You may have seen Ray Harryhausen credited with Technical Effects (meaning special effects) for his amazing stop-motion animation in movies like Mighty Joe Young, It Came From Beneath The Sea, and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Well, this column isn't really about special effects, just technical game details and behind-the-scenes programming stuff that we thought you might find interesting. We'll be updating it regularly, or whenever Lars thinks of something.
02/08/03: VITAL SIGNS
YOUR MONSTER'S MANY MOODS
mood and health indicators
The left side of the interface contains indicators that tell you how your monster is feeling at any given moment. At top left is the brain ball, which gives you insight into your monster's mind, animating in response to its moods and thoughts:
Below the brain ball is an EEG (electro-encephalogram) graph showing the monster's brainwaves, which mostly reflect the monster's level of agitation or serenity. If these get too high, your monster will go throw a tantrum and smash stuff at random until his temper is back under control. Some monsters (mainly the less intelligent ones) are more prone to throw tantrums than others. The EEG also shows when your monster is momentarily stunned by a heavy hit.
Below the EEG is an EKG (electro-cardiogram), which monitors the monster's heartbeat. It beats faster as your monster exerts itself, which in turn results in a higher rate of energy/food consumption. Overexert your monster, and it will need to take a forced rest. Get too hungry, and your monster will lose control trying to eat anything that moves. Again, a dangerous situation. Additionally, the EKG shows your monster's health in how regular and strong the heartbeat is. A gravely wounded monster's heartbeat is noticeably weak and irregular.
IN A HEARTBEAT