Adding Characters to a videogame: art, expressions, dialogue and fake voice!

Hi everyone, I'm making video games and this week I'm showing you how I'm adding characters to my game (this post is available in a video format here).

Even if the gameplay is planned to be pretty straight-forward, my game Crafty County is going to have a campaign mode with a proper story, and to have a proper story, it needs proper characters. That's why I am in the process of making at least 5 or 6 of them.

I made one as a proof of concept during the quarantine and I now have to import it into the main project, that's a nice opportunity I have to explain to you how I'm making that. Oh and that character is Lola by the way!

Everything started with a pen when I made this draft, and now that it's made and that I scanned it I only need to work on the computer.

I'm heavily using Inkscape to create proper vectorized version of those drawings. The ideas behind this being that I can easily colorize and export the thing once it's done. However, the proper vectorizition is some hard work. It's worth it in my opinion.

I asked a lot for feedback, and it was really helpful in the end since it helped me find the right style for the coloring.

I'm using sort of a cell-shaded look.

The longest but funniest part was to make one layer for each expressions. I settled on 16 different kinds of expressions, I think it's a great palette of all the feelings my characters will need to show in the game.

Once everything's done, I have to export. I made a custom script that will parse the svg file and toggle the layers. Then it will call the Inkscape command line exporter. Then I'm stitching everything together to create this wonderful sprite-sheet!

In the game to add some drawing vibes to this sprite I made a boiling lines shader that just uses a noise texture to displace the UV map of the sprite. It then moves as if it was drawn on multiple frames.

Then I'm using this rudimentary dialog system I made.  what I made is only a prototype right now, I might use an existing solution in the future. I have a dictionary that will link expressions to sprite position. And then I have a list of lines that Lola should say. Each line also have the expression that she should have.

I also prototyped a voice system too, using my Random Audio Player I talked about extensively last week, but. It's highly un-finished, so sorry if it damages your ears!

And here's the final result. That's it for this time!

Thanks for following this week's update. I'll see you around

You made it to the end, thanks! If you feel like it, you can subscribe to my youtube channel to see that kind of content on a weekly basis, it will also help me get in touch with you :).

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Interesting rea.