So, I've been taking a look at HeroEngine, to see which features we can pinch from it.
One feature that I really like is the realtime editing. Although we're a long way off being able to do that, the fact that animations are playing whilst editing the world is rather appealing.
If a model has an idle animation, you can assign it as the default animation via the Properties tab in the World Editor. When you load up the world and run around, the model will play it's idle animation.
Here's how I envisage it working:
- In the World Editor, when you assign the idle animation (if it exists, and is correctly named), saving that Properties dialogue box activates the animation, so that it is playing whilst in the Editor. For example, I have a free-standing Solar Panel model, that will eventually have an animation that rotates 180 degrees over a span of 24 minutes, to that it 'follows the sun', to absorb the most light.
Let's say I give that rotating animation the name 'idle' - when I select the solar panel model, and give it that animation in the Properties dialogue box, I'll save the settings. The solar panel will then start the animation, in the World Editor view.
Also, perhaps you could make it so that it automatically sets the animation of all new models to the idle animation, without the need to individually play with the settings. I believe the trees do that already.
I think it would help with visualisations in planning, and will give the world a bit of life during the world creation process.
So, what do you think? Would this be something of interest to you?