Devlog 3: Working Habits & Animations

Hello and welcome to my devlog. I am currently working on my project The Last Song. The Last Song is a 2D Metroidvania with Rhythm puzzle elements and a focus on narrative.

New Working Habits

What happened this week? Before I decided to work on anything I set a new rule for me. But first a little bit about myself. I really struggle with perfectionism. What that means is that I set a really high bar for the work I do. Which is good in theory, but I tend to go for the all-or-nothing approach. I then usually overthink the work I do and that drains a lot of my energy. Usually, it drains it so much that I don’t want to work on it anymore. I’ve been struggling with this for quite a while now. It comes and goes in waves but on an overall arch, I think it is getting better.

So what is that rule I set myself now? I had that idea from a GDC talk by David Wehle that made The First Tree. There he said that he would work every day just a little bit on something. It didn’t matter what, as long as it was something beneficial for the game. I found that quite inspiring. So I set myself a similar goal. The goal is to work at least 1 hour a day from Monday to Friday. At first, this doesn’t sound like much but with this habit, I can encompass a steady work rhythm. I also train myself to accept that it is ok to work as little as 1 hour a day.

Next to the new working schedule I also started to put my phone away from my work environment. I literally put it in the living room where I can’t see or hear it. I also disabled Messengers on my pc that would give me notifications. It is the first week I tried this and I have the feeling that I can concentrate way better on the tasks in front of me.

Animations

Last week I said that I wanted to change the way I create animations. I said that it could get a bit complicated but in the end it turned out to be quite straightforward. For which workflow did I decide now?

The summary is that I created a rig in Blender and I just exported the whole character from Blender to Godot as a GLTF file. Since Godot imports that file as a 3D Model, I just took a little workaround. I created a 3D scene with the player model and an orthographic camera.

Then I would load that scene as a child of a sub-viewport. The sub-viewport renders the scene and I take that rendered texture and put it as a 2D Sprite in my player scene.

Is Blender Better For Animating?

With Blender I can use its wide variety of IK constraints which makes the animation workflow sooo much easier. I created multiple poses and animations in one afternoon. With the previous workflow, this would have taken way longer.

Creating Poses with IK Constraints takes only a few clicks

Art Direction Changes

I also made small changes to the art direction. I added more color to the game and tried out some parallax elements.

I am not 100% happy yet with the art style but I think I will get there eventually if I keep experimenting with it.

Well that sums it up with this week’s progress. Thanks for reading and see ya next week!


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