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yoda510

Level Editors?

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Well, I made my Tetris and I made my Breakout. I thought a 2D side scroller would be next and I thought a pretty cool level editor would be both very useful, and a great learning exercise. I have not found any books, articles, or anything on it. Are there any good resources on this. It seems pretty complex to not have much doc on it. Thanks,

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Well, could we get a little bit more back ground?
What language you used to make your tetris and breakout?
Did you use a game engine like Torque to make it?

Just some questions I'm curious about.
Thank you

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I'm not too learned on the subject of level editors but I thought that you only needed to set up an array variable with a character representation of what the level was, but you might want to make it an external file and I have no idea how to do that...

I would personally go for something like this:

char array[] = [[ ' ', ' ', 'b']
/*insert white*/[ 'b', 'b', 'b']];
/*space for visual ease*/

The "b"s being blocks or ground or whatever, however this is assuming that your using C++ or C# but the concept is the same in java and other languages, however I think the point of a level editor is to have it external from your code, so you don't have to recompile every time you make a change. And myself being a newbie to this kindof stuff, I don't exactly know how to do that.

Good luck, I hoped I helped you!

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I normally use a paint program to draw the map, then get the game to convert it into an array based on the pixel RGB. This way the map is external, easy to load, it's really easy to edit and zips up well.

I don't know if this would be too basic for you but it works for me!

[Edited by - ssjx on June 30, 2008 9:10:12 AM]

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There's not really a whole lot of tutorials and other resources dedicated to making level editors and other tools, and these days they still tend to be a somewhat niche area of expertise (despite their widespread use in indie and commercial games). Part of the problem I think is that they lie at an intersection between games/graphics/framework programming and traditional GUI programming.

My suggestion is to work on making a framework for your game first before working on the level editor. Think things out a bit: lay out how the components of the game will interact, and figure out the point where you can load in data from a file. Then once you have things working with that, start making the editor by reusing code from the framework where it makes sense (this can be important: you don't want to have too many places where a change in the editor or game requires a lot of copying and pasting of duplicate code into the other). Then work on having the editor spit out a data file your game can read, and add in functionality as appropriate.

My other suggestion is to make sure you get a decent handle on GUI programming with Windows or whatever platform you're targeting. Make sure you learn what controls are how they work, how to respond to user input properly, how to make your app well-behaved, etc.

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My advice would be to check out some existing editors. They can be a good source of inspiration - for example, to figure out what features are actually useful. You may even be able to use an existing one for your game by writing a conversion tool that translates it's output to a format suitable for your game.

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thanks for all the advice. Yeah, I think I am going to be using XNA with C# now...I have been out for quite a while now (still coding, just boring work/database stuff) and really want to pick it back up. Those are all good tips suggestions :)

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I know it's not exactly a tutorial, but if you feel like wading through the source code for an existing and apparently pretty good tile editor, Mappy is open source.

I should probably get shot for this suggestion, since it is C and Win32.

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