[HoMM3] Idle animations

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GreatEmerald
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[HoMM3] Idle animations

Postby GreatEmerald » Jul 24 2009, 12:41

I've noticed that units in combat screen, while idle, don't animate like they do in HoMM4. That is, they look like paralysed until you put your cursor on them, then they do their special animation and continue to look paralysed. However, you can obviously see that idle animations in fact are in the game itself - right-click on a unit and you will see that they animate even while idle.

So, were there any attempts to enable idle animations in HoMM3? They would really enhance the combat look, especially for naturally moving units like phoenixes, genies, efreeti, fire elementals and such.

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Postby AngelEyes » Jul 24 2009, 18:20

Are you sure about this? For some reason, I distinctly remember skeletons and liches triumphantly raising their arms up when idle.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Jul 25 2009, 7:49

That's the "hover" animation. Each creature has one, and does something to show that they're powerful (and also does that animation when they get high morale). But here I'm talking about looping animations, like creatures breathing, phoenixes flaming, genies swirling etc. If you look in HoMM3 battles, you will see no such thing (especially visible on phoenixes). In HoMM4, all creatures have those, and in HoMM3 they're disabled or not implemented, yet all creatures do have those animations, and you can see them when viewing a unit's stats. Again, phoenixes are a good example, you will see that their animation is perfectly natural, while in the battle they look a lot worse.

Here's some visual explanation:
Image
This is the combat screen. The phoenix does not animate at all until you move your mouse over it, and even then it stops animating after flapping its wings.

Image
Image
Now compare these side by side. You will see that the phoenix is a little different - it shows the looping idle animation. In game, if you open this screen, you will see 2 seconds of the idle animation until creatures start playing the movement animation.

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Postby Pol » Jul 25 2009, 14:10

They do an animation, the example with the skeletons was a good one. Even without moving cursor anywhere, they will be showing theirs power. (Maybe initial move is necessary to showing your presence, after all why they should bother to animate when you're out of sight? :D )

Apart from that, yes, game is hiding "waiting" animations which are not used.

However specifically Phenixes may be not the best example to demonstrate on, theirs fire is frozen and it's a known bug.

I guess that you will be having more luck asking for in the Horn of the Abyss or whole WoG forum. It doesn't appears like anybody here would be able to change it. And I'm akin to think that there it would be the same in the end.
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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Jul 25 2009, 15:50

great emerald is correct... and I have noticed that too a long time ago, but AFAIK there is no easy way to fix that

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Postby Zamolxis » Jul 25 2009, 21:48

It's true. NWC programmed 2 types of "passive" animations for creatures in battle:
- some sort of constant breathing, so that they don't look "paralyzed", that GreatEmerald is referring to
- plus a custom animation to happen when we hover over them (to "show their power" as stated above)

In the end however, it seems NWC kept only the custom animation, which occurs in two cases:
- when we hover over them (as initially planned)
- also when we don't hover over them, randomly about every 10 seconds for each creature

I wondered why they chose to leave the constant "breathing" out and the possible reasons I came up with are:
- efficiency (system resources needed to support up to 14+ "passive" animations continuously)
- focus: maybe they felt it's easier to focus on the active creature if others don't move in place all the time
- or maybe they felt the customized animations are more interesting while the constant breathing too monotonous/boring after a while

For those who don't know what we're talking about, and want to see how these other animations look like, they are currently implemented in the latest VCMI build - though we are currently discussing if we should keep them, or leave them out (same as NWC eventually did).
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jul 25 2009, 22:14

These days, efficiency is no longer a problem; I doubt about focus, because the active creature is highlighted and the grid is darker all around it in a big hexagon shape. Look at HoMM4 and you'll see that focus is not a problem at all. And the third reason is not too good as well - you think that "paralysed" creatures are less monotonous? ;) So I really think you should enable them.

By the way, what's VCMI? Seems to be an interesting project as well, but I can't find the feature list...

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Postby Zamolxis » Jul 26 2009, 18:55

GreatEmerald wrote:These days, efficiency is no longer a problem; I doubt about focus, because the active creature is highlighted and the grid is darker all around it in a big hexagon shape. Look at HoMM4 and you'll see that focus is not a problem at all. And the third reason is not too good as well - you think that "paralysed" creatures are less monotonous? ;) So I really think you should enable them.

Well, one thing is sure: VCMI supports them. Depending on the feedback from the testers, they will be either kept as default, or perhaps just as an alternate option. It's pretty much a detail, so a decision will probably be taken at a later stage of the project. But if you'd like to "cast your vote" on this, here is the thread where we're discussing this aspect. ;)

GreatEmerald wrote:By the way, what's VCMI? Seems to be an interesting project as well, but I can't find the feature list...

First of all, VCMI is not another mod (a tempting confusion:). The purpose of the project is to rewrite the H3 engine. This will offer new possibilities (like higher resolutions, no limits in number of creatures/alignments, etc). You can find most of the necessary information on the website homepage or the welcome thread. The project is far from finalized (still a lot of work to be done about AI, MP, etc), but most basic functionalties are there. Feel free to browse the forum if you want further information.
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jul 26 2009, 20:10

Hmm, sounds good. Will it require WoG? Having extra features (especially resolution changes!) in the Complete set would be very nice to have, but I don't really like WoG too much...

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Postby Zamolxis » Jul 27 2009, 18:30

So far it requires WoG, I'm not sure that'll still be the case for the final product (I'm not one of the devs, tho it can be that even them didn't reach a decision about it).

What I do know however, is that that WoG and other mods will only be available as an option. If you want, you can still enjoy the original game, only with alterations like higher resolutions, enhanced shortcuts and other features which will only improve the in-game experience, without actually altering the gameplay in any way.
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Postby GreatEmerald » Jul 27 2009, 20:07

Woo, that's awesome! Can't wait! And that sounds like they'll have a good configuration tool, so the option to enable/disable idle animations could be there as well.


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