Dev. Diary One

Hey everyone, omnipotent God and every day teenager here. In order to give this blog some degree of purpose and to kick start whatever it is I was supposed to be doing with Silhouette I’ve decided to put together a dev. diary on how I go about creating levels for Silhouette. This blog will feature equal parts writing and pictures, for those who are too lazy to read more than two lines of text at any given time. Let us begin!

STEP ONE: Create new ‘room’

Pretty simple concept here. Anyone who has ever used Game Maker knows that the game operates out of visual worktables called ‘Rooms’. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to bore you. No pictures here because I want to hide my current progress into Silhouette (Hint: it’s not very much).

STEP TWO: Add depth

Important step here, since Silhouette’s graphics are 99% based on depth levels and shades of gray. Confused? Let me explain. If you look at a typical screenshot of Silhouette –

Oh hey, there’s one now! Anyways, looking at this picture you see 4 different layers of blackness. Black, dark gray, light gray, and what is basically white. When I design a level in Silhouette, I have to make sure that each layer is in the proper order. I can’t have dark gray in front of black. This design choice makes it simple for me to put maps together, albeit not quick.

Each map has 2-3 depth levels. 1500, 1000, and -500. everything above zero is beneath lights, and everything below is above. Wow, if that wasn’t confusing… Just think of it this way: Lights in Silhouette sit at depth level ZERO. the smaller the number (into the negatives) the closer the layer is to the front.

STEP THREE: Build the ground

Before I place any beautiful tiles into the room, I need to make some ground. I have little objects that do nothing except act solid to the player, which I have coloured hot pink-ish for visibility convenience. These are invisible in the compiled game.

No pictures here, since the map I’m putting together is more or less a perfectly straight line.

STEP FOUR: Add the tiles

Hooray for the fun and most time-consuming part of making a room.It’s time to beautify this baby!

At this point the map is approximately half done, design-wise. I’ve yet to add in lights or details, but the map is beginning to come together.

STEP FIVE: Jump through and miscellaneous objects

Now that the map is basically designed, it’s time to go through it and add some finishing touches. What kind of finishing touches? Well, jump through blocks lining the rooftops, for one. Also, I have to make this map accessible from the main world, which means adding room-transitioners (nifty things) into the map. Eventually I’ll be adding secrets and NPCs to this map, but for now it’s basically finished.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the completed room:

..Now to do this about 150 more times to finish this game! (Not including secrets, plot, and game play elements yet to be added)

This ends the first dev. diary. I’ve never done one of these before, and at the moment I’m having trouble sitting still. I hope you enjoyed reading, or at least got some insight as to why this game will take us ten years to complete (kidding!).

Bye for now.

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