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Another day today at my friends house with a lot to do other than work on the game - but as per usual, I did toy with the sprites when I had the chance. I worked on the walking frame today, and I finally found one I think I like. I want to piece these all together and get them animated and walking around my tilemap before I decide whether I like them or not, but that'll have to wait until I'm back home with a lot of time to work on it.
Anyway, here's the walking frame. I'll probably just do a horizontal flip for the left side as I don't see much need in a seperate frame for something that doesn't really need to look different.
Comments and criticisms welcome, this is my first attempt at spriting and is just a sample. I don't intend on having the same hair/clothes/etc.

Sprite updates.

Haven't had much time to actually do any programming, but I did work on a the standing-right sprite frame. I don't know if I like it yet and I'm definitely going to work on it a little before I say that I've got a sprite I'm happy with, but it's definitely a start. That's about the only progress I've got, I've actually been working on the sprite a little bit in between games of league - I'm at a buddies house. Anyway, here's the mostly-uncolored sprite(I filled in the head just to see how it looked before the screenshot)
and here's a sprite example where I tried to do some hair. I also discovered, upon looking at the screenshot, that the left hand kinda looks like a dick. so i'll probably be removing that. the perspective of the sprite also feels kinda wonky, so I may have to fix that.

So, I'm still awake. Been toying around in GraphicsGale a little bit, trying to make a decent sprite outline that I want to use. This is what I currently have made:
I like the head, for sure, but I haven't decided about the torso yet. I think I may make it a bit thinner, but I haven't yet decided. Other than that, I kinda like what I have so far. This is a sample sprite that I colored, but it kinda sucks;
My biggest problem with the sprites are that I don't quite understand how to make the top-down perspective look right. Of course, it's not directly down, but more at a ~45 degree angle from the ground, otherwise you'd just see the top of the head. But shading/creating the sprites in a way that gives the illusion of a ~45 degree angle is something i'm not experienced with. the only thing I can think of to do it more shading at the bottom than the top, but i'm not sure if that's going to work, either. I don't know, I'll give it another shot tomorrow.
So, I spent most of the day out of the house(well, I slept until 3:30 PM and then left around 4:30, then returned home around ~1:30am.) Anyway, I put in a little work today. I tried working on sprites for a little while, but couldn't come up with anything I liked, so no progress there. However, my maps are now saving and loading correctly. I'm currently using text files, though I'd like to switch to binary sometime soon. I attempted using binary files from the beginning, but after mucking around for a while trying(unsuccessfully) to figure out why I was getting an end of stream error, I just switched to text files and it worked perfectly. Must have been something I was missing. Anyway, it's working now. That's probably all that I'll get done tonight, I just wanted to be able to say I made some progress today even though I've been busy. Tomorrow, I'll probably work actually making the engine use multiple maps, rather than loading 1 map on each run. I'll make changing maps a thing, and other than that I'll probably start working on a tileset or try making some more player/mob sprites. Anyway, that's all for today!

Scrolling map!

Alright, this isn't much of an accomplishment, and it kinda feels like a ripoff since the code basically all came from XNA Resources with a couple minor tweaks to make the code feel cleaner, but it's still something! The TileMap is now working, and it also scrolls(which is a feature I wasn't even planning on using, but since XNA Resources had the tutorial for it, I figured why the hell not?) The tileset is a couple crudely drawn tiles I threw together really quick just to have something to use. The nifty thing about the code on XNA Resources is that it automatically draws the first tile(the grass one) if there isn't another one set for the cell, which is another thing that I didn't think about. Shout out to Eck on the forums for pointing me to these tutorials. I'm gonna spend a while studying this technique so that I understand and next time, I'll be able to do it myself and maybe even improve on it if there's a better way. Tomorrow, I'm going to add my I/O class and start working on saving maps into external files. I wonder what file format to use...
Anyway, here's a shitty gif(gyazo!) of the scrolling tile map in action.

Small beginnings!

Alright, so this is my first journal entry. Let it be known that I am a newbie! Maybe if I keep up with this, one day down the road I'll be able to look back and say, "Wow, I really used to suck at this!" But everyone has to start somewhere, I guess. I started with Mirage Source(http://www.key2heaven.net/ms/) and VB6, which led to me thinking I knew how to program, when really it felt a lot more like scripting than anything else. See, now, scripting is easy! But now that I'm neck-deep in actually trying to program a game from scratch, turns out it's not as easy as I thought it was back in the day. But I digress.

Today's entry is to show off my first ever sprite! I am, by no means, a pixel artist, or an 'anything' artist. I used to draw a little bit, and I love to use a pottery wheel, but this is a different experience. This isn't a sprite that will probably be used for anything, but I'm proud of the work that I did, because shading is scary, and I'm awful with the anatomy of a human body. But, without further ado:
I call him... beach man (.png)! sure, he kinda sucks. but remember! it's my first ever! I hope to improve. And if I don't... well, let's just say my games are gonna have some shitty art until I find someone else to do it.
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