I'm working on a 2d side scrolling game, and so far I have been making everything based on tiles - each tile has foreground textures and a background texture. This obviously has limitations to what it can do, as each tile background is a tiny piece and you can't actually get a huge background image displayed this way, unless you just tile a bunch of tile-able smaller ones.
Obviously being able to place a background image of some sort gives a lot more freedom. But I'm having trouble deciding how to define a background image in the most extensible way. By background image I mean the standard background image that has 'depth' - i.e. it doesn't move with the level, but rather scrolls a small amount of the distance that the level moves by. Since my level design allows for various sizes in both height and width of the level, I have to account for that as well. While most background images can be expected to be tiled horizontally, tiling them vertically is obviously not going to work. Which makes me wonder how I could define an 'anchor' point, or starting position of the background image in relation to the level?
Anyone here have any experience programming this sort of thing? Any ideas you guys can share would be greatly appreciated.