|Overlays might be the better option in Construct 2|
I don't know how or why it dawned on me, but last night the I realized that there was a problem with using Normal Maps over my 2D Animation: You have to flip the normal maps too. Well, if I flip the normal maps when I flip the player art, the shadow stays in the same place. That's no good at all.
So then I started playing around with palette swapping. Basically, my normal maps are just 2 colors. I just want to tell it where to put the shadow. Well, why not just tell Construct 2 to change blue to purple and purple to blue whenever the player is going the opposite direction. My first problem is that I can't do those simultaneously. I tell the program to turn blue to purple and then I have all purple. Next I tell it to turn purple to blue and it takes that ALL purple art and turns it ALL blue. Ugh.
So I came up with making my maps black and white. Then, I can tell Construct 2 to turn each color whatever I want when I want. Problem solved.
It was then that I realized that maybe I didn't need a Normal Map after all. I mean, Its really only letting me control what part to make darker or lighter. Its not letting me put any kind of tint to the art. I can put any blues in my shadows or cast a yellow light in the highlights. So why not just do the same thing I was going to with the normal maps, but pick a highlight color and a shadow color? Now I can do some day and night version of levels, silhouette my characters, use high contrast lighting during explosions, etc.
I'm excited about this change up and think that I can dynamically change the look of my game.