Saturday, September 19, 2015

I need the Rainbow Road

I started working on a last level for School Rush, where you'd have to climb up for safety. It was tedious, because navigating in the level in LEDS can only be done with L+DPAD at the moment, in 64-pixel increments. Yet this time, I had to move through 1024x8 pixels of emptyness before I reach the "bottom" of the level everytime I want to migrate something from the title screen.

And then, i tried to copy the current game on my brother's DS using my not-so-smartphone, so I lost that map. Sigh. I'm not re-doing it that way. I will first bring on a new tool in the Level Editor. Something like a "Quick Navigate" option. I thought a "Rainbow Road" would work okay. level structure is depicted by two rasters (one horizontal, the other one vertical), and auto-zooming so that you a square area covered with stripes, and touching one pixel of that square brings you immediately to the corresponding area of the level.

Bon, perdre un niveau qu'on édite, ce n'est pas drôle. Devoir recommencer en faisant des centaines de fois L+bas pour retourner au fond du niveau, ça l'est encore moins. J'ai pris un peu de temps cette semaine pour réfléchir à un moyen de se déplacer rapidement d'un point à l'autre de la map pendant l'édition, en tenant compte des ressources vidéo déjà largement sollicitées sur l'écran d'édition. Je propose la RainbowRoad: un carré sur lequel sera représenté le niveau en utilisant un dégradé bleu-rouge pour l'axe horizontal et un dégradé foncé-clair pour l'axe vertical.

As far as software engineering is concerned, I face once again the need for a given event (update of level coordinates) to be produced by any of M sources and consumed by N receivers. M and N are small, and constant once the program is built. A bus pattern could work, or possibly something like an object that sends notifications when updated.

Color selection in SEDS could also benefit from this pattern.

Post-Scriptum thoughts:
  • [dont] Having QuickGo out of MapEditWindow allows to keep level edition full-screen. I have very limited options to introduce yet another window over MapEdit.
  • The drawback is that currently MapEditWindow doesn't show when you toggle to TilesetWindow.
  • [done] The transient "layer selection" overlay (available when map edition in "copy" mode) could host it as well.
  • Maybe replacing one of the rasters with a overview of how "dense" the area represented by one pixel is (with transparent-to-white) would give a good feeling of where we will go ... 

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