Perhaps you've played games such as "Tiger Woods PGA Tour", nearly any sports game, in fact. Maybe you're familiar with "The Elder Scrolls" series. At any rate, if you can think of any game in which it allows you to create a character, you will have an idea of what I'm trying to accomplish.
When thinking in terms of character creation, (Changing the look of the character which the player will control), the process can be very in-depth. Everything from choice of nose, to hair length, to color of skin. That said, I was wanting to simplify it in a way and perhaps offer a few options for the player to select from when starting a new game.
Though, I've gotten quite good at understanding the way to make the appearance on the screen change, via saving images of hair and facial hair and even the color of the skin. My question is how do I take what the player has selected and transfer it to a usable, movable icon. It would be easy, (And I've done this before), to overlap active objects in layers of sorts and then load the correct layers everytime the frame changes. This would be useful in creating still shots and images of the character. What I don't however, understand is how to create the "dummy" player icon, complete with simple movements. For instance, the idea is to take an active object and then change it's appearance, dependent on player's initial selection. Is that even possible, or would I have to create a seperate icon for each possible choice of character?
I read somewhere on another game maker forum, that this involves making clones of the active object and then, basically, allowing the player to control not one, but several layers of a character. For instance, you have a "naked", blank character (active), possible dependent on skin tone, then you create a completely different active object for the characters hair which moves according to the way the player moves. Then one for the player's beard which moves as well. By keeping them constantly in the same position and moving them simultaneously, this would, therefor give the appearance of a single character when moving and acting.
Anyway, what do you think?
UPDATE: By the way, is there a way to take a screenshot of sorts during the application, of a certain portion of the screen, thereby doing away with the need to reload all the layers of a still image, say for a menu shot of character. Like, instead of having to load Nose, Eyes, Hair, etc. You could just load the image file which was saved in game. The player creates the character, the application takes a snapshot of the image the player created and then loads that.