Lately I’ve been working on improving the Necromancer enemy, which was one of the first NPCs I added when I began working on this project (second only to the monkey, which was actually the first one).
To make the necromancer more unique, I came up with the idea of making every living NPC leave behind a resurrectable corpse that can be reanimated into a skeletal variation of that enemy. The player can destroy the skeletons to collect bones and skulls that can be used for crafting and other quest related things.
Here’s a short clip of the skeletal monkey being reanimated by the necromancer.
I started by modeling all of the basic mammal bones in a single blender file with a shared texture atlas (the second image below). Then once I was satisfied enough to finalize the base bones, I moved on to start copy/pasting the bones into other blend files for all the different NPC models, then applied the AnimControl and set the proper vertex groups so it works with all the existent animations.
The top image shows a deer model that I purchased from a skilled modeler, and next to it is the undead skeleton version of his model that I assembled. The skeletal deer just needs its neck bones before its finally done -although I still have a lot of work to do assembling skeletons for all the other NPCs, and I’d also like to see if I can improve the skull models after I’ve had some more time to work on my blender skills.