Cellophane, mister, cellophane

So one thing that I’ve learned from doing all these vector graphic games is that the black background is really tiresome after a while. Your screenshots end up looking dull and lifeless, and.. well.. a little monochromatic.

In an effort to gently improve the visual appeal of VectorStorm games, I’ve added a new feature to the engine. Back in the early days of video games, many coin-op games pasted bits of cellophane over portions of their screen, to make their games appear to be in colour, even though the graphics underneath were rendered entirely in white.

StarShot, with an overlay for drawing its background.I have added to VectorStorm the ability to specify an overlay which works in exactly this way. There may only be one overlay at a time, and it cannot change in the middle of a drawing operation, but otherwise, the sky’s the limit. Overlays may either be a solid color, or may be a linear gradient (I plan to add circular gradients in the future). The picture of StarShot here is using a gradient overlay, to give a gentle ramp of color to its background. It’s very subtle in this case, but makes the scene look much more alive and interesting than the flat black backdrop that was used before.

I haven’t updated the binary builds with this change yet, as there’s still some more work to be done on it before it’s really ready for public consumption. But for those of you using the subversion repository, the code is in there as of revision 151.