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



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.


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


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.

Comments are closed.