Development on upcoming dark fantasy FPS Witchfire is ongoing, and animator Jakub "Kubold" Kisiel isn't letting the coronavirus stop him from getting creative. A video uploaded to developer The Astronauts' YouTube channel shows Kubold building a rather quaint homemade solution for reload animations.
The video comes via an official blog post on The Astronauts' website. In the post, The Astronauts' creative director Adrian Chmielarz demonstrates just how much effort it takes to add a reload animation lasting just a few seconds to Witchfire. Kubold is shown in the included YouTube video duct-taping a gun together and using the setup to create the reload animation for a weapon in the game. It's pretty fun and shows just how ingenious game designers can be. You can check out the video right here:
As well as showing Kubold building the reload animation, the video also gives a glimpse into life for designers during the coronavirus pandemic. Kubold builds what he calls a "micro-motion capture studio" in his garage, using an array of cameras mounted on stands to achieve the desired effect. Once the footage of Kubold reloading the weapon has been captured, he then has to edit the motion capture data to add realistic hand and finger movements.
It all looks like a lot of work, but according to Chmielarz, the dev team is "not that heavily affected" by having to work in separate rooms. He says everyone on the team is working hard and delivering on deadlines, so Witchfire is still "grow[ing] every day". Despite this promising news, Chmielarz expects things to get trickier as the game nears its final stage, especially if the pandemic is still ongoing.
Witchfire is an upcoming first-person shooter by the studio behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. The devs are luminaries of classics like Painkiller and Bulletstorm, so they know their way around shooters. The new project will use the same photogrammetry technology as Ethan Carter did to create a natural, organic feel to its maps. We don't have a release date for the game yet; Chmielarz and his team say they'll hopefully be ready to reveal something by this summer. Until then, if you're a fan of Doom and Dark Souls, feel free to salivate.
Are you looking forward to checking out Witchfire? Have you got any stories of homemade game development ingenuity? Let us know in the comments below!