Font update

mightyeditor_fonts_update
A new update is pushed and here is the list of changes that are implemented. The most focus was put on font issues.

  • Show system fonts button – allows to pick local system font. Useful to prototype text very fast. Remember if you want to use font everywhere – you still need to upload font to the MightyEditor. On the side note – to collect installed fonts ME uses flash plugin, so button wouldn’t work if you have flash plugin disabled.
  • Advanced font uploader – drag and drop font file (*.ttf) and MightyEditor will do all for you:
    • Convert file to most used font formats
    • Generate font-face
  • Font downloader – enter any font name from Google Fonts in the font name box and MightyEditor will automatically download it for you and prepare downloaded font for usage in your game. It works even in the offline mode!
  • Font viewer – in source editor section – which shows basic font information. e.g. font-family, copyright etc
  • Sign-up fixes – in some cases users were not be able to sign-up with local account. Also fixed input problem when signing in for Safari.

Please note to use fonts in all previous projects add the line below to the head tag in the index.html file.


index.html should look something like this:

    
    
    <script src="js/lib/phaser.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/lib/mt.helper.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/lib/mt.data.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/main.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/state/boot.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/state/load.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/state/menu.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/state/play.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script src="js/state/demo.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

fonts/fonts.css is autoamtically generated file. Please do not edit it directly!

At the moment MightyEditor suports only .ttf font format as input. Feel free to request different formats

Tips for creating game animations

Animations breathe life in your game and can make it even more satisfying to play. Sometimes people ignore these animation guides and details which do not take much time to implement, but if you use this quick tip guide you can sprinkle some “awesome juice” on your animations and take them a bit further and make your project even more awesome.

For starters – there are many great tools where you can animate your characters, you can use Photoshop or Pixen to animate your characters as sprites or you can use Mighty Editor or Spriter for vector/tween animations. No matter which tool you use these guidelines stay the same. Use the ones you feel most comfortable with, i personally like using Photoshop and Mighty Editor for animations.

Sprite vs vector animation

Choosing which type of animations you want to create usually depend on number of factors, for pixel art you usually choose sprite animations – they are more lightweight if you keep the sprites in small size and the animations short, they also require less computing power from the device on which the game will be played.

For larger animations and sequences you should use bone/vector animations because the animation data will take less space and you will be able to easily modify your characters at any point while animating. Unfortunately the downside for vector animations is that they might use up more computing resources, so choose wisely.

The animations… something missing…

After you have chosen your tool and have started creating your animations, sometimes there is a feeling that something missing/the animation does not quite feel right, but can’t quite figure out what. Especially if you are quite new to animating game characters and objects. If you use the following tips/guidelines you can achieve more impact and make them feel better for your players

Main guidelines to use for animating game objects and characters

1. Loop!

Always make animation loopable(returning to first frame pose), especially important for sprite animations. This is important because the continuality of the animations is really important in games. Each animation will be required to loop many times and if they don’t loop the result will look unpolished and jerky. Of course there are some exceptions like 1 frame animations/poses and vector animations where you can use technology to blend the characters to the next required pose from any frame without if feeling disrupted and jerky.

In the video below you can view a basic idle cycle of a character, if it would not loop smoothly each player would notice a tear in the animation, it’s especially important in animations like idle and walk/run which will be displayed for long periods of time, so make sure they loop.

2. Use squish/squash for objects to breathe more life in them.

Squash and stretch is the phrase used to describe “by far the most important” of the 12 basic principles of animation, described in the book The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
This is based on the fact that objects (for example ball) change their shape during a motion, while preserving the volume, the stiffer the object is(for example metal ball) the less it will change shape, but you can still change it a little while preserving the illusion of it being a metal ball. This helps to breathe a little bit ,more life in your objects and feels more natural than constantly using static form. You can compare the left animation where the ball does not change to the second animation, where the ball changes shape. You can notice that it starts to feel more natural and smooth.

3. Inertia and mass – ease in/ease out.

As you might have noticed in real world everything has some sort of weight and that takes us to this point. Almost nothing in life starts and stops instantly(unless massive amount of force relative to object is applied), there will usually be some sort of period in which the object will start moving and some period of time where the object stops the movement. In this example i illustrated it with a ball, but the same applies to the limbs of character you are trying to animate and all moving objects. Even if this period is short the objects/characters in your game will feel more natural.

