Missed posting at the 24 hour mark! ~19 hours to go, close enough.
Making some more progress, but the past few hours have been slow and problematic. I ran into one large problem, which was a kind of ‘grey’ area cause by modules/functions Ive never used in combination before (not sure if anyone has tbh). The main problem came down to the default use of ‘mipmaps’ in the BGE and Blender itself. Basically, mipmapping doesnt work well with sprites. It ‘blends’ the pixels of textures and the results are blurry, ugly sprites for super low-resolution stuff, ie the image below shows the effect:
Mipmapping (fuzzy) vs disabled Mipmapping (sharp)
This is fine in Blender itself, you can simply globally disable mipmapping, problem solved. But the issue existed when I then tried to run the game in the Burster plugin (for web-browser play), mipmapping was on by default – and theres NO way to turn it off. So the all-important browser version of the game was completely fuzzy.
My initial idea was to completely redesign the ‘architecture’ of the game. Splitting the Scene into two independent scenes, one for the 3D computer area, one for the mini-game area being projected onto the screen. I wasnt even sure if the VideoTexture module would work between scenes (which is the only reason why I didnt setup the game like this initially), but after a bit of hair-pulling coding I managed to get it sorted. I then applied a pixelated shader, which was applied to the mini-game scene so it would be pixelated, even though mipmapping was permanently enabled.
The new problem: The shader was applied to the scene, but the VideoTexture plugin wasnt ‘seeing’ the now pixelated version of the level, so the screen was still blurry even though almost everything was running exactly as Id planned.
After some more hair-pulling moments, another much simpler solution came to mind, all I had to do was increase the texture size to sharpen the pixel edges (compromising with slightly larger file-sizes). Major derp moment. This solution took 5 minutes to implement (thankful this is still early on and I dont have hundreds of textures to edit) whereas the previous failed method took almost 2 hours. Gah! At least the scenes are better organised now, the ‘architecture’ of the game is much more solid so its not a complete loss…
Either way, I just need to sort out a sprite animation issue and I’ll have a playable demo up and running for people to try out.
Heres a look at the shader too, it worked pretty well and I’ll probably use it in future projects. You can see it in the background scene, a kind of ‘distant city’ view which is the current WIP city for the game. I wont be using anything like this in final game now (happened completely by accident) but I thought it looked a bit interesting.
Distant city with pixelated shader effect