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BenRadish
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Hello!

I've run into something I don't understand regarding the size of sprites and 2D entities.

I made a sprite that has a width of 169px and a height of 182px.
When I assign that sprite to a new entity, it's already displayed pretty hugely (like, ten times the size of the grid (that itself has the size 1.00). The scale of the sprite is X 1.00 and Y 1.00.

In the level editor, the sprite is enormous as well, nearly a quarter of my desired resolution of 1920x1080.

Am I supposed to change the scale of the sprite somewhere along the way?
If so, how can I display it at it's pixel-perfect/original size?

Thanks :)
Cheers,
Michael

Tall Karen
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Problem with 2D sprite size

Hi Michael,

This is an issue we are going to fix - in the meantime you have two options to work around it:

1) Set the sprite scale (on the Sprite tab) to reduce the sprite size.

2) Zoom out on the Level Editor using the mouse wheel or the 'S' key until the sprite appears the right size then place a camera (on the Tools menu) anywhere on the level. Scroll to the bottom of the Camera Properties window and click 'Use Editor Camera View' to set the current editor screen as the camera view and check that the 'Starting CameraShot' checkbox is checked.

I hope this helps.

Thanks, Karen

BenRadish
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Thanks!

Thank you, Karen! I chose workaround number 2 :)

Out of curiosity, how high is that fix on your priority list (or other 2D fixes and features, for that matter)?
I know most folks like to make their shmups in flashy 3D, but being a sprite guy, it would be nice to know how your stance on this is.

Tall John
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Problem with 2D sprite size

Hi Michael,

We've got the fix already. :) We just need to introduce the change carefully so that it doesn't affect existing projects; and give it all a thorough test as sprite size will affect the game and all of the editors.

We're big fans of sprite games and we've got a lot of features coming in the next few weeks which benefit sprites.

The first is fixed resolution that will optionally pixelate when the Window is expanded.

The second is shaders which emulate some of the old consoles, such as the Gameboy and Commodore 64. These aren't perfect emulations but they are true to the style.

The third, which is specific to sprites, is screen-space 2D rather than the camera-based orthographic view.

If there are any sprite-based features you'd like to see then please let me know. :)

Thanks,
John

BenRadish
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2D rocks!

Ooh, that's awesome! Can't wait for the update, thanks for fixing it so quickly! :)

I'm also looking forward to the features you described. Shaders are certainly a nice touch, but definitely more important is the pixelated expanded window and the 2D working space (in the level editor, right?). The latter is particularly useful, since it seems that my view was always slightly tilted no matter what I did (a sprite was bigger near the top of the level than the same sprite near the bottom). Also, no more accidentally moving sprites "back" because I got the Z-handle :)

Currently, I'm still working through the tutorials, so I don't have any groundbreaking suggestions yet :D

One thing I'd find useful is a border in the level designer that indicates to me my selected resolution.
Let's say I want a thing pixel perfect exactly on the right border of the screen - right now (at least as far as I get it with my limited knowledge) I'd have to adjust the level editor's camera so that it kinda fits. With the border that scales depending on how far I zoom out, it would be easier to place the sprites.
At least that's how I'd imagine it - I can also see a lot of problems with it (e.g. when the level or the camera scrolls or zooms). Maybe a camera that has the fixed resolution would be better? I don't know yet, the whole resolution/aspect ratio thing always confuses me :D
Anyway, when you're on mobile (but on desktop as well), you'd want to have a "safe zone" that's visible on every resolution. Obviously, you'd have a better idea than me how to implement this :D

Thanks and rock on, you two!
Cheers,
Michael

BenRadish
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Oh, one more thing!

One more thing that I asked myself is how it would be possible to display just the assets that are in the project's textures folder. Currently, I see all the sprites and I don't dare to delete anything :D

Tall Karen
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2D rocks!

Hi Michael,

I'm pleased you like the new features. I appreciate the problem with sprites seeming larger at the bottom than the top (or left or right ;). This is caused by the camera not facing exactly forwards - but it's really tricky to align it just right. The full 2D option will fix it. :)

The border-based size indicator is a nice idea. As you've said, it will be very helpful for games which require a fixed resolution such as mobile-based games.

