How important are animations?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lnik3500, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Lnik3500

    Lnik3500 Master Troll Veteran

    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Somewhere you will less expect me to be.
    First Language:
    French
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    The question raised when I was just... let's say tired of making my animations work and seem like it just slows down the game.
    Whenever I can, I disable animations, but how do you people feel about animations in games geared towards mechanics rather than visuals?

    For example, I know there was a bit of backlash about the new animation in Pokemon Sword and Shield. What's your take?
     
    #1
  2. Silenity

    Silenity Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    237
    Location:
    Oregon
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Eh. It depends. I like them at first but usually disable them later.
    If I get a new skill or face new enemies or about to encounter a boss then I like to turn them back on.
     
    #2
  3. SepulcherGeist

    SepulcherGeist Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    35
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    As far as Pokemon goes, I usually have animations on for real battles, but turn them off when I'm "grinding" or going against wild Pokemon.
    It's worth noting: your mixing the controversy a little: it isn't about turning animations on or off, it's about the quality of said animations when they're on. A common point of the debate is the assumption that high quality animations take "more time" to execute, which is not the case. Animations of any quality can be any length, and that has little to nothing to do with being able to toggle them on or off.

    Also, the controversy stemmed around Game Freak using things such as animation difficulty to justify other corner-cutting identified in the work. Game Freak apologists then took this to another level, trying to downplay criticism of Sword & Shield by assertions that animations aren't a big deal, that higher quality isn't needed or desired, and worse: the fallacy that better animations would make battles take longer (which, again, is not the case as there is no mandatory correlation between speed and quality in terms of animations). This controversy becomes a dance between criticism of the laziness of Game Freak vs those who downplay the criticism because they really want to enjoy the new Pokemon game regardless. Though I personally am appalled at Game Freak's corner cutting and insulting justifications/responses, I can see the other side of the issue with people who want to have fun in the game and preserve the community. So neither side is right or wrong, per se, they just have different opinions on that matter.

    As for how this might apply to your game: you're not a major game developer releasing a major update to a worldwide franchise (at least, I don't think you are), so the rules apply to you very differently. I doubt people will call you lazy no matter what you do: just creating a game at all as an independent creator puts you above the legions of people who wish they could, tried and failed. We also have much different quality standards. As to how the pacing of you game goes, that's up to you. How frequent are the battles? If there's a lot of grinding, maybe shorter animations would be better (or at least the ability to toggle animations off). Otherwise, the higher the quality the better. But again, you can have high quality animation be as brief as you like.

    As for me, I put little value on combat animation in general, in my own game and in other people's games (Indie or otherwise), especially in RPG titles. My issue with Game Freak was shocking revelation of their laziness and how it was used to fallaciously justify other corner cutting, such as the removal of a national dex. But if I were playing your game, I don't think I'd even notice or care what your animations are. My game will also have a lower focus on combat animation in favor of more time and money spent in other categories. I'll still make it as good as I can within reason, but it's very low on the priority scale.
     
    #3
    FirestormNeos and Lnik3500 like this.
  4. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    4,668
    Location:
    Riftverse
    First Language:
    Indonesian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I don't know about pokemon controversy so I'd skip that part. Unless someone explains what happens or link to the article.
    As someone's who is an enthusiast with animation, I'd put it on the front that I don't like a long animation even if it's well done.

    To answer the original question, here is my take. "It is somewhat important". Animation contributes to a satisfactory factor while communicating on what is happening, to your player. I'm dealing with water damage, so it plays water animation. I'm dealing with fire damage, so it plays fire animation. I'm using a powerful attack that deals a lot of damage. So it's using an explosion effect. Satisfying? yes, probably. Does it really need that long? no, absolutely no (unless you have a skip animation option whatsoever), as long as it's enough to convey what kind of attack/action you're doing. Unless knowing what you're doing does not need an animation to tell what it is, like, when you're playing a game like chess. Or when a game which an attack could be simply represented by a single attack animation for all of the cases.
     
    #4
  5. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    151
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Worth noting that a really well-done animation can leave a lasting impact on the viewer; think of some of the summons, "final attacks" many final bosses have and "limit breaks" that the characters have in the final fantasy series. Those "holy crap!" moments can really make a fight stand out, or at the very least make the viewer think, "dayum, that's cool!" But for animations that are used constantly, I'd imagine it's not as important for them to look cool as, even if they were, the viewer would get used to them quickly and it wouldn't have as much of an impact.
     
    #5
  6. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

    Messages:
    14,461
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    Location:
    Philippines
    First Language:
    Tagalog
    I like animations because it gives me a sense of visuals of how the attacks look like, but I hate long animations.. A second max for most animations should be fine and good already.
     
    #6
  7. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Honestly I think animation speed is much more important. As long as it doesn't take too much time, it's okay. Well at least that was the main criticism for my game.
     
    #7
    Engr. Adiktuzmiko likes this.
  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,776
    Likes Received:
    11,804
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I second that, the animation speed is what matters. I've honestly read books to some of those very long Final Fantasy animations like the FF7 Supernova, or about any GF animation in FF8.
     
    #8
  9. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

    Messages:
    14,461
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    Location:
    Philippines
    First Language:
    Tagalog
    Yeah I agree with the speed too, from my experience setting the battle animation to run even at just 20 or 30 FPS instead of the default (15) makes a lot of difference to the feel already.
     
