This week I decided that my game levels needed to have a background layer as well as the normal front tile layer I’ve been using. This solves a couple of problems: First, it lets me add a lot more detail to levels in their early state, giving me enough tools that even without adding any special-case animations or placed graphics I can make a robust and interesting-looking area with just tiles, something that I can build off of as the game progresses. This also gives me the option of making the character collide with the background tiles instead of the foreground tiles, which opens up a bunch of interesting options for presenting different areas in distinctive and novel ways, or even having events in-game trigger a transition between which layer is the active collision layer.
I’ve got the bones of the system in place now, I just need to spend a solid day debugging it – which is no biggy, except for whatever reason fatigue has really been catching up with me this week. I don’t know if this is just a sleep debt I’ve been accruing or if some seasonal changes have been getting me down or I’m just feelin’ sleepy, but for whatever reason I’ve been sleeping later and waking up more tired and generally not motivated to work. Anyway, in short, this has been progressing a bit slowly. Whatever.
Anyway, after this is done I rough out a few tilesets to be background tilesets, which are probably going to just be the same as my rough front tilesets but with darker and less saturated palettes swapped in. Then, once that’s all in place… I guess it’s back to building levels for a while. I think I’m basically going to be bouncing back and forth between building levels out, making tiles for the levels, and making improvements to the level editor for a while until everything feels like it’s approximately what it wants to be, at which point I’ll go back through and add detail, enemies, and scripted events to the levels. Somewhere in that process I’ll start going through these rough tilesets and start adding detail to them as well, so that when I create the final look of the levels there won’t be big fields of uniform green but grass and leaves and such.
AnxEdit progresses as well, albeit slowly. It’s possible now to dynamically change the root directory of an animation easily and quickly and there are now several ways of adding frames to the timeline, either creating blank frames, copying frames, or importing them – the next step being to actually create the import tool that will handle that.