New projects include all sprites and models that come with the Shoot 'Em Up Kit by default, but it's fine to delete all the ones you don't want. This reduces clutter and will also improve the load time of your project.

Thanks,
Karen

BenRadish
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So good!

Oooh nice, I'm really really looking forward to the 2D options! :)
Thanks by the way for the info about deleting the unused sprites and models!

During playing around with the Kit today I noted some things which I think would make working with it even more fun and/or convenient. I hope you don't mind if I just put them here in no particular order :)

- The ability to resize windows. In every list, one hast to scroll a lot, which seems unnecessary for everybody with a big enough monitor.
- Ctrl+S should be the shortcut to saving the project. Also, a confirmation that the project was saved would be enough without the need to press "Done" every time
- The ability test the game/level without the need to confirm "Done" on e.g. a particle - this would make testing things ingame faster because one wouldn't have to click twice to confirm the changes and then select the particle again.

Also, I wondered if there was a way to use blending modes like "multiply", "screen" or "overlay" (e.g. to make bullets more distinguishable from the background. Is this something I could use the shaders for?

Cheers and thanks, you guys!
Michael

BenRadish
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Oh, one more thing!

And again one little thing :D
I designed a bullet pattern in the particle editor where the knife-like bullet follows the 90 degrees curve of the projectile trajectory.
In the particle editor, this works, but ingame, it doesn't. Did I forget to check something?

Also, one little bug (?): When I change a bullet sprite in the particle editor, it won't change ingame unless I change the sprite in the bullet definition AND restart the kit (sometimes several times).

BenRadish
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Aaand one more :)

One more question about the velocity % value in the particle editor.

I'd like my particle to become faster in frame 2. My understanding would be that I'd define a certain procentual value (say, 100 for it to be twice as fast (?) in the field on frame 2.
When I do this, however, the particle in frame 1 becomes faster, slowing down to the beginning of frame 2.

Or did I misinterpret something? :D

Tall Karen
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Aaand one more :)

Hi Michael,

Suggestions always welcome! The window resize is in progress and will be available soon, and the other suggestions are good and we’ll look at implementing them.

At the moment there is no way to blend sprites, and shaders only apply to models not sprites. This will change with the engine update coming soon (including hand-held device support).

For the bullet pattern, you only need to set the bullet pattern in your Weapon Definition to the particle effect you created. You can check the bullet pattern particle looks OK in a level by placing a Particle (on the Tools menu) and setting it to your bullet pattern – it will play while the level is running.

There is a Bullet Definition set in the Weapon Definition and this will override the sprite used when creating the particle. To change the bullet sprite you can either change the Bullet Definition used, or edit the current Bullet Definition and change the sprite.

The velocity in the particle definition is the velocity at the start of the Keyframe. So if you set it to 200% for Keyframe 2 the particle will double its speed over the course of Keyframe 1 - so it reaches 200% at the start of Keyframe 2. If you want it to double its speed over Keyframe 2, set the velocity to 100% for Keyframe 2 then add a Keyframe 3 with a duration of 0 and a velocity of 200%. This will make the particle increase speed from 100% to 200% over Keyframe 2.

I hope this helps. Please ask if you have any more questions.

Thanks,
Karen

BenRadish
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2D rocks!

Thanks, Karen!
- The velocity works great :)
- The sprite change in the Bullet Definition works ... sometimes. I have the feeling that it works mostly the first time around, and then it only works when I delete the current sprite first instead of just changing it. After that, I have to restart the Kit to see the further changes, and so on. Possibly a bug (?)
- The bullet pattern itself works perfectly as particle in the editor, but as a bullet, the sprite ignores the rotation:

I tried to just delete the sprite in the Bullet Definition, but that didn't help (no visible bullets were shot).

