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Introducing Movelt! Locomotion System

Jared "Vaei" Taylor on June 15th, 2020
The logic of procedural locomotion systems is not your strong suit? Vaei got you covered with MoveIt ! Below is the story of how it came to be and how akeytsu helped in the process to quickly output animation assets MoveIt! could be prototyped with.
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INTRODUCTION
Hi, my name is Jared Taylor also known online as Vaei. I am a game developer currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. I started out studying 3D animation for film and specialized in first creature rigging then technical art. I still have a fondness for modelling 3D cartoon characters.

I became a game programmer by chasing the next technical challenge until I made it here. Since I started programming I have focused on multiplayer gameplay, especially character based.
HOW MOVEIT! CAME TO BE
MoveIt! was born from a hole that needed to be filled. I was approached by someone I knew from a past project asking why his game had networking issues with the character’s movement. I explained to him that there are no locomotion systems that work adequately with multiplayer games, especially not one that looks good.

This is because it takes many hours and an experienced developer with multiple disciplines to build a locomotion system. This is not affordable for indie developers - who simply have no real options.

I said I would make the locomotion system he needs and release it on the marketplace so that indie developers can build great looking games at an affordable price. And this is how MoveIt! came to be !
NOW WHAT DOES MOVEIT! DO ?
MoveIt! is a locomotion system built with Unreal Engine 4 in mind. This means it drives the character’s movement and animations. It provides many additional features on top of Epic’s base character and it is built from the ground up to be network-friendly, user-friendly and easy to integrate.
WHO IS IT FOR AND WHY SHOULD THEY CHECK IT OUT ? 
Literally anyone who has some form of character or creature moving in their game. If you are making a multiplayer shooter, there is no adequate alternative, and MoveIt! is so much more than adequate. No matter what kind of game you are making, MoveIt! has you covered.

Think of any of your favourite big name games and come ask me if MoveIt! can recreate the movement out of the box, and even blend seamlessly between these movement styles. The answer is usually yes, and if it isn’t, I will probably add it!

The next update of MoveIt! has full quadruped support out of the box along with an example character.

MoveIt! uses a lot of procedural animation to cut down on animation requirements and has a very small list of animations that actually need to be swapped to change the entire look and feel, allowing indies to focus on creating a few very high-quality animations, to help bridge the inaccessibility of motion capture.
Developers will find active and accessible support via the Drowning Dragon’s Discord server, a plethora of tutorials that keep on coming, a forever growing list of polished features all built on a solid foundation with expansion and extension in mind.

Whether you are an indie developer who needs something that just works or an AAA developer looking for a truly worthwhile starting point for your next game, you will find no better.

A full tutorial series for building a game around MoveIt! is coming in the near future also!
NEED FURTHER CONVINCING ? 

You can check out a commented introduction to MoveIt! features trailer below. More tutorial videos available on my YouTube channel.

Read more about MoveIt! technical documentation here.
Since creating the video about one month ago the movement has evolved in quality and even added floor sliding along with many other quality of life features. MoveIt! just keeps on improving !
HOW DID AKEYTSU HELP ? WHAT WAS YOUR WORKFLOW ?

Disclaimer: I have no vested affiliation with Akeytsu or Nukeygara - the praise I give them is earnest and very well-deserved. I am very happy to have this opportunity to tell everyone how great it is as I have many animator friends who would benefit from the awareness!
Before I was a gameplay programmer, I specialized in creature rigging. I never imagined the day where I simply wouldn’t require this skillset anymore. Akeytsu provides animation ready rigs automatically - in fact it can even give you incredibly accurate auto-weighting. It is an unbelievable asset to get you animating quickly instead of wasting hours, or even days, on building and weighting the skeleton.

And this “animation ready rig” isn’t anything like the auto-rigging tools you find in major software packages, it just works, and it is extremely fluid. Akeytsu revolutionizes the workflow especially for developers who don’t have the time to sit there smoothing animations for hours on end. I could pump out acceptable animations in mere minutes and quickly iterate on these to test the systems I was building.
Without Akeytsu I can’t imagine having ever completed MoveIt! as it bridged that gap in motivation that occurs when you are spending extensive time on something that is merely a means to an end instead of what you actually desire to create.

Now that MoveIt! has been released I am using Akeytsu once again to build the animations for my quadruped system and I am forever amazed at what I get out of it while putting so little into it. Here is a dog canter I made to test the next MoveIt! release.
After my prototypes have fulfilled their purpose, there is simply no better software to put more effort into your animations and finetune them as you go until you get production-ready assets.

Akeytsu makes me, a creature rigger, technical artist, and a gameplay programmer, I feel like I can easily animate a character that the world can look at and believe in. And hell, its even FUN. I never had fun animating in other software; it was always only a means to an end.
NEXT PLAN FOR MOVEIT!
The plans for MoveIt! are almost never-ending. Floor sliding was added with the last update. MoveIt! already has solid foundations a its core that continues to be polished. New movement features, quality of life and general polish get added all the time - just check out this changelog! Community feedback is more than welcome throughout the update process.

And there is a lot more coming next:
  • Out-of-the box support for quadrupeds and includes a cute dog character animated with akeytsu.
  • The next major update after quadrupeds will likely include vision stabilization for true first-person mode.
  • Future updates will look into climbing and vaulting
I have also made a promise that if MoveIt! reaches 250 sales before 11th May 2021 then swimming will be added, with all the procedural good-ness of MoveIt!

Thanks a lot for reading this article, I hope that by sharing this, you learn new things or have ideas and inspiration for your future projects. Good luck and keep having fun making characters!
Write us feedback on forums or our discord channel if you have any comments on this article


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