Senior Production Week #7

While there’s still more to do with Sprout’s animations, this week I got started on animating a couple new characters! Keeper’s got a whole roster of characters for the player to interact with. So over the next few weeks I’ll be creating some basic animations for each of them. To start I set up the rig for the basic honey bee.


There’s going to be a wide variety of interesting bee species in the game, so Christie is making sure to keep the proportions and geometry consistent from bee to bee. That way, each bee will share the same joint skeleton, and weight painting will be a fairly quick copy & paste. This ensures that only one set of bee animations needs to be created, and they’ll be shared among all the bees.

For now, bees will have two animations; an idle animation and a flying animation.  For the wings we’re using a slick VFX animation that Christie made. This gets connected to the bee’s skeleton in-engine. The gifs here are taken from Maya, so there’s no VFX. So here we have the first pass of the bee’s idle, and below is the bee’s fly animation:



Without the horizontal movement, the fly animation looks a bit weird, but I tested it out with some root translation and it worked really well! I’m excited to get these setup in Unity so we can give them those WINGS.

I also got another character rigged; Bonsai the star-nosed mole! He’s an interesting character to rig, since the main points of articulation are the front paws and the snout.


I also got started on one of Bonsai’s animations. The player interacts with his dirt mound/hole to talk to him, so we needed an animation of him surfacing. This was also a nice way of getting used to the rig. Here I have the first pass at that particular animation.


This animation’s still pretty rough, but it’s a good start. Plus, I’m really looking forward to create the rest of Bonsai’s animations. That’s next week.

In other Keeper news; our game competed in the MassDigi 2018 Game Challenge. A large gathering of game developers, both student and professional, gathered at Becker College in Worcester, MA. Teams were able to show off their games and compete to win awards and prizes. The competition took place last Friday & Saturday (March 2nd & 3rd).

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend, since I had to go to a critique  on Friday. But the rest of the team went and did an amazing job networking and showing off our game.

AND Keeper ended up winning two awards! We won Best in the Serious Games Category, which was selected by judges. And we won People’s Choice, voted by the attendees.

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