Legacy of the Elder Star: Dev Diary #7

I often explain Legacy of the Elder Star with phrases like "mouse-driven shmup" and "movement-based attacks", but those things don't really click with people until they see the game in motion. We've posted YouTube videos before and they've always been a hit, but what I've really wanted for ages now is a good way to generate animated gifs.

Previously I'd tried capturing video with ScreenFlow and then cutting out a few seconds of footage and running it through GIFBrewery to create the animated gif, but I could never get decent-looking results. I suspect it's because I was starting from a video clip with its own compression artifacts which were then exacerbated when crushed down into gif format, but who knows.

Anyway, I've finally found a nice solution. Here are the results!

We're using a gif recorder for Unity called Moments. It's super easy to set up: you just add a Recorder component to your scene camera, configure a few settings (gif size, frame rate, capture duration, etc.) and then make sure to call its Record() and Save() methods somewhere in your code (e.g. on a keypress).

Moments is actually recording all the time, but it only keeps the last few seconds in memory. As such, it's ideal for capturing animated moments (see what he did there?) like the ones above. I made those captures by just playing the game and then, when I did something cool, I pressed the G key (that's the key I hooked up to trigger the save) to export the last four seconds of gameplay as an animated gif. And it does that on a background thread, so gameplay isn't interrupted at all!

Here, have a couple more captures:

We're getting really excited to bring Legacy of the Elder Star to Salt Lake Gaming Con next week (August 6-8 at the South Towne Expo Center). If you'll be in Utah that weekend, be sure to stop by and play the demo for yourself!