2) Layers usage.
Easy stage designs like the one LucasHB used in Manhunt can do the trick and then you just need to place your enemies and voila, but what if the modders want to add more complex effects, background layers or the worse: foreground layers? Is it possible? The answer is yes, but it's definitely a lot trickier than you could guess.
So let's start with something, can we create a multi layer background without messing it up? Yup, we can.
If you want to use a background that remain the same style horizontally (even with an infinite loop), you can use your standard 240 size (or less, if you're using only a skyline or the non-walkable area), but you gotta set it up as follows (using a stage of H.U.N.T.E.R.
by yours truly):
Check the examples, the image will be completely fixed, even up and down (the down part doesn't matter since you simply won't see it at all, considering you've already covered the sensible scroll areas). That's thanks to your Scroll X
tab in the layer. It will keep it totally fixed vertically, even if you go up or down, but it will scroll normally horizontally as you walk without problems.
For the other background layers that need standard scrolling in X AND
Y (say only a layer existing in a part of the stage but not in the whole background but you don't want it to be sunk in the stage with the Scroll X tab) then do a normal layer placement as in any normal stage: place the layer in the area, put your scroll type as Auto
(the default type), tweak the kind of scroll speed below and that's it.So, how about foregrounds?
Trickier, but possible indeed.Scenario 1.
Let's say you want an area where there's some objects that due of vertical scrolling would look like if you stepped over them? But also, this layer is at the bottom/top of the stage. You don't need it scrolled at all but you need certainly make sure that you don't step over them so you can give depth to the stage.
Then just make the items you need in the foreground in a whole layer with the size of your main layer 001 (if possible, from your stage design in your image editor just duplicate the items you need to stick out, then disappear the rest of the elements of your design BUT the stick out items with a black background, save, and add it in your fpg).
On SORmaker, put the layer on -240, which is the maximum foreground visualization without overlapping the lifebars, stage clear screen and other stuff. And the scroll speed to 1 so the layer gets stuck completely on your main layer as if it was part of it.
Many people might be asking why not using a layer with the exact size of the items you want to put on the foreground, and in fact you could, but by using the same size of your main layer and being done inside the graphic design of your stage, it will guarantee 100% accuracy of the item placement inside the game, thus no need to tweak for positioning, especially on diagonal stages.Scenario 2.
Remember the bad effect shown on Charco's stage 1-1 of v4 remade?
Yes, this scenario. I want to make a scrollable foreground in the first area of the stage before I go down but... considering that my stage scrolls also up and down even before I need to go down or up then it does show that under my layer there's... a void! >_< What to do!?
Okay, there's two solutions for this:
1) The easier way to do this is to place your foreground layer (has to be a partial layer, of course, you only need it in that area in particular) with Scroll X
tab. Also make sure to tweak the speed of your foreground scroll in order that, when you need to go up or down, the foreground layer is out of the area so it doesn't look weirdly out of place... like this:
This way, whenever you move up or down, the foreground stays on screen.
I personally don't like how it looks like because it looks awkward the effect, but I think it works well if the foreground it's meant to be from a bit aerial position that justifies the foreground to be shown... like from a nearby rooftop, say.
2) A more elaborated way to do this is: Make a foreground layer covering the Y visible areas, which means, if you want to use the generic fences, garden dividers, phone booths, cars, signs, people, etc, make sure their bases are visible over a different ground layer if you wanna make them visible. Pretty much you have to fill out the void beneath it.
In all honesty, this could be my approach if I had to since it will deliver a more visual stunning impact and won't look awkward the scrolling in X and Y altogether. You still might need to tweak the speed of that foreground so doesn't clash vertically with your players/enemies and look like if a whole sidewalk is stomping over them.
Point in fact, would be highly recommendable to keep the design in the vertical viewing area as you go down so it looks like a whole street block (the same, keeping it under the non-walkable area).
If you are going to use police, put it in Helicopter
only mode, otherwise... something like this would happen:
which doesn't look THAT bad if you filled up the lower part completely... but if you did, then it might look as shitty as this:
So, bottomline, stick with Helicopter assistance only.