Ground Basher and Stone Thrower Master Sheet
Key Visual Features:
- Melee\Ranged Creatures
- Classic and Species Progression\Power (3\2 tiers)
- Elemental Progression
- Exotic Progression
Ground Basher and Stone Thrower General Description:
These are powerful creatures more likely found on middle and high threat worlds. They can be found alone or in small groups, wandering and playing idle animations. When agitated they attack enemies within range, making no attempt to dodge attacks. If enemies move away they move towards them to keep them in range. There are two distinct variations of this ‘Ape Like’ creature, the Ground Basher and the Stone Thrower. The Ground Basher pounds the ground causing a shockwave which move forwards through the ground destroying blocks as it goes before exploding when near an enemy. The Stone Thrower rips blocks from the ground and throws them at enemies. Both variants also have a powerful melee attack which they use if enemies move near to them. They are hard to kill, and we want to experiment with a timing based mechanic for damaging them.
Animating to scale and how it affects our visual designs
The ‘Ape-like’ creature is certainly one of our most complicated in terms of the implementing side of creating animation and ai.
We have literally a 'big’ vision for creating this massive brute of a creature and he’s essentially the last of our initial batch because we’ll need to work up our ai base to realistically implement him correctly with a more complex ai sophistication relating to his size.
The first thing you’ll notice is the scale to which we want to aspire to achieve. Towering over the player, I’ve animated the Ground Basher and Stone Thrower to be impressive in scale and that essentially fits his character.
It should be interesting to point out the original ‘Ape-like’ creature does two very different things ‘bashing the terrain’ and ‘throwing blocks’ and these two different animated behaviours resulted in progression to be shared between two different visual species ‘The Ground Basher’ and ‘The Stone Thower’.
Ground Basher - Melee Creature
For the Ground Basher variety, visually it’s basically a pretty obvious Melee creature resulting in:
- 'Bigger + More Armour = Most Difficult (harder to kill and more destruction created)
We therefore created 3 tiers of classic progression shown in order of tier 1, 3 and 5 according to scale on the Concept Master Sheet.
Each tier has a freedom of increased or decreased scale done in the code(within reason for the ai) and more armour/protection applied to his mesh to show his difficultly in Combat.
Stone Thower - Ranged Creature
Although the Stone Thower shares a lot of behaviours with the Ground Basher, throwing the actual blocks in our Sandbox environment (which is our goal), adds a lot more complexity.
For a start, it would be very difficult to apply scale to these creatures because of his animation set. Picking up blocks has various contact points that would scale too uniformly and that therefore would create a whole load of visual errors breaking the illusion of his animations.
The Stone Throwers therefore falls more into the ‘Species Progression’ category and has 2 tiers of mesh variety resulting in different animation played: ‘Throw Light’ (Single block) and ‘Throw Heavy’ (Multiple Blocks).
- As they have two distinct animations resulting in increased difficulty, that can be split in the visual progression fitting into Tier 2 and 4 alongside the Ground Basher tier 3 which is of an identical scale.
Stone Thrower Light Variety (Tier 2)
The Light Thrower, throws a singular 1 meter block with an action a bit like a baseball pitcher with his strong arm!
- Having a Strong Arm has been visually depicted in his mesh as a key part of his identity - nicely contrasting against his ‘weedy arm’ which isn’t as used as often.
Stone Thrower Heavy Variety (Tier 4)
The Heavy Thrower, on the other hand, throws a whole mass of block with both arms sharing the load.
All of this information is considered as part of their conceptual design.
So we’re now delving into the crux of main reason for defining a different mesh for this particular variety of ‘Ape-like’, for the Stone Thrower is a Ranged Creature and that contrasts the Ground Basher who is a Melee Creature.
- Against the Ground Basher which creates brutish and scaled, mindless combat damage, the Stone Thrower is more exact and strategic in their combat and therefore we depicted them visually as being the more evolved and intelligent counterpart species.
Finally, I have one last piece of artist vision to share with you all for the creatures that links them even more to the World of !
Very, very subtly, our Ranged creatures have some visual elements of our weaponry and ammo designed within their tiers of progression. The ammo for the Slingbow is now a ‘star’ shape in general design and that shape is shared as part of our Ranged creatures concepts as another part of their identity.
Like in reality where some mechanics have been inspired by nature’s natural design, so have the Boundless weapons, tools and ammo taken inspiration from our creatures and terrain.
The Slingbow in particular, is linked to our all of our ranged creatures within different degrees of visual importance relating to how aggressive their combat truly is.
If you go through the creatures shown so far, you can find that star shape on the Tail of the tier 5 Spitter, in the Iris of the Cuttletrunk and on the face of both Stone Throwers!
- The head of the Heavy Stone Thrower in particular has a few abstract geometrical aesthetics linking it to our Slingbow. It has in addition a sight added into his head to visually depict increase ranged accuracy making him a tougher opponent than his ‘Lighter’ brother.
All of this adds to the idea the Stone Throwers are a more evolved species than their meat-head melee counterparts the Ground Bashers.