Background and Music Options

It's been a very slow month for me thus far. I had planned to implement atleast one of these by the beginning of week, but I unfortunately got through neither. Regardless, I will still discuss what I have planned so far. Since these two things have not been fully implemented, the images posted are only mockups. However they do fully show what the final implementation will generally look like.

First thing is backgrounds. While backgrounds are present in almost every single game in existence, you'd but surprise how incredibly complex they could be. There are numerous amount of factors (that I won't go into) you have to take into account when placing a background. As such, adding backgrounds directly inside of a level editor is a brain busting process, even from a user point of view.

In the editor, you're allowed to upload any image from your PC to be used as a background. While there is currently no limit on dimensions or file size of an image, I've limited the amount of backgrounds you can use in a single stage to 5. Theres several reasons for that. When it comes to distributing levels, backgrounds will almost always the largest file size. It's best to keep the images small, and the amount of frames low. If a user were to stockpile backgrounds into a single level, load times would be catastrophic. I feel that 5 is a good limit for now; I personally don't think anyone would need that many different BGs.

There will also be parameter functions for backgrounds. The details I'm still a bit fuzzy on, but I know there will be four types of scrolling: Static, Auto-Scrolling, Parallax, and Auto-Scroll Parallax. Static and Parallax are simple enough to implement, but auto-scroll is a different beast. Dimensions have to be taken into account, so auto-scroll needs an additional algorithm to increase the width of an image to ensure that everything flows smoothly. I've yet to attempt this, so I'm not even sure if this is fully possible yet, but the idea is there.

Custom music support has already been implemented into the latest build of the engine (Huge thanks to Azu for helping me out with that) but the UI for actually adding and configuring those tracks were missing. I will be adding those options into the editor. There's not much to discuss regarding this, the concept is incredibly simple. After uploading a song of your choice, you're able to designate the introduction and main portions of the track. The main portion is the only part that will loop.

Unfortunately, the engine will only support OGG and WAV formats. It's possible for me to implement other formats, but it would require workarounds of MMF2 that I'm not willing to do. On top of that, this would keep file size smaller than say an MP3 would, so it works out for the better in the end.

Things are progressing at a snail pace right now. I can only hope that the New Year will be better to me. Thanks for reading, please post any comments or suggestions you have below. If you're interested in this project and haven't already, please be sure to both follow and subscribe to this blog. Thanks again, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone! =D


  1. Happy Holidays, have a Merry Christmass brah!

  2. happy holidays too dragon!

    also, about the progress this is pretty awesome IMO, both things was too needed for me.

    " If a user were to stockpile backgrounds into a single level, load times would be catastrophic."

    i think there is no way to fix that, isn't it? anyway, i would figure how to read everything as a one-big map.

    audio editor looks so nice. can you add, stop or replace the music with other track at anytime or not yet?

    anyway, awesome work so far, take care.

  3. For the backgrounds, there's no way around the load time. If this were a full fan game, this wouldn't be a problem at all, but for the engine, all of this needs to be external and dynamic at the same time.

    There's also no way to read it as one map, as that would only work with Static backgrounds (meaning backgrounds that never move).

    I'm a bit confused on what you mean by the music part. Are you asking if you can change the music with this? That's the point of it.

  4. im saying if you can play certain music on certain area of a level.
    example: you are in area 1, you walk to area 2. in area 1 you have a track wich you have selected. in area 2 you have other track, but, is the same level.

  5. Maybe further down the line, but as of now, I have no plans for something like that.

  6. Hmm, interesting to know that .wav is smaller than .mp3. I always thought it was the other way. Oh ya, Happy New Year everyone!

  7. In general you're right MP3 is smaller than WAV. Poor choice of wording on my part, I specifically meant that OGG was smaller than MP3. Granted, in some low bit situations, WAV can be smaller than MP3.