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Character: Animated or Customizable?

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I have a visual design question to ask of the world: Say you were playing - or making - a cheap 2d rpg dungeon-crawling monster-bashing game. The player's character can be smoothly animated OR it could show what sort of items the player is using (robe vs. platemail, staff vs. axe). CHOOSE! Which do you choose and why? And can you even get away with making this sort of design choice nowadays?

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Quote:
Original post by dbaumgart
Which do you choose and why?
Why choose at all? My current favorite game has smoothly animated 2d characters (in 8 directions) who are built out of customizable parts for each limb (in 3 layers) with several customizable colors per part! But I doubt you can match that output.

I would use fragmotion to animate a default guy, with all the default motions, and then model over copies of it with different clothes and use the built in functionality to render out sprite sheets.

I would limit the costume changes to full body only so as to to just render out the full sprites and not need to composite them from a bunch of parts.

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Thanks for answering, guys; Seems like everyone rejects the question and wants both!

Just to share what I thought of: Choose based on what the game is really about. If it's about arcade-action, animate the character. If it's about item collection and stats, show customization.

But everyone seems to reject this duality, and maybe that's what most players of games will feel too considering the standards that have been established for years. Still, games can get away with a lot of strange things.

Maybe, for my part, I've just got to work harder/be more clever so that I can indeed do both. Considering that the main character is what the player is going to be staring at and identifying with for the whole game, they're worth as much extra effort as possible, perhaps.

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I would worry about getting the game finished first, and then polish up the avatar later. Just use a place holder until then.

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