Help Screen, Audio, and AA

Hey Folks! Bit of a slog today, wading through some minor (yet difficult) fixes involving the help screen, audio, and graphics.

The help screen was more tedious than challenging, and mainly involved restoring the mouse-based tips to replace the touchscreen ones. A lot of that could just be reused, but it needed some tweaking, and each of the UIs needed the tips rearranged to fit.

In the process, I also deleted a bunch of the redundant and outdated images from the game's asset folder. E.g. unused UI backgrounds, buttons for mobile, etc. No need to carry that dead weight around.

In graphics, I realized I hadn't taken advantage of an antialiasing feature in the new rendering engine. So I hooked that up to the "Filter" button in options. And I don't think I noticed before, but it seems a lot smoother looking than the old Flash "Filter" effect. I decided to keep it, and added it to the remaining extra cameras, like the DMC and mini maps.

Finally, I realized during testing that the sound volume button seemed to do nothing. Master and music volume worked, though. Looking a bit deeper, it seems this is likely due to the way item, button, and other short clips are loaded, played, and discarded in the game. Not as easy to get a hold of from the main menu.

It turns out HaxeFlixel anticipated this, and has a FlxSoundGroup to help. It acts like a container that controls a volume coefficient for all members. Sort of like a mixer channel.

I created one for music, and one for sound effects (sfx), and it seems to work pretty well! I had to re-plumb a few areas to make it work, but it is responding much nicer now. All except the ambient sounds (birds, city, etc.). For some reason, these don't seem affected by the sfx volume reliably. The wilderness sounds seem to play at normal volume initially, then snap to the volume settings when I change them. Meanwhile, the city sound seems to play full blast no matter what.

Fixing this is exacerbated by the fact that it can sometimes take several seconds to notice if the sound is playing, depending on the lead-in time, whether it fades-in with a mixer, etc. It's slow-going.

But it's all important stuff, particularly for creature comfort. I started compiling a changelog to use in the announcement for when this launches, and I think it's going to be a pretty big hit :)