Plan for bigger walkabouts

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This Plan is probably obsolete[edit]

Right now, walkabout sprites are limited to 20x20.

What if we simply added a new sprite type

.PT9      big walkabouts     32 x 40 x 12       640 x 12 = 7680

The size would be the same as hero graphics (for the benefit of people who want to synch battle/walkabout graphics FF6-style). There would be 3 frames in each direction.

Or alternatively we might go with

.PT9      big walkabouts     40 x 40 x 12       800 x 12 = 9600

Which could still be used the same way, but would allow for squarish "boss" npcs with only minor pixel wasteage.

In the NPC editor, and the hero editor we would add an additional data element for walkabout sprite size 0=small, 1=large. (this would work just like the sprite size setting for enemies)

Big NPCs would be drawn on the map with their bottom center in the same place as the bottom-center of small NPCs. There would be no special passability considerations for big walkabout sprites, they would still use 20x20 passability squares. (any change to that behavior would belong in Plan for non-tile-based walking)

Ideally we want some future version to allow total flexability in sprite sizes, but this plan would be super-easy to implement, and would only add a very small additional backcompat burden (no worse than what already exists for enemy graphics)

Thanks to the fact that walkabouts are now drawn with slices, using variable sizes will be very easy to support. Supporting other animation schemes besides 2-frame walking will require a little more work.


Concerns/Things To Be Careful About[edit]

  • Layering - If two such sprites pass each other by only one vertical tile apart, then the top half of the 'southern' sprite should probably be drawn over the bottom half of the 'northern' sprite, regardless of heroes being drawn over NPCs or vice versa
    • Yes. This is already implemented. Just go into the general map data editor and set "Walkabout layering: Together"
  • Map borders - Are there extra concerns for trying to draw the sprite on the top line of a wraparound map? What should be done at the top of a cropped map?
    • This will work already with no special work
  • Passability expectations - Certainly for tall characters the expectation would be to stick with 20x20 passability squares determined by the bottom half of the sprite. But authors may interpret 'big walkabouts' to mean that they can make a 'big' bed with only one NPC, and expect the bed to contribute a wall on both of it's tiles. 'Tall' may be a better word to use than big, or perhaps there need to be further considerations. Maybe the choice in the NPC Editor ought to explicitly explain that a 'large' NPC (I'm really thinking 'tall' would be a better word) is only considered as standing on the tile of its bottom half.
  • Plotscripting - Don't forget to update 'read NPC' and 'alter NPC'
    • Of course.

See Also[edit]