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Architecture for agnostic 2D editor?

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I'd like to scratch my own itch here, but I want some ideas before I jump in.

My idea is to build a 2D level editor, essentially, that is platform and framework agnostic. You can use it to arrange the levels and possibly the GUI of a 2D game regardless of which framework you're using, or even if you're not using a framework.

The reason is basically that I really like the idea of Torque 2D, with its visual editor, but I suspect it's vaporware, and I don't want to wait around.


The issue is that each framework handles objects and scenery differently, so I need to choose an architecture that's close to "average," and then have some kind of mapping to bridge the gap?

Maybe what I need to do is create some kind of standard so that a level or gui file could be read, and just build a component for each supported framework that can translate the file into usable data.

I'm not sure, do you have any ideas?

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Maybe what I need to do is create some kind of standard so that a level or gui file could be read, and just build a component for each supported framework that can translate the file into usable data.

That would seem the most reasonable approach. That would divorce your editor from any particular interpretation of the data it produces.

Each platform/framework would then implement methods to import the data and would only have to "know" about the global data format and its own interfaces.

As you mention, you will want to be judicious with the specs for the standard format, to make it reasonably straightforward to import for various frameworks.

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It would have to be heavily scriptable and heavily configurable, to the point that you're basically talking about a meta-editor.

I'm not sure it's possible to come up with a 'global' or 'average' format, since there are so many different paradigms for levels. Your format would have to contain the union of all the different techniques for dealing with tiles, scenery, backgrounds, behavior, connections, perspective, etc. Each exporter would need to pick out just the features it understands; a hundred things could silently go wrong.

But don't let my pessimism get to you. Good luck!

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