I’m planning a series of 150 TikTok videos to help spread the word about Super Space Galaxy. Starting something like this can be daunting and it’s easy to put it off, thinking you have to get the ‘perfect’ format for the videos before you start. In reality, I won’t know how good the videos are until I put them out there!
The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.C.S. Lewis
The main obstacle making videos of the game for TikTok is the proportions of TikTok’s mobile-friendly videos. In Super Space Galaxy, the game window is 320×240 pixels, a thoroughly old-school resolution I chose to resemble the games of the early 90s. TikTok videos are recommended to be 1080×1920. Basically, Super Space Galaxy is horizontal, but TikTok is vertical. How could I ever make decent videos with this limitation?
This effectively means that only the middle section of the game’s screen will be visible in a TikTok video. That was going to be an issue as it’s possible for enemies and items to be either side of the visible area. I’ve already made a few attempts at TikTok videos, and they’ve all needed some manual editing to keep the enemies on screen as you fight them. This might not sound like much, but when you want to quickly produce 150 videos any amount of manual editing really stings!
Normally, the camera in combat is fixed in the centre, but I decided to make a new ‘TikTok camera’ mode that kept enemies on screen for the TikTok videos. Now, the camera can move during combat to keep as many enemies as possible on screen at once.
For a while I considered a system that used the average location of all objects on screen, but I realized that might leave some objects off-screen still if there’s enemies on both sides of your ship.
The game takes note of the object that’s the furthest to the left, and the one furthest to the right. It then tries to keep both locations in view within the defined ‘TikTok’ camera bounds.
As it happens I recently updated Clickteam Fusion to a new version and found that it now supports more than 26 variables per object. These two numbers are the first variables to exist in the new 27th and 28th slots!
I’m rather a sucker for automation and I would never have been comfortable manually editing the camera position in my videos, knowing that I could program a tool to do it in-game instead. Now I’m truly ready for an onslaught of videos showing Super Space Galaxy. Expect them to appear on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram soon!
Thanks for reading,