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This commentary is also available with pretty pictures on the game's web site at http://www.riseoftansra.c om/about.html.
This video game began in a university dorm room, late in the summer of 2005. The goal was to create a side-scrolling game that people could download and play locally on their Windows PC. After constructing a rudimentary game engine, the author set to work creating all the images by hand, pixel by pixel. After many months, the artwork was complete, but school pressures prevented further development of the game itself. The project proceeded to gather dust for several years.
Later, in early 2010, the author decided to revive the project as a Flash game. After writing a completely new engine, recording sound effects, and arranging music, he deemed the development complete and launched this site. It is here for you to enjoy; please send lots of feedback, whether you love playing the game or find it terrible.
Many people say that video game developers tend to make their main characters look like themselves. This holds especially true in the case of Rise of Tansra, as is rather apparent when playing the game. The main character is simply called The Hero, and has no more personal name. Perhaps he can represent the hero in all of us as we cartwheel through life. Unfortunately, the author's acrobatic abilities do not match those of The Hero, but this has potential to change over time. For more information about the author, visit the game's website at http://www.riseoftansra.c om/author.html.
The game was written in Actionscript 3 using Flash Builder. The pixel graphics were written from scratch; the only external library used was 8bitboy for the music. The author used a desktop development computer with Windows 7, with a Core i7 2.8GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM. The total length of time spent on creating the game from start to finish was technically seven years, but excluding an idle period in the middle, the game took about a year's worth of development time. The main programming book used was Learning Actionscript 3.0.
Basic Sprite Editor
The author created all the graphics in this game by hand using custom image-editing software called the Basic Sprite Editor. It is optimized for editing small images called "sprites" that are commonly used in two-dimensional video games.
It gives the user the ability to examine a small image in high detail and edit the pixels individually. The user can use the color slider to switch the current hue, and the adjacent square to set the saturation and value. The most recent twenty colors are stored in a palette. The editor supports drawing individual pixels, lines, boxes, circles, flood fill, copy/paste, and magnified editing. There are useful keyboard shortcuts for every function the program supports. You can download the Basic Sprite Editor with full source code at http://www.riseoftansra.c om/about.html (keep in mind that some of the code is over a decade old). You can see an example of how to use the editor at http://riseoftansra.com/b se/readme.html.
Most tile-based platform games come with their own level editors. Rise of Tansra is no exception, and a screenshot of the level editor in action is shown at http://www.riseoftansra.c om/about.html. The bottom part of the screen holds all possible tiles in the game, and the top part of the screen displays the current level being edited. There is a help menu available by pressing F1 that shows all the possible commands and keyboard shortcuts. The editor has some nice features, like the ability to copy/paste rectangular selections of tiles (with support for overlapping areas) and an automatic tile fixer that fixes the edges of certain areas. For example, using the tile fixer on a contiguous set of dirt tiles would turn the top row to grass tiles, the left and right edges to the appropriate edge dirt tiles, and the bottom row to tiles that fade to black.
(More info available at http://www.riseoftansra.c om/about.html)
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