Playing Particles for Game and Animation State Changes


This is probably a fairly basic question, but I’m also fairly new to VFX art. Once you’ve made your particle, how do you trigger it with the right timing in-game, like if you want it to play when a certain attack state is triggered.

Do you prefer custom scripts? Maybe Unity (or a different engine’s) Event System? Can you save particles as clips and then attach them to Unity Animator states/diagrams? Or is it all very well timed sub emitters and start delay info? I was also wondering how practical it is to use Unity’s Timeline control track activate/deactivate things.

I swear I’m probably overthinking this, but it would also just be nice to know what artists who are experienced with this prefer.


functionality triggers/events : this level of dynamics is driven with a front-end system / Content Management System (CMS) it is ‘assets’ vs ‘presentation of…’

pooling logic is established to load assets needed per zone/level/character/vehicle ; then awakens and recycle them when needed.

an entire ‘ability’ system is needed to drive attachment logic such as ownership, local vs world based updates, transforms/locations rotations even scale or child/parenting

( Playmaker is the often cited resource ‘stepping-stone’ between engineer/designer authoring )

the state machine can trigger prefabs nested inside a character and there is an Event system [but I just disagree with doing it that way], or call animations and send out parameters like left_foot = true or left_footStep == 1.00

IMHO the low-level standards around these solutions are outside of just tech-art : When AD’s ask me about functionality I point to front-end and back-end engineers and mention meeting /w them + design to hammer out future goals and standards

[edit] playing with formatting :blush:

Op-Ed - From my _mobile games_ experience...

This ‘functionality’ system is the backbone of gameplay; Incredible amounts of time are saved or destroyed between nearly every discipline at this step; It is not just gameplay, but the test and iterative playground.

Limits inside this feature return band-aid’s, re-design and feature creep. I recommend studios prioritize this portion : modular and low-level system.

See samples of how extensively this is handled at places such as Riot in their Tech section
one - Game data
two - Entity back-end
three - Even upgrading their particle tools

Thank you so much for the information and resources! I’ll be sure to look through all of these, this is a great wealth of information.