How to use solid collision filtering with Tile movement in Construct 3

Solid collision filtering is a really useful feature in Construct 3, but it’s not very well documented.

I’m using it in my latest game together with Tile movement to handle moving the inventory screen selector. Tile movement allows easy grid-like movement in the inventory screen and I’m using simple borders with the solid behavior to stop the selector when it’s close to an edge.

The problem with this was that the indicator was also colliding with solids in the game world which still existed under the inventory menu screen.

The solution was to use solid collision filtering like this:

Select the solids that should collide with your Tile movement -object. Add a descriptive tag (or several tags separated by spaces) in the solid settings:

Then on start of layout you can target the object with the Tile movement and find the Set solid collision filtering action under Misc category:

Now you can set it to “inclusive” mode and type in the tag name you gave to your solid:

That’s it! Now your Tile movement object should only collide with the solids that have that specific tag in their solid settings.

Happy game making!

Finally a sprite sheet recoloring process that works

I have been searching for a good workflow for testing out different color palettes for existing video game designs.

I have finally found a relatively pain free method of testing different color palettes and applying them to entire games. I will be making a video tutorial about this in the future, but before I get to that, I thought I would already explain the basics of the workflow.

Step 1:

This process will be easier and quicker if you can pack all your game graphics into one large sprite sheet first. For this I used an open source tool called Free Texture Packer. Grab it here:

http://free-tex-packer.com/

Step 2:

Run Free texture Packer and choose “Actions” –> “Load folder” and point it to your sprites folder. From the settings panel on the right, uncheck “Prepend folder name” and “Detect identical”. Then hit “Export”. Your sprite sheet will be saved along with a JSON file that describes the sprite names and locations in the sheet.

Step 3:

Download the open source tool called “Image Palettizer” here:

https://github.com/PureAsbestos/Image-palettizer

Step 4:

Load your sprite sheet into the tool and then load a color palette in the Gimp .gpl palette format. Click apply and let Image Palettizer figure out how to best convert your image to the suggested palette. There are different intermediate color spaces available should you not be happy with the initial results.

Step 5:

Save your color converted sprite sheet and go back to Free Texture Packer. Go to “Tools” –> “Split sheet” and give it the sprite sheet file and the JSON file. It will ask you for a save location and the write your sprites back into their original individual files, even preserving their original names -very nice!

Step 6:

Replace the old files in your game folder with the recolored ones. You have just recolored your entire game based on a color palette! This makes it quick and effortless to try out different palettes for your game designs.

Stay tuned for the video tutorial version!

Construct 3 Spritefonts with Photoshop

Creating your own Spritefonts (sometimes also called bitmap fonts) for Scirra’s Construct 3 game engine using Photoshop can be surprisingly tricky. The main difficulty seems to be in creating a grid of evenly spaced characters so that the automatic Sprite font slicing mechanism in Construct can slice them up properly. A monospace font makes this much more simple since all the characters will take up the same space by default, but monospace fonts are quite limiting stylistically. What if you want to have non-monospaced fonts neatly organized in a grid for Construct?

There are helpful tools like “Give Your Fonts Mono” which can convert a regular font into a sprite font and it even generates the spacing data for Construct 3 which you paste into the Spritefont plugin settings. The spacing data looks typically something like this;

[[20,” “],[9,”l|”],[10,”Ii.,;:!'”],[16,”`”],[17,”[]”],[18,”j”],[20,”()”],[21,”t”],[22,”1-\”\/°”],[23,”r”],[25,”f”],[26,”*”],[31,”J”],[33,”u”],[34,”hkns”],[35,”Ldq”],[36,”bcgpz03789?”],[37,”Favy256+=$<>”],[38,”eox4~”],[40,”£”],[42,”BEP#€”],[44,”HNSTUZ_”],[45,”K”],[46,”D&”],[48,”R”],[49,”C”],[50,”VXY”],[51,”AG”],[52,”MO”],[53,”Q”],[54,”mw”],[58,”%”],[69,”W”],[70,”@”]]

You can’t however do any fancy stuff like giving your characters drop shadows, strokes or gradient fills etc. But there is a work around! Just save your tranparent png image from GYFM and open that in Photoshop. Then you can play with layer styles etc as long as you don’t cross the bounding box given for each character. You can increase the bounding box size in Give your fonts mono to give yourself more room. In Photoshop you might need to cut some of the rows into their separate layers for consistent gradients, but other than that this workflow should be pretty straightforward. When done in PS, simply re-save as PNG and import to Construct 3.

Unfortunately Construct doesn’t seem to support kerning at the moment so that would have to be handled with events. It’s not the easiest of programming challenges though.

Another possibility (besides custom events) might be to make a copy of the most difficult characters in the Spritefont sheet and give them special spacing rules. Then you would need to pick that special character in the situations in which your kerning looks bad. That’s also a bit hacky and tedious. So before Construct gets proper kerning support for Spritefonts, it might be best to stick to monospace Spritefonts.

Run a simple lightweight Python server

When you are developing websites you often run into the need to test them on a server environment, because browsers block websites with certain features from running locally.

Here is a really quick way to run such a website in a server environment using Python 3 (which you probably have already installed on your machine anyways).

  1. Open the command window where your website root folder is. One easy way of doing that is simply typing “cmd” in the Windows Explorer address bar.
  2. Type this command in the command window:
python -m http.server 8000
  1. Now simply go to http://127.0.0.1:8000/ in your browser.