The next build isn’t ready yet, but I have good news! We’ve had a breakthrough today!
First, a bit of backstory is in order. For those of you who don’t know this, Yandere-chan’s current character model is a store-bought model from the Unity Asset Store. The same goes for Rival-chan, Senpai-Kun, and even the Basu sisters. These characters come with numerous outfits and around 60 animations, which is what makes them perfect for prototyping a game.
Over the past 25 months that the game has been in development, I have run into problems when attempting to modify the characters’ clothing. It has proven very easy to change the characters’ textures, but when attempting to change the characters’ geometry, I’ve always run into…problems.
Adding or deleting polygons screws up the skin-weights, which results in the characters transforming into bizarre “Eldritch Monstrosities”. I tried to circumvent this problem by leaving the characters’ meshes alone and simply placing new articles of clothing on top of their bodies. For example, an apron:
However, even though the apron was built to use the same “animation skeleton” as Yandere-chan and follow her movements, I was unable to get the apron to follow her body as she moved.
Imagine a person wearing pants, but when they walk, their pants remain perfectly straight, and never bend, even as the legs are moving. That’s what it was like, except with an apron instead of pants!
I tried absolutely everything I could think of to get that apron to follow her body. I called upon every bit of knowledge from all of my years of experience using the Unity engine, and even asked numerous programmers to help me solve the issue. However, the problem remained unsolvable; it seemed impossible to append a new skinned mesh to a character model.
Because I couldn’t modify the characters’ meshes and couldn’t append new skinned meshes, I’ve been stuck with a small set of clothing models that I couldn’t modify in any way. I’ve had to make each character unique using nothing but hairstyles, accessories, and changing the colors of various textures. In other words: for the past 25 months, I’ve been severely limited in how I could modify the characters.
My original vision for the game was to make almost every student in school look completely unique by allowing each character to wear their school uniform differently. Some boys would open their coats, some boys would leave their coats closed. Some girls would wear jackets over their uniforms, some girls would wear cardigans. Unfortunately, I was never able to implement this feature, because I was never able to figure out how to make a new article of clothing follow a character’s animations.
Yesterday, a talented gentleman named Gabe Labadie contacted me. He mentioned that he had several years of experience using the same game engine that Yandere Simulator runs on, and offered to help me out. I asked him to help me get skinned meshes to follow along with a character’s animations.
Within 24 hours, the task was complete!
It is now possible for me to add new articles of clothing to Yandere-chan’s body, and have the clothing move properly as she performs various animations!
He actually did it! The absolute madman!
I didn’t want to get too excited, so I decided to confirm that his code worked by testing it on two articles of clothing that Druelbozo has modeled. Both the Rolling Girl uniform and this black sweater worked perfectly! There’s no reason why this outfit shouldn’t work, either!
This opens up tons of possibilities! Now it’s possible to make some students wear their school uniforms differently. Now it’s possible to give long skirts to the delinquents, like I originally wanted. Now it’s possible to give Yandere-chan even crazier easter egg outfits, instead of just re-coloring whatever outfits were already available. If you commission Druelbozo to model clothing, there’s a strong possibility you could actually see your commission appear in Yandere Simulator. (And, hopefully, now it should be possible to implement the school uniform that I always wanted for Yandere Simulator: a uniform similar to Kotonoha’s uniform from School Days!)
Oka Ruto’s official design featured a turtleneck worn underneath a blazer. This design was scrapped because I had no way to have two layers of clothing simultaneously following a character’s animations. But thanks to Gabe’s help, now it’s finally possible!
Of course, this new ability won’t just be used for aesthetic purposes; this opens up new gameplay options, too!
Try to think of an outfit that would benefit a serial killer who is constantly being splattered with blood. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
The possibilities are endless!