harrio , great game :) and thanks for the interest.
I couldnt find a good example of what i meant (i searched for ages!). I am getting really close to the demo of my platformer (so i didnt really wanna post shots of it yet - So instead i put together some scenarios i think will explain what i mean very well.
Exhibit A. "life is good".
<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13312935/Ashleys%20example%20works%20perfectly%20for%20this%20style.png" border="0" />
Ashleys example is perfect for this style, your bound within the confines of the starter screen. The water covers the whole bottom of the screen and you have yourself a really cheap and nice effect.
Exhibit B. "Mixing it up".
<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13312935/bit%20more%20complex.png" border="0" />
Now i have an idea for a flotaing island map - i want to use this same water effect for the water on each island. Since the scrolling water has to begin its journey from the left hand side of the layout - i will need to have a layer on top to hide it (so it only shows on the islands and not in the air).
The light blue lines represent the area that is always scrolling in the background, yet covered by the layer.
(Keep in mind you can stop the scrolling once it has reached your destination - but always has to enter from the side of the layout). Am i correct on this? (if not then i might have made a fuss for nothing). Assuming I am right - lets continue.
C. "Getting hectic".
<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13312935/starting%20to%20get%20hectic.png" border="0" />
My stage was tiny, so i expanded on it. What was supposed to be a cheap alternative to a sprite animation is now (i presume) starting to take a toll because of all the background behaviour.
You can see where its going if i decide to make the level bigger.
<img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13312935/Small%20waterfall%20at%20end%20of%20stage.png" border="0" />
The last example is a slight annoyance, but still relevant i feel. Lets say i have a massive stage! it takes 3 minutes to run to the end. At the end - there is a little bit of water and a waterfall. Because the scrolling has to start from the lefthand side of the layout - you catch my drift.
Thus ends my epic post, hopefully that puts my earlier comments into perspective as well. Maybe i have overlooked something and you can actually position it further into the stage? Being able to set the scroll to up and down as well would be great. (still testing Ashleys example i suspect you are able to).