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ttdeath

Use executable renderer inside my editor

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Hi, I have a big decision to make and I'd like you input. I am writing an editor for a game that contains a DirectX renderer. Now, I want to integrate that renderer into my editor with minumum trouble in such a way that I can still use the game as stand alone and use it unmodified inside the editor, with the posibility of sending data to it from the editor. Now, I think I am going to go with a SDI MFC application type for the editor and I believe the game is written in clear windows application style. What are my options? I think of somethink like starting the game from inside the editor and forcing it to render to a child window should do the trick. The communication I want to use is by shared memory and by pointer to functions access type. That is, once loaded by the editor, I can send data to the game and force it to draw on screen by accessing some of its functions via its function pointers. Please give me alternate solutions and comment on this one. Thank you.

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I don't know about integrating it into an MFC or similar application, but another option, since you want to retain full functionality, would be to integrate the editor into the game. Several commercial games do this (Operation Flashpoint comes to mind). You would have to roll your own GUI, but the newer DX SDKs have a GUI sample ready to use.


jfl.

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Original post by jflanglois
I don't know about integrating it into an MFC or similar application, but another option, since you want to retain full functionality, would be to integrate the editor into the game. Several commercial games do this (Operation Flashpoint comes to mind). You would have to roll your own GUI, but the newer DX SDKs have a GUI sample ready to use.


jfl.


i'm not sure exactly want you are saying but my suggestion would be just to add the diffrent librarys together or program a seperate file to run "A" and "B"

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Thanks for the answers, but not so much for the taunt.

I did consider using the visual controls from the DirectX SDK, but I also need to build some more advanced controls that have drag-and-drop abilities, scrolling stuff, etc. And I'm not particularly happy about the way in which each version of the SDK changes things, sometimes even the very core of the visual controls. I have more experience with creating visual controls on the MFC part and I like MFC's maturity. Lastly, but not in the least, I think it's a bit too hard work (perhaps impossible) to integrate the editor into the game without having access to the game's source code, just by using some interface that could be build by the game engine designer (who is the only one who does have access to the source code).

What do you think of wxWidgets? I have had contact with them some years back, and while I didn't choose them for the project at that time, they now seem to have improved somewhat. Has anyone derived controls from them? Are they well written?

Thank you very much. Any thought/suggestion is very welcome!

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Original post by ttdeath
Thanks for the answers, but not so much for the taunt.

I did consider using the visual controls from the DirectX SDK, but I also need to build some more advanced controls that have drag-and-drop abilities, scrolling stuff, etc. And I'm not particularly happy about the way in which each version of the SDK changes things, sometimes even the very core of the visual controls. I have more experience with creating visual controls on the MFC part and I like MFC's maturity. Lastly, but not in the least, I think it's a bit too hard work (perhaps impossible) to integrate the editor into the game without having access to the game's source code, just by using some interface that could be build by the game engine designer (who is the only one who does have access to the source code).

What do you think of wxWidgets? I have had contact with them some years back, and while I didn't choose them for the project at that time, they now seem to have improved somewhat. Has anyone derived controls from them? Are they well written?

Thank you very much. Any thought/suggestion is very welcome!


hi, why don't you just create a seperate file that allows the combine but still allow yourself addition programming by impleting both librarys than just add it on to your engine/project

matt

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I've walked around with a similar idea like you, being able to load the game-content at 1 point, and share it between game/editor.

This cuts down on loading times, esp. when debugging specific parts of the game. I assume you want a similar system, but you're still a bit vague.

If all you want is actually using the renderer of the game, why don't you convert the core of the engine into a DLL? That's what I am currently doing, writing my engine as a DLL, and load it in my game.

Even if I want to write an editor, I can still hook up to the DLL and re-use most parts of my renderer.

Toolmaker

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Toolmaker said:

I've walked around with a similar idea like you, being able to load the game-content at 1 point, and share it between game/editor.

This cuts down on loading times, esp. when debugging specific parts of the game. I assume you want a similar system, but you're still a bit vague.

If all you want is actually using the renderer of the game, why don't you convert the core of the engine into a DLL? That's what I am currently doing, writing my engine as a DLL, and load it in my game.

Even if I want to write an editor, I can still hook up to the DLL and re-use most parts of my renderer.



I need to build an editor without knowing the source code of the game. I can ask the engine guy to write a sort of a plugin, but dll is out of the question. I need to go on minimal re-writing approach on the game side. On the editor's side, I can write whatever I want though.

Tudor

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Are you saying that you don't have access to the game code that you are writing the editor for? That would be pretty annoying.

The way we do it here is there is a project with all the engine files (compiling to a lib linked to in the game project). Each game we make will add that engine project to their game project. The editor is the same way -- it just includes the game project. So when the engine is updated, all games automatically are updated as well as the editor.

Alternatively, you could link to a static lib or dll of the game's engine and manually update it when applicable.

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Original post by ttdeath
I need to build an editor without knowing the source code of the game. I can ask the engine guy to write a sort of a plugin, but dll is out of the question. I need to go on minimal re-writing approach on the game side. On the editor's side, I can write whatever I want though.

Tudor


Wouldn't a plugin be a dll? Or what exactly did you mean?

It sounds like the engine code and the game code are tightly coupled which will make things difficult for you. It would be ideal to be able to just use the rendering capabilities of the engine but if all you have to work with is the game, that will be tricky.

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