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08/11/05: PITCHING, WOO!

So Lars has been working making monsters throw stuff...and I realized we haven't really said much about throwing here's a bit more about how the monsters, uh, throw stuff.

What stuff can be picked up and thrown?
Anything in the game world can be picked up and thrown, provided the monster has a free hand/tentacle and is strong enough to pick the object up. Light posts, vehicles, trees, dumpsters, signs, people, train cars, anything goes. A thrown object will tumble end-over-end -- below is a car tumbling mid-flight, and a car rolling (as when it hits the ground):

tumblin' carLet it roll

TCFH is a 2D game, so we can't show every angle of a spinning object -- but to add variety, we play this tumble animation forwards, backwards, and at random varying speeds. Sometimes we start/stop the animation in the middle of the loop. This way, a thrown object looks a little different every time. Once an object collides with something (say, a building or the ground) it will take damage. Of course, every time a vehicle takes damage, it has a chance of catching fire and then exploding. Here's a 1950s-era car in its normal, damaged, and flattened state.

absolutely smashing, darling!

You can throw cars or other heavy objects at buildings to damage them. If you're a monster without a ranged attack (like laser-beam eyes or missiles), you can throw stuff at those pesky airplanes and helicopters that you wouldn't otherwise be able to reach. You're not likely to hit them, though. Sorry. Most monsters don't have very good aim.

Crowd Splat (Click for in-game animation)

Of course, you don't have to throw stuff - you can also smash objects between your hands, or eat them. Or you can just put it down gently if you're being a nice monster. If you're carrying a person (as in some mission objectives), you have to protect them from whatever's attacking you. And don't accidentally carry people underwater -- it tends to kill them.

How do you see stuff in the monster's hand? Can you pick up more than one thing?
You can only pick up one object at a time. When you pick it up, the object (and its name) appears in the grab box at lower right:

In-hand:person In-hand: cherry tree IN-hand: streetlight in-hand:suv

Is there anything that can't be picked up?
Monsters can't pick up entire buildings in one piece, like Superman does. That's just not realistic (you know, realism is very important in a game about giant monsters). However, when a building gets damaged, rubble will appear inside the ruins. The rubble is made up of the building's specified material: brick, steel girders, wood, or chunks of concrete. This debris can then be picked up and thrown by the monster.

What happens when stuff is thrown?
The distance an object can be thrown is based on your strength and size, and the weight of the object - you may be able to throw a car or a person a very great distance, but you can't throw a ship very far. [Useless Trivia: in the game, men weigh more than women, and soldiers weigh more than civilians.] When an object hits the ground, it will usually bounce and skid, causing secondary damage (killing people, damaging the ground and/or other objects). If it hits the water of course, it splashes and sinks. In the animation below, a taxi puts a big hole in the street, bounces up to hit a guy and kill him, then smacks into a building. Whee!

Taxi tossin'
Taxi Toss (click for anim)


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