E. Darwin Hartshorn: //Boilerplate

Devgame Internship 4: Tiles

In videogames, tiles are used to create large levels with a few small graphics.  Here’s a fantastic example by someone else:


As you can see, you can create a large variety of backgrounds simply by laying tiles, like this, on a grid.

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Bestiary Progress Report

  • Worked out the final(ish) art style for the game, in part by brainstorming on this blog.


  • Built a set of test textures for the sprite editor.
  • Moved my XNA Entity System into Monogame as Linked Files so they’re equally usable from Windows and Android.
  • Started building texture processor:
    • Got it displaying the textures.
    • Rebuilt my mouse system…
    • … and got the mouse moving the texture set around with a middle-click.


Next steps:

  • Zoom with Scroll Wheel
  • Outline rectangles with Left button
  • Naming individual parts

Broad goals:

  • Coloring system so I can assign palette indices to various layers of individual parts.
  • Taking the multiple texture atlases into a single texture via outlining blocks within a part, rectangle packing, and offset saving.
  • Once the texture processor is done, build the animation editor (a’la Silva’s in Building XNA 2.0 Games), and set up some test animations.
  • Once there are test animations, get the animations playing on my phablet.

Note to self:  Using Vector3s instead of Vec2s will allow me to both store relative depth of the parts and use matrix multiplication to ensure the component layers rotate and scale with the sprite as a whole.

Pixel Art for Programmers: Silhouette and other improbable French words.

Programmer art.  It can be awe-inspiring (Like anything by Dean Dodrill or Derek Yu), it can be messy-and-sketchy taken to an art form by way of awesome thematic unity (I refer you to the work of James Silva), or it could be utterly awful, an eyesore beyond all eyesores (names withheld to protect the guilty).

Odds are if you are a mad code-monkey set on a life of fame and fortune as a lone-wolf developer, you fall into the last category.  Me?  I can draw.  I was an artist before I was a programmer.  I’m not brilliant, but click that link and check out my deviantArt page — if you are looking for art tutorials, odds are you would consider hiring me to do your art.  Provided you had the money, and the style was right, of course.

(And hey, if your game is truly awesome, and I have a reason to believe it will get done, contact me at the email on the About page, and we can talk turkey.)

I think I can help you out.  I’m a decent (but not fantastic) programmer, and a decent (but not fantastic) artist, and with these two skills, perhaps I can serve as a bridge between programming and art so that you can walk across my burly1 shoulders to the promised land of awe-inspiring (or at least awesome thematic unity) programmer art!

Let’s do this crazy thing.

So, my next series of games, the Super Crossover Arcade series, is going full-on retro with pixel art because I can make pixel art look good at a relatively fast pace.  And over the course of several tutorials, I’m going to let you in on all of my dark secrets, as I can’t find many decent tutorials out there besides Derek Yu’s.

The first dark secret is the power of the silhouette.

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