Historically sprites in Snorms/Alien Blitz have gone through a few different formats
Early era, Snorms
In the very first versions of Snorms (isometric) sprites were made from down to top slices, then a little PHP (yep…) script was rendering the 8 directions add adding internal shadows
When I began working on Alien Blitz I had to use a top view from these sprites and I also wanted a friend to help me build new sprites (it was finally abandoned after). As I couldn’t ask my friend to work with slices, I decided to try something with Qubicle.
Thankfully Qubicle has a binary format available from import/export that is quite easy to use. So I began converting the image slices to Qubicle cubes.
With these qubicle files I have been able to make modifications more easily. And I made a program (Qubicle2ICE, Java this time, ICE stands for Isometric Cube Engine, an old name I don’t use that much anymore) to render side view (and isometric view) from these files.
Then I had to select/combine/change side view to get a top view (the one in the red rectangle)
Alien Blitz 3d
Now with the addition of the 3d I can easily export a Wavefront object directly from Qubicle.
- It’s boring, I hate doing repetitive tasks (around 250 files to export)
- If there is a global export error (bad scale, bad placement,..) I have to re-export everything.
- There can be some tiny export error (misclick…) hard to find without a QA team
- Qubicle include bottom faces, that I don’t need (camera is never under a sprite)
- Too many manual steps: clean / import / export /set file name / set options / revert texture / convert to g3db format
So I made another program (Qubicle2Wavefront) to create Wavefront object from Qubicle binary export, and now I have exactly what I need
From the bottom, no faces
The same applies for levels by the way: no bottom faces, and no back faces (as the view is top-down, no need for back faces, they are never facing camera)
Of course on PC all faces will be there because of FPS mode, but on mobile the less faces the better.