two crests

anonymous asked:

Hi, not sure if you are interested in Bloodstained, but from the trailers / gameplay videos released so far (some new videos were released for E3 2017), the game does not look too good in my opinion. I can't exactly define what is bad / missing (maybe its a general lack of polish or the "slow" controls). Can you comment a little about this game and its current quality from a game developer perspective? Thanks!

For those who haven’t followed Bloodstained, it’s a new Metroidvania style game from longtime Castlevania producer, writer, and programmer, Koji Igarashi. It was successfully crowdfunded back in 2015. Here’s some gameplay video of Bloodstained in action, recorded at E3 2017:

So… what’s wrong with it? Why does it look bad? There’s two main problems I see with it and both are animation-related.

Problem #1: Everything takes a long time

I downloaded the above video and scrubbed through it frame by frame. The video was captured at 30 frames per second. Almost all of Miriam’s motions are stretched out over many frames of animation, making them feel like the overall game is slow. Her normal fast attacks have 4-5 frames of startup (anticipation, before actually striking) around 25 frames to complete. Heavy attacks with the Claymore sword have 14-15 frames of startup (not striking until half a second after the animation begins), and took 32 frames to complete (more than one second). Picking up a shard (which happened quite often in the demo) took five seconds. It takes two seconds to get a special item in Symphony of the Night.

This is the top of Miriam’s jump arc. Notice how she’s not changing height here at all, and yet there’s still a solid five frames of just floating along horizontally? These extra frames of animation make the player feel like Miriam moves more like a balloon than a slayer of evil. Her jumps feel super floaty because of all this extra time in the air. In comparison, Alucard from Symphony of the Night only spends two frames at the crest of his jump before descending. 

Here’s a sword attack from Bloodstained:

And a similar sword attack from Symphony of the Night.

They are both running at the same frame rate.

Bloodstained has all sorts of movement and combat animations that feel unnecessarily long, and the overall effect is that the game looks and feels floaty and sluggish. It’s a real problem for a game of this type, because the vast majority of the game is spent moving, jumping, and attacking. These motions must feel responsive and tight, and that means short, snappy animations that read well. Bloodstained is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Castlevania, but Castlevania had super responsive and tight controls, and that meant super responsive and tight animations that were played as a result of those controls.

Problem #2: Miriam’s body language is lacking

In most of the actions Miriam is performing, she doesn’t really convey much about who she is or how she’s different. In fact, most of her movements look very much like they were directly inspired by Alucard. The problem is that Miriam should be her own separate person. If you’ve ever played Overwatch, you can tell a lot about each character simply by the way they move. The body language gives you insight about the character. Tracer shows how expressive she is by sticking her arms and legs out all the time. Mei keeps her hands and knees together because she’s shy. Soldier 76 keeps his arms in tight to his chest because he’s old and grumpy, and so on.

What we expect from a slayer of evil would be a wider stance - feet firmly planted and spread apart for stability, facing her potential foes, arms loose and ready in case of trouble. It’s a comfortable stance that’s ready to rumble. Maria Renard (pictured) has a stance like that. Alucard has a stance like that. Miriam does not.

Miriam’s body language is kind of a mess. Her idle stance is this odd side-facing stance with knees together and one arm raised. She’s not facing her threats unless she attacks. Her knees and ankles are kept together, which makes her seem nervous. She has one hand lifted to her cheek as if she is about to sneeze. This pose is not comfortable at all. This visual does not depict a monster hunting slayer of evil. Overall, she looks more like she’s posing for a fashion photographer than ready to fight. If she’s supposed to look this way, then the normal combat animations certainly don’t show it. When she swings a sword, whip, or spear, she looks like she knows what she’s doing. But then she returns to this odd, unnatural looking idle pose and everything feels off. It’s this weird lack of consistency in her movements that throws things off kilter.

Overall, they could improve how the game feels simply by increasing the speed. As an experiment, go back to the youtube video shown above, click the gear icon and change the speed setting to 1.25x or even 1.5x. Now watch some of the gameplay. See how much better it feels? Then throw on some music for atmosphere, and it will feel a lot better. Depending on how final these assets are, there’s still time for them to improve on this. I’m sure the animators at the very least are aware of these problems. I just suspect that there’s somebody in a position of authority that likes it this way.


Got a burning question you want answered?

