First, a little background on Azrial. The game initially started out as a 3D tile-based game. Only a 16x16 tiled map was rendered, and players could run off the map north, south, east, or west which would load a new map if one existed (if I can dig up some old screenshots, I'll post them here for context). The camera was essentially fixed, to keep the whole map into view. Players could only zoom in and out a little bit. There were major problems plaguing the game (organization was a mess, tons of memory leaks, slow performance).
After stepping back from the project, I wasn't happy with where Azrial was heading, so I decided to take all that I have learned from this experience, and rewrite the game. Below is a screenshot of where it currently stands:
The most drastic changes from the previous version, is that the realm is a continuous world. That is, all maps in view are rendered in their proper locations. In this particular screenshot, the player is actually standing on the corner, where 4 maps meet. Furthermore, the player has more control over the camera. Although the camera will always focus on the player's character, you can zoom, pan, and raise the camera via the mouse.
Just to go over some of the other features shown in this screenshot:
- You can populate maps with 3d objects (such as the house and trees)
- You can add a masking sprite to cover a tile (such as the flowers in front of the house)
- You can add billboarded sprites to maps (the bush on the left side of the house)
- There is a tile blending layer, where you can blend the texture from one tile into one of its N,S,E,W,NE,NW,SE,SW neighbors (the road blends outward into the grass)
This obviously not an exhaustive list of all that Azrial currently offers, but its a start.