Analysing platformer backgrounds

1 April 2013
Analysing backgrounds
It has occurred to me that the backgrounds in my game, though nice as a poster, doesn’t fit well in the game and with the tiles. I am considering to scrap them and redo them. A long talk with Li Hao about backgrounds made me realise that.

How platformer games do it:
– Simple: Some games just slap a plain coloured background, like a blue background, and adding some clouds.
– Cloning: Some games take their own platforms, blur it, and put it at the back, making it lighter so it does not look part of the level
– Advanced scenery: This was what I was trying to attempt, but the scenery doesn’t feel part of the level because of how I tried to do depth of field and added some unnecessary stuff to where I should not. Some games do mountains, or trees in the background, but they illustrate that it is a background clearly. Mine is just a picture I drew that looks nice on its own, but not when it is combined with tiles and platforms.

Graphics additions

Drew some new houses to decorate the levels with. Also added a brand new level. I also added a new UI to represent the new feature in the previous post. Today, I spent several hours thinking of how to design the levels. I want to focus more on quality of levels rather than quantity as I already have exceeded the number of levels I initially wanted the game to have.
Level Design
I hope to incorporate more puzzle elements rather than just running around and avoiding spikes and enemies. Level design isn’t my forte, so it is incredibly hard to design a really good level and linking it to the story, but I have tons of ideas. I keep a folder of my level sketches, as well as a powerpoint with notes on how a level is going to be like and what events happen in that level.
Oh, below is an extra thought that isn’t related to my progress on the game:
I discovered something today that sorta makes me look silly when coding…
For a long time, whenever I want to toggle something such that if a boolean is true, change it to false, and if the boolean is false, change it to true, I would use an if-else statement.

But today, it occurred to me that those 4 lines of code can be summarized in one line. I feel so silly because the if-else statements were really so troublesome to type and I had been doing that for so many times, only to realise now that there is a shortcut. This has got to be a really basic thing that I overlooked! Oh my…

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