New Areas/Lessons Learned etc.

Progress continues on the game at a nice, even pace. This past week I just started adding the latest themed area to the game. To go along with true NES tradition, the game’s levels are split into different groups that have their own unique graphical and musical theme. I call them “Areas” in Assimilate, but just think of the term “Worlds” as it was used in Super Mario Bros. 3. They are basically the same exact thing. All in all the game will have four distinct areas, each encompassing four or five levels and a boss fight. You can see bits of the first two areas in the videos. The first is a major US city, the second is an Asian-themed area, and the third and fourth… well maybe I’m not ready to give those away on the blog yet. I might leave those as a surprise for the final game. At any rate, I’m starting on the third area of the game and it’s a lot of fun working on this new set of graphics and laying out the new levels.

While I was working on the Asian area, work slowed down quite a bit because I added a lot of new features to the engine. One of those features was sprite clipping. When I first started working on the game, I thought sprite clipping would be unnecessary. At that time all the enemies and items were no more than four tiles wide, so it wasn’t really that disorienting when they just “appeared” on the edge of the screen. This became a problem when I added an enemy seven tiles long. On the NES, an enemy with a length of seven tiles is approximately 1/4 the width of the entire screen. So, believe me, it’s pretty grating when something THAT big just kind of plops up on the right or left edge of your playfield!

So now, after many headaches and labors, we have sprite clipping in Assimilate. 🙂 We live and we learn.


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