WIP Wednesday: October 4, 2023

WIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayWIP WednesdayOctober 4, 2023October 4, 2023October 4, 2023

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Halloween Assets!

The spooky time of year is upon us once again! It’s my favorite season of the year for pixel art- I love drawing monsters and other terrors of the night. This month I have a couple different things planned. Let’s take a look!

Blood FX Pack 1

Since I’ve been enjoying drawing effects, I decided to do a pack that’s 100% blood effects! I’ve actually wanted to do this all year, but saved it for a special season. 😉

Like other effects packs, it’ll include 10 effects in both a large and small size, and different color themes. Need green blood for a monster or purple blood for an alien? I’ve got you covered! Blood FX Pack 1 is coming your way on Friday.

Read on for more WIP goodness…

Props Pack 1

This is something that’s always been on my idea list, but I never did it until now. This pack will include dozens of both static and animated platformer game props. There’s props for both spooky and non-spooky occasions!

The complete pack will include candelabras, bookshelves, furniture, statues, and more. I’m working with a new palette for these, because my usual palette is made for characters and effects, and is pretty punchy and saturated. With this new palette, the props should be right at home in the midground or background. Look forward to the props pack mid-month!

Alien Monster Pack 2

After a long year, the alien invasion finally returns! This pack will include at least four new monsters, and they’ll all be out to get you! They’re waiting to debut until next week’s WIP post, but they’re all planned out- The roster this time is: Amoeba, Skittermite, Xenomantis, and Moon Muncher. If there’s time, I have a couple smaller monsters I’d like to add as well. Stay tuned!

SparkBolt Game Engine

I took some time the past week and a half to work on my personal game engine. Last time we took a look back in May, it could handle about 42,000 objects. With a lot of work and some major redesigns, it can now take up to 75,000 objects!

Of course, this is the engine running with pretty barebones features. I’m expecting it to slow down a little as I add features back in, but hopefully not too much!

It also supports embedded objects, which inherit their parent’s transformations. In the below GIF, each object is a child of the one before it. They inherit the color from the parent multiplicatively. Only the root object is changing its RGB, while each child has 0.95 alpha, so each one is 95% as opaque as the one before it.

Stress test with embedded objects:

It supports less objects this way, but that’s natural- There’s a lot more matrix multiplication going on to enable this kind of behavior.

I can’t wait to improve it further! Here’s how I made such a dramatic improvement this time:

  • Switched to an entity component system model using EnTT
  • Multithreaded tween animations + other systems where possible
  • Multithreaded camera transforms on vertices
  • Skip matrix calculations and just add vectors if objects only have a location (i.e. no rotation/scale)

…And lots more little things that all added up. Obviously this is going to entail a massive rewrite of the rest of the engine as I add things back in, but I’m up for the challenge and I really enjoy it! I feel like the ECS model is going to be better in a lot of ways, and I’m excited to finally solidify the design. Then once it’s all put together, I can really start making big things with the engine!

October Schedule

Finally, here’s the new schedule for October. I decided to postpone the game UI pack until November to focus on Halloween-themed assets. As always, it’s tentative- I’ll try and stick to it but if I need more time for one of the packs things might shift around.

Thank you for your support! I can’t wait to make more awesome pixel art for you this month!

– Will