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The this is it platform revelation
Author: Aloan Moreira Submitted: 7th October, 2009 Favourites:0
Genre: Engine Downloads: 486
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Edited By Aloan Moreira on 2/28/2014

How to: game design - behind the scenes - How Cliffall was created:

Look Ma! No repetitive tiles on my game! 

When we see an animated character move in a beautifully drawn world in a (let's say) Disney cartoon, that also seems to be alive with moving waters and creatures flying or passing by in the background, the cartoon studio is actually using an old but awesome technique.

So I followed their principle which is:

Draw your world free handed (you can use Paint.net – find on google to download – it’s free!)
Both mmf2 and Paint.net feature layers, so you can use the awesome parallaxing effect!

1- Open Paint.net and draw your world
2- add a layer on top of your world (name it “wire frame”) In this layer you will be drawing a (later to be invisible) wire or trace (just like a pencil trace) of the ground where the character will walk and jump upon. The thickness of the trace can be 1.
This is very similar to the cartoons.
So in MMF2, it will seem as if the player is walking on the world layer, but he is really being hold (stopped) by the (then invisible) wire frame layer.
This way, not only will any of your platformers look very artistic, but your game will be tile free!.
I don't know why we don't see many games being made without using repetitive tiles.
There is an arcade game made by Capcom called Knights of the round. Look it up on google images, you’ll see how beautiful it is! It is using this same technique !!!.
The reason my game "Cliffall", does not look as well, is because I used a low res 160 x 120 for it.
So you get blocky graphics. Reason was because I wanted to complete it fast. And not having to deal with a lot of pixels on the screen, means less work.

So for a different light on the subject:
here's how you can make each layer in paint.net:

layer 0 (this is the layer that will be behind all layers) here you can have the sun or static clouds
layer 1 here you can have the slower moving far away mountains and moving clouds...(nice to look at)
Layer 2 here is the foreground of your game world.
layer 3 here is your “wire frame” layer, (where the character will walk on, you can draw slopes free handed!!!, look at the mfa).

Then, all you have to do is place static or moving objects within any of these layers depending on what you are creating.

The platform engine...

MMF2 is powerful enough that it does have a fail proof platform engine built in.
What's better (for simplicity's sake): I don't use any 3rd party plugin in my game.
I love simplicity when it comes to developing, and wasn't that what the Clickteam creators were thinking of when they invented the click and play programs?
So, in the event editor, tell mmf2 to stop your character when he touches the wire frame. Now for the wall collisions here's my self learned secret:
You should have a left and right (invisible) wall. And set each wall to repel the character's position 3 pixels away from each wall. That's it... (you can try different numbers of pixels the character should be repelled, because it might require a different number depending on the character’s size) This is cleaner and simpler than putting masks and complicated collision detectors. You should also replicate the walls, not clone them, so you can put it anywhere that requires the character to be stopped.
When I saw people talking about collision masks, I was like: what? why? Did they not know mmf2 is able to detect collisions with just an event?
Please download the MFA to check it out !

If U notice that going up the hill is jittery, this is because of the low resolution 160 x 120 pixels. This should not happen if your game is in higher res.

With this example you can make an awesome looking in-game experience, with pure art or even digitized pictures!

Now go have some fun! Any questions you have, I will be happy to answer, just email me at: aloan.1@hotmail.com

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Posted by nim 9th October, 2009

This reminded me that I still need to check out Akeneui. Downloading now!

Nice article. It would probably be front paged if it were actually an Article rather than a lengthy download description. You could probably post this as an article too. I doubt they're turning away content these days.

I do agree with you that it is a great effect and definitely something we don't see much of here. FIG and Rodney (made in 1997, I think), and most likely many others I haven't noticed, use this technique. I'm not sure this will be a genuine "revelation" to many people but it's nice to see the technique pointed out - and with an example. I'd also like to see a change from the tile backgrounds, now that you mention it.

There are a couple of reasons why people here seem to favour tile-based levels:

- Previous versions of MMF/TGF didn't compress graphics in the runtime, so large bitmap graphics would push the file size up tremendously.

- It works for Akeneui because the movement is relatively slow, but many platformers here require more precise movement with higher jumping. Not knowing exactly where the ground is can ruin a game if that graphic style doesn't suit the engine.

- Thirdly, MMF arguably encourages tile-based graphics, with its default "backdrop" object being 32x32 and snap to grid options.

Regarding the "dots" in the character's walking animation, perhaps you could hide them with the alpha channel in MMF2, or try unchecking "Use fine collision" in the object properties.

It's a very nice technique. I really like the look of Akeneui too.
 
Posted by Marko 10th October, 2009

very nice piece and a great style to make games with - unique! Which is good!

And i second what nim said, Akeneui looks fab!
 
Posted by Aloan Moreira 29th October, 2009

Thanks Nim and Marko. Good you pointed those things. Great to know. Marko has shown me thru a tutorial how to use the alpha channel, which was a blessing and it worked perfectly.
July 2013 update: this download will be getting an awesome update soon!
Comment edited by Aloan Moreira on 7/12/2013
 

 



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