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LikesToPlayGames

How to approach side-scrollers

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Hey. I'm new here but I do have some experience with programming. I know some C++, WIN32 programming, a little bit of DX and OpenGL, and a decent amount of SDL. Anyways, I have always wanted to make a side-scrolling game like Super Mario or Megaman. Every time I tried it, I would start writing an engine and never get anywhere. I would write a couple of dumb sprite wrapper functions and just couldn't figure out how to get off the ground. I want so badly to make a scroller game, but I don't want to cop out and just use a "game-maker" for people that don't program. I want to code it by myself in C++. I guess what I'm asking is for any resources on how these types of games in particular work. Articles, anything else would be appreciated. Thanks

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I don't know of any good articles but here is how I would approach it.

1st. create a file format for loading levels: should have tiles to load, positions of the tiles in the level, entities in the level.(All the way to putting the level on the screen)
2nd do something to get a character on screen and animated.(also be able to scroll the background)
3rd collision detection between entities and environment(that includes entity to entity)
4th "physics" aka running and jumping.
5th AI or whatever is going to move the enemies

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Quote:
Original post by LikesToPlayGames
Anyways, I have always wanted to make a side-scrolling game like Super Mario or Megaman. Every time I tried it, I would start writing an engine and never get anywhere. I would write a couple of dumb sprite wrapper functions and just couldn't figure out how to get off the ground.

I want so badly to make a scroller game, but I don't want to cop out and just use a "game-maker" for people that don't program. I want to code it by myself in C++. I guess what I'm asking is for any resources on how these types of games in particular work. Articles, anything else would be appreciated.

So you started writing some functionality you thought you would need, but you continually failed to get a hold of the big picture, right? So where exactly did you get stuck? Could you draw something on screen? Could you get something moving based on keyboard input? It's pretty difficult to give advice without further information: I could give a thorough explanation and totally miss the things you're having trouble with.


@stonemetal: personally, I wouldn't start with a file format, unless you're fairly familiar with the kind of games you're creating. There's a good chance that you design a format that isn't as practical as you thought it would be, which means you'll be spending quite some time updating the format, or working around it. Hardcoding data for early tests is fine, as long as it's relatively easy to exchange it for a system that loads data from files.

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My 2 cents...

Here's my level format with tiles and collision blocks


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<bank>

<texture name="Level1_1" filename="data/Level1_1.png" />

<icon name="Level1_1" texture="Level1_1">
<!-- Generate tiles automaticaly from the texture. Start at position 0 -->
<generate width="16" height="16" start="0" />
</icon>


<!-- Level definition -->
<level width="130" height="24" icon="Level1_1" blockwidth="16" blockheight="16" name="Level1_1">

<!-- Point de depart (Position en pixel) -->
<spawnpoint name="player1" x="350" y="2500" />
<spawnpoint name="player2" x="450" y="2500" />

<!-- Lua's script -->
<script filename="data/Worlds/level.lua" entry="LevelScript" />


<!-- Nom de l'entite Nom du model Position (en block dans la map) -->
<entity name="Golem1" model="Golem" x="12" y="74" />
<entity name="Bettle1" model="Beetle" x="16" y=" 75" />
<entity name="Golem3" model="Golem" x="10" y=" 21" />
<entity name="Golem4" model="Golem" x="55" y=" 30" />
<entity name="Golem5" model="Golem" x="47" y=" 26" />
<entity name="Bettle2" model="Beetle" x="51" y=" 24" />
<entity name="Golem7" model="Golem" x="57" y=" 20" />
<entity name="5 coins_1" model="Treasure 1" x="10" y=" 74" />

<tiles>
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4 5 4 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 10 11 18 9 19 16 17 20 10 11 18 9 21 15 17 20 21 22 23 24 25 8 19 26 27 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 30 31 32 36 37 38 34 35 39 40 41 42 32 36 41 42 39 40 41 42 32 36 43 40 41 42 34 35 34 35 39 40 37 38 34 35 39 40 43 40 44 45 14 46 47 48 49 20 50 51 52 53 25 54 55 56 4 8 57 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 4 5 12 13 10 11 0 1 2
41 42 32 36 43 40 43 40 37 38 58 59 26 60 20 14 61 62 63 63 63 64 20 9 21 65 63 63 16 17 20 9 21 15 63 63 64 46 47 66 48 49 15 65 63 63 63 67 20 25 5 4 5 12 11 4 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 0 1 68 69 2 3 4 5 4 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 0 1 68 69 2 3 70 71 72 73 63 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 28 9 83 35 30 31 84 33 39 40 37 38 85 86 87 88 41 42 84
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</tiles>

<collision>
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</collision>

</level>
</bank>



File for a sprite bank with animation and an icon bank

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<bank>
<texture name="Froggy Frog" filename="data/FroggyFrog.png" />
<texture name="Intro" filename="data/intro.png" />

<sprite name="Froggy Frog" texture="Froggy Frog">
<cell id="8" x="104" y="204" width="78" height="73" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="7" x="12" y="204" width="73" height="72" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="6" x="201" y="104" width="75" height="76" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="5" x="108" y="108" width="73" height="72" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="4" x="9" y="108" width="78" height="72" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="3" x="202" y="13" width="77" height="71" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="2" x="101" y="12" width="82" height="72" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
<cell id="1" x="10" y="13" width="77" height="71" hotx="0" hoty="0" />
</sprite>

<animation name="Froggy Frog">
<frame id="1" cellid="1" duration="100" />
<frame id="2" cellid="2" duration="100" />
<frame id="3" cellid="3" duration="100" />
</animation>

<icon name="Intro" texture="Intro" zoom="2">
<tile id="0" x="0" y="2" width="104" height="119" />
<tile id="1" x="117" y="3" width="105" height="18" />
<tile id="2" x="108" y="36" width="224" height="67" />
</icons>
</bank>



If you have any question, feel free to ask

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