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noel33

level editor

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Does anyone know about a good tutorial on making a level editor that is general over different genres of games?

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What kind of thing are looking for this tutorial to show you how to do? A level editor can be a complex piece of software. You could fill a book (if not several) on the creation of them. You're not gonna find a single article explaining how to make one from the ground up (well you might, but it will probably be a rather simple editor).

A major aspect of an editor is it's GUI, there are articles about creating GUIs, but you'd have to be a bit more specific about what you actually want and what platforms you want to use before I could point you in the direction of any.

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One article you might find interesting is Creating 3D Tools with MFC, which is hosted right here on GameDev. As Monder says, it is rather simple, but it shows how to get MFC displaying 3D graphics in a splitter window, which is how most level editors work. Some people don't like MFC, but truth is, it's a very good way of creating a complex GUI quite quickly. I learnt most of what I needed in a couple of months from "Programming Windows with MFC", by Jeff Prosise. As for other topics, such as general design and layout, tool design and features you should include, it's a good idea to look at how 3D modelling software and other level editors work, particularly ones that are freely available. I'd suggest the 30 day trial of discreet's 3DS Max 6, id Software's q3radiant (which was used for Quake III, and is open source), the editor packaged with id Software's Doom 3 (an upgraded version of q3radiant, built directly into the Doom 3 engine), and Valve Software's Hammer editor (used for Half-Life, but it's very old now, and a new version of Hammer should ship with HL2 when it's released on November 1). Learn how they work, design your own system to get the functionality you need, then start coding.

I'll repeat what Monder said, though: a level editor can be a complex piece of software. If it's for a 3D engine, you'll need to be proficent in 3D maths, and in program design. Of course, if it's for a 2D tile-based game or for a terrain engine, it will somewhat simpler...

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