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What features should a map editor have?

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Hi all, I am starting work on my new map editor, I have built a few in the past but this time I thought that I would get some oppinions of what makes a good map editor. Here are some things I will be including in the editor: versioned binary map format layer visibility toggleing ability to copy a region of the map and paste it elsewhere on the map. ability to save a copied region of a map to disk a tile-data window wich will allow editing of one or more tiles''s data properties *walkability,userdefaction,cost* other feature feedback is apreciated=) -Thanks Raymond Jacobs, Profesional Web Applications Developer, Weekend Game Developer, www.EtherealDarkness.com

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flood fill, lines, filled and unfilled shapes (circle, ellipse, rectangle, free-style polygon), curves (like the one in MS-PAINT) are good things to have, they make it a lot easier to draw out a map.

maybe edge-fixing (no idea what this is called IRL)? what i mean is, if the user draws some "grassy plain" tiles next to some "desert/beach" tiles, the editor could place the transition tiles (if they exist) between them automatically. that''d be neat.

that what i can think of offhand.

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Ahh good sudgestions,

i will definetly add the primitive fill/draw tools,

yeah i had contemplated making a tool that would do the transitioning, problem is, with my current setup there isnt a way to know where the transition set for a given tile set is, nor may there be one, so it would require a large ammount of pre-structuring image sets.

thanks for the input tho=)

Raymond Jacobs,
Profesional Web Applications Developer,
Weekend Game Developer,
www.EtherealDarkness.com

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It''s extremely easier to do tile transitions if you:
a) are able to draw 2-8 tiles on top of each other when rendering to the backbuffer
b) have tiles that can be transparent where transition will occur

...rather than just drawing every transition imaginable.

That said, calculating where transitions occur is also very simple.

Another feature of a good map editor should be a way to see height in 2 dimensions (non-isometric). This can be done by having the option to toggle between the map tiles and a height map, but I''d be interested in any other way to accomplish this as it would be useful to see both things at once.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Why do one at all ?
There is a neat one at http://annie.kezako.net/eme/ which has what you mention, and supports user defined plugins for map formats.
I''ve actually dumped my own map editor to use this, and I don''t regret it
Only thing is that it uses Allegro, a game programming lib, but you don''t even need Allegro itself if you use the precompiled editor (if you''re not on Linux, that is, as I am).

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Sil,
thanks for the explanation, but i know how to do tile transitions and they can be done with my engine, but i cant have the tile editor automaticly place transitions for me, this is because for a given tile set there is no orderd structure to it,

so the application would not know where the NW transition between grass001 and sand001 is located, and to fill in that information for the engine is just a pain, so i will instead leave it up to the map designer to place transitions.

Anonomous poster,
While noting would please me more than to have more free time,
i am a victim of liking to building things myself, which means everything ive done is from the bottom up, hard work but a good learning experience.


last night i finished the map format specification, and made the new load/save functions that will get the file in and out of the engine. (i would post it but i dont have it with me).


hmm... now that i am thinking about it, it wouldnt be too hard to designate a given tileset as a transition tile set, the novelty of the set would only be known to the map editor, and would just serve to fill the tile overlay layer.

so now i just need to think of what format the transitions should be in

all i need is 4 corners and 4 edges right?
with those images i can surround a single tile

cool, sounds good to me=D

Raymond Jacobs,
Profesional Web Applications Developer,
Weekend Game Developer,
www.EtherealDarkness.com

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