Animation Insight

Hey everyone!

My name is Cole, or as the other nerds have posted with their cool nicknames, Vaarnex. I am the lead animator for NMRiH2. This is one of my first bigger projects, and it is definitely an ambitious one at that. Unfortunately I didn’t work on the first NMRiH, however I aim to add something great for the next installment.

As you may know, we didn’t have a character animator for the first game. So that’s where I come in to give the game, and the zombies, new life, which is what I will be talking about today. So let’s get started, shall we?

One of the most important parts of a zombie game is probably the zombies. Where would we be without them? Not in a zombie game, that’s where. So for NMRiH2 we’ve come up with some cool ideas for the different archetypes for those face-eating, lovable buggers.

The main three zombies are the Shambler, the Walker, and the Runner. Each zombie will have a distinct behavior, making them distinct from one another. This means that the player (you) will need to have different ways of combating these meatbags. It also means that you’ll need to be able to tell each zombie archetype apart from a distance so you can be sure to give them the walloping they deserve.

The first zombie I’ll be talking about is the Shambler.

These guys are the fodder of the game, lowest tier of hunter. The Shambler is what happens to a zombie when it can’t find any sustenance. It loses all of its muscle mass and starts to decay where it stands. The sight on Shamblers is minimal, very weak. Not enough human carrots to keep their eyes sharp, so they have to rely on other senses to seek out potential targets, not for them to catch, mind you. But to alert other to catch for them. The Shamblers are too weak to run, barely able to keep themselves upright where they stand.

The Walkers are where things get a bit tricky.

walker

The eyes tend to decay quickly for these poor infected fellows. So the Walkers rely on sound, their hearing is phenomenal. They sway their heads side-to-side, listening to anything and everything and being drawn towards the sound. Not as slow as the Shamblers, but not as quick as the Runners, which I will get to in just a moment. You can see the Walkers have more mass on their bodies, this is the second stage of the infection. When all the fat is burned off and food is becoming scarce. The Walkers are beginning to decay, which is better for you, right? More chance to survive!

And finally, we come to the Runner.

A pure predator. Alpha of the infected. These guys rely on all of their senses, but eyesight is keen with these ones. Constantly scanning the horizon for prey, anything that they can get their hands on to infect or eat. These guys are fast. Strong. Cunning. Able to sprint after the survivors, climb buildings to catch their prey.

climbing runner

There is nothing that will stop them. Maybe a bat to the brain… But that’s up to you, and if you can manage to hit it without being distracted by that bod. While infected, the body converts all energy from fat into muscle, anything that it can use to turn the body into a killing machine. And all the pent up energy makes these sexy motherfuckers twitchy, and deadly.

The silhouettes for each type is important. We want to make sure that each zombie behaves and carries themselves in a way that is immediately apparent to the player. Now that we have a character animator on the team, we’re hoping that the zombies and their personalities will be something that you really enjoy when the time comes.

Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed this dev blog.

-Vaarnex

                                             

25 Replies to “Animation Insight”

  1. Woah amazing work! Loving these devblogs because they’re succinct. Was hoping for weapon animations though, but I guess that’s a mile away from getting character/zombie animations in.

    Ive got a couple of ideas as well:
    Flying zombies, mecha zombies and hellhounds that you could probably just rip the model from Black Ops if you needed Im sure activision wouldnt care lol
    Nah April Fools keep it gritty!

  2. Pretty well done with the models and the animations. I want to recommend if there is a way to show off a few bite marks on the runners. For the zombie movements can some of them like twitch once in a while like they are high?
    Question:
    – Will they be naked or will they have anything on them?
    – What sound will each different zombies make?
    – Will walkers have different looks on their face example ( male or female )
    – Will there be different varieties of not just one walker but many like some may be more aggressive than the other walkers depend on how hungry they are or even who they are.
    – Any military zombies?
    – Some random zombies with perhaps a double barrel?
    – Zombie dogs?
    – Zombie children that jump onto the players face making it hard to see and being chewed off.
    – Old man zombies that were half broken glasses?
    – As the zombies get closer and closer to the survivors they get more and more aggressive.
    – In maps have some sorts of a breakable wall that the player and the zombie can break.
    – Zombie body parts fall depend on where the player hits them with a sharp wep or a heavy gun.
    – KATANA 🙂
    – Body armor that can break
    – Suprise NPC that are not friendly what are trying to survive so like ( PvNvZ)
    – Hands appeared with collecting items. ( sounds cool )
    – Shotguns ( more )
    – Assault rifles ( more )
    – Pistols ( more )
    – Have it so that only some weapons that are picked up have some sort of chance when shot it can break.
    – Flamethrower
    – Snipers ( many )
    – Gas mask ( fight off against the really decayed zombies (gas)
    – Friendly fire Options ( normal or hardcore )
    – Modes ( PvPvZ big maps ) ( PvZvN or PvZ co-op )
    – Really big machinegun so heavy that moving is a pain.
    – Pocket flashlights and flashlights
    – German weapons from WWII
    These are all the ideas I have for now.
    Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to give some advice and for making this game. I really love paying these type of zombie games and can’t wait for the release of this game. Hope you guys can more youtube video and introducing the team and models. Keep up the good work guys 🙂

