Game Design Game Development

Loading An Arbitrary Stop That Hero! Level

Since last week, I made some significant progress in terms of loading a level for Stop That Hero!. Here’s what renders so far:

Stop That Hero! Level Map

Does this look familiar? Compared to the original game’s finished level, it looks pretty naked:

Stop That Hero! is finished

What’s missing is the rendering of the towers and treasure chests, but otherwise the level is being loaded from the same map data.

In the original game, each individual tile was rendered every frame. This time, when I initialize a level, I load the map data and generate a single surface made up of tiles corresponding to the data. Then, when it is time to render the level, I make a single large blit instead of hundreds of tiny ones. It’s much more efficient.

And it’s also not hard-coded to load the same level each time. Depending on what level you choose, it can load a different map. Right now, that boils down to loading an image just as I did during the original Ludum Dare event and mentioned in My, What a Fancy World You Have There!, but I can easily change it to load meta data in the future. For instance, if I do want to change the game to allow arbitrary level objectives, I would need some configuration file associated with the level, too. For now, I’m assuming every level will use the same game play and differ only in level layout.

The level knows where the towers and treasure chests should go, but at this point, they aren’t rendering. Also, the level provides the hero’s original spawn point, and it knows the difference between a basic tower and the castle as well as the difference between a health chest and a weapon chest.