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I have 3 tiled images of some sort of galaxy/space in the background of a 2D Game: The first one has an alpha of 100%, the second an alpha of 80% and the last one has an alpha of 60%. I scroll the the one in the background slower than the other ones of course. classic parallax. In the foreground I have some particles flying towards the player to simulate some dust / stars flying by. (I know that stars don't fly by, but I think we all have seen this in a lot of games). But I can't quite achieve the depth effect I am looking for. I want it to look "deeper".

I did read something about using blending modes for the backgrounds, but that would require to render them as objects right?

So the question is: What is a good technique to do a scrolling parallax background in GameMaker?

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How about some screenshots or video? – ashes999 Dec 17 '12 at 0:41

Perhaps your technique is not the problem, but your art assets. Things that are farthest away (stars, galaxies, nebula, etc) should be in the back most layer. Where near things (gas clouds, dust, meteors, ship wreckage, etc.) should be in the top most layer. If you're putting stars in the top most layer, it may defeat the effect of parallax.

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I am working on something similar, I found that a good way to make things look further away is to use a blur on the furtherest away images

Particularly in Photoshop I used filter > blur >gaussian blur

If things are flying towards you, you could also try adding a layer which has a gradient starting with your background colour, fading to opacity 0

Tutorial here

This will give the impression the stars are gradually coming into view

Hope that helps

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