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How to improve your program!

Hello there!

This guide is for people who have already made their program, but want to improve it in various ways. Let's get started. (For lazy people, there's a TL;DR at the end of the guide.)

1. USE YOUR OWN TEXTURES!

Of course, it's not necessary to make your own textures in SmileBASIC: the game already gives you plenty of resources. However, if you're willing to make your program look even better, an interesting solution is to make additional textures and graphics. Here's a few things you could do to make your game look unique.

Make a custom font!

You could edit the font and make your own! It's a relatively easy way to add originality to your project.

For experts:

Another thing you could do is a custom 16x16 font with sprites. Afterwards, you would need a command that translates the text you want to display into sprites.

Make your own sprites and backgrounds!

If your program is a tool, you will likely need custom textures at some point. Of course, most of the sprites and backgrounds are totally fine if they're used correctly. What I mean is, you should keep some sprites and make new ones depending on your needs!

Make sure the background of your program is never empty!

That's very important. Unless your program absolutely needs the background to consist of one color, make sure to give life to your program by adding a colorful background!

For experts:

You can make awesome-looking textures on your computer, and import them using Homebrew or Petit Modem. That's the best way to give your game the looks you want.

2. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING GOES SMOOTHLY!

Nobody likes laggy games, right? And you might think it's only a small detail, but making smooth transitions between "scenes" can give your program a cool touch. Here's what I recommend you could do.

Before publishing your program, run it and use every feature you programmed!

You might still find a few laggy things and maybe even bugs. Look at the code, and attempt to fix these. In case you have no idea how to make your feature work properly, ask us! The forums were created just for that. Just remember that even the smallest bugs can make your game less enjoyable.

Add fading and shading!

Fading is simple to do: use the command "FADE Color, Time(in frames)". For example, in a RPG, once you start a new game from the main menu, you could make the screen fade, then let the game initiate everything, then make the screen unfade once everything's ready. Shading can also be useful: it consists of fading the screen just enough so it doesn't disappear entirely. You can use that, for example, when you want the player to focus on the other screen. Believe me, you could use shading to make really cool visual effects. You just need some creativity.

3. ADD COOL DETAILS!

You don't really have to do this, but programs usually are more enjoyable when it contains more content than necessary. Honestly, if you're human, you enjoy video game easter eggs.

Add easter eggs or very small details that are susceptible to make the player smile!

As I just said, people generally love easter eggs. If your program is actually meant to be serious, adding references from your favorite games can be a possibility. Be creative with how the player should encounter these!

Add tutorials and/or samples!

Sometimes, programs can be difficult to understand, and users get frustrated and have no choice but to ask the author how to play. People probably will understand better how your game works if there's a tutorial. Or, if your program is a tool, making a few samples is a very good idea.

Conclusion

If you follow the tips I talked about in this guide, your program will certainly look better. But do keep in mind that it's not because you followed all of my advice that your program will necessarily be a popular game.

TL;DR

Even the smallest details can make your program more enjoyable. Even the smallest issues can make your program less enjoyable.

Author
Sam
Updated
Rating
13 votes
Categories
Keywords
  • guide
  • tutorial
  • improve
18 Comment(s) CyberYoshi64 CyberYoshi64 Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Great Page Hidden Achievements Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Maybe even a 16x16 pixel font. 4 FONTDEFs for each char. I mean you have about 6000 chars usable total. Sam Sam Amazing Page Hidden Achievements Great Page Hidden Achievements Good Page Hidden Achievements That can work, but the font would take quite a lot of space on-screen..! CyberYoshi64 CyberYoshi64 Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Great Page Hidden Achievements Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself I thought about that to make like a better looking caption/header. Also I worked on a routine that makes the font look like the fonts here. (In other words, it combines the characters together to get it, so you can have more text on a single line. I could do the same thing with the 16x16 characters.) Like: iiiiiiiiiiiiiii vs. i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i Minxrod Minxrod Third Year My account is over 3 years old Website Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength QSP Contest 2 Contest Participant I participated in the second SmileBASIC Source QSP Contest! The subheadings and such are unreadable on dark theme. Might want to fix that. randomous randomous Owner Robot Hidden Easter Eggs Second Year My account is over 2 years old Website Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies Thanks; fixed! Minxrod Minxrod Third Year My account is over 3 years old Website Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength QSP Contest 2 Contest Participant I participated in the second SmileBASIC Source QSP Contest! Yay, it's readable now :D Sam Sam Amazing Page Hidden Achievements Great Page Hidden Achievements Good Page Hidden Achievements lol I forgot to talk about the GPUTCHR displaying method in my last update too bad I might do it in the next update UltraPhoenix4 UltraPhoenix4 Third Year My account is over 3 years old Website Bees Hidden Easter Eggs Avatar Taboo I didn't change my avatar for 180 days Website Yeah, what Minxrod said. +1 for trying to help. Minxrod Minxrod Third Year My account is over 3 years old Website Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength QSP Contest 2 Contest Participant I participated in the second SmileBASIC Source QSP Contest! Looks like a nice guide! ...But I like the 8x8 default font. It looks nice, plus you get smiley faces and like 500 characters, which isn't easy in sprites. More guide stuff: I like the way it's divided up, and how key points are bulleted. It makes it easy to read! You should write a guide to writing guides... >:D Sam Sam Amazing Page Hidden Achievements Great Page Hidden Achievements Good Page Hidden Achievements The point to making a custom font is to make your program look unique. It's not the end of the world if the programmer uses the default font, but imagine if, for example, every Mario game in existence used the exact same font. :P Minxrod Minxrod Third Year My account is over 3 years old Website Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength QSP Contest 2 Contest Participant I participated in the second SmileBASIC Source QSP Contest! For the most part, the font HAS been pretty consistent between Mario games, or at least the newer ones. But yeah, it does add to the program. Though, custom 8x8 fonts are pretty good too though, it's better than 16x16 in terms of characters but still can look unique. Sam Sam Amazing Page Hidden Achievements Great Page Hidden Achievements Good Page Hidden Achievements I edited the fonts section so it explains things better. Minxrod Minxrod Third Year My account is over 3 years old Website Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength QSP Contest 2 Contest Participant I participated in the second SmileBASIC Source QSP Contest! Great :P 12Me21 12Me21 Syntax Highlighter Received for creating the code syntax highlighter on SBS Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself if you use GPUTCHR to display the characters closer together, it looks a lot better. Sam Sam Amazing Page Hidden Achievements Great Page Hidden Achievements Good Page Hidden Achievements That's what I do all the time lol I did forget to mention it, thank you. I'll edit the guide later today. 12Me21 12Me21 Syntax Highlighter Received for creating the code syntax highlighter on SBS Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself Also, making the letters I,i, and l be less wide looks nice glennxserge glennxserge A variable width font system that uses GPUTCHR would be cool. 12Me21 12Me21 Syntax Highlighter Received for creating the code syntax highlighter on SBS Night Person I like the quiet night and sleep late. Express Yourself I made one, let me see if I remember... FOR I=0 TO LEN(S$)-1 IF INSTR("ilI .",S$[I])+1 THEN DEC X GPUTCHR X,Y,S$[i] INC X,6 IF INSTR("ilI .",S$[I])+1 THEN DEC X NEXT The text I displayed only had some letters, spaces, and ., so you'll have to add more symbols