Platform Masters Title
Platform Masters - Will you be the world's next platform master?

Maglev Train - traffic variety 3

Date: March 29, 2014
Screenshot #521: This screenshot also shows still more traffic variety. The Electronics Island semi is more clearly visible here. A red compact is in front of it but not obscuring it. A blue regular truck is on the far right going left. In front, there's a school bus for Musianna. Musianna is a big coastal city northeast of Osa and due east of Desleal. I can just picture a 8-year-old playing PM and thinking "There are schools in video games? I didn't know that!". A better view of the ambulance is visible, along with a highway patrol car.

Maglev Train - PM semi up close

Date: March 29, 2014
Screenshot #522: The semi for Clothesland, a clothing store, is clearly visible here. 7 basic types of clothing are listed but the fictitious store sells more than just these 7 types. I intended on the design to be rather simple. A red truck going the other direction is just behind it. A gray motorcycle and a yellow compact are the other 2 smaller vehicles. Those compacts and motorcycles sure are small, aren't they? Yet, they're very close to the scene which really gives a good sense on just how vast PM's landscapes are. Those mountains with only the white part visible are at 512 SU, about 250 to 300 times farther away.

The semi for PM is the most detailed of them all. The scene is taken from Barugan Reef. A platform level's middle 2/3 or so is visible. In the bottom right is a familiar piece of text, as from the similar sailboat: "champ begins July 20". In the bottom left corner is a sort of schematic for "best". The B is "breathtaking views" - you've seen how scenic things are, right? The E is "explore the world", after the 20 themed environments that go all over a sizeable chunk of the world. The S is "strengthen yourself", after the fact you can upgrade stats (and seemingly forever). The T is "thrilling adventure" as hopping over sharp spikes, battling enemies, making tricky jumps, all while rushing to get to that goal platform before time runs out. Overall, I'm very impressed with how well this one came out.

Maglev Train - the other semis

Date: March 29, 2014
Screenshot #523: This shows the other 3 semis that remains, along with repeats of 2 others. Quincy's is the department store. I wanted a name that was narrow, started with a Q, and was very big. Clothesland is behind it. Just to the right of the track support is Comfort Furniture Store, a fictitious furniture store. Items being advertised are on it, showing prices that are both high and low alike. In front of it is Galactic Groceries. If you look closely, there are 2 galaxies present, not to mention a host of stars. The familiar Platform Masters semi is present as well though covered. There's the one for Hardwaremart just coming into the view on the far right and a green compact just leaving the view on the left. 6 semis and 1 other car in the view is pretty packed. Full details on all vehicles will be explained in the upcoming (fairly long) video.

Designing Traffic - utilizing shortcuts

Date: April 1, 2014
Screenshot #524: I hate it when I get that "why didn't I think of that earlier" case. It took me 2 days to process world 11's 442 cars. With what I'm using now, at the cost of stability problems with GIMP (saving more frequently helps with that), I could process the same 442 cars in only 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Why is it so much faster? Here's why:

1. Import all necessary images. When done processing that layer, reimport the same images. Forget reimporting them, just import all that's needed once and duplicate the image. Make all layers visible in the duplicated image and hide those I want to keep. Control+M then enter to merge. Delete the merged layer. Speed difference: about double speed.

2. Resize each layer. After getting the needed images processed, I need to resize each layer so that the layer can be properly scaled down. Since the traffic uses multiples of 1/8 SU, I need to multiply the SU distance by 8 - the image dimensions must be at least the width of the source but it also must be a multiple of this. Repeat this for every single layer. Forget repeating it for every layer - prepare a fully transparent layer that's the size of the largest span present, doing each axis separately. If one layer is 160x64 and another was 128x80, I'd use 160x80. This must be done before the duplication. What also must be done before duplicating the image is moving all would-be-imported layers into the bottom left corner. Once the unnecessary layers are removed, I resize just this resizing layer to the size I need. The resizing layer is then repeatedly duplicated and moved up. From there, I merge the resizing layer into the target. This forces the target layer to be resized. Speed difference: about 80% faster.

