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Platform games - the best technique?

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I am creating a platform game (like mario, DKC etc..) and I am trying to figure out the best way to blit the construction of the levels. I was wandering what technique most games use? The techniques I know are...
1- Store the objects in an array with their x and y position in the level, and at every frame test each object if its co-ords are on the screen, then blit it.
2- Create a grid of the level, then fill the grid with the objects, then at every frame, only look at the current screen area of the grid and blit.

Any ideas? I need performance basically.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
This is what I do in my games,
I create a Large Array for each level,
Then each character in the array repersents a different picture. You can then write a function to animate the static pictures with a Timer, as I did, theres other ways to do it, but my game got GREAT performince, this was a DOS game, and I was getting over 80 fps.

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