Sprites, Wavefront format, history

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

bluecan_standing

bluecan_standing_full

Alien Blitz

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.

bluecan_standing_top

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.

Problem is

  • 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

capture_2014-06-11_17-20-20_

From the bottom, no faces

capture_2014-06-11_17-20-28_0162

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)

capture_2014-06-11_17-25-05_0447

Of course on PC all faces will be there because of FPS mode, but on mobile the less faces the better.

Comments are closed.