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Old 10-03-2005, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Parallax scrolling - recommend an engine

I was wondering if someone could recommend a free adventure game engine that supports parallax scrolling. Support for palette cycling or the ability to change individual palette indexes during the game, ala AGS would be a bonus. Sorry if this question could be easily answered on my own or is posted in the wrong place, but I don't know where else to look for an answer.
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Old 10-04-2005, 12:10 PM   #2
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I'd recommend you check out Wintermute
It's the best general purpose adventure game engine there today, and supports Parallax without a problem.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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You can do parallax scrolling with AGS, within limitations. It does require some scripting, though. Wintermute is undoubtedly a better choice for parallax alone, but I don't think it supports palette cycling (which you can do in AGS).
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Old 10-04-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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SLUDGE supports parallax scrolling as well. No colour cycling, though.

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Old 10-04-2005, 06:07 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll look into Wintermute and SLUDGE. I understand parallax scrolling in AGS would involve scripting a number of large sprites and the like, which I'd prefer to stay away from because of the likely performance hit and extra layer of technical complexity.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:17 PM   #6
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I used AGS to do quite a bit of multi-layered parallax scrolling in my game, anna. It was quite easy to implement. If you change your mind and go with AGS, I'd be happy to help you out with the scripting.
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:30 PM   #7
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What's parallax/palette cycling?
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Old 11-06-2005, 08:41 AM   #8
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Palettes are something that you use with 8-bit colour modes. I recommend using 16 bits (or higher). The savings in space and speed aren't worth it today, so I won't go into detail.

Parallax scrolling is when different parts of the background is moving with different speeds. A pretty useless effect, but it can look nifty. (I'm using it in the game I'm making, but I also let the player turn it off to improve performance on older machines (200MHz).)
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:06 AM   #9
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Palettes can be useful, though, exactly for palette cycling.

Palette cycling means to change (gradually) the color of some or all the colors on the screen. For instance, many games (including QFG4 and Dune) used palette cycling to create day/night cycles: the blue sky turns pink and purple, then dark, and the colors on the ground change accordingly. With palette cycling, it's easy to create very gradual changes across many colors, which is much more difficult to do in 16-bit color. Another common use for palette cycling was to animate running water, like a stream or a fountain. Steady flames and pulsating glowing things could also be achieved easily. These are also relatively simple to do with animated sprites, though.

And parallax scrolling, far from being useless, is an excellent effect that really adds a sense of depth to 2D games. It's used in games like Fate of Atlantis and The Longest Journey.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky
Palettes can be useful, though, exactly for palette cycling..
Ah, happy memories! My first job included graphics for the 286, and palette cycling was the best thing ever. Even with today's powerful machines it can still sometimes be smoother than loading hundreds of full screen frames. In particular, if you run from CD ROM, even a 52 speed player may have noticeable seek times, especially if the machine is multitasking. But palette cycling has almost zero impact on the system.

I used to pallet cycle with animations created with Animator Pro (the world's all-time greatest software) and it was wonderful. Seeing a high resolution full screen image do weird and wonderful things at ridiculous frame rates on a low spec machine, well it was just decadent.

Incidentally, I recently converted some of my 640 x 480 Animator flics into AVI format. They ran full screen, perfectly smoothly, on a 386. Now, using a 1.7 Gig box they have to run at half size and are full of ugly AVI artefacts. Sometimes the old technology is still the best.
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