Developer diary > Devlog 2: Attacks and Godot 3.1

March 26, 2019

Ah already a new devlog ! But still on the same old subject; the character move set. But this time, I focused a bit more on his melee attack. Time to CQC and manage hitboxes.

cqc punch from metal gear solid 5 phantom pain

Also, a new milestone for the project (already ?!), not only for me but for the whole Godot community, the wonderful version 3.1 has finally been released. Since I’m still at an early stage of development, I already take the risk to migrate the project. Alright, let begin.

New attack, same workflow

Adding an attack is pretty fast and convenient with my current system.

But before showing off, I still need to explain a little bit more about how this is managed by my final state machine. First of all, it’s working with the help of two nodes.


  • The first one, States regroup all the state script e.g. idle.gd, walk.gd etc.
  • The second one, Animations regroups all animations sprite sheets.

Godot’s AnimationPlayer needs to be linked to a sprite node to load a sprite sheet. So if you work with multiple sprite sheets, you need:

  • Multiples sprite
  • Multiples sprite means multiple sprite nodes
  • Multiple sprite nodes mean hiding all the other node when one is active
  • Hiding all the other node mean adding a lot of property into the AnimationPlayer

And with AnimationPlayer’s native system, this can take forever. Imagine if you got one 100 sprite sheet and for each animation, you need to create 99 visible props set to false ! This is just impossible by hand. That’s why I came with an easier and faster solution, I manage the show/hide feature in my code.

# show / hide spritesheet based on current state
func _change_animation(state: String) -> void:
	for animation in Animations.get_children():
		if animation.name != state:
			current_animation = animation


func _on_AnimationPlayer_animation_started(anim_name: String) -> void:

Where onAnimationPlayeranimationstarted is a signal emitted by AnimationPlayer

Now, let’s go back to my melee attack work flow.

First step, I add a WeaponDamageZone to my attack animation node. WeaponDamageZone is scene that manages an Area2D. This Area2D detect when it hit something. When it does, it knocks it back in the air and also damaging it. I set it directly has a child of the associated animation since it’s much easier to set the WeaponDamageZone size this way because

  • WeaponDamageZone’s monitoring value is managed by the AnimationPlayer
  • Only my Animations node is scaled from -1 to 1 when the character changes direction

This step done, I create a new animation in my Animation Player and add the frame. Just like I wrote three lines earlier, AnimationPlayer will also manage when the WeaponDamageZone need to be enabled and disabled.

And it’s almost already done. Last step has already been explained in my last devlog, so let not repeat ourself.

And voilà



fist attack


sword attack

Great sword

Great sword attack


axe attack

Great Axe

great axe attack

Whip attack

whip attack

Migrate to 3.1 or static vs dynamic language

Alright, let’s talk about the new Godot version. It adds a lot of new features like you can see right here. One of the new cool feature is the possibility to add typing to our variables. This is what we call static coding since the engine will not able to change a boolean to a string. I read a great article on gdquest.com about it. You should read it too.

I think this feature can be great since you never know the day you are going to change your variable’s type without knowing it and you will break everything. And it makes gdscript looking less like javascript and more like typescript… Or javascript with flow or C# (event if it’s inspired by python), whatever you understand me.

And that’s why I take my time to migrate every script from a dynamic writing to a static one… but not without some unanswered questions at the end.

For example, my handleInput will return the parent function call. How should I cast my function return value ? A function ? Since it calling my parent function ? Or maybe nothing since when it detects an input, it will emit a signal… but since I use the return keywords it can’t return void without getting a warning. So without real answer, I just said my function return an InputEvent and thing seems to work.

func handle_input(host: Character, event: InputEvent) -> InputEvent:
	if event.is_action_pressed('move_up') or event.is_action_pressed('move_down'):
		host.get_node('AnimationPlayer').playback_speed = 1
		is_animation_stopped = false

	return .handle_input(host, event)

But besides this type of question, everything was pretty much easy to migrate.

End of dev log

I’m really happy about the new Godot version. With his new move_and_slide_with_snap, I will be able to improve my character movement when he’s on a slope.

Coming next

  • Dive through one way platform
  • Ledge grabbing
  • Improve ladder scene
picture of Luc-Frederic with an authentic canadian ww2 helmet

Luc-Frédéric Langis

At day, I'm a Software Development Engineer - Front End at Splio. I work with React and Redux and everything front end related.

At night, I try to create my own video games with Unity or Godot.