Friday, February 21, 2014

Trading Normal Maps for Overlays in Construct 2

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.


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