I’ve been a bit quiet recently, mainly just due to workload but here’s a summary of what’s been happening over the last month or so.
Earlier in the month I headed to the Develop conference in Brighton to meet up with fellow game developers and touch base with the industry. It was nice to get out of my home office for a week, see some friends and see what other people are working on. I talked to a few people about Warborn and there was some interest so hopefully something will come out of the meetings I had there.
I caught up with a few developers I’d met the year before including Dave Cooper who was running another Blockships tournament, I didn’t survive very long unfortunately!
After a long struggle with DragonBones it’s finally beaten me into submission. I’m just spending too much time trying to get it to work for my use case and as a result I’m switching to Spine. I think this is going to make a big difference, especially in terms of load times.
DragonBones seems to favor JSON parsing every time an animations is loaded for the first time, which means prefabs are pretty much useless with it because even if you have a prefab using a DragonBones Armature Component it will still require the JSON to be parsed and cached the first time it’s loaded. This is not ideal as it’s very slow, especially when you have a lot of them. Spine has a binary format which I’m hoping will speed this up. The other thing is that DragonBones is somewhat unstable, looking through the Unity specific code revealed a few oddities and I became increasingly worried about relying on it.
So Tom W. and I are now going through the animations and converting them to Spine and integrating them back into the game using the Spine Unity plugin. It will take a little bit of time but it’s going to be worth it in the long run!
Updating the animations using Spine
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