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TSF with JJ2+ Only: Rainbow RunnerFeatured Download Blade Tileset 9.7 Download file

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Rainbow Runner
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A Jazz Jackrabbit 2 tileset by Blade



.zip contents:
Rainbowrunner.j2tRainbow Runner tileset (built in 1.24+)
Rainbowrunner_sp.j2lThe main example single player level (built in 1.24+)
Rainbowrunner_race.j2lThe example multiplayer race level (built in 1.24+)
Rainbowrunner_templ.j2lThe template level with all animations added to
"Animating Tiles" (built in 1.24+)
Rainbowrunner.txtThis file
Rainbowrunner_notes.pngSome general notes to help you get started with
Rainbow Runner
Rainbowrunner_notes_rainbow.pngHelpers regarding rainbow tiles
Rainbowrunner_notes_stairs.pngHelpers regarding stair tiles
rainbow.xm"Rainbow Runner" by Norfair & Nighthawk
Unknown_Phuture.xm"Unknown Phuture 2" by dfast (http://www.dfastmusic.net)



Rainbow Runner contents description:

Welcome to Rainbow Runner, a massive tileset I created for Jazz Jackrabbit
2. In the tileset, I strived to elicit feelings of happiness, freedom and
hopefulness. While pursuing these core pillars of Rainbow Runner, I managed
to reach the tileset size of 3850 tiles, a far larger amount than in my
previous tileset, Aztec 2 (2018). 

This Rainbow Runner release comes with three example levels and three
instructional images. The example levels are a single-player level, a race
level and a template level. The single player level and race levels exhibit
different parts of the tileset in action, while the template level is meant
to function as a springboard to Rainbow Runner level design. I thought a
template level would be useful, as clicking all Rainbow Runner animations
into the JCS animating tiles window is very, very tedious (I should know, I
did it a few times :D). I have also created three images that should help
you get into Rainbow Runner. I have made the tileset as straightforward as
possible, but some parts of it are unfortunately very illogical and I had
to place some tiles of same theme very far from each other. To alleviate
these problems, I have attached a rainbow building image, stairs image and
a general instructions image in this release. I hope you find them useful.

Rainbow Runner is a tileset of interactivity and animations. I have made
sure that all sorts of JCS events have corresponding tiles, making this my
first tileset to contain conveyor belts, collapsing/dissappearing
platforms, animated sucker tubes and warp events in addition to a palette
where all the palette events are usable. To me the most important palette
events here are the pinball events, and you will see them put to use in the
Rainbow Runner example levels.

The core of Rainbow Runner are the three main environments, the clouds, the
rainbows and the ground realm of which I call by the name "blueground". The
clouds are probably the most versatile environment I have created for any
of my tilesets, where the tile design allows for an endless amount of
unique looking fluffy clouds for the layer 4. To complement the layer 4
material, there are lots of foreground clouds in fixed shapes to give the
environment more depth. Clouds are also prominently on display in the
background layer art of this tileset.

While straight walls can't be created with the cloud tiles, all sorts of
walking platforms, walls and other curly creations can be made with the
rainbow tiles. With these, you will be able to create rolling rainbows with
smooth curves and criss-crossing elements which can potentially lead to
dizzying mazes of rainbows.

The third environment is the blueground which I like to think ties the
tileset neatly together. This environment is in many ways a super
traditional Jazz Jackrabbit 2 landscape, but here the gimmick is that the
blueground grass comes in three colors. You will be able to create
colourful levels with just alternating the grass color on each platform you
place. A novel feature in the blueground environment are the staircases.
With these tiles you can add interesting functionality to your blueground
sections. The stairs can be placed on solid ground under the open sky or
they can pierce the solid blueground to allow players reach new areas.

With the three environment as the strong base of your Rainbow Runner, there
are all sorts of extra shenanigans you can place in your level. Rainbow
Runner features an extensive amount of tiles to build intricate networks of
ropes (including vines), poles and eyecandy poles which I call "red-white
poles". Tiles are provided to build bridges between tileset elements,
including a large hot air balloon. All sorts of eyecandy can be attached to
the ropes, poles, and bridges.

An everpresent element of Rainbow Runner is its animations. There are 205
animating tiles (including 14 trigger scenery tiles) that in total make up
86 different animated entities (including the 14 trigger scenery
animations). A great many of the animations are purely cosmetic but some
are functional, such as the collapsing/disappearing clouds and the
disappearing rainbows. In Rainbow Runner, the hurt event is an animation of
zapping electricity between coils. Where does the energy come from, you
ask? There is an animation of a hamster running in a wheel, generating all
the electricity needs for the coils, the conveyor belts, sucker tubes and
propellers that keep arbitrary platforms suspended in the sky. 