3. Scale each resized layer down. Each layer must then be scaled down to the intended size one at a time. Forget doing them one at a time, just scale the image. This is another use in duplicating it. Before starting, the "fit canvas to layers" must be used. Scaling the image follows which also happens to scale down every single layer in the same ratio. The screenshot shows this step. Speed difference: about quadruple speed.

4. Resize the image canvas to a width that's high enough to contain the entire set. This is not done in the old method.

5. Autocrop each layer. Autocrop isn't entirely reliable due to bugs, but I have workarounds. This is done the same way in both methods. Speed difference: unchanged.

6. Move each layer so that they just touch each other with no gaps or overlap. With the semi random positions of each vehicle in the old method, I have to select them by group. Forget doing that - with everything in the corner and the same size, they'll all be in the same spot so there's much less dragging needed - link 'em all and move them as a set, unlink the next one, move the next bunch over and repeat. Speed difference: about 30% faster.

7. Merge the layers, copy them, then transfer to the original image, autocropping as needed. Overall speed difference: about 150% faster.

Sometimes, it's a wonder what's available that you just don't readily see. What used to take about 40 minutes for 57 car variations takes only 10 minutes for 38 car variations.

Jeremy's House - traffic school bus

Date: April 1, 2014
Screenshot #525: From utilizing that shortcut, having 2 total crashes, I've finished the traffic for world 1 a bit earlier than I was expecting. The end result? Well, to say the least, I'm quite impressed. This scene shows a school bus. If you look on the other street, you can see a yellow motorcycle - that rider is so small, you almost couldn't make out the human shape as it's so tiny (just picture Jeremy Kaplan that far out... or out to the farthest visible parts in the scenery - the vastness of the scenery is just amazing).

Jeremy's House - traffic city bus and tow truck

Date: April 1, 2014
Screenshot #526: Here's the city bus and tow truck. Although hard to see, there are hooks on the tow truck. The city bus, however, is very easy to see. But, up close, the amount of detail present is quite nice. I like how the "city bus" part came out for a logo.

Ronnisa Plains - traffic and train tracks

Date: April 4, 2014
Screenshot #527: Ronnisa Plains is back to its former glory, and a bit better than before. Being near the mega city that Ronnis is, the traffic is really packed. The power lines have been added back, better than before (and standardized). What's new is that the train tracks have been added, but with time being short for needing to start the 5-year anniversary video, I've decided to leave out the train for now.

Keveran Desert - traffic updates

Date: April 5, 2014
Screenshot #528: Keveran Desert, despite having to update the ground decals for consistency and standardization with the road (and updates regarding the power lines), was finished far faster than any of the other worlds. There are 288 total vehicles here (instead of 576, 1136, and 768 in the previous worlds). In this view, you can see the travel bus for this area of the world - the Ronnisa-Keveran Travel Services Company (another fictitious business). This traffic is very small due to a large amount of distance.

Keveran Forest - the new road

Date: April 6, 2014
Screenshot #529: Keveran Forest is now even better, thanks to the addition of an actual road with traffic, train tracks (but no train yet), and power lines. Remember how I had it so that, when the Teigram River was no longer visible from the tree tops completely obscuring it, that was your warning sign that you were getting close to the lowest allowed point? In the remake, the gap in the trees where the road is your warning sign. If you can see the power lines, you only have 9 blocks left before the final warning sign becomes visible - the screen stops scrolling lower. In this scene, however, you can see how small the rider is on the motorcycle (left corner) along with getting a closer view of the Ronnisa-Keveran travel bus. Humans at 3.25 SU sure are small, aren't they?

Musan Swamp - the first look and its traffic

Date: April 7, 2014
Screenshot #530: Musan Swamp, the most difficult world in the entire game, has seen it's first bit of progress. Until the 5-year anniversary video is posted, the finer details, including the basic looks, will remain classified. There isn't much to look forward to though.