Game Breaking Mechanism: ZOOM

Tuesday, 2 October 2012 – Continued on backgrounds

Touching up Background
I received some suggestions to improve my backgrounds. Today, I went back and edited one of my backgrounds.

Transparency additions
More of the sprites in the game now have a transparent background.

Friend Graphics
I created the friend graphics. The idle is mostly consisting of the same player graphics, just recoloured. I added 10 new frames to the friend character. The friend, when collected, will smile and raise his hand happily. The smiling animation has 10 frames and plays whenever the player walks over to a friend. I then coded him to fade off when the animation nears the end. Surprisingly, implementing the friend graphic into the game took less effort than I thought and was done relatively quickly. I had little bugs and I managed to fix them quickly. However, there is one issue with the smiling animation that I have to fix – the character’s mouth is too big when he smiles.

This is one of the great implementations of this week. After so many weeks I finally created the friend character. I can’t believe I have been using yellow boxes as placeholders for four weeks! Surprisingly, this

Implementation of Updated Portals
I implemented the updated graphics across all the levels in the game. Previously they were previewed in the level selection stage and looked okay. However, getting them inside the levels created a problem. As the portals are of mostly light colours and the backgrounds are all very bright and lightly coloured too, the portals could hardly be seen on some levels!

ZOOM !!!
This completely shattered what I had thought of the game. It blew me apart when I saw it. It all started with the player and friend graphics being too small. So I typed in two lines of codes that would change the view of the game forever and set something new in the game’s history. The two lines of code were:

FlxG.camera.zoom = 2;
FlxG.camera.follow(player);

After that, I went to run the game. I entered the second level. And I could not stop spamming screenshots of the game to Li Hao. He reacted even more than me! We ever did talk about how the game would have been better if it were bigger and have a scrolling element. But I never actually tried it because all my graphics are designed to work at its current size. I did try double zoom before on full screen. But the game was still in its infancy at that time. With a ton more graphics in the game and undersized player graphics, the zoom made a HUGE IMPACT and DIFFERENCE to the look of the game. Suddenly, my characters became THAT much noticeable.

I went on to code several views for the camera and fix it so it won’t go out of the map. Temporarily, the number keys 1, 2 and 3 will toggle three levels of zoom: 1.0x, 1.5x, and 2.0x. The game is awesome on 2.0x zoom!

With so much awesomeness however, comes several huge and game-breaking problems:
– Text appear on fixed locations on the map, and the player sometimes cannot see those text
– Player does not get a complete visual view of the entire level (important in certain levels and key to easy completion. This is important on levels with enemies and friends.)
– GUI does not follow camera

The first two problems are huge problems because they pertain to the design of the game. I did not intend for a 2x zoom. Neither did I intend for any sort of camera system. These are issues I have to fix urgently because should I allow a 2x zoom option, these issues are considered extremely important to fix.

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