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Thursday, December 19th, 2013 04:21 pm
(Crossposted from the Vision Riders blog.)

I noted last week that, unlike the rest of the game, Another Star's soundtrack had very little to do with the theme of "minimalism". The track count continues to grow, by the way, now standing at 34 tracks with more on the way as I go back over and polish everything. But as the soundtrack balloons, the graphics are quickly getting left behind. The more music that gets added to the game, the more the 256 tile limit sticks out like a sore thumb.

Now I'm wondering if I should just abolish the tile limit altogether. I don't really want to do this. I'm proud of the fact I fit so much—an entire game, with a sizable overworld and eleven dungeons, and all the enemies to fill them—into a mere 256 tiles! It's actually quite amazing the ways I came up with to manipulate tiles to create so many different and distinct locations.

But at the end of the day, does anybody really care if I managed to create a game in just 256 tiles? Does the tile limit actually add anything to the game? I'm highly suspicious that the answer to that question is a resounding "NO".

Now, I suppose I should clarify a few things. Supposing the tile limit does get dropped, the graphics would still adhere to the 8-bit limitations of systems past, but I'd be able to switch between tile sets (like on actual hardware). Furthermore, most of the major scripting on the game is done so I'm not going to completely rewrite the game. I'd probably add frames for NPCs to face directions other than straight down, but they'd still be rooted in position, and cut scenes would still be pretty static. The maps themselves would be a lot more pretty and nice to look at, though, and enemies would also be bigger and more diverse.

I think I'll sleep on it before I decide what to do. What are your thoughts?
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
Does the tile limit actually add anything to the game?

More importantly, does it subtract anything from your sanity as a game dev?
Friday, December 20th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
To me it seemed like your bigger problem was the soundtrack, and I would have asked if you really NEEDED that many tracks, but it seems you went with the tile limit.
Friday, December 20th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)

I guess my initial reaction when I heard how many tracks you have is that Mass Effect, a like, 50-60 hour game, has 37 songs. Your game is a third of that length with nearly as many songs. In all honesty it might have been easier on you to simplify the soundtrack at that point. However, I know virtually nothing about making games, so I could be wrong.

Friday, December 20th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC)

I dunno, I still feel like that's too many for a 20 hour game, especially since some of those are probably really short clips you won't ever hear again anyway, and especially if it's making you feel like the part you've already done isn't enough or seems lesser because of it. Like I don't think anyone will kill you for reusing a track somewhere else. But again, I don't know anything about making video games. Either way, you seem like you know what you're doing, so as long as you're okay with what you're doing, that's all that really matters.