Thursday, April 16, 2009

Phaeton! Now with 100% more ZOOM!

And so.. without actually explaining anything about my game I'm making an entry about the tools I am developing along with it... How totally moronic of me, but it's 2 AM and I have a crunch-filled work-day tomorrow - so, suck it up, all things will be explained in time.

Have you ever played a 2D Konami or Treasure game, like Contra Hard Corps or Gunstar Heroes and gawked in awe at those huge bosses that visibly consist of independently moving modules? I know I did, and still do whenever one of those modular monstrosities shows up in any game (except maybe for recent Castlevanias, where the modular bosses looked mighty cheep and sloppy). Phaeton is an editor I wrote to allow me to insert such creatures into my own game. It ended up being a rather complex animation program consisting of three stages - a module import stage, where you load a bitmap with all of your creature's body parts on it, a frame generation stage, where you arrange the imported modules into animation frames, and lastly - an animation stage, where you order the pre-created frames into animations. The editor then saves a file that describes the animation in an easy-to-parse text format, that combined with a module bitmap comprises all the ingredients needed for the creation of in-game modular beasties.

This is how Phaeton animation looks.

Tonight I have finally added a zoom in/out feature to all three stages of the editor. This addition was prompted by the fact that I am working on my netbook with a 10" screen for about 4 hours a day...

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