First Weekend

It all begins somewhere
It all begins somewhere

So, now that I’ve actually had a couple days to sit down uninterrupted on the programming of the game, I have a few thoughts.  XNA 3.1 is incredibly easy to use; in fact, I’d say it’s almost too easy.  I realize that without a publisher to help promote or even sell the game, I don’t have a lot of room to talk, but the abstraction layer that prohibits would-be game designers is all but gone.  Note I did not say that this is a good or bad thing, but I do acknowledge that there are some pitfalls to this approach as well as amazing benefits.  I for one am glad I don’t have to spend as much time re-researching things I’ve done a hundred times before – all of it is in one easy to use system that handles literally everything with an ease of use that puts DirectX to shame.  I almost feel like I’m back on the Commodore 64 programming BASIC again, with the handy VIC-II chip to do all the graphics for me.

As you can see from the screenshot, I am not really focusing on art assets just yet.  For now the priority was developing a map reader and file format so I can edit the various levels without having to hardcode the data like I’ve done in several projects in the past.  To put it simply, it means I can make maps with a simple number sequence now, with each number telling the engine to display a 64×64 map graphic (in this case, my default Grass texture).  I should also note that unlike in my past programs, I am thinking ahead and have each tile set contained in one file specifically crafted to the map, so I don’t have 500 grass graphic files floating around.  The black squares on the screenshot are the 64×64 pixel space immediately to the right of the grass tile; all I have to do is draw whatever I want in that square because the program is already drawing it as is (the current graphic is an empty black).

Something you can’t tell from this screenshot, I also have keyboard and Xbox 360 controller input handlers, so Arashi can move around that map (and the camera moves with her, drawing the map to all 4 edges before stopping further movement).  And one more thing, I have some post processing going on, in a full screen image you could see a little sunlight “bloom” on the grass.  The number one thing I’ve always wanted in a 2d RPG engine was lighting effects, and I finally got them.  They are very easy to use!

I still have a floating point to integer correction problem; for some reason when I move down or up every once in awhile the map will jump back a row before correcting itself.  I’ve had this problem before in OpenGL but I don’t see why it’s happening now.  I hope to have that solved shortly after I submit this blog.

That’s all for now, ’til my next update!  Please don’t be afraid to comment, I am more than happy to talk!

About Nightfox

A long-time independent game developer that was lucky(?) enough to have grown up with the gaming industry. I am a programmer, a game designer, a concept and pixel artist, a music composer, and a novelist. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I am determined to take advantage of every talent I hope I have to make it happen!

One thought on “First Weekend

  1. Ugh it wasn’t my code that was causing the tile scrolling error, it was the sample code I was getting ideas from that I never bothered to delete.

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