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Collision for non-tile-based side-scroller?

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Hello, new here, I spent some time looking over the forums to learn a little about how collision in side-scrolling games is done and most of the answers seem to be related to tile-based games.

I'm curious what people would recommend for non tile-based games (or games I think aren't tile-based, but I could be wrong). For example, Lum and maybe Newton vs. The Horde (screenshots here, both don't _look_ tile based):

http://www.dreambuildplay.com/Main/Winners.aspx

You think these are heightmap games? Or that the ground is made up of lines?

I'm basically looking for a solution that won't be quite as rigid as tiles, one that will let me have ground that looks more natural, along with moving platforms and doorways and such.

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Does Lumi have curved surfaces? I think it's tile based with really well-done art.

Basically, if its not tile based, then you can go with Vector based:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2656943/2d-platformer-collision-problems-with-both-axes

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For something non-tile based, you might make a separate tool to draw collision boundaries onto your scene (arbitrary polygons) or onto objects you place in the scene. Then collision detection becomes testing your character bounding volumes against the collision boundaries (bounding box vs. line segment, for instance). That's the approach I was taking when working on a non-tiled side scroller, and it works pretty well if you're careful with the collision detection (or using a physics engine).

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Thanks for the replies. After looking at it a while, I think Lumi is basically using what amounts to 2D polygons for their collision (if it had, say, a door, the collision shape would be a rectangle; the ground is a series of connected lines with normals pointing 'up'). But that's just a guess, based on what I've seen in 3D games.

I imagine a lot of games that have non-uniform, or just generally more freehand-looking surfaces, don't use tiles, and instead use a 2D poly approach (games like Lumi, Weapon of Choice, etc). It would just be nice if someone confirmed it :-P

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