I am on my first attempt to build a skeletal animation system for 2D side-scrollers, so I don't really have experience of what may appear in later stages. So i ask advice from anyone that been there and done that!
I built a Tree structure, the root node is like the center-of-mass of the skeleton, allowing to apply global transformations to the skeleton. Then, i make the hierarchy of the bones, so when moving a leg, the foot also moves. (I also make a Joint, which connects two bones, for utility).
I load animations to it from a simple key frame lerp, so it does smooth movement.
I map the animation hierarchy to the skeleton, or a part of it, to see if the structure is alike, otherwise the animation doesnt start.
I think this is pretty much a standard implementation for such a thing, even if i want to convert it to a Rag Doll on the fly..
Now to my question:
Imagine a game like prototype, there is a skeleton animation of the main character, which can animate all meshes in the game that are rigged the same way.. That way the character can transform into anything without any extra code.
That is pretty much what i want to do for a side-scroller, in theory it sounds easy, but I want to know if that will work well. If the different people will be decently animated when using the same skeleton-animation pair. I can see this working well with a Stickman, but what about actual humans? Will the perspective look right, or i will need to dynamically change the sprites attached to bones?
What do you recommend for such a system?