Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Finally some progress [on the graphics front].
So far I only implemented the basic brick. I didn't go any further because: 1. I didn't make a final list of enemy/brick types, and 2. Adding more types will require re-writing of the code for creating those sprites, and I don't even have an algorithm for that yet. Nevertheless, I am happy with this style so far. It is simple enough not to be distracting to the player, but representative enough to carry the theme. For what it's worth, the "computer noise" inside the bricks is the thing that makes the sprite truly stand out. Both the idea and the code for this effect are blatantly stolen from the Ryukyu Circuit cart. Because why should you take precious sprite space for an animation that you can procedurally generate? This is another example that reinforces me that choosing Pico-8 was the right fit for me. Being able to lookup the source code to of existing carts to see how others have solved similar problems or implemented a cool feature is an amazing learning tool for someone like me. Before I dug into that source code, I was ready to make the exact same effect with sprites. It would take much more time and I am quite sure it wouldn't look as good when limited to few frames of animation. Now, I only need one sprite and few lines of code. Awesome! Also, a big shout out goes to Dan Anderson from Pico-8 Slack, who once again helped me understand code where my own brain has failed me. The code for the circuit cart doesn't have many comments, so I couldn't find the function responsible for the noise effect. But Dan could. Thanks Dan!
As for those mechanical sprites above, I might expand on them and use them in some robot inspired shooter in the future... I like their angular style, but man, do they suck as breakout bricks.