Spent most of the weekend going back and forth with Christina (@castpixel) over how the ship builder will work. Since I’m designing this for my 5 year old I want it to be intuitive and as automated as possible. We came up with the concept of adapting bitwise titling which is a feature of most tile editors to help make tile maps look a little more dynamic.
The basic idea is that you simply detect the connections around a given tile and assign a value to it then map that to a specific tile sprite. This post explains it an much more detail. Here is the basic debug version running in my editor.
Next up, I used a sample tile set from Christina which without much additional work is already starting to look really cool.
Even better, it’ works seamlessly with my disconnect code already built into the editor that detects when you delete a part of the ship that orphans other parts from the center.
It get’s better. Christina is already working on more complex structures that would allow us to add even more details to the ships like this.
At the end of the day, now you only need to focus on the actual structure of the ship and the editor handles the rest making it easy for young kids to use.