now, here is the story of Blade Ballet's latest evolution.

Put a little swag in your victory dance.

Put a little swag in your victory dance.

Inertial Offsets, AKA "Wibble-Wobble"

People get pretty used to seeing the flowing, flexible movements in the organic environments we live in. The bones and muscles that give mobility to living things are governed by real-world physics that animate us in natural-looking ways. Computers, for better or for worse, have a hard time simulating this reality. It's easy to fall prey to an Uncanny Valley situation when designing a game, in which your animated characters look just real enough to be incredibly creepy.

That's why we've dedicated time to implementing inertial offsets. That little extra bit of wobble that you see in the screen above - what looks like Catbot's shoulders shimmying ever-so-slightly from side to side - is a huge improvement over the stiff automaton pictured below (what a difference a couple of weeks makes!)

You don't have to be THAT robotic. Jeez.

You don't have to be THAT robotic. Jeez.

Mort-Oil Combat

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. Careful observers of the first gif will have noticed a greatly improved death-moment, complete with colorful explosions and oil splatter. Slaughtering your opponents is the name of the game, and we want it to feel as exciting as possible.

The big mystery is how machines still use oil millions of years in the future.

The big mystery is how machines still use oil millions of years in the future.

The Joys of Animating in Unity

Sometimes, taking a modeled, textured, and animated robot from Maya and placing it in Unity is a smooth event without any issues. Other times... not so much.

"He was dumping bombs because the pivot of the bomb spawn point is at his feet. Just FYI."

Gif'ing your bug discoveries can be so satisfying.

Gif'ing your bug discoveries can be so satisfying.

This isn't exactly what we were going for:

Future robo-chicken prototype?

Future robo-chicken prototype?

Entertaining, sure. But not entirely practical.

You see, this is MUCH more like it. Say hello to Trigger's new look!

Most adorably deadly bomb-hat ever.

Most adorably deadly bomb-hat ever.

Emphasizing the Battle-Charge

Charging into battle is one of the signature mechanics of Blade Ballet. After all, what is swordplay without the option to run full-tilt at your opponent, throwing caution to the wind? Forsooth, not worth a wit. Verily.

Because charging is so important, we decided to give it a fancy overhaul. A new icon over the bot and a circle indicator underneath up the intensity and fun-factor of the charge.

CHAAAAAAARGE!

CHAAAAAAARGE!

A Blade is a Beautiful Thing

"Never give a sword to a robot who can't dance." Confuc-ish

Blade Ballet's mechanics are very close to being complete. The game is tight and enjoyable - we're making small changes here and there to improve the fun, but the big things are locked down.

Which means we have time to play around with the little details that will really take Blade Ballet to the next level. Such as, for example, giving our battling bots the sweetest swords you've ever seen.

Choose your weapon.

Choose your weapon.

Now, don't get too excited. There's a world of difference between sketching sword designs on the digital page (concept art) and getting those swords to work in 3D space. The next week will be spent working with the concepts and figuring out which one looks and plays just right.

From the page to the stage.

From the page to the stage.

Badge of Honor

Some people love earning badges, and some couldn't care less. We like to think we've got some really clever ideas for achievements, so we're including them in our game. Here's a sneak-peek - you'll have to wait and play the game to see what they mean, though. No spoilers!

More Music, Maestro

For your enjoyment - Alec Galambos's latest - Sabre Dance.

That's it for this week - hope you're enjoying our story. Check out last week's post to see how far we've come. And don't forget to say hi in the comments below!