Big Bucket Software you like to use
Bringing the artwork to life
April 22nd, 2010

THE INCIDENT incorporates a technique called parallax scrolling. From Wikipedia:

In this pseudo-3D technique, background images move by the “camera” slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth in a 2D video game and adding to the immersion.

Early builds of THE INCIDENT didn’t include parallax scrolling. The viewport would pan along a single very large texture from bottom to top. It looked great; Neven’s artwork is amazing. But at the same time, it looked as if our hero, Frank, was positioned in front of a very large picture of a city. Or a very large picture of an asteroid belt. The background didn’t pop.

Nowadays, the background artwork of each level is comprised of 3 layers. The foremost of these layers scrolls up and down at the same rate at the player. The middle layer moves at half the rate of the foreground and the background layer moves at a quarter of the rate of the foreground.

Jess developed an app to help Neven take his background artwork and break it out into parallax layers. The tool made it possible to visualize how the layers would interact with (i.e. overlap and obscure) each other without having to fire up the game. The tool was dubbed Parallaxative.

Neven later suggested the idea of horizontally panning the layers. This would require that the layers be twice as wide. No big deal. Neven though, had to fill in all those extra pixels with artwork. He was keen to do it so I modified Parallaxative to include horizontal scrolling and Neven set to work. The end result was magic.

View it at Vimeo

This is probably my favorite level. Music is M83 – Facing That.