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firejackal

3D RPG Character Design Help

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Its been a while since I've been to this site, had to create a new account cause I forgot my old one and didn't had the e-mail address anymore. So here I am going to ask a question. I'm designing a 3D tile-based RPG, in spirit of the new 3D Final Fantasy sequels for the Nintendo DS. So my question is designing the characters for my engine, how they will be put together. For now I will keep the characters simple as in Final Fantasy IV for the DS. My idea so far is to do it Sims style, where there is a skeleton model which parts of the body are attached, torso, head, arms, etc... and such a way you could easily change the head on the character to use, or the hair, etc... So to the people who are already doing this, or is planning on it, what are your takes on it or ideas? For performance wise, what would be best? The additional reason for a skeleton is to make animation a breeze. I want the arm to move, so I just move the arm joint. Mods: If this is the wrong forum for this question, please move it, I couldn't figure out where to post this after I did a search for a pre-existing question.

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This doesn't sound too easy, but I think it is doable. To be able to have replaceable parts, you must make sure that the vertices from a head will line up with the vertices of every neck you want to put it on. Otherwise you will have gaps in the model. So where the head meets the neck for instance, I would not change any of the vertices in that area. You are going to have to make sure everything lines up properly. The bone will have to separated at the neck/head boundary and the same with material information including texture information to simplify things. It sounds like a lot of work for your artists really more so than a programming challenge.

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Another solution would be to make a hairless, naked model of a male and a female. Each one should not have distinguished features (if you're shooting for similar graphics from the DS Final Fantasy games, this shouldn't be too hard). Then, you could swap out different textures for the face and various hair/clothing/accessories.

Whichever way you go, you'll probably want to create invisible dummy objects where accessories may be placed (hats, weapons, armor). That way, when you equip an item, all you have to do is parent it to the dummy object and match its position and orientation on each frame render during gameplay.

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