Fun with ragdolls

The other day I got the idea in my head that I should try adding gored ragdoll corpses into my game — I’ve always been fascinated with this and loved it in games like Fallout 3. They could be a little silly looking at times, sure, but the satisfaction they added I always felt made it more than worth it (plus the silliness can be part of the charm and part of the fun). I’d never done anything like this, but since my game engine uses Box2D I knew it must be possible.

After a little research, a new stencyl extension, and some tinkering, I had a functioning ragdoll.

It was simpler than I thought to get a basic ragdoll working — Box2D already has features that are well suited to it. Just took a bit of trial and error to figure out what type of joints to use and how to set them up.

Here’s what I got when I just swapped the ragdoll in on enemy death and nothing else:

This is a promising starting point, but we really need to start adding forces and playing with joint destruction to make it more fun.

Shotgun blasts can send them flying!

Physics can also cause some interesting bugs. I reluctantly fixed this after discovering it. :)

  • Asch

    It might’ve been a bug, but to be fair; those ragdolled and gibbed corpses slowly rolling and creeping around like that would be pretty horrific. I thought it was intentional at first because it somewhat suits the whole foreboding and generally kinda dark atmosphere that Metroid games and Metroid-likes tend to have.

    • christopher baker

      Agreed! Maybe not all enemies would have this but it certainly adds to atmosphere. Keep it up, can’t wait!

  • Hebert de Souza

    A taste of blood! Nice job, man.

  • Brian McInnis

    Dude, just release the god-damn game.

    • ttpete

      I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks!

  • J. Nathan Hohman

    Hi im so glad you are updating this blog! The bug seems thematically a smart one to fix for those mobs, but the weird crawly behavior might work for certain concept appropriate creatures (do you have any gelatinous slime type creatures/slugs? ;)

    I am really looking forward to your release. Cheers!!!

  • André Martinez

    Are you still developing this game on Stencyl or are you using another Engine to handle all the crazy events, logic, scripting and so on! Cheers

    • ttpete

      Still Stencyl

  • Man


  • Brian Crawford

    I found out about this game too late to join the Kickstarter campaign. I backed Ghost Song on your Store page. Looking forward to this one as I’m digging the concept and art. Fantastic work so far!!! Can’t wait!

    • ttpete

      I saw that! thank you so much! :) I really appreciate your generosity

  • Badouken

    In the time its taking you to make this, we might actually get a proper Metroid game from Nintendo. Though take as much time as you need, this game looks amazing! I’d love to be able to play it on the Switch some day.

  • sh4dow83

    Something that I just noticed when viewing my monitor at an angle – is it intentional that that light circle around the character expands and contracts in a stuttery, instead of a smooth manner? Because at least to me, that seems to clash with all the other very smooth animations on the screen.

    • ttpete

      There’s a shader effect in the game that limits the number of colors displayed in a gradient. This produces color banding. This was an aesthetic choice based on my fondness for how my old gifs used to look — gifs captured of the earlier version of the game — when the gif format caused color banding, I actually liked it. It’s a neat effect, though occasionally it produces odd artifacts like the one you noticed. It’s still being tweaked here and there.

      • sh4dow83

        Hm… I would still expect the border of the banding to move smoothly if the scale of that light is animated smoothly. Unless the scaling isn’t done procedurally and you want to conserve memory by not having 200 frames for a lighting effect that’s barely visible anyway (at least in these examples).

        Anyway… whatever the reason and the specific implementation is, as long as you’re aware of it and it’s a choice, not an oversight, it’s your business and I’m sure it’s going to be fine because overall, everything looks great so far.

      • sh4dow83

        Actually… now that I think about it… if you animate the transparency of that area… since such a banding effect would cause sudden jumps at certain points, I suppose that would indeed explain the jumpiness.

        And now that I’ve looked more closely at the background, I can see it there as well. So… never mind, I guess. :)

  • phroZac

    I’ve been patiently watching this game progress for over a year now. I’m looking forward to this more than most big-budget, triple A games. Can’t wait!

  • Niclas

    Looks awsome, cant wait :D