I am planning an isometric business simulation game where the player sees an office with the usual furniture such as desks, whiteboards etc.
Characters (Staff/NPC's) within the game should interact with these objects by performing some pre-defined tasks such as typing on the keyboard at the desk or writing on the whiteboard etc.
What I am interested in, specifically, is the following scenario:
Character moves across the office (1) to his desk (2) and sits down and starts to type (3).
From what I understand I would have a sprite sheet for the character movement (1) and a static sprite for the desk (2) but I don't quite understand how the third step would be handled?
Is there a combined sprite that contains both desk and character? I assume not, otherwise I would need to have a sprite sheet for every desk and character combination.
How is this normally handled?
Here is a specific example animation from the game Theme Hospital. You can see the video here.
As far as I can see the animation is split into several steps.
Step 1 - Character moves between desk and chair.
This suggests that chair and desk are in fact separate sprites.
Step 2 - Character sits down animation
Notice how in the very last frame the chair is closer to the desk.
Step 3 - Desk animations
Step 4 - Stand up animation
Is the same as sit down but played in reverse.
Step 5 - Move away
Use normal move animation to move away.
The questions I have is how are these animations best separated and how would a graphic artist usually provide these animations?
Is the character sitting and typing on the desk actually three different sprites (desk, character and chair)? Does anyone know any example sprites of similar animations?
I guess my biggest concern is that I have the right expectations on how the sprites will actually look like. I can't draw them myself so I will have to pay someone to do it and I assume there is some kind of best practice way to do these kind of animations?