    #9
  10. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,776
    Likes Received:
    11,804
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    BTW, just in case some of you have never seen the famous Final Fantasy 7 Supernova animation, here is a video of it.


    Now imagine seeing that multiple times in the same battle.
     
    #10
    MushroomCake28 likes this.
  11. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    1,208
    Location:
    Fiore
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I think long animations should only be used on ultimate attacks you'd see, at most, only a couple of times in a playthrough. Like final boss special attacks.
    For player character animations, shorter is always better.
     
    #11
  12. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

    Messages:
    14,461
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    Location:
    Philippines
    First Language:
    Tagalog
    Im still more bugged by the Knights of the Round as you can practically use that one A LOT XD
     
    #12
  13. kairi_key

    kairi_key Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    36
    First Language:
    thai
    Long story short for me, animations are there to make tedious task of sitting through numbers and menu more bearable.


    For me, most animations in RPG maker games shouldn't reach 2 seconds per "beat". 1 sec is about ok. This "beat" I mention is like a pulse of action in battle. If you have casting animation then the action count as 2 beats: 1st casting, 2nd occurring.
    If it's longer you might need something like a dynamic camera angle to break the boredom.
     
    #13
  14. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    20,392
    Likes Received:
    10,410
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    An animation is not a mechanic as such.

    I've moved this thread to General Discussion. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

     
    #14
  15. Borio

    Borio Villager Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I think this is important, many people pay attention not to this, it is fascinating.
     
    #15
  16. Elissiaro

    Elissiaro Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    178
    Location:
    Sweden
    First Language:
    Swedish
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    You know what that would have been great as? A game over animation if you die in that battle.
    Definitely not several times in a battle, even if it is the last bossfight.
     
    #16
  17. Cqualt

    Cqualt Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    3
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    In my opinion as a player of rpgs I find animations really valuable as visual affects and possibly sounds make a player excited and want to do more and stay interested in what they're playing
     
    #17
  18. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    671
    Location:
    SW5GMW 4xVHk
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    You mean like skill animations? I'd say super important actually since they add to the polish level and make Fire Skill A feel different than Fire Skill B. As long as they're short (no Sephiroth Supernovas or Eden summons please) they add a unique feel to each skill in the game. I spent a fair amount of time with Yanfly's action sequences, doing things like cutting away delays to make things happen faster while still preserving the animation effects that make combat more interesting.

    However!

    My opinion on animations for things, especially repetitive maintenance activities is another story. Like if your crafting system animates all the things combining together each time I try to make a potion, and I can only make one at a time, or I have to otherwise see it over and over as I make things--I hate those kinds of animations. They waste time and enjoyment I could be spending in the game.
     
    #18
  19. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    5,097
    Likes Received:
    4,201
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    In terms of skill animations, I think it depends on the age range of your audience.

    For example, when I was a child, I was always excited to see my skill animations. I loved seeing "Aero Blast" on Pokémon Silver every single time I selected it. It never gold for me. In Chrono Trigger, I always loved seeing Luminaire, no matter how much I spammed it.

    When I turned 16 or so... and had less time for the animations... or other things I cared about more... I honestly didn't care about what the animations looked like. It was just a pause in the action before the numbers. While I never turn animations off in a game, I also get really annoyed when they last more than 5 seconds. I remember playing Final Fantasy 8 and never using Grand Function (summons) because the animations were unskippable and were at minimum like a minute long. I just don't currently care what your animations look like as long as they're short.

    That being said, as a dev...

    I tried to just remove all animations from my game. After all, I didn't care what they looked like, only how much time was being spent on them, so removing them outright would be better, right?

    Well, no. Turns out, you have to have that feedback. Combat feels strange without a visual indicator of what happened. Even just flashing the enemy sprites that took damage isn't enough. Even just a sound effect isn't enough. It feels bad, as a player, to watch the screen and just see numbers with not even a rudimentary animation to indicate what happens.

    So, here's what I'd say:

    1. Animations are important to have. Always. You need the visual feedback.
    2. What those animations actually look like only matters to specific age groups. Younger children/early adults care about what they look like more, but people without much time on their hands (namely, people with jobs and other such considerations) don't tend to care all that much about what they look like.
    3. Length of animations is 100% important all the time. Through experimentation, I've found that 7 seconds is the absolute maximum anyone will endure an animation that they will see frequently. It is the absolute threshold. It is the limit for tolerance. More often than not, you want an animation that will play in 3-5 seconds and be done. This is the sweet spot. It's enough time for impact, but not enough time to hinder the gameplay side of things.
    4. Yeah, I also hate creating animations. It's super tedious in RPG Maker. Especially with such a rudimentary animation creation kit. But, it is what it is. If you don't like making a lot of animations, then you need only have as few skills as possible. I've cut corners a bit by making all of a weapon type have the same animation. All of a consumable type have the same animation. Etcetera. Skills, on the other hand... I've been "hand crafting", so it's tedious. If you need any indication on how much I hate animations, you need only check my signature line. It's been at that number for "completed animations" for quite a long time. But, I'll still have to finish them all eventually. So will you.
     
    #19
  20. hero_buddy

    hero_buddy artist and pro cat petter Veteran

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    hawaii
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    i think animations are important in getting across what's actually happening. personally, i think if you turn off all animations, games become quite dull, and if you're just button mashing to fast forward through everything, then you can barely tell what's happening. i mean, where's the fun in that? clearly, you're not having fun playing that game if it reaches that point, so why not drop it and play something else?
     
    #20

Share This Page