Usually the more heavy the object is the more force (and usually time) it will take to start accelerating, and it will take more force(and usually time) to completely stop. It also depends from the surface friction for the object and surface but most of the times you can ignore this detail, because games don’t need to perfectly recreate reality, they just need to feel “good enough”.

In the example below i have left the same frame count for both animations but for the right side animation made the start and end of the animation slower but the middle faster.

4. Anticipation and preparing for action.

Charging is a great way to stage up the following action, even if the following action will take only one frame the player will know what happened, for example charging up before a big punch or charging a bow. Also if you use this for enemy animations, the player will have easier time noticing that something will happen and will have some time to take action before the enemy has had an opportunity to hurt the player. Some genres and actions in games, like jump, should not take long charge up time because the player expects instant feedback for these actions and they will feel wrong if you don’t give players what their brain will be expecting.

Although for a shorter time you can see this principle being used in the front arms punch it this video.

5. Keep them short.

You might be using vector animation editor or sprite animations in your game, but keep in mind that games usually require twitch action. for games like turn based RPGs and slower games you can use longer animations, but the player will get frustrated pretty quickly if the game animations take up too much time.
In addition to that you should try to keep your animations as short as possible for two more important technical reasons

shorter animations take less space disk and less calculations/memory to display, and even though desktop devices and consoles nowdays have lots of computing power it is not infinite and if you are creating mobile games it will be especially important.

Shorter animations are usually more snappy and concentrated which makes them seem more important.

But don’t worry, you can do a lot with short animations.

6. Don’t be afraid to use references.

Especially when you start out. It might feel uncomfortable at first as you think that you want to create everything by yourself from scratch, but don’t worry even professionals use references for animating and creating their artwork. It is fine to even film yourself and then trace your movements to create the game characters. It’s how first Prince of Persia games were made. :)

7. Exaggerate and experiment!

When you feel somewhat comfortable using the previous tips you can take the animations you create even further by exaggerating the movements. The real life movements sometimes can feel dull and they certainly do not look superheroic, but if you extend your characters pose just a few pixels further, make the arm just a little bit bigger when the character swings a punch you can make the animation feel more awesome, the animators in game studios and cartoon studios use this all the time. This skill usually comes with time and you should try doing this slowly, but even when you are learning i suggest trying to exaggerate your animations once in a while.

For the sake of simplicity i introduced only few most important guidelines for making animations for your games. If you enjoyed this quick guide and want to dig deeper you should read more on 12 main principles behind animation

Good luck and have fun animating!

Top 10 Video Game Characters of All Time

Top 10 Video Game Characters

When it comes to video game character design, there doesn’t appear to be a one size fits all, cookie-cuter approach to creating your character. Well, unless you want to develop the same boring character as everyone else. If you want to design an iconic character that will stand the test of time then you will need to create a story and a personality that relates well to your audience.

Of course, you will also want to make sure you use clean lines, exaggerate their dominant features and have strong animation to bring your character to life. Today, we are looking at ten video game characters that not only lasted the test of time but have shaped the character world with their unique and powerful designs.

10. Mega Man

Mega Man Character Design

By far one of the best characters to have graced the Nintendo Entertainment System. Mega Man fights evil in an effort to bring peace to his world. Just the nobility of this character makes him lovable and enviable. When you consider the number of powers he has had over the years, he is easily one of the most versatile heroes on the list.

9. Cloud Strife

Cloud Strife

The Final Fantasy series of games has been  long time favorite of many die-hard fans. At the root of it all is one of the best and deeper protagonists of all time. Of course, this is Cloud, the character that seems to relate well with teenagers struggling with finding themselves. While the design of Cloud is solid, it is his story that makes him so relatable. It is not hard to feel the pain and agony he is going through and that makes him one of the most iconic characters of all time.

8. Kratos

Kratos God of War
Kratos Designed by Eyro

When you think homicidal maniac, your mind will automatically shift to the God of War star, Kratos. This character is downright crazy. What makes Kratos such an amazing character is his strength and ruthlessness. There is no doubt that he could easily destroy every character on this list and that is why people love him. Come on, he even managed to kill the Greek Gods, so how d you not love this guy?

