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Hi guys, freelance gamedev here. I got into the developer side of gamemaking with a very strong 2d art foundation, which has allowed me to actually make some really nice stuff leveraging texture painting skills. So I'm also a little bit good with blender. I can make decent low poly models and texture them quite nicely.

Now I have a new project in mind, it's a 3d shooter that will attempt to capture the low poly charm of quake1 (the game that defined my childhood).

I'm torn between a crucial question though: how hard is it to animate low poly enemies? they don't have to be beautiful animations by any means, but I'd like them to read and transition somewhat cleanly ofc. If you guys advise me against it, I can always do billboard agent enemis in the style of doom and duke nukem3d (pic related). but that would be a bit less awesome than if I were to manage to model and animate them.

I look forward to you guyses advises
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examples of the look i'm after
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Quake was all animated frame by frame with no interpolating from the looks of it
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It probably depends on how you want the enemy to move. Low poly rigging and animation is reliant on smart topology, but if the enemy needs to twist and wiggle a bunch it's going to be tough to maintain the silhouette.

Unless the enemies are designed with that in mind of course.
>used sprites
>keeps "realistic" shadowing/shadow maps for map geo

into the trash it goes.

Is there a modern retro shooter game that has texel consistant shadows?
I doubt it. It's almost as if whoever makes these doesn't think consistently when it comes to the aesthetics .
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Someone who has worked with Quake & GoldSrc:

There is two big ways you can go with if you want that old feel, for starters Q1:
Quake1 used Vertex animation at 10fps with no interpolation. Later games used interpolation like Q2&3. With vertex anims you have the limitation of animations made that are tied to that specific mesh. Now the one big advantage is you can animate right down to the individual vertex so say you could have an animation where the mesh inflates or turns spiky or whatever. I forget the name of the "wobble" present in Q2 i think its floating point rounding or something.

If you want the classic texture look be sure to read up on the old limits, for quake its a static pallete index for everything with a few key fullbright color ranges. For goldsrc its 8bit index BMP per-texture.

GoldSrc implemented Skeletons but had the old limitation of HARD WEIGHT; this means no weight blending at all across bones, vertex = one bone only. This is same for N64 games did this as well. Now with hard weight there is two ways you can approach: If really lowpoly you can use some topology tricks to limit stretching but you do have to approach it in a specific way that few people know well these days since everyone is so used to weighting/weightpaint. The second way is if you have somewhat higher poly you can "overlap" detached limb parts to clip into eachother so you can deal with shoulder issues better at higher poly.

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