GrayScale – dev log #3

Rules are made to be broken.

Player input and visuals

I decided to get rid of GameBoy style input limitation in favor of 360° walking, aiming and dashing. This will open up a lot of possibilities for puzzles and give more freedom in fighting. So in the end players will be able to play on mouse/keyboard setup or using their favorite gamepad and play with analog sticks to aim dash direction.

With this I need to get rid of smooth-follow camera I talked about last time. Right now the camera is locked on player. I got inspired by the game Awesomenauts, right now I have a similar cursor to theirs and your charactes is always in the middle.

A little white box is replaced with a robot guy from the original GrayScale prototype! Fun fact: head and legs are animated independently (2 different sprites) which saves me a lot of sprite animation drawing. Head will always follow a mouse cursor, that’s aim direction, and legs will animate independent of the head.

I started using TexturePacker to merge (almost) all the textures, which didn’t work well with luxe’s SpriteAnimation component. I drew all player animation frames in one file: head looking around, legwork and other animations are put in 16×16 grid, in 4 rows. TexturePacker treats that whole file as one “frame” in a frameset. Luxe’s SpriteAnimation component can’t guess if given packed texture is a mixture of actual frames and independent animations, which in my case it is. I had to modify this component a bit to correctly setup player animation.

In the mean time I’m preparing some functions and variables to be used in new powers. One example would be grab/throw mechanic. My last GBJam game RUSH used it and it was pretty fun. I can already think of much more use cases for it.

On a side note, I’m just amazed that my XBOX One Controller is natively supported on Ubuntu! I remember waiting for the official driver to come out back when I had Windows installed… Linux never stops to amaze me.

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Auto Terrain Generator for Tiled



Just let me download it already!


During development of GrayScale I found myself lacking the tools or skill to create terrain in Tiled editor. Using terrains I could create pretty maps much faster than placing individual tiles for details. Now with Auto Terrain Generator I can actually focus on doing some level design.



Get the source code and play with it:

I’m open for PRs and fixing issues. I’m working only on Linux and Windows so It would be cool to see someone build this tool without problem on a Mac

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GrayScale – dev log #2

After a few small updates to the GrayScale I’ve realised that my previous concept of timing and physics was completely wrong! In short: I believed that firing extra physics steps when the timer missed 1/60 th of a second was a good idea. But what changed?

I’ve also spent some time on graphics. Preparing terrain tiles for Tiled is difficult but the results are fun to look at and really speed up level design. The bit challange is to make compatible tileset that will work with Tiled, It needs many combinations.

Camera movement

Cmera from the last HaxeFlixel version of GrayScale was simply awesome:

  • It smoothly followed character while it was moving around
  • And limited the distance from camera’s center to character (deadzone), so player can always see where he’s dashing to.

You can find the example GIF of “old” camera movement in my previous GrayScale – dev log #1.

Until now only smooth-follow was implemented, and It looked pretty. But the gameplay is too fast for it. Player can quickly dash in a direction, and now not all enemies/obstacles in front of you are visible.

First try at implementing dead zone failed. I couldn’t get the character to stay still on-screen while player was moving straight. The sprite always stutters where it’s on the edge of dead zone but should remain still. I kept trying different camera settings:

Tight smooth follow, without deadzone

As you can see (or not) the character (white box) doesn’t stay still in one position, relative to camera view, when moving straight in line (tiny stutters). This won’t look good after I add character sprite to it.

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GrayScale – dev log #1

grayscale - after

I’ve been posting couple of GIFs around the internet from my GrayScale game but never explained how each thing works. This post was originally written at It is a good place to start, if you’re reading this then you would find some luxe-related things interesting. In fact I think I managed to create/discover at least one interesting thing about luxe that I wanted to share with you (physiiiics).

I won’t call myself an expert in programming and this post is in no way a tutorial on “how to do things“. With luxe you can find your own way of coding. I’m just sharing what I discovered and had fun with

Quick intro

GrayScale is a small game I made for GameBoy Jam last year. It was made in HaxeFlixel but I wanted more control over my code and be able to easily create lots of enemies with different abilities. After few hours of googling I stopped by a thing called “Component Entity System” and finally found luxe engine (and so far I love it!). You can read more about the project itself on my blog.

Movement & “fixed time rate

Movement is the core gameplay in here, you can walk, run, dash and jump-attack. I organized each type to extend from one Mover component so each kind of mechanics share the same base (which is really thin so far). With components it’s easy to make characters controlled by player or AI and make them move by similar rules. I can make new enemies that walk around and dash-attack the same way that player does. Movement can be basically used for moving any kind of objects around the world. This way I could use it to move projectiles, doors, platforms etc.

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GrayScale – Re-making from scratch


Some time ago I decided to keep updating GrayScale. It was created using HaxeFlixel, which is great for quick prototyping small games. Maybe it’s my limited knowledge of that framework but I discovered that It gave me too much problems while developing. Adding new enemy means lots of copy/pasted code or strict inheritance.

Next I found out that it tried to do most of the work for me. It’s usually not a bad thing, but when something goes wrong or when you start seeing performance issues on slower machines, you can’t quickly find what seems to be a problem. Another bad thing is that it laggs horribly while recording a video, I’ve seen at least 2 letsplayers who had issues with my game.

Then I found luxe engine.

Component entity system would solve my problems with creating new enemies/abilities. Direct GL calls everywhere (OpenGL/WebGL). No Flash. Plus I could add fancy GLSL shaders into the game, like explosion shockwave or changing colors in runtime without using thousands of different sprites.

Luxe engine enforces programmers to do most of the job, but thats OK with me. I have more control over what I’m creating. I define how physics work, how collisions are calculated in tile-based world.

Box learned a new trick - Stomp

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1GAW – #4 Simon says


Press Enter to let Simon talk… and then follow his word.

This Simon says prototype was fun to create. There’s a lot of event based movements and 2 custom components. One for making buttons clickable and another to make them shine for a bit when Simon says.

If you’re new to the Luxe engine, I’d like to introduce the config.json file. With this little beauty you can make changes to your game world without needing to re-build the whole code. In this example I used it to set width & height of the game but also to change colors of Simon’s buttons, as you can see in the image above.

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Twitter widget refresh

I couldn’t find anything in the Twitter Embedded Timelines documentation that would let me set refresh interval so I made my own. At first I thought I could simply reset the iframe’s src attribute, which usually would reload frame’s content. But Twitter’s widget didn’t had src attribute.

I found a solution. It’s really quick and dirty one, but it works. You can get and modify it to your needs. I’ve only tested it with list’s timeline.

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