7. Lara Croft

Lara Croft

Not only is she incredibly hot but Lara Croft is capable of dishing out some serious pain. The Tomb Raider star is by far one of the most iconic female video game characters ever designed. Again, she has a solid design and good animation, however, it is her witty and independent personality that makes Lara so awesome.

6. Master Chief

Master Chief

Yes, it is true that Master Chief from the Halo series has no chance of surviving, let alone succeeding with saving the world, but that just makes his character all that much better. He is the true underdog and it is hard not too root for him. It is interesting as he doesn’t have the personable nature (and rightly so considering all is lost) but he has to be the most reliable character on the list. You know he has your back and will be there to kick butt.

5. Ezio Auditore

Ezio

If there was ever a character that you felt was a real person, it is definitely Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed. It is obvious to see the pain that he goes through when he sees his family hung. In fact, you don’t just see it, you feel empathetic, which is what makes Ezio such an amazing character. He is not just another video game character, he is real. You watched him grow into the assassin that he is and this makes him family.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega will forever be immortalized for their creation of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sure, you may not know what his story is but you know he likes to run. At the time that Sonic came onto the scene, his graphics and animation were phenomenal. He helped shape the Sega environment and the video character design field. You don’t feel the pain or emotion with Sonic but you do feel nostalgia and that is pretty powerful.

3. Link

Link from the Legend of Zelda

The hero from the Legend of Zelda was another game changer at the time. When you think of video game heroes, Link should come to mind. He displays courage, selflessness, virtue and many other personal qualities of a true hero. Oh and he is pretty good at taking out the trash in his kingdom. Link has been around forever and will continue to stand the test of time.

2. Solid Snake

Metal Gear

When it comes to manly video game characters, you won’t find anyone more so than Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series. This guy has been around for years and continues to fight. Countless times he has been beaten, tortured and abused, yet he keeps moving forward.

What makes Solid Snake so special is his human quality of beating himself up. He wishes he could do more than  just fight, however, he continues to do what he is good at – fighting, saving people, etc. This struggle with himself certainly does make him more human.

1. Mario

Super Mario

This plumber basically started it all. You can’t have a list of best video game characters ever designed and not include our Italian friend, Mario. This normal, everyday man constantly finds himself in situations where the odds are completely against him, yet he continues to push forward in an effort to succeed. This is a story we can all relate to and appreciate. This is what made Mario so special. Today, he is more than just a video game character – he is Mario!

Looking at these 10 super human characters, you really notice how important the story is to developing a solid game character. You have to be able to relate with their emotional pain and personality. If you do this, you are destined to create a character that will be loved for generations.

This is our list of the 10 best video game characters designed over the last 40 years or so. Did we leave your favorite character off the list? Is there someone on here that shouldn’t be? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

 

Top 10 American Universities for Video Game Design

University of Southern California - Main

Having a career as a video game designer is an exciting and rewarding position, especially, if you have a passion for developing creative games that people will love. While the competition is getting pretty steep for video game design jobs, you can give yourself the edge by attending a University that is well known in the industry for producing high quality video game developers.

Picking the best school can be confusing but luckily the Princeton Review teamed up PC Gamer to develop the top schools for video game design. Below are the top 10 schools and what makes them the best choice for you.

10. New York University (Brooklyn, NY)

The NYU Game Center was established in 2008 and offers a 2-year Master of Fine Arts, which puts an emphasis on designing game and also includes programming, visual design, critcism and of course, game design.

This is a prestigious and multicultural University, which campuses in New York, Dubai and Shanghai. The New York campus is located in the stunning Greenwich Village in Manhattan, so you know you will have plenty to inspire you.

While this may be the school for you the selection process is highly selective with only 33% of applicants being accepted into the school. If you are one of the selected, you will have an edge over other video game designers, so it is worth putting in the application.

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

I don’t think anyone is surprised to see MIT on the top 10 list. This is a world renowned school for arts and technology, so being able to list this on your resume is always a bonus.

Unfortunately, this iconic school is incredibly popular and as such as an acceptance rate of only 8%. This is further evidence of the type of education you will receive here. The quality of programs and tools at your disposal is second to none, which will undoubtedly make your stay here very rewarding.

