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evillive2

Unity Content generation and where does it start

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The following applies towards tile map based games and possibly belongs in the isometric and tile based games forum but I thought that some alternative libraries being used might become part of the topic as well. Here are some questions I would like to discuss and hopefully lead to some help for myself and other people with the same dilema. Do you integrate your content generation/editing tools into your games or are they seperate applications? Do you use 3rd party libraries/applications to create and edit content such as graphics, sound and tile properties. If so which ones and how do they make your life easier. Do you start off using say a static array of tile indexes and then move on to a much more complex map format or do you create something close to your final map format first and then code the game around that format or perhaps something totally different. I myself find that creation of a tile/map/content editor and generating decent content from it is far harder than coding the physics, gameplay etc. But on the otherhand how do you test your gameplay/physics etc. without suitable content to begin with? Sounds like a catch 22 to me, what's your take? Please use real life examples and post links if you can because I think we could all benefit from eachother on this one. Just for kicks, this post started off as a reply to this topic specificly regarding the Mappy program. I had some questions of my own and a new thread was more appropriate. I hope EDI reads this because I am awed by the work he did with "Mornings Wrath" and I hope he can share some of his thoughts on this. BTW, check out the "Mornings Wrath" demo. It really is worth your time. And please excuse the spelling and grammar, it is almost 2:30am so this might all be gibberish and I won't know until tomorrow [help]

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Quote:
Original post by evillive2
Do you integrate your content generation/editing tools into your games or are they seperate applications?

It depends on how you make them. If you make the tool for numerous projects, you'd probably keep it seperate since it's going to be used for different things, otherwise you could throw it in along with the game (like the numerous Warcraft map editors, which weren't used for anything but Warcraft map making).

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Do you use 3rd party libraries/applications to create and edit content such as graphics, sound and tile properties. If so which ones and how do they make your life easier.

I'd say this depends on the budget. If you can afford the programs, then don't waste time reinventing the wheel. If you can't, then you probably don't have a choice in the matter. I personally haven't done much of anything when it comes to content (I am a programmer), but the stuff I have made, has been done in code (run-the-app-to-make-the-content-type-of-stuff). Definately not the best way to do things.

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Do you start off using say a static array of tile indexes and then move on to a much more complex map format or do you create something close to your final map format first and then code the game around that format or perhaps something totally different.

I'd personally follow the way of the code. It's probably not a problem unless you're rendering things (in which case you'd want to sort objects by their materials, amongst other things), but you'll probably be optimising for speed, so do what works best, then have the file format fit it. It probably wont matter if you've designed everything fairly well, but even then, the design of the file format'd be included in the designs, so you wouldn't bother asking a question like this.

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How do you test your gameplay/physics etc. without suitable content to begin with?

When you have nothing to work with, you can usually whip up a quick fix for the problem (boxes instead of models, a pictureless GUI, small recordings of various sounds to be replaced with other ones, etc.), but for some things, you'll need at least some basic content done (a mesh for the world to test the physics in), but even then, you can probably have it procedurally generated. It wont work for all things, but it'd still help the development along.

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