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Which comes first Game Level Editor or Engine?

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My name is Paul. I have a good feeling about this community compared to other sites out there. I am hoping to have some helpful pointers! I love survival horror games and any game that will give a Fear Factor inside it. I'm learning DirectX 11 and more Windows32 API. My quick question is that does the level editor only load assets or could I have a realtime editor like in Unreal Engine 4? I've done alot of reading and the research told me that the editor and engine are seperate. As I began thinking to myself the engine is like a car engine allowing other componets working together. So, in persepctive; a level would be just assets and the engine would ifgure out from there - yes? No? Maybe so?

Thanks for the explaination to clear up my congested head! Much appreciated!

Sincerely,

Paul

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[quote name='SIC Games' timestamp='1341555866' post='4956232']
My quick question is that does the level editor only load assets or could I have a realtime editor like in Unreal Engine 4?
[/quote]
A integrated level editor is cool and helpful, but very expensive. When you use an existing engine which comes along with a level editor, everything is good, but when you choose to develop your own engine, an additional level editor is a very heavy, and in my opinion unnecessary, burden.

You can choose a modelling tool like [url="http://www.blender.org"]blender [/url](free) to model and export your level design into your own engine.

I've written my own engine and started a level editor too, but due to frequent modifications to my engine I had a hard time to keep up with the editor. Finally I discarded the editor due to all the maintainance overhead and lacking features and used blender as level editor.

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Talking about that I will soon need that too.
Is a level editor in a 3D editor like blender generic and engine agnostic enough to just let you place models and let it return the world transform matrix that would need to be applied in my engine? I don't want it to do more than that. But blender seems to have a high learning curve.

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Hey thanks for the replies! You two cleared some congestion inside my ticking brain. I'll post the progress in a bit, I gotta have more coffee to wake up!

-paul

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