8. The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, Canada)

Okay, so this one is not on American soil but it is still a popular destination for video game designers. Since Vancouver is only a stone’s throw away from Seattle, it tends to attract a lot of creative Americans.

There is a vibrant energy on the Vancouver campus (and in the entire city, for that matter) that drives creativity and develops an exciting atmosphere to learn in. The Art Institute offers a variety of programs with the most popular among game designers being their Bachelor of Science in Game Programming and their Bachelor of Applied Design in Graphic Design.

This is the top rated school in Canada for video game designers and has been in the Princeton Review top 10 over the last 5 years. This is definitely one of the better schools for game design.

7. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)

Here is what RIT has to say about their school:

RIT is a place where brilliant minds assemble and collaborate, where they pool together their individual talents across disciplines in service of big projects and big ideas.

If that doesn’t sound like a place that is perfect for video game designers then I don’t know what is. Of course, it gets even better when you realize that their Game Design and Development program is one of the top rated programs in the world.

Creativity is encouraged at RIT and you and your career will benefit from this vibrant and lively atmosphere located in Rochester, New York.

6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)

Ranked at #6 on the list, their Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD) program could easily be higher on this list. This renowned program provides students the opportunity to learn by doing. It also highlights content creation, design, project management, programming and testing.

Essentially Worcester Polytechnic Institute provides a curriculum and a teaching method that allows their students to work in a hands on atmosphere. You will get everything you need to succeed in life after University with a degree from Worcester.

5. Hamshire College (Amherst, MA)

This is the third and highest ranked video game design school from Massachusetts. Clearly, this is a state that is geared to fostering creative designers.

One of the more unique features of Hampshire College is the flexible curriculum. Students will have the ability to pick and choose from a variety of courses to build the perfect program for them. There is definitely a focus on freedom for their students so you know you will have the ability to express your creativity in any way you see fit.

The other amazing thing about this 5th best game design school in North America is the size. Your classroom will most likely only have 14 other people in it. With such a quality school being this small, you would think their acceptance rate would be incredibly low, however, they have an astonishing 67% acceptance rate, which means, you are likely to get into this prestigious college.

4. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)

While this University is world renowned for their research capabilities. they also have an amazing reputation in the areas of technology, art and design, so a degree rom Drexel will go a long way in landing your dream job.

Drexel University is always on the forefront of technology. In 2000, they were the first school to create a fully wireless campus and they were also the first to create the Engineering Degree in Appropriate Technology. If you are looking to learn at a cutting edge University then Drexel is the place for you.

3. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)

You have plenty of options at DigiPen as they offer the following programs:

  • BA in Game Design
  • BS in Computer Science and Game Design
  • BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation
  • MS in Computer Science

DigiPen is also unique in that it allows their students to select individual courses as part of the Non-Matriculated Program. These credits won’t count towards your degree but they will definitely help you fine tune some of your other skills.

This is the perfect all around school for learning about game design, programming, animation and many other aspects that will be useful for your future career.

 2. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)

Located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range, you will not find a more beautiful or inspiring campus in the United States. Besides the beautiful aspects of the school, they also offer a variety of enticing programs.

Their Entertainment Arts and Engineering: Master Games Studio (EAE: MGS) offers a Game Engineering, Game Production and Game Arts program, so you will have a tough decision to make when trying to figure out which track you want to explore further.

1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

This prestigious University has been #1 on the Princeton Review Top Game Design Schools for a few years running. This is no accident as the University of Southern California is an amazing school and offers a large variety of programs for aspiring video game designers. A few of these programs include:

  • BA in Interactive Entertainment
  • BA in Animation and Digital Arts
  • BS in Computer Science (Games)
  • Minor in Video Game Design and Management
  • Minor in 3D Animation
  • Minor in Science Visualization

This is just a few of the more pertinent programs. As you can tell, this school prides itself on offering the very best courses their game design students. If you are looking for a serious advantage over other applicants, graduate with a degree from the University of Southern California.

These are the top 10 Universities for Video Game Design programs in North America. If none of these schools do it for you, there plenty of other high quality game design schools across the country. Remember, you will be spending several years of your life attending this schools so choose one that fits with you.