This week has been all about double size! As you all know, if you've been reading the blog, while the Pixels are busy fixing up the default art into 32-bit objects, they have also been making a 200% version of the art as well. Everything is so beautiful and detailed in these pieces! The Pixels are kicking some major butt! I foresee the default objects getting used a lot more after this. I've included some of the newer pieces below.
Now you might be a bit confused about the double art and how this will work. When Furcadia was new, we had a lot smaller screen resolutions and the game filled up the whole screen at 640 x 480. As time went by and screens could handle larger sizes, we could not change our size to match because pixel art does not look nice stretched to odd sizes. Pixels can stretch nicer if you double them though, that would be 4 pixels for every 1 we have now. However, even now, many screens do not support double that at 1280x960, especially on mobile and tablets. So that we can double size the art for The Second Dreaming, we are only double sizing the graphic screen and making a pretty, modern interface that is not double sized.
This of course means that we can either do the art in an automatic stretch or take the time to redraw it with more colors and details. We've chosen to do the extra work involved in redrawing the art for default. However, anything that doesn't get done before the client is released can be auto-stretched. This will be the same for players. They will have several choices. They can redraw their patches for 32-bit and double size, they can let the client stretch the art for them automatically, or they can choose for their Dreams to remain the same as now in 'classic mode'. We will make sure you have access to the new editors ahead of the double size release so you can work on your own 2x patches!
This also means that our clients and editors have to be able to support this new way of doing things! With so much art and Dream work going on, it has been getting hard to test things in 1x mode, so I asked the Coders this week to start focusing on 2x! Farrier is very busily working on getting double size art to work with the new fox file format. That is harder than it sounds because some sprite sheets with all the art at 200% are too big for PHP and other languages to handle. The last few days he's been figuring out how to break apart those huge sprite sheets and still make sure the Web Client can read them!
In the mean time, Treeki is working hard on the Fox Editor, making it support not only the double size but all the other fox format changes. Felorin has been helping out with the Dream Editor, fixing bugs, getting Live Edit working and also looking into the 200% Dreams! Ninja will also be helping to get the Windows Client ready, but we are not expecting full double size, 32-bit art there until Update 32!
There's a lot of little details that have to be ironed out as well. Gar has been working in how to double size floor tiles smoothly, for instance. Because the edges of floor tile now are over two pixels and up one, a straight double size means over 4 and up 2. That makes for ragged edged floors. We can fix that by hand and make them the right size and pretty, but since we *must* allow for auto-sizing, the fixed floors won't match the stretched floors. This can cause holes in the floors and we've all seen what happens when your floor tiles are the wrong size! Gar has also been helping Rat the Unloved to figure out all the technical details to 2x avatars! To make it all more difficult, we cannot use the FoxEd yet to get all this working!
So you see this is keeping everyone pretty busy! Often in the evenings you can watch the Pixels or Coders working on some of these things on live streams! Just watch for announcement in the game and on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks to Degu for putting this graphic together! :)