Since Brad is busy finalizing Lizard and definitely not getting distracted by trivial forum posts, I'll share my thoughts on how I would approach more parallax on a stage such the Lizard river zone, for the benefit of everyone except him, since he is too busy to be distracted by this...
I'll try very hard to take this statement in good faith, but if you want to talk about parallax without "distracting" me this thread is literally the opposite of where you should be posting.
- dots/lines on the water could be sprites
- clouds could also be sprites.
Sprites are a nice idea, but I simply don't have the free palettes to use on either clouds, or dots on the water.
Before you follow up with a suggestion that I could change my other sprites and palette usage to make room, I will say that I have other design goals that are more important to me (and are consistent with the rest of the game) which necessitate those palettes.
Also, the clouds (spoiler?) aren't actually "background" in my game, they are platforms you can stand on as part of the foreground,
which makes me want them not
to parallax with the orange rocks, though maybe that's a stupid artistic choice that nobody else would agree with. (It's my game, though, so I'm gonna go with my gut there.)
Anyhow, since you all seem not to care that I didn't want to discuss this and keep egging me on, fine, I'll respond to the other suggestions:DMC IRQ
: my game doesn't us DMC, and leaves $4011 at 0, so that's free. It does, however, use IRQ as an error handler (which technically shouldn't fire in the finished game, but it has a very useful development function so I lean heavily toward keeping it). That's the primary reason I wouldn't want to use it, but I also have to deal with making it work on both NTSC and PAL and test it, and there are a bunch of other details about it which I think are a hassle. It's the most doable of these unsolicited suggestions, though.Timed NMI for the first split
: I could cycle-time the first split and use sprite-0 for a second split, except now I'd be wasting 1/4 of a frame on the first split, and fitting the wait loop for sprite-0 into an approriate timing for a second split would be difficult. I'd have to design enemies around an update patterns that I could guarantee would fit into those timing windows. That's a big pile of constraints that I don't think would make the game play better. (I'm making a game here, not a graphical demo.)Sprite overflow
: In case you didn't know, sprite overflow evaluation is buggy. It's usable as a split point for a static screen, but I've got to deal with more or less arbitrary sprite combinations here. Then everything I said about timing the second split with sprite-0 in the last response applies again.
So... anyhow, if you really wanted to know, that's the jist of it. None of these suggestions are things I haven't considered, and all of them conflict with the design of things as-is. I haven't even mentioned how much code the river area shares with the rest of the game, and how all of the constraints from that impinge on its design as well. (Code space is getting pretty dear at this point in development, too.)
I would kind of like it if I could make the trees at the bottom have another split, but they're also already moving fast and hard to see, and if you pause the game, there's a pause bar at the bottom that completely covers it, so you can't really even stop to look at them. Maybe that would give you some idea why I don't think it's a visual effect I would prioritize over other goals.
It's a whole interactive system that has to work together, I can't just change one thing without having to redo a lot of other work. I have no use for unsolicited suggestions like this. Sure they sound simple to you, because you're only looking at one minor detail. To me, I have to fit it in with the hundred other parts of the finished river zone. You're just looking at the tip of the iceberg.
Hope this info is useful to anyone out there making a game with some kind of parallax.
It would probably be a lot more "useful" to post ideas like that in a thread called "techniques for implementing parallax", instead of burying it in a thread about my game.
Similarly, I didn't really want to have to respond to this stuff because I don't think it's helpful to anyone (least of all me). Everything about the decision is specific to my game and how it works.
I don't mind being asked "why'd you do that?". That's usually a good question. Or even "I don't like this", or "did you consider this" are usually fine, but there's a gradual escalation to "here's how I would have designed your game", and an implication that you think I should justify the decisions I've made to you. I don't really like that.
Myask made a pretty innocent comment, and I made a short reply about it. Pubby was curious about that reply, and I got a bit pre-emptively defensive (sorry) because I knew a good answer is complicated and didn't want that to be demanded of me, but then collectively you persisted
despite my protest, so... this is what I get I suppose.