  3. Hello, so I have two questions… will there be like some kind of a weapon customization or something like that? The second question is, if there will be like more variety of weapons than in NMRiH 1 (Or the Original One).

    1. We do have plans for some customization. It might not be the first release but attachments/ammo types are a goal of ours down the line.

      As for weapons we are aiming for having as many as NMRiH 1 as well and expanding our arsenal as time goes on. We haven’t discussed it much but we worked with the awesome modeler over at http://chamferzone.com/3d-shop/ to get a lot of our guns right now.

  4. Would be great if you guys added variations in height and weight of the bodies. Like, a fat guy that gets infected would have more dense and bigger bone structure (a real hard kill), or an already puny guy (which would be an easy kill)… Just a thought, tho!

  5. Are you going to go for dynamic(procedural) animation? Having variation in zombies is great but so is showing their nature as a massive hive mind(or at least a giant swarm) bent on eating anything not part of the infected.

  6. I’m kind of disappointed and even dismayed at the idea of runners so far. In no more room in hell I play the game to get away from things like left for dead. It’s bad enough that there are runners in an otherwise ‘normal’ Romero-esque zombie game. But now they climb? In these kinda games you want to gain height to get away. It breaks the general tone when you have runners scaling walls.

    You can always counteract having high up places by making them accessible via ramp or stairs rather than a ladder or non-climbable things like boxes. And in objective based modes it wouldn’t pay much more than a momentary reprieve from being in a safer location. Players in an enemy saturated environment tend to like safe places, even if they can get trapped in them and have to defend one or two exits, they choose them because they can funnel enemies. Something most people would do in real life if in these situations. Say you’re on a roof accessible only by a staircase, the dynamic changes because you have view over the crowd and a place to funnel incoming zombies. But with climbing runners that whole ideal gets thrown away, making people trying to take on a sniper’s role not want to do that. (The main reason a lot of people didn’t like using the Sako or JAE from the last game.

  7. Hello and good day/night!
    First of all, I have to say that you’re doing very well so far. We all hope it continue that way! :3
    About new things on game, I guess everyone gave tips and other things, but I would like to know and ask about the player’s character:
    Will be there more than one viewmodel and hands? (Not such a big deal, but I think it’s interesting)
    Will be there more than one female model and voice?
    Will be there some kind of kind of customization for the character?
    Will be there more voice commands? (Bitch! – Badass)
    Well… I think it’s it. Some improvements for the player’s character is always good.
    Thanks for the attention and keep the good work! 😀

  8. -pleas keep this game realistic like nmrih 1, dont add any hud or something make game easier ,make this game have own playstyle
    -i have some ideal about zombie if you guy interesting about it :
    +ZOMBIE GIVE BIRTH : move really slow ,they give bith like mini NEW BORN ZOMBIE ,CRAWLING and BITE make bleed , can sneaky in middle zombie play try to defend so player must watch under there foot
    +ZOMBIE CLOSET : just like mimic in dark souls ,when player try loot item and open zombie will hug bite player need struggle like spam A or D key ,or shake mouse LEFT and RIGHT ,or need help from coop friend
    +ZOMBIE FAT : just like normal zombie but when you kill and make them blow, its will call zombie around go to where ZOMBIE FAT die ,try dont hit the stomach so they dont BLOW ,shoot them in head just 2-3 hit
    (sorry, my english very bad)

  9. need to replace shove with kick or add both plus u need cross bow and throwing weapons also swords and maybe even attachments u can find

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