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dexterd155

Cats in Video Games?

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As a beginner who is curious about making video games, I have some questions about video game characters and how to make them: 

 

First of all, it appears to me that most of the video games star humans, not cats like my "dream" (haha) video game would. And no, not those anthropomorphic cats, but, well, cats that look like real cats and do what cats do. I have no idea, frankly, how I would accomplish a game with animals and not humans, considering that most of the help out there is for human characters. Would I just have to animate the whole thing, or... what???

 

Also, I am curious about how I can use this game that I already know to my benefit. It is called petz 5, and is kind of old. Google it and check it out on Wikipedia. The thing is that maybe these almost cartoon-y looking creatures wouldn't be good for a hard-core kind of fighting game that needs the most realistic cats, but they move like real cats and have the variation in appearance from body structure to color and texture that I would like to achieve. Does anyone know enough about these kinds of games to give me any information about the coding of those and how I can use a similar "ball and line" structure to create somewhat realistic characters that can move somewhat realistically for my game?

 

Thanks, if anyone can help at all. I know my second question is a little bit of a stretch blink.png and this may not be the best place to ask this question, but thanks anyway... wacko.png

 

 

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There are a few games that let you play as animals out there. It's just not very popular.

There was one a few years back on the Wii where you played as a wolf. I forget the name of it, but there was a controversy when they used a IGN screenshot for their cover art. smile.png

The Ecco the Dolphin series. http://www.mobygames.com/game/ecco-the-dolphin-defender-of-the-future

I remember a game called WOLF back when I got my first PC. I never tried it though. http://www.mobygames.com/game/wolf

I remember a Sega Genesis game where you played as a Tiger.

As for drawing animals. Do your research.

Get books about drawing animals. Understand their bone structures, key shapes, and posture. This is no different than drawing a person. http://www.infovisual.info/02/067_en.html

Go buy some videos and watch cats and tigers in motion. Watch everything you can on video hosting sites: http://vimeo.com/33660586 Learn how cats move, how they distribute their weight, and why they do what they do.

Look at models of cats to get an idea of the shape and edge flow: http://www.ugraphic.net/3d-model/4989-3docean-low-poly-base-mesh-cat-1021785.html

Once you have a good model and rig. Study your videos and get a feel for what the key poses are. http://khawlaalali.deviantart.com/art/Cat-running-cycle-308761037

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Twilight Princess let you transform Link into a wolf also. The thing I always wondered how they did was animate the spine when your character turns. With a human, since they're tall and walk upright you can get away with just turning them sometimes, but not an animal like a cat or dog. I guess you could just add a small rotation to each of the spine bones depending on how far they turned.

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<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="3DModelerMan" data-cid="5016368"><p>Twilight Princess let you transform Link into a wolf also. The thing I always wondered how they did was animate the spine when your character turns. With a human, since they're tall and walk upright you can get away with just turning them sometimes, but not an animal like a cat or dog. I guess you could just add a small rotation to each of the spine bones depending on how far they turned.</p></blockquote><br />I don't have it in front of me, so I can't look at how they did it in that case, but for it to be natural I think you'd just apply the turn to the point between the front shoulders and use that and motion (walking forward/backward or hopping sideways) to influence the rest of the skeleton. It'd be sort of like the front legs are the active part and the rest is just getting dragged around.

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I wrote a game a while back that had a cat in it. I think he was my most likable character so far. (Probably because I had an artist at work model him for me)

Some images / screenshots...
http://public.sanguinelabs.co.uk/expose/projects/temporal/temporal_0.png
http://public.sanguinelabs.co.uk/expose/projects/temporal/temporal_1.png
http://public.sanguinelabs.co.uk/expose/projects/temporal/temporal_3.png

(If you have a modern browser capable of WebGL I also have an example animation of how he moved (Middle mouse button to rotate))
http://public.sanguinelabs.co.uk/test/wastudio/demo.php?id=curuthers&animation=run.anm&interpolate=3

Basically... if you are worried about animating a type of animal other than a human (because there are more animation tools out there for bipeds) perhaps you can anthropomorphise it and so make it walk and do things in a similar way to a human. (i.e stand up on two feet).

Edited by Karsten_

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