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Toonkides

DirectX or Windows GUI programming for Tile Game Map Editor?

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So, I've seen the giant Blizzard make a very pretty editor for both Starcraft and Warcraft III that seems fairly easy to use compared to what it is capable of doing. Do they use DirectX to make the editor or is it just windows? --I know they have the menu and a few buttons going, but that is possible to achieve in DX. Thanks in advance (just trying to see what would work best)

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When I was faced with this same problem, I ended up going the DirectX route. Actually, I pretty much started out coding the game engine, and added some features to allow me to 'build' the map using a character. I just basically had the character walk around, and I could pull up and drop tiles, or predefined patterns of tiles. It worked quite well, and I didn't have to spend all that much extra time coding a separate 'tool'. You just have to make sure that the 'map editing' portion of the code is well separated from the game portion so that you can exclude it from builds you wish to distribute.

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Even if you decide to use GDI to make a nice windows GUI (menus, button, dialogs, etc.) you can still use your graphics engine to draw the map itself. You just need to make it modular enough to use the same component in two different applications.

In game gui needs to be fast and often more "pretty" so direct x works well for it. However it is generally easier and faster to develop the gui for the editor using tools designed for application software gui. Windows provides a number of different ways to make forms and controls just for this sort of thing, so you might as well use them.

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Machaira has a very good point - take special note of what he/she has said. as for the actual editor im making my own iso world editor at the moment and am using both dx and windows gui. this is made very easy by borland delphi (which is what im using) and like Machaira said, if you do it using dx, you can pretty much copy and paste the code for drawing the maps into your game from your editor.

as a side note, i will hope to release my editor (if people are interested and like it) when its finished - with full documentation of the file format and whatnot. if you'd like to see some screenies of it i'll go to the trouble of putting them on my website for you (im quite a lazy person so i wont do it unless you want me to!).

hope that all helps
the_moo

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