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Udo returns

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Aardvajk

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I was showing someone some of my old games the other day and I came across an early build of Udo, before it got too complicated.

I thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing, giving up on this?". Udo was turning out fun to play, was being well recieved by you lot and was a big step towards a dream I've always had to write a really good 2D platformer.

So, with fanfares and so on, Udo is back.

(For those of you wondering what I am on about, this was the most recent active project in my journal, although it is going back a bit).

I've decided to start from scratch (although obviously I have all the graphics I've done already, so that is a big load off) since the code base got a bit unmanagable towards the end.

So I've got as far tonight as a very basic framework that allows for swapping between different game modes (just different coloured screens at the moment), restoring lost devices and a nice messaging system that supports delayed messages and messages that can be either globally handled or passed along to the current mode. This system worked well on the last attempt at this game so why mend what is not broken?

For those of you who have forgotten, here are some of the characters and items for the game. These are all hand-drawn and hand-animated in Paint Shop Pro and it is a bit of a time-consuming process for a non-artist.

Udo

Sheep

Fish

Star

Quite tired since I've been driving all over the south east of England today for work so no more activity tonight. Next step is to implement resolution switching, since I think it is good to get these things working before the actual game stuff begins in earnest otherwise they tend to come back later and bite me in the bum.

I really need to work on making the level file formats a bit simpler than last time round, since they got a bit crazy really. My Map application for putting levels together is a behemoth these days. Perhaps that could use a rewrite.

I think I need to hard-code a bit more stuff into the game than before. Stuff that will never change from level to level, like Udo's graphics and animations, really has no place in the level files.

Lots of ideas to mull over. 3D graphics can wait until this project is properly finished and I can hold up my head with pride.

[Irrelevant personal notes: New job still going very well and all seems pretty good with the girlfriend again].

EDIT - By the way, can anyone recommend me a really good free pixel-art based paint package that has good support for doing and testing animations? With Paint Shop, I have to draw the frames by hand, then export into Animation Shop before I can see what they look like animated.

If I could write my dream paint package, it would have the pixel art features of Paint Shop, along with the groovy gradient fills and arbitrary selections and so on, but allow me to have multiple frames per image that I could cycle through with like Tab and Ctrl-Tab or something and a thumbnail view that always showed my image at normal size regardless of the zoom of the canvas I'm working on.

Anything like that available does anyone know? I have attempted Googlejitsu but don't seem to be having much luck.
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For mapping, I would suggest using TileStudio, but that would probably mean re-writing all the map code. Still it would eliminate the need to work on a map editor. If you decide to use it and need any help, just ask.

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Thanks all for the encouragment [smile].

Scet - I have looked at TileStudio and Mappy but they don't seem to offer the flexibility I need since I store a lot more info in the level files than just the map - enemies and all their properties, pickups, the start position of Udo etc.

My Map application is quite good really and means I can write very generic level files indeed. It is a bit of a bugger for anyone else to use but I figure if I actually get Udo finished, it will be then worth writing a dedicated Udo level editor that would be simpler to learn if anyone else wanted to design levels.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

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It's good to hear you're back on track, gamedev wise :-).

As far as hard coding goes, try to keep that to a minimum. It's bad practice and can backfire later on. There are easy alternatives, such as using a simple data folder (thinking further: ...for each possible mod).

The best of luck!

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Quote:
Original post by Todo
As far as hard coding goes, try to keep that to a minimum. It's bad practice and can backfire later on. There are easy alternatives, such as using a simple data folder (thinking further: ...for each possible mod).


You're quite right. I was thinking about this today and what I need to do is seperate out the level-common stuff into a seperate data file so it isn't replicated in each level file rather than hard-code it into the application.

Perhaps each level file could just specify a data file for the Udo graphics and animation so that there is no replication but if a level wanted to use a different set of sprites or animations, it could.

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