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2D All the way! / Can 2d game be made using bitmap image instead of tile system?

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hoyoyo80
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Posted: 19th Jun 2016 15:45
Hi all,

I wondering if the 2d game especially platformer level be made using image without using tiles.I go through snes and genesis games and found some game doesnt look really "tiled" or is it just me who been tricked by the art. But seriously im thinking on rendering out 3d object as sprites including for the level it self as image. Is it possible or am i going to face a lot of issues?

Thanks
Van B
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Posted: 30th Jun 2016 14:34
It's an option, there are a few games that used whole screen images for levels... this is either very convenient for artists, or hugely inconvenient for programmers.

If your game has a single screen as the level, then you could just load that as an image and paste it - same goes for character and enemy sprites - you could grab images from a tile sheet or load them individually, but then pasting images the same way. Really though I think that the benefits are only apparent when the benefits are apparent - sorry if that makes no sense, but consider that using a tiled map means you have some benefits that are native to that technique - tile based collision detection for example, or being able to just draw the part of the map that you can see on screen, or animating particular tiles and not others. These benefits are less common or non-existant with single image maps. A good example of a single image map game would be a point and clicker, like Monkey Island - each scene is an image, and collision etc is cannot usually be governed by a tile map... heck the collision image might have to return the scale of a character on top of everything else. Another example is Lemmings, where each level is an image, or at least compiled into an image, but the actual image provides collision data and the collision cannot be governed by a tile map.... lems have to dig anywhere they need to, Guybrush needs to scale in the distance or follow an intricate path. My point is there's always a good reason for a single image based map, and if you don't have one then you are better off with tiles. Heck, even just loosing the ability to easily depth sort can make single image maps impractical.

Personally I don't think I'd ever use just 1 single image for a map. I'd use components to make a single image perhaps, but I'd always want to do something that makes single image maps impractical, like having parallax layers, animated tiles, animated water or sky, moving clouds, breakable parts, disappearing platforms... truly I have to say that I see single image maps as a very tall, very top heavy vase on a rickety shelf - looks nice, but it doesn't take much to topple it over - it needs to be used when you want to give an artist total control, have a requirement for per-pixel collision or destructible map, some good reason like that.

Maybe a good trade-off is to use sprites, you can set the depth so could easily layer elements to give a parallax effect but you'd still be using an image for the map, it just means you can easily have layers. Sprites can also be set to alpha fade, rotate, scale, colour, and even change the UV coordinates directly if you're feeling brave. They can also hold a tile sheet - so you could stick to tile sheets for animated sprites and rely on the built in commands for that - if you use PASTE IMAGE, then you have to do everything like that yourself... depth sorting, using several images per character etc etc - sprites are many magnitudes more powerful than PASTE IMAGE. I often make a sprite, hide it, and then set it's frame and PASTE SPRITE - it lets sprites work in much the same way as PASTE IMAGE, but retains the benefits of scaling, rotation, colouring, fading etc. I'm not sure if there's a way to paste a sprite in AppGameKit, you'd probably have to setup a render image for this stuff in AGK... it is worth remembering that sprites in DBPro are pretty much the same as in AppGameKit, so if you wanted to make it mobile, converting to AppGameKit would be nice and straightforward with sprites... with PASTE IMAGE it would basically be a complete rewrite in AGK.
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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 4th Jul 2016 05:27
Most classic games used tiles for enviroments, but of course there would be many expections. Things like SWIV come to mind, but that's a 90's game, where the game spools the enironment from disc and then they lay common chunks on top of it. You could map it and just dynamically update the map graphics as you go (pull them from disc).




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Phaelax
DBPro Master
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Posted: 14th Aug 2016 06:46
Quote: ".I go through snes and genesis games and found some game doesnt look really "tiled" "


They may not look tiled, but a lot of those SNES games still displayed tiles. A giant tree might have been broken down into a 10x10 grid and then pieces were just placed correctly. To the end-user, you'd see the whole image even though the engine handled it by tiles.

Many years ago I did some work on a 2D engine that was not based on tiles. I never did finish the editor, but let me see if I can find the post.

Couldn't find it. I looked for a good 30min too.

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Derek Darkly
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Posted: 28th Aug 2016 15:52 Edited at: 28th Aug 2016 15:56
A late response here, but one possible approach could be to use a hidden collision map underneath your game world. This would not require tiles.
This collision map could be based on color/colour, using colored/coloured boxes to indicate different types of collision (wall, explosion triggers, doors, warps, etc,)

You can use the POINT command to see what color/colour you're hitting, then your program can do its thing according to the color/colour it returns.

I also suggest dividing your real game world/overworld into tiles, because you can then easily use SET SPRITE DIFFUSE to simulate light sources, either moving or static, even flickering.

(You don't have to use actual tiles like I did below, you can divide a full screen into sprite segments and the player will never know!)
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