So our animals are starting to act a little odd…

Yesterday I noticed that the skinks hadn’t been out all day. After sifting through the substrate for a while we found them under the dirt beneath the basking rock. It was not like them to hide for that long. They didn’t come out at all. Not even for food.

Aside from the skinks, we have two crested geckos (Pepper and Hashbrown). Pepper is two years old and he’s usually very calm when it comes to handling. This time was a little different. Crested geckos are arboreal which means they love to climb and jump a lot. But Pepper is what’s known as a “frog butt” (which means he doesn’t have his tail anymore) and that leads him to have somewhat poor balance, so he usually doesn’t jump, just walks. But when he was out he made a massive leap out of my mom’s hands into his tank where he then hid away. It’s unlike him to do that.

Later that night we got hit by massive thunderstorm.

I’m wondering: can the lizards sense the hurricane that’s on its way here? Do they know it’s coming? The skinks are still hiding and I will check on Pepper tonight. I find this kinda strange but it’s probably a natural thing for them to do. I’m going to go do some research just to double check. I’m sure they will go back to normal after the storm has passed. Will update later

Echo Pt.6

The part I actually meant to post, lol.

7th June 2019.

“Okay so I need you guys to be really patient with him,” Amelia explained to the two kids as they sat at the dinner table, “He might drop stuff or forget what he’s talking about.” Rosie nodded dutifully while Ryan tried to look anywhere but at his mother.

Amelia went over to Ryan’s chair. “Why the long face?” she asked, noticing his reserved demeanour.

Ryan looked angrily at his mother. “Just because he forgot what he did, doesn’t mean I’m going to forget.”

She sighed and stooped down to his level. “It’s much more complicated than that.”

He rolled his eyes. “You’re acting like you’re the one with amnesia.”

“A marriage is a promise, Ryan,” she sternly told him.

“A promise both of you broke,” he retorted. Amelia gazed angrily at him, about to send him to his room when Owen finally came into the kitchen.

“I’m starving,” Owen laughed, “What kind of pizza are we eating?”

20th March 2019.

Down the hall and to the left, Owen could hear her muffled cries. He felt sick to his stomach knowing he’d caused her this much pain.

“Is she okay?” Owen asked desperately when he saw Ryan coming out of the room, “Can I come in?”

“I don’t think she wants to see you,” he answered truthfully. Sighing, Ryan stuffed his hands into his pyjama pockets. “I don’t want to see you either. Whatever you did, you broke her. You broke my mom.” Hesitantly the little boy walked off, leaving Owen feeling even worse if that was possible. Reluctantly, Owen neared the door. As he was about to knock, he heard a strained cry come from the other side of the door. It was painful to hear.

He knocked softly on the door. “Amelia?”

“No, Owen,” he heard her say from the other side, “I am not doing this anymore.”

He rested his head against the door and sighed, letting the tears fall. “Amelia…” He didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry.”

She opened the door with a hurricane of fury. “What do you want me to do with that?”

He looked down at her and his heart broke. Her eyes were red and puffy and her eyebrows were frozen in their furrowed state. “I didn’t…I shouldn’t…”

“People only apologise to make themselves feel better,” she said, “I’m not giving you the comfort of that.”

“Shepherd?”

Amelia blinked, finding herself in front of her bathroom mirror with a toothbrush in her mouth while Owen stared at her. “Sorry, what were you saying?”

“I was asking whose soap this is,” he repeated. She turned around, finding him with an array of soaps in his possession.

“Why do you have all the soaps in the bathroom?” she inquired, rinsing the toothpaste out her mouth, “Are you crazy or something?”

“N-No, I was just,” he stuttered, suddenly intimidated by her presence, “I thought that if I smelled something familiar, I’d remember something. But none of these things smell familiar.” He rested the soaps and bottles by the sink. “Except for this.” He showed her the purple bottle. “This one smells…I’ve smelled it before.” He opened the bottle and sniffed the scent. “I don’t know, every time I smell it, I get this burst of adrenaline.” He smiled to himself as he inhaled the scent.

“That’s my shampoo,” Amelia said, smiling softly.

Owen smiled. “I must’ve really liked you.” He came closer to her so he could smell it on her hair.

Overwhelmed by his sudden affection, Amelia quickly stepped to the side. “Uh, the right side of the bed is yours.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-” He could barely get to finish before she began retreating. Whatever he’d done, it was clearly still affecting her.

“It’s okay,” she lied, “Right side is yours.” He could somehow tell that she was lying to him.

