I am building a Java game from scratch right now. So far, it runs fine, but the issue is with my GUI and how it works. Basically, it's a tile-based game. Each time the person moves a different image is displayed (basically I check to see what terrain they are on, and in what direction they moved then update that tile's Imageicon). I feel like it is a lot of brute force graphic work and I was wondering if anyone here could help me find a simpler method or class to preform the action. I use ImageIcons to basically make the game's GUI function right now. I was thinking about finding a way to have "layers", so I could have the terrain in the background and my person could just walk over it. Unless someone has a better idea.
Another long-term goal is to make the walk movement an animation. Right now, the person just pops over 1 tile, I want to implement some basic walking animation for that movement of tile to tile. I feel like that would be easier to do if I had a way make the person be a separate object compared to the terrain/map.
Any suggestions on how to do this would be very helpful! :)
IMAGE REQUEST: Here is an older and later dated image of one region. Basically, I have a tile (ImageIcon) for each possible instance of where the hero is, and which way he is facing. But as stated, I want to get rid of that because it requires soooo much. There has to be an easier way to overlap the person and allow animation to each tile.