Cross fading between map transitions...
Spent about an hour this morning adding in a cross fade between map transitions. It's a small thing, but I think it adds a bit of polish. Originally I was going to make a swipe transition, or maybe something like the GAME OVER transition, but those bogged down the gameplay. I wanted it to move quickly between screens, since there isn't a huge load time and we don't have a lot of screen space per map area. Too long of a transition would bog it down, but as I discovered, too fast of a transition can be jarring. Even with the cross fade, my first transition was too fast, and it looked like the world was blinking really quickly. Very jarring!
Then I tweaked it a bit, and slowed it down too much. Not quite right. Then I tweaked it a bit more, and I got the speed just right. To the point of where it feels natural, not jarring, and doesn't bog the game down when you move between maps. The fade looks nice, I think, and it adds a very folkloric fairy tale feel to it (like fading in an old film, like Haxan), which adds to the overall feel to the game.
It didn't take much time (I worried it would, just because of the way I'd set up the map system and the finite state system- I was coding this game to get a game done this year, not for reusable architecture (though some of it was reusable! Esp the debug code), and that does make late game additions like this a bit more work. Surprisingly enough, even this hackity hack speghetti code was done in a way that it was easy to add to, and most of the time spent was not coding the routines but instead tweaking the speed and darkness of the fading.
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