It had been over two months since they’d slept in the same bed and his memory loss didn’t help with the awkwardness. The two lay on their backs next to one another, both as close to their sides as possible as the minutes ticked by. It wasn’t like Owen had never slept next to a woman he didn’t know well, but this woman was his wife, someone he should care about and wanted to care about. This woman was apparently the love of his life and the mother of his three children. This woman was lying in bed next to him in an almost translucent shirt, and if he looked hard enough, he could see two crests staring back at him. If he dwelled any longer on the thought, he was almost sure his body would unwillingly respond.

“Shepherd,” Owen muttered.

“Please stop calling me Shepherd,” Amelia asked with her eyes still closed.

Owen shifted uncomfortably. “Amelia. What did I do to make you so upset with me?”

She sighed. “Can we please talk about anything else?”

“Okay,” he relented. He sat in silence as he thought of what he wanted to ask her about his life. “This is a really nice house, so I’m sure you picked it out.”

“I did.” When he looked over at her, she was smiling a little, probably remembering something about buying the house with him. He wished he could remember it too.

“Tell me something about you.” Her heart raced at the statement. She never would’ve guessed that he’d ask something like that.

Turning to one side, she propped her head up on one elbow and looked at him. “Anything in particular?”

Owen turned his head to the side and looked at her, at her sparkling blue eyes and wavy hair cascading down her shoulders. His wife was really pretty. “Anything at all.”

“I leave doors open,” she said, off the top of her head, “And kitchen cabinets and sometimes containers and bottles. I don’t know why I can’t remember to close stuff but it drives you crazy.” He looked at their bedroom door.

“Is that why that door’s open?” he snidely inquired, making her laugh.

2

OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. A HAUL. 👏🏻 A. MOTHER. FUCKING. HAUL.
Walmart:
FITBIT! - $149.97 (hell motherfucking yes.) y'all know I went yesterday and they were locked up so my depressed ass was like shit /: but today I was in the electronics for a charger and I walk to the fitbits to just show my friend what I meant by locked up. And from the corner of my eye I see one sitting there spider wrapped??? I snatched the bitch TF up. The best part is the spiderwrap was hella loose it took me one slide to get it off lmao!! I was so happy y'all so fucking happy)
5 10 foot long chargers 10.97 each (some not pictured because friends took them bc I’m not that greedy damn😂)
Twin pack of 6 foot chargers $9.97
Belkin car charger accessory - 39.97
3 phone cases $9.97 each (two not pictures because again…wanted matching cases with my friends.)
Like 12 cans of silly spray lmfao - $1.97 each
Wet n wild contour - $5.79
Setting spray - $7.99
Two winged eyeliner by maybeline ..? - $7 each (not pictured bc for friend)
Two headphones - $4.88 each
Two crest 3D whitening - $55.97 each
2 packs of Pencils - 4.47 each
Lead - 2.96
3 hard lemonades - 2.74 each (we drank them not pictured obvi)

hobby lobby
3 Medium white tees (wanted to make matching tie dye bc were cringe ok…?) $15
Two puff balls - $2.99 each
Tie die kit $9.97
2 Wallets (again not pictured) - $9.99

Academy
Converse - $60
Vans - $55 (not pictured bc ya boy was wearing them😂)
Nike shirt - $35
Adidas pants (don’t i always get these and not pictured bc I’m wearing these as well LOL) $39.99
Nike Tights for friend - $35
North face shirt for friend - $28

American eagle
Two pairs of jeans - $49.99 each
One shirt (I’m wearing basically everything ok..) $19.99

Belk
Nirvana sweatshirt $44 (my friend was so happy when I got her his yall.)
Nike sports bra - $30

GRAND TOTAL: $1004.27 (shit…… money would go so fast.)

2

An 1845 Pattern Infantry Officer’s Sword

82cm blade by Henry Wilkinson, Pall Mall, London, numbered 12804 for 1863, etched on each side with scrolling foliage and crowned VR cypher, and with owner’s crest and motto, patent solid steel, regulation steel gothic hilt incorporating Royal cypher, wire bound chequered horn grip, in its steel scabbard with two suspension rings.

The crest and motto is that of Edward GKP Lloyd. VD., Lieut 13 March 1872 28th (The London Irish) Middlesex Rifle Vols, Captain 15 November 1873 Major26 January 1889, the Corps is now the 16th (London Irish) Middx RVs Lieut-Colonel and Honorary Colonel 10 Feb 1897, retires as such in 1908.