It might make the maps seem more vibrant if it contains animated map objects like computers with blinking cursors, space ship wall computer screens, fires in attacked buildings or fans in ventilation ducts.
Animated map objects (fixes #430)
Add animated fans post (#430)
I've implemented this feature plus the spinning fan tile from Cyberdogs; the computer terminal would be an obvious choice for animation, but what else? Let's add some animated map objects as required, for example I recall some of your campaigns are supposed to have server racks? Perhaps we can resprite those with blinkenlights.
@cxong Allright, I'll try to do that and the wallscreens mentioned in the opening post later today.
@cxong I sent you a modified version of the space pirates campaign with wall screens in the 4th mission. Those aren't exactly works of art, so improvements and suggestions are welcome, but I might add more stuff later.
The animation works flawless. However, it uncovers some issues:
@cxong Ok, I added blinking servers and powerhubs to the AI Insurgency campaign.
Thanks; the sprites aren't bad. I've updated AI insurgency.
The Space Pirates ones will need more work; the current map object system doesn't fully support what you want. Some problems:
To fix the first problem, I'm thinking of reworking the "wreck" system, adding a separate flag for whether a map object should be drawn last, and instead when map objects are destroyed, they can optionally spawn another map object in their place. This is usually a wreck, but it could also be another destructible map object. You could have map objects at different stages of destruction, or you could loop them back into the original object. Sounds interesting but I don't know if there are practical uses for that - maybe a light that toggles between colours as you shoot them?
The second problem is harder. Unless you want them to be shootable from behind the wall, we'll need to do continuous collision detection, maybe using a technique like this one: http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/q/55873/26250. Then we can have a super-thin map object, 1px tall and just outside the wall. This will also fix other bugs like #372. I've been putting this one off because I've been wondering at which point it'll be worth it to just go directly to a real physics system like Chipmunk2D, but I suppose that'll probably never happen.
By the way, the screen sprites are ok but they can be improved by shading the edges, so it looks like a physical screen instead of something painted onto the wall. Just like the techniques used here: http://opengameart.org/content/unfinished-user-interfaces
@cxong Thanks, I'll look into shading.
If it turns out that the changes in the code aren't worth it, should I leave the collision stuff as it is or disable the wrecks?
@cxong I added some shades, but I'm not sure if the light is right. C-Dogs has some weird light sources and the shades look kind of big due to the low resolution.