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I need a level creator...

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So I have been doing a lot of work on my game engine recently, and games that I am making with said engine. However, I am noticing the same flaw. There is no quick and easy way to visualise the level in game, with the new level, (which is either hard coded or loaded from an image). So I have started work on a level creator, with the specific aim to use it with my engine.

The features I plan on having are as follows:

[ ] Live Preview window
[ ] Tile Information
[ ] Code Generator
[X] SpriteSheet Loader
[-] Select and place tiles
[ ] Level Output

X = Done
- = Working on that at the moment.

There are probably more, but I cannot remember them for the moment smile.png

The reason I am adding a code generator, is because the act of adding in a new tile to my engine is quite repetitive. And loading these tiles is the same, repetitive. So to keep the repetition to a minimum I am adding the generator, so I can quickly and easily add more new content to my games.

Also, Some of you may wonder why I would need a live preview screen in a level editor. Well, I am going to have a 10*10 pixel represent each tile. I will use a colour for the pixel, based on the colours in the tile selected, to represent this pixel. This allows me to have a large area of the map shown at once, so the size of the tiles being used will have no difference to the representation. Then, to see the correct tiles loaded, the preview window will be used, and the relevant sprite for each tile will be displayed.

One final thing, which is a question to you guys. How would you store these maps? I am currently thinking of just storing them as a large image where 1 pixel is 1 tile, but was wondering if there was a more efficient way to do this.

Well, thats all for now! Thanks for reading!

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If you are going for a bitmap you can use an image compression tecnique: whenever you have a sequence of same colored tiles instead of listing all identic information in your bitmap you can just use a special color working as an escape followed by the actual color and the number of times it repeats.
Thank you for writing ;)

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