I finally finished manually correcting the shot placement for every possible player animation, so that the beam weapon bobs along with the player as he moves. It was a lot of work, but on the whole I’m convinced it was worthwhile. The weapon’s beam now follows the character’s movements in a way that looks convincingly organic. Have a look!
Near the end, you can also see a debug mode I created just for this purpose, where the frame number of the character’s current animation is drawn on top of his base image. Then I just had to manually tweak the shot placement for each frame of each animation, note the appropriate offset on a legal pad, and repeat until done. Certainly it’s tedious, but less error prone than trying to count the pixels in the raw animation images and quite a bit faster. And I’m now done!
That means I get to move on to the next secret feature of the game, which we will discuss more tomorrow.