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The importance of Animation

ArchaeonArchaeon Member
edited September 2020 in General Discussion
*Gets on top of soap box*

So having played MMOs for many years there's one thing that I've found can greatly enhance/diminish my connection with my character. Its animation.

I've played games in the past where characters are unnecessarily slow, or clunky and move in disjointed ways or perhaps the developers have skimped on creating animations for actions that should exist.

Fluidity between animation transitions
Animation blending...since in the end actual e.g. combat animations come down to artistic interpretation.

Example of it done 'not so good':
Age of Conan - A lot of the combat skill animations used mo-cap to capture and in isolation looked fantastic. However when you chained some of these together, e.g. Dodge, then do a swing it tended to unravel and look dis-jointed. Also it felt like there was an 'animation lock' where you had to wait for the animation to finish before doing anything

Examples of it done 'great':
WoW and GW2. I don't think I need to say much here. Those who have played these games know what I'm talking about. The key thing is that there is a fluidity between what a player is doing. Even if it looks silly at times, the player doesn't feel like they are 'weighed down' by animations or have to wait for things to happen (unless theres a cast bar).

To me this is very important to get right as it is what the player experiences moment to moment.

Sheer quantity

This can often come down to how much time/effort a company is willing to invest in animation as it doesn't come cheap. I would say in this regard, set the sky as limit and let reality guide you back. I want to see my character's stance to be staggered when standing on a rock, I want my character to twist realistically when changing direction, I want my character to swing their sword in graceful manner.

End of the day this adds a lot to the immersive experience of the game.

Stylistic but not exaggerated

While my preference is exaggerated, that does not seem to be what this game is going for given its general artistic direction. That doesn't mean animations can't appear powerful and be a bit superfluous.

Those are the main points I wanted to bring up. Feel free to discuss.


  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I agree that animation is hugely important in any game. It's one of those things that doesn't get enough credit when it is done really well, but is really noticeable when it is done poorly.

    I've been watching quite a bit of these videos, which go in-depth on game animations, what makes them work, etc. Really interesting for anyone curious about what makes good animations.
  • Same. I literally don't bother with games if the animations suck. Even old games had smooth pixelated animations, it's not about style but consistency and conveying the feeling of connection between movements and how they appear to us. It's the highest priority for me, more than concepts, AI, classes, and whatnot.
    "Magic is not a tool, little one. It is a river that unites us in its current."

    I heard a bird ♫
  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I gotta say - judging by the rigging and animation on mounts - I have great expectations from AoC :blush:
    I wish I were deep and tragic
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