Reengagement via Smart Tiles

Probably the highest priority fix in Floral Kombat is getting those first moments of gameplay right.

My most recent attempt at conveying how pollen works is this:

Jul-22-2016 22-04-49.gif

I’ve added little globules that head over to your icon to attempt to direct your eye there when you get pollen.  I’ve also just written “pollen” under the percentage, and nixed the burst meter, since I really didn’t even notice it (I also got rid of the idea of burst juice, it didn’t feel good to press the button and have nothing happen (I’ll need to rebalance bursting some other way).

Is this clear enough? I think not.

But…

I don’t want to talk about that.

Instead, I want to talk about this:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 10.05.53 PM

Just a boring ol’ tile map, right?

Weeeell…

Jul-22-2016 22-07-02

It’s made of Smart Tiles!  This is me adjusting the IN THE EDITOR!

I’ve decided to extend and polish that auto-tiling code I’ve been using into something I can put on the Asset Store 😉

I’m doing this for a number of reasons.

  1. Once this is done, I can use it in Floral Kombat (and any other tile-based games I make)
  2. It’s been on the tip of my mind for a while
  3. Doing something personal that seems like relatively low time-commitment has been helping me get back in the groove of doing personal work after jobly work.

As you may have guessed, the big reason here is 3.

Often when I can calculate how long a task will take me, if that time is large, I become rather afraid of the task and it’s very easy to work on something smaller instead.  I think that was happening to Floral Kombat — not in small part because it’s at a fairly feature-complete stage, but now is faced with a lot of tough questions like… so how do I make it intuitive?

Working on Z-Auto-Tiler (or ZAT, as I’ve been calling it, but probably, it’ll be really called Smart Tiler on the Asset Store, since that’s a more descriptive name?) has been good to get me back into the groove of my own stuff after hours.

Right now, ZAT is nearly ready for the Asset Store.  Like, I could probably put it up tonight if I wanted, but I do want to change on feature of it that affects structure, so that if I update it later, people who have chosen to use it can more seamlessly update it.

[That feature, by the way, is the way I’m spriting tiles; right now, I’m doing 1 sprite / tile, where a tile can have 0, 1, 2 adjacent, 2 opposite, 3, or 4 sides.  This doesn’t allow for as aesthetically pleasing concave corners though.  I’m going to switch instead to an implementation that uses 4 sprites / tile where there will only be 4 sprite types: side, center, corner convex, corner concave.  Here’s the problem I’m trying to resolve basically:

]

Oh! And one more thing.  Because having only one sprite per option could get kinda boring… I’ve added a “Reroll” button to each tile, so you can select as many tiles as you want and roll new sprites (assuming you have multiple for a type).  The result looks like this (the grass, not the rock, I’ve only made one of each rock sprite so far):

Jul-22-2016 22-22-09

Oh yeah, and these sprites… entirely drawn with just a trackpad!  Because… I didn’t bring my drawing thing with me.

And I’m so proud of how they turned out with just the trackpad!

More than I should be.

Anyway, that’s pretty much all for this week.

Until next time,

~Zach

 

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