The Trees The Fork Oak Day82 - Refactored Entity Rendering and Arrow Sprites

Changed entity rendering to use a grid and drew arrow textures

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Today and yesterday I spent some time doing miscellaneous tasks to get ready for path finding. I refactored the entity rendering and storage code to use a two dimensional grid for easier lookup, I allowed multiple drawables to draw using the same sort order context, and I drew arrow sprites to make a pretty animation once the pathfinding code is done.

Entity Refactor

Up until now I have stored the entities to be drawn on the terrain in a list which I loop over and render one by one. This works great if I don't care about looking up a particular entity at a given location, but falls down once location actually matters. To get around this I refactored to use the same data structure and layout as the map tiles: An array of arrays indexed by x and y coordinate.

First step was to initialize the arrays in the same place I initialized the terrain map.

  TileMap = new (Tiles, int)[heightMap.Length - 1][];
EntityMap = new Tiles?[heightMap.Length - 1][];
for (int x = 0; x < TileMap.Length; x++) {
    TileMap[x] = new (Tiles, int)[heightMap[x].Length - 1];
    EntityMap[x] = new Tiles?[heightMap[x].Length - 1];
    for (int y = 0; y < TileMap[x].Length; y++) {

I then modify the entity creation code to check the entity location for an existing entity before storing it in the array.

  for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
  int x = random.Next(Width - 1);
  int y = random.Next(Height - 1);

  if (TileMap[x][y].tile == Tiles.Flat && EntityMap[x][y] == null) {
      Tiles tile = random.Next(2) == 1 ? Tiles.Tree : Tiles.Wall;
      EntityMap[x][y] = tile;

while (true) {
  int x = random.Next(Width - 1);
  int y = random.Next(Height - 1);
  if (TileMap[x][y].tile == Tiles.Flat && EntityMap[x][y] == null) {
      EntityMap[x][y] = Tiles.Ball;
      BallPosition = new Vector2(x, y);

Finally I slightly modified the map rendering code to just render the entity at each location if it exists.

  for (int x = 0; x < mapManager.TileMap.Length; x++) {
    var mapColumn = mapManager.TileMap[x];
    var entityColumn = mapManager.EntityMap[x];
    for (int y = 0; y < mapColumn.Length; y++) {
        (Tiles tile, int height) = mapColumn[y];
        Vector3 position = new Vector3(x, y, height);
        DrawTile(tile, position);
        Tiles? entityTile = entityColumn[y];
        if (entityTile != null) {
            DrawTile(entityTile.Value, position, 2);

Layer Merging

In anticipation for rendering entity paths, I worked on enabling merging of tile renders between drawables. In the current system, each drawable is rendered using it's own draw call from the SpriteBatch. This lets me draw each drawable on a separate layer. Unfortunately this requires all elements drawn together to be drawn by the same drawable. To fix this I grouped drawables by their DrawOrder and only created a draw call per grouping instead of per drawable. This should let me draw paths using a dedicated path finding module keeping concerns separate.

  foreach (IGrouping<int, IDrawable> drawablesLayer in drawables.GroupBy(drawable => drawable.DrawOrder)) {
    spriteBatch.Begin(samplerState: SamplerState.PointClamp, sortMode: SpriteSortMode.FrontToBack);
    foreach (IDrawable drawable in drawablesLayer) {


I spent the rest of my time drawing arrow sprites. I drew each of the cardinal directions as well as up and down each of the diagonal slopes. I decided to disable walking sideways along slopes and walking down or up the vertical slope since the animation would be tricky.

Cardinal Flat Arrows:

Flat Negative X Flat Negative Y Flat Positive X Flat Positive Y

Slope Arrows:

Slope Negative X Slope Negative Y Slope Positive X Slope Positive Y

Thats it for today. I'm hoping that at this point I have finished all of the prerequisites for pathfinding so I can finally do it next time. We'll see.

Till tomorrow,