DT: A20 Easter Eggs

Hey everyone, we’re a week into developing hearthling traits for Alpha 21, but if I tried to show that to you now it would be a Desktop Tuesday full of screens and screens of code. So instead, let’s take a look at some of the animation Easter Eggs that Artist Malley snuck into A20!

Animation Easter Eggs

Recap from the video:

  • One of our goals in Stonehearth is making our hearthlings look and feel like real people; strangers who become a family through shared work and adventure.
  • This is why, at the end of last summer, you may have noticed that Linda put some code in the game that allows two entities with individual AI to interact with each other outside of combat. Right now, we use this tech by allowing hearthlings who are idling–out of work to do–to have conversations with each other.
  • At first, the conversations were just two people waving at each other. However, it’s actually possible to define a conversation as a series of interactions, where each interaction plays an idle.
  • During Alpha 20, Malley started stringing his idle animations together to form conversations with narratives. For example, here is a conversation where a very proud guy runs over to tell his friend about an accomplishment. She then applauds.
  • He also added a conversation about a job well done. Here, Malley re-uses the tool inspection idles, and the consideration idles, to make a conversation in which one person is clearly talking about their work, and the other person offers some supporting thoughts.
  • Malley created those animations to be used in lots of situations, and to mean different things in different situations, and I’m really happy to say that it’s working.
  • Another thing Malley (with a tiny bit of help from Linda) added to Alpha 20 is conversations between hearthlings and pet animals. For example, we have an animation with a trapper having a little interaction with her pet rabbit.
  • We have another animation for the poyo, and one for the sheep.
  • The sheep animation gave Malley quite a bit of trouble! Because we don’t have an animation technology called IK, which allows you to fix a hand or foot to a part of the world so that the rest of the limb can animate automatically when you move the body, he had to animate each segment piece by piece.
  • Malley did make one more animation, a mood animation, which he ended up removing from A20, because we didn’t have an excuse yet to show existential anger in the game. But here’s the animation… I’m quite fond of it, perhaps because it looks like she’s some secret supervillain, ready to make her plans to conquer Hearth.

Other Announcements

This week we will have our first quarterly Wednesday stream at 8:30am, PST. Allie and I will be talking about our current plans and showing off some of the concept art she’s been working on. The weekly Thursday stream will feature Nikki Galvan, talking about UX! See you at 6:00pm PST on Thursday!

There’s a lot of work and personal travel coming up in the next month for the whole team, which will affect the Desktop Tuesday and streaming schedule for the next few weeks. Looking ahead:

Week of 2/13 – Should have a Desktop Tuesday as usual, but no stream on Thursday, 2/16.
Week of 2/20 and 2/27 – No Desktop Tuesdays, but streams should happen on Thursday 2/23, and 3/2
Week of 3/6 – Neither Desktop Tuesday nor Stream, as the team is heading to Boston for PAX east
Week of 3/13 – No Desktop Tuesday, but stream should happen as usual on 3/16

With any luck, DT and streams should resume as usual on the week of 3/20.

Also, this week I would like to introduce you all to Angelo Yazar! Angelo is a life-long-game-maker, who got his start in games dismantling Pokemon Red with a gameshark and a memory editor. Since then, he has made a number titles, including Blast Monkeys, which had over 12M downloads across Android and iOS. He’s also the creator of Candy Cave, for mobile, and Cutie Pets for the WiiU. Most recently, he built the backend for Everwing on Facebook Instant Games. He currently hosts two local game-related meetups, Indie Game Developers of Silicon Valley, and South Bay Game Dev. His favorite Stonehearth food is Raw Turnips, and in the week since he has joined the team, he has created a volcano out of cubemitters and written code that has caused the unfortunate end of many, many, many in-game-pets. Please welcome him to team Stonehearth via his discourse handle, @ayazar.