Despite what I said yesterday about it being a “nice to have”, I decided that 1) it was actually pretty important to allow aiming independent of movement on the ground, and 2) all things being equal, I should probably get a sense of how that looks and plays pretty early on. I think my attitude towards it yesterday had mostly to do with the thought of there being so many sprites to animate to achieve this effect, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it was essential to basic gameplay. So I bit the bullet and cranked out lots and lots of sprites today.
Above you can see aiming in all directions when walking and jogging. Only running remains, and then the character will be pretty much fully animated for his basic moves. Since I’ve more or less decided that every power-up / tool will fire from the barrel of the gun, “basic moves” covers a lot of territory.
I’m a bit worried about the amount of sprites in memory, although so far XNA has given no indication it’s a problem. If I start bumping into some constraint, I can switch to sprite sheets, from individual sprite files, pretty easily thanks to Graphics Gale, which I’ve been using for all my graphics editing work.