So to create levels, I decided to import some sample tiles that will be in the game into RPG Maker 2003 then create maps there. Once I am done, I will just replace the RM2k3 tileset with one that has single color tiles, take a screenshot then resize the maps down to 16x smaller.
I did that because I like RPG Maker for map editing and it does the job somewhat well that way. Anyway, here is a map idea for level 1 (although some tiles, such as the finish and the background, are missing, and I might eventually add extra elements like small trees so that maps don't look too bland. Click to resize:
The first level is intended to be easy, but have some secrets. I need to add a way to access the first one and also make temporary tiles to distinguish each ! block from each others for easier map editing.
That's of course, assuming that I decide to do a full action platformer out of this game. If I decide to make a puzzle game then it would probably just lack enemies.
Ususally , as a bad level designer I take a deep look at SMB's levels (not the 1 but the 3 and SMW). They are actually fun and bring good ideas.
Yeah I will need to look into that a lot I think. That said, this game is more based on Super Mario Bros 1, with a bit of SMB3 in it, Crystal Towers 2, Sonic and KIrby Dream's Course.
When I am done designing at least one level and converting it, I'll need to write the tilemapper once and for all, then I shall hopefully be able to get serious about programming this game.
And yes maps will be stored as pictures like my old BASIC games from 2002-03. Pixel-test will be used to detect which tile has to be drawn. I am really curious how fast HP PPL will push this compared to Nspire C (or at least nSDL/n2Dlib). That said, frame rate is 52 FPS max on an HP Prime, though, so if I try going higher it will look a bit choppy.
Looks good DJ. :) I hope the pics won't be too big on calc though (well, 256MB flash but still. :P).
I will probably just store the current screen then update the missing columns as I scroll in or I'll update the entire screen every frame, depending of how fast it is. The Prime has issues handling massive pics because when you run such program after running many others that also uses big pics, chunks are missing (probably some memory leaks). I wonder if there's a garbage collection command on the Prime?
So apparently, HP PPL doesn't support digits inside PNG/ICON file names, so instead of calling this particular level data world1level1 I had to call it OneOne. <_<
Oh well, at least it seems to convert well into HP PPL format. Here is a screenshot of how the level data looks like on-calc (at the bottom). Also this screenshot shows swapping between two dynamically-generated tilesets in action:
I like this :)
So you can change palette on-the fly? Heh, that could be a rad thing. Make day/night transition like in Shantae! ;)
Indeed, but not the entire color palette. For example, some borders are always black and gradients are single colored and can be split in half so that the lower end has a different color set than the top. The colors that can be changed are the following:
-Diagonal lines (two colors for each portion of the block, meaning 4 in total)
-Top-left Gradient color (one color parameter)
-Bottom-right Gradient color (one color parameter)
And for the blocks, there is one mode where it generates futuristic/dungeon blocks where the center is faded out.
Day light transition could be done as well (I was thinking about Donkey Kong Country style), but when this occurs there might be some minor lag.
That looks really nice. And remember you can always change levels during playtesting ;)
Thanks :), but I will probably keep some ideas from this level if things goes well. I might make it longer if I feel it's not long enough, though. :P
Also, to increase the puzzle part of the game, I was contemplating making some levels where getting some power ups mandatory for certain levels, so maybe those levels will not have a single enemy for a long period of time, if at all, and require you for example to get the lobster power up to break a block blocking your path and stuff. Good for you if you got the power up in the previous level.
In general, they'll probably vary in lenght, though. For example, some might be 320 tiles in lenght instead of 100-200.
Will this be a non-linear game where you have to collect powerups in order to progress? Sounds like metroid (yay)
Probably not the first game (or at least not in its first form). It's my first non-Tunnel game ever for the HP Prime (Supersonic Ball doesn't count, because only the title screen is done) so I need to start small. :P
If you want a tilemap editor without the RPG maker stuff, may I suggest Tiled (http://www.mapeditor.org/)? It's free software to make tilemaps, and it's a lot more flexible than RPG Maker.
In level design, I would worry about making single maps too large. The Prime has limited RAM for your use, after all.
I might give it a try, although for the time being it seems that RPG Maker suits my needs :P. I'll keep it in mind, though. As for RAM I think the main issue is if I store the entire level picture into RAM instead of just the map data. But I guess even with just map data it could become a problem if I had, for example, a 2000x2000 map. The largest map I ever used in one of my games was Geisis Desert in Illusiat 13
which was 144x192 tiles in size.