Anyway, it feels good when things come together :) I like working with the Kit a lot! Next thing on the to-learn-list are triggers and gravity.
Also, still looking forward to the Spritelicious 2D Engine Upgrade!
Cheers,
Michael

Tall Karen
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2D rocks!

Hi Michael,

I'm glad that the velocity is working now, and that you are liking the Shoot 'Em Up Kit.

Thanks for the screenshot - I can see the problem and it looks like it's a bug. I have reproduced the issue with changing the bullet sprite too. We'll get both issues fixed as soon as possible.

Thanks,
Karen

BenRadish
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Hi Karen, awesome, thanks!

Hi Karen,
awesome, thanks! :)

I'm sorry for distracting you from working on the mobile update... Hopefully the bugs turn out easy to fix.
Cheers and happy hunting,
Michael

BenRadish
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Issue with 3 Weapon Slots

Hello!

I stumbled upon something I can't fix:
I have a ship with 3 Weapon Slots and the tags (Gun 1,2,3). Each Slot has the same Weapon Definition and the same Fire Button. Slot 1 Fires From Tag "Gun 1", Slot 2 from Tag "Gun 2" etc.
When I have only one Weapon Slot, it works (and fires a continuous stream of bullets), when I have three, this happens:


(The bullets disappear not far from the ship).
Making three different Weapon Definitions with three different Particles had the same result, so I assume it has to do with Fire Button 1 having to fire three weapons at once?

Cheers and thanks,
Michael

Tall Karen
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Issue with 3 Weapon Slots

This happens because the bullets are colliding with each other and so getting destroyed. Solutions are:

1 – Get the three weapons to fire from different points on the ship by setting up Tag points (on the Tag tab of the ship) and setting Fire From Tag for each of the 3 weapons to a different tag.

2 – Check the Collision Group of the bullets in the Bullet Definition – this can be All or one of a set list (Player, NPC, Player Bullet, Custom etc). If set to All, or objects in that collision group are set to collide with each other, the bullets will destroy each other. You can edit which groups collide by selecting Level Settings on the Tools menu and clicking the Edit Collisions Group button.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,
Karen

BenRadish
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Thanks!

Thanks Karen, that worked!
I already had done solution 1, but solution 2 did the trick.

BenRadish
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Sprite texture change

Hello!
I'm having a little issue with replacing sprite textures:

I replaced the image in the textures folder (same name).
The screenshot shows the sprite editor. Both previews show the current sprite, while the texture tab still shows the old sprite.
When I click the texture tab to choose another sprite, it also shows me the old sprites only (I restarted the Kit several times, with no effect).
When I OK and test ingame, the new bullet sprite will be shown, but cut off to the size of the old sprite.
The sprite texture stays like this even when I want to create a new one.

It seems to me that the Kit doesn't like me to replace textures :D

Cheers,
Michael

Tall John
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Sprite texture change

Hi Michael,

I'm sorry you are experiencing this issue. What you are doing is perfectly valid and should have been picked-up by the Shoot 'Em Up Kit. The problem is that the thumbnail images are not being reset when you replace the texture. The thumbnail generation looks for new files and deleted files but isn't detecting changed files, which is obviously an oversight.

You can work around this for now by deleting (ore renaming) the thumb.raw file from the textures directory. Next time you open the texture selection dialog it will regenerate the thumbnails and the new version of your image should be shown correctly.

Thank you for letting us know about this.

John

BenRadish
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Sprite texture change / sprite selection

Hi John,
no problem and thanks, your solution works perfectly!

