Meet the almighty PLACEHOLDER!
Isn't he cute? His round face, his little nose... I think he is the all time most used protagonist for games. He does all the hard work, and later another fancy model gets all the credit. So unfair. Let's give him proper animations for such a hero.
I used Unity animation editor to create an animation controller and a bunch of animations for movement, idle times and combat using only position, rotation and scale transforms. Now my combat implementation was firing triggers in the animation controller and, suddenly, all this tiny capsules were alive. Even the flow of combat was easy to follow, admiring heros swinging their swords instead of squeezing my eyes looking for the damage line in a log. I admit it, they grew on me. I found myself cosplaying them and... well...let me tell you they are cute as hell.
I also added some more UI elements and some code to show Action Points cost while moving. All that felt like a big step. But just two warriors... even for testing purposes... was too boring. I needed more characters, and everybody knows behind every great warrior there is a great mage. And it would be a good test for the combat engine, as it would add more diversity to abilities. While implementing mage abilities soon I realized I was missing a key ingredient of combat and visual wowness... particle effects.
Now I have to stop here and admire how many good videos about this subject youtube has. So many people doing such a great work. I would like to, at least, mention the videos from Gabriel Aguiar. Almost all particle effects I ended up using are "inspired" by his tutorials. Thanks, man.
So now with the mage. I chose three basic abilities:
Fireball. Of course. It works as a projectile.
Fireblast. To introduce critical hits to combat.
Firewave. An AoE. Everybody loves AoE.
So much magic.
When the spells were implemented, the game suddenly became gorgeus. It's amazing how much can movement and particles add to the most simple visuals. As I was enjoying the upgrade in graphics, I started messing around with post processing effects. It added another whole level to visual appealing.
It was very basic, but it definitely was a game. Except for one thing. A huge thing, in fact. I was playing both sides all the time. Not very interesting. The fun part is beating another one, even if it is a dumb computer player. And so the next step became clear...