its a simple option that isnt included in engines but should be. being able to step thru animation one frame at a time. say you have a character walking forward thru space instead of looping in place. lets say five steps forward. when the joystick, key or button is released. say on step 3 or 4. the way engines are set up now that animation has to play that last 5th step forward.
but if you could step thru, you can stop anywhere in between and it doesnt look unnatural
this would for the most part eliminate the need for looping motion in place. say you have a character throwing a punch or doing a special move.
the opponent can see the move coming and counters or blocks. but if you could step thru the animation opposed to playing the whole clip of motion to the end. stopping somewhere in between and going into another motion isnt a problem.
it could be argued that a cancel button would do the same. but I think being able to control the motion without adding another button is a better choice
I agree, but animations are based on key frames, which is a little different. In a typical walk motion that I do, I use 4 key frames. Some sort of animation timer would more or less be the same thing, however. Or, if it was based on key frames, you could just add key frames in areas that were useful, identify them in some way, and then just stop at that frame. I haven't had much time for complex animation so haven't seen much on what is available. I think in Unity it only uses full animations and you can either cycle through, stop at the end, or ping pong, which seems a little limited. You can mix animatons, however. For instance, animations for the hands can be added to animations for the feet, which gives a lot more control and variation, and you can do animation blending, so you can do a pull back during a swing and it will look natural even if the swing is incomplete. Fighting games are a little nuts because people expect perfect collision now days and in Unity you are dealing with a big cylinder. It would almost have to be choreographed in some way. That's something I think I'll stay away from.
I intend to try it in unity. every engine has to keep track of the frame being played during an animation. telling it to play x amount of frames at a time shouldnt be a problem