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GD.net fad #59355: Sprite Sheets

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LachlanL

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Well, despite being sick and unable to get anything done on Sunday, I have managed to get some progress done. I've got a pathetic little test map displaying (one textured quad, but at least the map structure is there) and it's working fine in both of my apps (the demo game app and the map editor app).

Regarding my previous rant about the centent pipeline, well, once I finished frothing at the mouth I realised that I could add my resources to the dll and it would be nicely encapsulated. No having to add assets to multiple projects or copy files around. So I have a nice \bin folder where all the stuff compiles to, so everyone can access the dll and compiled assets. Yay.

Up next is more map structure stuff and the texture management class. The management of textures is trivial (especially in XNA), but as my game will be using a large number of sprites, I want to have a nice way of managing my sprite-sheets. Obviously I'm not hard-coding texture coordinates for every unit in the game, so I've got to have some sort of file format that can store it all for me. I've been thinking of xml or similar, but I'll probably just end up going stupidly simple and have some sort of plain-english text file.

The maps are going to be composed of doom-style sectors (although there'll be basically no walls, just the occasional cliff, etc). Why wouldn't I want to use the tried-and-proved heighfield? I am looking to have maps that have a similar appearance to the Close Combat series by Microsoft. A similar way to think of the graphical style I'm going for is something similar to the top-down shooters of old (Raiden, 1942, etc). The style of map will give me much more flexibility in how I lay out my textures in terms of allignment.

Speaking of Close Combat, I also want a simplified version of their soldier modelling. Once again, soldiers can die from single wounds, cover is important and soldiers will actively seek it if they are under fire. More on this stuff later.
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I'm currently using XML for my sprite sheets, although in my case it makes a lot of sense to do it that way as my original art format is SVG, which is defined in XML. I'm actually using the original SVG art files themselves to define the sprite sheets by using the first layer to declare rectangles that define the position of the sprites. It's really neat because I can use my art program (Inkscape) as a GUI for defining the sprite position.

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Hey, that's really nice.

Unfortunately, Inkscape is not the sort of art-style I'll be using (pixel art). I'll also be looking to define the animation sets and frame timing info in the sheets. Maybe xml is the best bet after all.

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I created a program a while ago to help create atlases called VAtlas. It's output is either DDS or PNG along with a simple text file called .VAF, which is outlined in the readme file. It might save you some time.

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I created a program a while ago to help create atlases called VAtlas. It's output is either DDS or PNG along with a simple text file called .VAF, which is outlined in the readme file. It might save you some time.

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Ohh thanks mate! [smile] I had a look and it doesn't quite do what I need to do, but thanks heaps for being willing to share anyway!

Most likely I'll knock up a simple app for storing this stuff in .xml format and do it myself.

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