Indeed PNG format is a good choice, it provides better lossless compression compared with RLE, and also you can define alpha channel.
Two techniques that I follow when I'm dealing with sprites is to use eg RGB(0,0,0) to identify "void space" and make black equal to eg RGB(1,1,1) or use 2 separate images files, one for content and another for alpha channel and compine them at runtime or even use them to "prebuild" a custom img format. (actually I've done this once and I'm reusing the same code). Both techniques are not perfect (especially the 2nd is slow in runtime compine), but eliminate the need of an image processing tool that is alpha-channel aware, at least for my needs.
Yes, it is. In the past, I was a bit uncomfortable with it since I had to link with libpng, which is not necessarily pre-installed so I had to fix a static linked library. However, the pnglite library makes this much easier, a smaller library that is much easier to build, and all I need is libz.
Originally Posted by WILL
But I still like TGA for laborations, where you can have a complete loader in about two pages of code.
Yesterday I hadn't done any progress. The reason for that is the fact that I had 12 hour day shift yesterday and came home dead tired, so I went straight to bed.
Unfortunatly today I won't have much time either becouse I have 12 hour night shift and would need atleast few hours of afternoon nap. So I'm afraid that I won't be able to finish the playable version before dedline. Sorry Will.
Anywhay as I sad before I do intend to finish this game (I had idea for it now for quite some time).
As for the graphics until now I had been always using JPEGS with alpha chanel support. And till now I had no problem becouse I was always working with Paint Shop Pro 7 but recently I upgraded to Corel Paint Shop X3 and I must say that I'm verry disapointed over it. So I already removed it from my system and instaled older one.
Someday in the future when I manage to finish my other project (Objective Texture Generator) that I'm ocasionaly working on I probably won't have any more problems in designing graphics on my own. Currently there is still no thread for this project becouse I still haven't completly decided whether I sould use VCL or use some advanced Graphic engine for it. I'm leaning to second option becouse this would probably alow me to port it to muliple platforms much easier and provide smother operations. But it will require more work on it. I would need to make my own VCL like components for it. Actually this is what I'm trying to do in my game and if I sucseed it will move both of my projects considerably.