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Map/Level editor?

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Hello everyone! Well... I'm happy because I just got unstuck on my game, but then I realized I can't continue without the maps! [flaming] So, does anyone have any idea how to go about this? Each map will have 4 layers, and the tiles can have different sizes... Maybe tiles aren't the right choice? For example, I'll have underground entrances and staircases, which may be larger than the 24x24 tiles I've done, since the player is 32x32... [grin] Any ideas? Also, what do you recommend? SDL? Thanks!

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Before you figure out how you'll manage maps, you first have to figure out how you're going to display information on the screen.

If you're going to be using C++/C, I definately recommend checking out SDL or Allegro. If you want to use a high(er) level language, like C#/VB.NET/Python, I recommend you give SDL.NET or PyGame a look.

As for mapping, using an external level editor, like Tile Studio, will let you focus on making the game rather then its tools/editors. Although it needs a bit of work to find out how to correct export the map to a format your game will understand, it's definately worth considering.

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In practice different sized tiles can be got around, by having a tile split into sections.

The size of the graphics need not affect the size of the tiles used internally by the game.

I recommend that for as long as possible, you use a text editor to edit your tile maps. This is ideal because:

1. You already have a text editor
2. You know how to use it
3. It has an undo which works
4. Your map files can be easily included into version control

etc

You might want to do some post-processing on your text file, e.g. to split some tiles into smaller ones, or add the extra layers as necessary.

I've found two characters per tile works pretty well (because characters are usually higher than they are wide) - assuming your tiles in the game are square. You can put a fair bit of info in, but no more.

If things look too complicated, then it's time to get an off-the-shelf tilemap editor.

Mark

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Rob Loach:
Yeah, I'm using C# with SDL.NET*.
I'll use that Tile Studio thing, thinking about the map editor kinda stressed me out... [lol]

markr:
Yeah, text file, that's what I used on my previous game!
Quote:
3. It has an undo which works

I hope you're not talking about Notepad... [dead]

Thanks both of you! [wink]

* Apart from the tile thing... What do you guys thing is better? C#/SDL.NET or DarkBasic?

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You may want to look into FishEd and Open tUME as well. I've tried FishEd's demo and it looks pretty flexible to me, and it's quite cheap too. It certainly gave me a much better impression than Tile Studio, which is limited to 3 layers only and paints all those layers at the same time, and can't disable their display, etc. As for Open tUME, I still have to give that one a try... :)

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