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[C++] beginner's map editor

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I have already tried the simplest 2 map editors available- random positions :), and reading entities' positions from a text file. Now I need something with a little more power than a Notepad file- I've heard many early 2D games used a bitmap from which they read only the pixels which had a certain color, that used to represent objects' positions. Could someone provide me with some code that does that; or even some advice? NB: please keep it all standard GDI stuff; the least amount of user-created libs, the better. Thanks!

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For the moment, MS Paint is my map editor: I draw some white dots on a black background, save as BMP, then attempt to make my game read all the pixels in that bitmap- when it comes across a white pixel, it stores its coordinates.
The difficult part is reading all the pixel colors in the BMP- how do I do that?

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How about using a tile map? While you can use pixel-perfect collision detection the way you described (by using a black/white collision layer), it is in my opinion a lot more easier to use tiles and program a map editor to place tiles and save as levels.

I always recommend this tutorial, which is the one I learned how to program from: http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/tbw/start.html

It's for Flash, but I'm programming in C and the examples can be read as pseudo-code very easily.

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