First original map artwork

“Artwork” might be a bit of a generous term in this case, but here it is. I’m working on the first map of the game, on the ship going to Enceladus, drawing the tiles necessary to convincingly depict an interplanetary vessel. Here’s the outline of the ship as it appears zoomed way out in the map editor:

Not very ship shaped at the moment

And here’s what it looks like in the game:

I’m using Pyxel Edit to draw the tiles, then laying them down with Tiled. It’s a reasonable workflow for the most part, except that I have to make sure to never, ever change the order of the tiles in the exported tile sheet or else face starting over entirely. Also, I’ve found some annoying, but not deal-breaking, issues with Tiled’s auto-mapping feature, which I’m using to automatically fill in the collision layer with whatever is in the foreground layer. The system is convoluted and confusing, there’s no concept of a wildcard, and I just learned that each orientation of a tile counts as a different tile in the rule set. Even for the very limited tile set so far, I have a huge auto mapping rule.

This is already getting out of hand.

This map also exposed some buggy behavior in the camera controls during room transitions (very obvious in the video) that I’ll have to sort out. I’m a bit torn how to fix this issue in the general case. The problem is that the character is moving between two rooms with different height ceilings, so his vertical position on the screen will have to change. It would be easy enough to make that a smooth transition, but I’m left asking myself a question that I ask myself embarrassingly often: What Would Super Metroid Do? I have a gut feeling that Super Metroid would design the level map so that the ceiling height of two adjacent rooms is the same. I’ll have to sleep on it.

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