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Is Spine worth it?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Guitarmike, May 20, 2019.

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  1. Guitarmike

    Guitarmike Member

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    Jun 30, 2018
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    68
    The title pretty much says it all. I'm working on a platformer involving ninjas who do a lot of fancy martial arts moves with various weapons. Seems like a good use case for a tool like Spine. I'm weighing whether it's worth the money and time spent learning. Are there any drawbacks? Thanks for any info you can provide.

    MIke
     
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  2. Niels

    Niels Member

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    Jun 22, 2016
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    Cutout animations are pretty limited imo, especially if you can't deform them. (only in the very expensive spine pro version).

    Try the free demo and see if you like it before buying.
     
  3. Khao

    Khao Member

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    Jun 22, 2016
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    147
    Depends. I'd say skeletal animation in general is not necessarily a fit for every single project out there, but if you think it's a good match for your game, I think Spine is one of the best tools for it.
     
    Siolfor the Jackal likes this.
  4. Kezarus

    Kezarus Member

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    Jan 14, 2018
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    I use Spine and it's good enough for me. There are some things that I thought that I could do in it, but I couldn't, but you get used to it. (blend an specific part in code, for exemple)

    Animations are exceptionaly easy to make. As Niels points out, you can't deform sprites, but you can place equipaments and skins a LOT easier than by other means.
     
    Morendral and Siolfor the Jackal like this.
  5. outstandly

    outstandly Member

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    Apr 26, 2019
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    It's good make a small trial run for both options: Spine and sprite sheet animation and see what works best for you.
    Both solutions are good, but sprite sheets gives you more flexibility on the style and vibes.

    it also depends if you'll be doing everything by yourself or hiring someone.
     
    Kezarus likes this.
  6. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    You can make a completely functional skeletal animation system in pure GML if you just know a bit of trigonometry, I'm doing that for my current project:
    upload_2019-5-25_19-3-49.png

    It's also pretty simple, you just need an array of body part angles and then use lengthdir_x and lengthdir_y to but the body part's start position on the end of whatever the previous body part was (e.g. hands on the end of lower-arms, or upper-legs at the hips). For drawing, I use a separate "depth order" array with the different body parts added to it, so that the back leg is drawn before the rest of the body, and so on.
     
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  7. Didjargo

    Didjargo Member

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    Jun 21, 2016
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    I'd say it is. Looks like the site is having a sale now too with Essential down to $69 and Pro down to $299. I have the Pro version and have been using it for a while. It is surprisingly versatile and pretty easy to learn. The is also a lot you can do in runtime with GML if you really get into it, such as attaching sprites to bones in order to do things like change a character's armor or weapon. In a recent update to GMS2, you can even adjust the colour of individual parts of the spine animation in runtime.
     
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  8. Kezarus

    Kezarus Member

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    Yeah, I was studing the news on GM2 and this was an amazing surprise. =]
     
  9. HeWhoShallNotBeNamed

    HeWhoShallNotBeNamed Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Posts:
    62
    I purchased the license for the Essential version about a week and a half ago. I haven't had a lot of time to use it, so take my recommendation with a grain of salt. That being said, in what little time I've spent with it I've thought of at least a dozen ways its going to make working on my project easier. I'd get it if any of the following apply to your game:

    1) You have one character with a lot of different animations (which it sounds like you do).
    2) You have multiple characters with the same animations and can get away with them being re-skins (it sounds like you might).
    3) You have extensive character customization or changeable equipment that is visible on the character model.

    Again I'm just beginning to get into Spine itself and haven't even tried to integrate it into my project yet, but I'm already seeing it being a huge time saver.
     
  10. badwrong

    badwrong Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
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    8
    I've had the pro version for a while. You'll get out of it what you put into it. So don't expect it to be some magic wand that lets you skip real work. However it will help if you are not good at animating and just good at drawing, because you don't have to spend time drawing hundreds of frames since its all interpolated. Overall you will get smooth looking animations with high frame rates extremely quick.

    As far as the pro version, I mostly got it for the inverse kinematics. Their main use is simulating how joints and stuff should properly work... however I found them extremely useful if you want to manipulate variously parts of a character at runtime. For example I set up an IK that was attached to my characters back bone, and had it change its angle based on the characters position to the mouse. This let me pivot my characters upper body to aim a weapon without having any extra animations created, it just adjusts the animations to what that IK is doing. Can also do some cool things with mixing tracks and what not. Like having legs animate running, while upper body does other animations. Which also works well with the IK thing I mentioned.

    Oh and transitioning from one animation to another can be done very smoothly which is nice. Its been a while, buts its just a GML function that tells it to do the maths to interpolate between two animations. Suppose you are running and have a slide animation, instead of suddently starting on the first frame of the slide it will transition smoothly between them.
     
    Kezarus likes this.

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