Feeding Time centers on a unique but intuitive eating mechanic where players match various animals with their favourite snacks. Compete against friends and global leaderboards, or enjoy a more casual experience as you unlock new areas and powerups. With the proper attention, no critter will ever go hungry again!

AppStore Link: Itunes.apple.com

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: The Art of Feeding Time, Part 4

0 comments by IncubatorGames on Jul 15th, 2014

While some movement was best handled programmatically, Feeding Time's extensive animal cast and layered environments still left plenty of room for hand-crafted animation.  The animals in particular required experimentation to find an approach that could retain the hand-painted texturing of the illustrations while also harkening to hand-drawn animation.

This dog looks pretty sketchy to me... Knick-knack paddywhack!

An early pass involved creating actual sketched frames, then slicing the illustration into layers and carefully warping those into place to match each sketch. Once we decided to limit all the animals to just a single angle, we dispensed with the sketch phase and settled on creating the posed illustrations directly.  When the finalized dog image was ready, a full set of animations was created to test our planned lineup of animations:

The initial approach was to include Sleep, Happy, Idle, Sad, and Eat animations. Sleep would play at the start of the stage, then transition into Happy upon arrival of the delivery, then settle into Idle until the player attempted to eat food, resulting in Sad for incorrect choices and Eat for correct ones.

Sleepy puppy! Happy puppy! Idle puppy! Sad puppy! Hungry puppy!

Ultimately, we decided to cut Sleep because its low visibility during the level intro didn't warrant the additional assets. We also discovered that having the animals rush onto the screen in the beginning of the level and dart away at the end helped to better delineate the gameplay phase.

There were also plans to play either Happy or Sad at end of each level for the animal that ate the most and the least food. The reactions to this, however, was almost overwhelmingly negative! Players hated the idea of always making one of the animals sad regardless of how many points they scored, so we quickly scrapped the idea.

The Happy and Sad animations were still retained to add a satisfying punch to a successful combo and to inform the player when an incorrect match was attempted. As we discovered, a sad puppy asking to be thrown a bone (instead of, say, a kitty's fish) proved to be a great deterrent for screen mashing and worked quite well as a passive tutorial.

While posing the frames one by one was effectively employed for the Dog, Cat, Mouse, and Rabbit, a more sophisticated and easily iterated upon approach was developed for the rest of the cast:

Sometimes 'Behind the Scenes' means 'Skeletal Monkey Head' Unorthodox chewing technique Aw look, he's... smiling, I guess?

With both methods, hidden portions of the animals' faces such as teeth and tongues were painted beneath separated layers. In the improved method, however, these layers could be much more freely posed and keyframed with a variety of puppet and warp tools at our disposal to make modifications to posing or frame rate much simpler.

Sleepy puppy! Happy puppy! Idle puppy!

What a bunch of posers!The poses themselves are often fairly extreme, but this was done to ensure that the motion was legible on small screens and at a fast pace in-game.

For Feeding Time's intro animation and environments, everything was illustrated in advance on its own layer, making animation prep a smoother process than separating the flattened animals had been.

ft_animals_atlas
The texture atlas comprising the numerous animal frames grew to quite a large size
-- this is just a small chunk!

Because the background elements wouldn't require the hand-drawn motion of the animals, our proprietary tool "SLAM" was used to give artists the ability to create movement that would otherwise have to be input programmatically. With SLAM, much like Adobe Flash, artists can nest many layers of images and timelines, all of which loop within one master timeline.

SLAM in all its glory.
SLAM's simple interface focuses on maximizing canvas visibility and allows animators to fine-tune image placement by numerical values if desired.

One advantage over Flash (and the initial reason SLAM was developed) is its capability to output final animation data in a succinct and clean format which maximizes our capability to port assets to other platforms.

SLAM in all its glory.
Besides environments, SLAM also proved useful for large scale effects, which would otherwise bloat the game's filesize if rendered as image sequences.

Naturally, SLAM stands for Slick Animation, which is what we set out to create with a compact number of image assets. Hopefully 'slick' is what you'll think when you see it in person, now that you have some insight into how we set things into motion!

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Feeding Time Soundtrack

Feeding Time Soundtrack

Jun 20, 2014 Audio 0 comments

The soundtrack to Feeding Time by Christian Fernando Perucchi.

Post comment Comments
Lagunast
Lagunast Jun 26 2014, 2:47am says:

Beautiful designs

+2 votes     reply to comment
IncubatorGames
IncubatorGames Jun 26 2014, 12:38pm replied:

Thank you, although we have to give full props to George Bletsis who freelanced for us developing Feeding Time's look: Monstertreeart.tumblr.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
Themoneyman99
Themoneyman99 Feb 3 2014, 5:39pm says:

Nice game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
IncubatorGames
IncubatorGames Feb 12 2014, 3:55pm replied:

Thank you!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Feeding Time
Platforms
iPhone, iPad
Developer
Incubator Games
Engine
Unity
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Official Page
Incubatorgames.com
Release Date
Released Jun 25, 2014
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Style
Genre
Puzzle Compilation
Theme
Comedy
Players
Single & Multiplayer
Project
Indie
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Another great #FeedingTime iPhone 5S gameplay review up on Youtube! T.co

2hours 19mins ago

Imaginary puzzle game w/ Toronto-made heroes! feat @CellarDoorGames @DrinkBoxStudios @metanetsoftware @getsetgames T.co

7hours 5mins ago

@LivingDreamEnt great to meet you too!

7hours 48mins ago

@pctroll thanks for reading it! We've done a whole series of blogs on FT, if you're interested in reading more

8hours 3mins ago

@TorontoJoe no, we dare not defy the Horse Gods!

8hours 13mins ago

Skryim Physics is best physics T.co

Jul 27 2014, 8:54am

Go home Gamestop, you're drunk T.co

Jul 26 2014, 3:35pm

Imagine a puzzle game with Toronto indie characters! @CellarDoorGames @DrinkBoxStudios @metanetsoftware @getsetgames T.co

Jul 26 2014, 12:43pm

Every time you boot up the Walking Dead... IT'S CLEMEN-TIME T.co

Jul 26 2014, 8:53am

Console prices, adjusted for inflation since Atari 2600 T.co

Jul 25 2014, 2:35pm

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