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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Animation Summit: Animating a Complex 2D Fighting Game 3 Frames at a Time

Shawn Allen  (President & Game Design Director, NuChallenger)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 10:50am - 11:20am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

When starting to work on the hybrid turn-based/real time beat em up Treachery in Beatdown City, an important goal was to make 3 fighters with a lot of moves, and unique fighting styles. We also wanted to have dozens of enemies that didn't feel like copies of each other. We also wanted the fighting to feel impactful and purposeful. These lofty goals, which were probably unwise, meant the game needed a lot of animated attacks. But with only one artist/animator, this posed a major problem: How could we get this done? This talk will explain how a 2 person team of animator/artist and programmer adopted resourceful techniques and mindsets to get their player character and enemy animations created, all while keeping to the pillars of "uniqueness" and "impactful combat". This talk will also explain how low frame counts, when used correctly, can still feel great to players.


Attendees will leave with an understanding of how to make complex animations less so, while learning about leaning on programmers and camera juice to further sell their animations.

Intended Audience

Animators looking to gain insights on how a less is more approach can benefit their game/style.