We started working on the animation editor in the 2nd week of January, 2009. This task was assigned to one of our programmers. He started off with learning about the animation editor from various games, online tutorials and also took reference from books of James Silva.
After gaining basic knowledge about the animation editor for a week, he went on with coding in the succeeding week. Initially, he was coding in form based application and developed the application to load sprite sheet and divide the sheet into frames which took him few days. He moved ahead by creating a class which fetched the positions of the frames.
Another class was created in which animation name, frame sequence for respective animation and FPS were its members. Following it, a binary file was created which was updated with all details of the animation.
A GUI application was created which could save all animations for a single character. He further coded for loading and running animations on XNA screen. Initially a new animation file was generated for every character but later it was changed to a single file for all characters and their all animations. This helped to increase the performance of the application.
The main issue we faced was of synchronization of FPS between the XNA screen and main window based application. Same FPS gave different output in terms of speed. Animation ran slower in preview window and faster in XNA screen which was later solved.
Finally the animation editor is ready for use in our game. After code review and other small modifications it would be totally complete, reliable and robust application which we will be able to use for our game support. We hope these changes won’t create any new major problems and would be done with as soon as possible.