• Joshua Henderson

Dev blog - 01| How Do Fat Character?

A key aspect of 'First Year' is the procedural character generator. I will be relying on it to give me variance enough that the player could theoretically run the game hundreds upon hundreds of times and each time be offered a unique looking, and feeling, set of characters. This main pillar holding up this variance will be the character models.

I have already came up with solutions to help me share rigs and animations across different geometries that are compatible with Unity's humanoid avatar system. I can generate meshes from different body parts, and have each generated mesh derive from a single generic controller.

This is not variance enough. I need to be able to adjust morphology of the generated meshes after they are built so that I can get a satisfactory array of characterful playable avatars. I would also like to be able to have certain traits be represented visually this way. A greedy character may be a bit on the chubby side, for instance.

In my research of ways to manipulate my meshes at runtime I was led to the Youtube channel of one Craig Perko. His videos are extremely enlightening and he talks about games with an air of academia. He seemed like a trustworthy source of information.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with him in Twitter DMs. He advised me on using dummy bones and blend shapes in unison as a way of getting the authentic body morphs I was after.

Below is the first forays into scripting bone positions as a means of altering height. Not very sophisticated, but it opens up a lot of doors. Next up is to see how blend shapes can be incorporated into an existing rig sharing network.