Rainbow Runner also features unicorns in the form of two different
animations. A small 1x2 unicorn is meant for the background layer, while
the large 4x7 unicorn roams on the foreground layers. Or on any layer you
choose, you are the level architect!

For layer 8, there are in total 45 blinking star animations to give you the
absolute freedom to create your own unique starry background. A warp
background is also provided.



About the development process of Rainbow Runner:

I have toyed with the idea of a rainbow themed tileset at least since 2019,
that is, after the release of Aztec 2. This idea really kicked off when I
listened to my old collection of module music, and rediscovered the
absolutely magnificent tunes "Rainbow Runner" by Norfair and Nighthawk and
"Unknown Phuture 2" by dfast. The utter positivity of "Rainbow Runner"
delights me to no end and "Unknown Phuture 2" impressed me with its
unstoppable steamroller beat, making me dream of a tileset where animations
are plenty and landscapes roll past in great speed. 
In 2019, the pain staking project to find an appropriate tune for my Aztec
2 release was fresh in my mind and I decided that the next time I would
bypass this music searching phase entirely, and began the entire tileset
creation process by choosing "Rainbow Runner" as my single-player example
level music. As a tribute to the great module track, the tileset received
the same name. The visions of speedy landscapes did not leave my
consciousness at any point, and I knew I needed to ship the tileset with a
race example level, with "Unknown Phuture 2" as its music.

Development of Rainbow Runner started in early January 2022. I never
intended it to take this long to finish the tileset but here we are, months
and months later, and I really should have (and could have!) anticipated
this prolonged development time.

At the beginning, I only had a small glimpse of how I wanted the tileset to
look like: Rainbow Runner would have rainbows and clouds play a central
part. This lack of visual foundation is unusual for me. I even started to
draw the first tiles without any plans and that - of course - proved to be
a problem. In the first development months, I envisioned Rainbow Runner as
an endlessly happy tileset with lots of absurd humor and a healthy dash of
psychedelic and dadaist vibes (much of this psychedelic and dadaist aspect
is not present in the final release). I decided from the start that the
tileset would feature a large unicorn animation which I expected to be my
greatest artistic challenge in this project. Surely enough, there would be
many, many other challenging aspects to Rainbow Runner.

During the spring of 2022 I found myself constantly prototyping different
aspects of Rainbow Runner, not satisfied with most of my finished art. For
example, I drew about five different iterations for the blueground before
settling on the one you see on the final release. The background art and
its color palette took about two and half weeks to finish up. The hot air
balloon was a large challenge I happily ignored until I couldn't anymore.
The propeller animation took a week's work with several iterations along
the way. The largest trouble, however, started to lift its head in May.

In the beginning of this year, JJ2+'s maximum tileset size 4096 felt like
an impossibly large number to me. Then, in May 2022, my massive ideas for
the Rainbow Runner forced me into a position where I had too much tileset
in my tileset, and I had to cut down quite a bit of art from the tileset.
At one point, you could build large houses of cards with Jazz, Spaz, Lori,
Eva and Devan as the face cards. There were large paintbrushes that were
painting the rainbows into the skies. There was a cute whale animation and
some dreamy Monument Valley style castles for the background layers.

In hindsight, it was of course for the best that I had some boundaries when
drawing this tileset. Those boundaries made for a more focused tileset.

All of this cutting led me to create the idea of an appendix tileset, which
would work maybe mostly as a curiosity but at the same time it could have
some use in the hands of Jazz Jackrabbit 2 community's MLLE level artists.
The appendix tileset is not included in this Rainbow Runner release, but if
the Jazz Jackrabbit 2 community is interested in the appendix tileset, I
can gladly make that release happen. Additionally, I have lots and lots of
material from the development of Rainbow Runner in the form of daily
development stages of the tileset and the accompanying test levels. Let me
know if you would like to see those for yourself!

Rainbow Runner was created exclusively using the pixel art software Pro
Motion NG 7.2.7 by Cosmigo. Pro Motion NG and its nice animation
functionalities with layered drawing really made it possible to create
Rainbow Runner as it is in its final release. PMNG's palette management is
really great, too.



My sincerest thanks to:
- The awesome artists dfast, Nighthawk and Norfair for their music and
their permission to use the tracks in this release
- Jazz2Online community members for the unending positivity regarding my
tilesets
- Carbon Based Lifeforms, Mettaverse and Dreamstate Logic for the amazing
tunes to which Rainbow Runner was created



Rainbow Runner is made by Sampo "Blade" Vesanen. Developed between December
2021 and September 2022. Released at Jazz2Online in 15 September 2022. You
can contact me at Jazz2Online or by email at sampo.vesanen@gmail.com.

It took ages to create Rainbow Runner. Keeping this in mind, please
remember to credit me if you choose to use the tileset or its parts in your
own Jazz Jackrabbit 2 project.


Take care, friend. Thank you for playing.