I'm a bit sorry for showing up with new issues all the time :/ I'm used to working with Unity 3D which has a lot of convenience features even for non-programmers (e.g. when you replace assets outside of Unity, there's a little dialogue when you come back which tells you it's checking for changes and allocating them).
Obviously, I'm not expecting this from an engine made by only two people - just wanted to let you know this in case I might come over overly picky. If you can use my input to motivate yourself to fine-tune existing features or add new ones, that would be great, but I'm perfectly fine with deleting the thumb.raw everytime I change an asset as well ;)

Anyway, here's another one :D

I fiddled around with sprite animations for a bit and this confused the Entity Editor's sprite selection :)
My desired visualisation would be the dialogue showing the full animation (useful in case I have several animations with the same starting sprite). In addition, a button exists with which I can turn off animation and see only the first sprite (useful in case all the animations make my eyes hurt :D)

Cheers and thanks,
Michael

BenRadish
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Sprite animation loop

One more question regarding sprite animation:

I noticed the "Loop" checkbox can have different states depending on which frame you're on (e.g. it can be checked in the first frame and unchecked in the other).
Is there a best practice for continuously looping animations (like, check all checkboxes on every frame, or just in the last one)?

Thanks,
Michael

Tall John
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Sprite texture change / sprite selection

Hi Michael,

Your feedback is really useful, so please keep it coming. :D Anything that isn't working for you, or a feature that is missing, will be useful to everyone else too. We're in Early Access to collect this kind of feedback and so your comments are very, very welcome. :D

I'm glad that deleting the raw file worked for you. I'm making a change to check the last modified date - if this has changed then the Shoot 'Em Up Kit will rebuild the thumbnail.

Your suggestion about animating the sprites in the selection pane is great. I can see that it can be problematic if you have lots of similar sprites at the moment. I will have them all animate and add a button at the top to control this. Additionally, if you hover over a sprite in the list then it will grow to full size and animate.

Thanks,
John

BenRadish
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Sprites

Hi John,

Awesome, I'm glad to hear that!
Showing the full size animation on hover is a great idea!

Right now, I'm trying to come to grips with the Sprite animation workflow, so expect more questions and/or suggestions soon :D

Also, I'd like to ask again my question from two posts above regarding the Loop checkbox in the Sprite Animation tab :)

Thanks,
Michael

Tall John
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Sprites

Hi Michael,

Thank you for letting us know about the inconsistent sprite looping checkbox. The engine looks at the first sprite frame to determine whether the sprite is looped or inverted - it ignores the other frames.

I'm just about to fix this so that you can set or clear the checkbox on any frame and the settings will remain regardless of which frame you are viewing. But for the moment just set or clear the checkboxes on Frame 1.

I meant to say in my previous post that I love your sprites. The frog style sprite is detailed, colourful and full of character. :D

Thanks again,
John

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Loops

Hi John,
thanks, Frame 1 it is then!

I'm glad you like the frog :)
My plan is to do a very short (~1 minute max incl. the boss) level that's nevertheless as polished as possible - a quasi-vertical slice to test out every feature of the engine.
So, I thought a story about a bunch of frog knights defending their swamp from an evil stork would be an entertaining setting to work in :)

Right now however, I have problems starting the Kit - I've attached the systemlog. It seems to have to do with my graphic card (?) - I've updated the drivers yesterday (AMD Radeon HD 7900 - yeah, it's an old one :D).

Edit: I wasn't able to attach a .txt, so here's a screenshot instead:

Cheers and thanks,
Michael

Tall John
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Loops

Hi Michael,

I'm sorry to hear that a driver update has stopped the Shoot 'Em Up Kit from working on your system. Thank you for including the image of the systemlog.txt. The log confirms that the Shoot 'Em Up Kit is asking for a specific resolution and colour range but your graphics card is saying that it can't support it. This will almost certainly be a driver issue.

Could you please send a copy of your DXDiag report to support [at] tallstudios.com? DXDiag is a Microsoft tool for troubleshooting DirectX problems. More information about it can be found here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-vista/run-directx-diagnostic-...

You can Open DirectX Diagnostic Tool by clicking the Start button, typing dxdiag in the Search box, and then pressing ENTER. The tool will open and look something like the image below.

Please click [Save All Information] and send me a copy of the file it creates. This should let me know if the driver thinks it can support 1280x720 with a colour depth of 32 bits; as well as letting me know the driver revision number.

Thanks,
John

_dxdiag.jpg
BenRadish
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DxDiag

Thanks, John! The DxDiag.txt is on it's way to you :)