Friday, April 6, 2012

Tile Sizes

Today was spent playing with tile sizes, as I continue to try and nail down an art style for the game. Although the original graphics were 16px based, I debated using 32px sprites so I could have the characters look the way I was drawing them. This produced a whole slew of problems -- formost among them using 32px tiles completely threw off my scale. I either lost the pixelated look entirely (something I'd like to keep), or my game window had to be HUGE to accommodate the larger graphics scale.

In the end, I decided I wanted to keep the 16px tiles, *and* my 640 by 800 game screen, *and* my 2x zoom. I've grown accustomed to them, and if the settings are good enough for Cave Story, they're good enough for my game. But what about larger entities?

Crocomire. He's big, ugly and mean, but you kind of feel sorry for him.

I still wanted my new, better looking 24px characters. The solution? Something I've been needing to work on anyways - a tile system that can grab different sized tiles. This is essential if I'm going to have bosses (or any characters) that are larger than 16px. One of my favorite parts of Super Metroid is how big most of the bosses are. It gives a great sense of peril and scale, and completely changes how you approach them as enemies. This is not something I want to skip over - sometimes enemies need to be BIG!

With this system in place, I'm currently in the process of re-working my graphics that no longer fit my desired scale - most notably the player sprite. It's a lot of work, but I'm pleased at how things are looking.

Bob is all grows up.

I'll have the graphics for the player done soon. After that comes NPCs!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Here we go. I've made some good progress in the last few weeks, getting several key systems in place. Most of the graphical systems are in place, though not finalized. I can switch levels, create and destroy effects and sprites, and my little guy can even shout at dragons (or bats).
Sprites, Items, Enemies, Text and Meme systems all working well.
I'm getting to the phase where I have enough systems in place that I actually need to start building the game proper, rather than just the systems for the game. Which means I'm delving into the world of game design - something I've never formally studied. The two books I'm working through right now are The Art of Game Design and Rules of Play, as recommended by the always wonderful Extra Credits crew. Pretty different stuff than programming.

Once I work through those books and put together a little more art, I should be ready to get a demo together.