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Level Editor - Reinventing the Wheel

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so i have my engine running nice and smoothly. It runs on Win32, Android and iOS, and its all one code base. I have the simple applications and what not (static and skinned model loading, deferred lighting, etc... )

Now i have a scene structure (xml based) that i code by hand and lay things out. So the next thing i wanted to do was investigate creating a Level Editor which got me thinking. I know that UDK and others are built on top of the underlying engine, this is what i want to do. My engine currently supports split screen multi player using multiple (4) viewports and renders them individually properly.

So my question(s) are

1) what language do they code the level editors in. I know the engines are written primarily in c++, but GUI in c++ is not fun.

2) If i wanted this to only run on windows ( for now but possibly go cross platform ), what would you suggest

Any thoughts are welcome and thanks much

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there are already threads about this topic around.. my answer is always the same:

C# with your C++ engine exposed either through CLI/C++ (or whatever the .NET variant of C++ is called) dll or through simple C dll.

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Sorry about posting about the topic again... i will search for them now. I was just hoping to other's experiences, ease of doing this, issues to look out for, etc...

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You can either expose your engine to an high level programming language such as C# or Python or you can use gui libraries in c++ (Qt, wxWidgets).

I suggest using python with Qt. You will have a cross platfrom solution with an easy to use GUI library and, once you have exposed your engine to python, you will be ready to integrate python as a scripting language for your engine!

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I suggest using python with Qt.[/quote][font=georgia,serif]This is actually a good idea. Qt in my experience is the best designed and easiest to use GUI toolkit available. It's also cross-platform. Python is a joy to program in, and ease of use will be very important if you want people to use your engine.[/font] Edited by Geometrian

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Thanks for the info on qt. I will have to investigate it. As for python I already have angel script integrated into my engine. Maybe a change is needed :)

Thanks again

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You can also link your editor directly to your game some what.

You send the render from the game via local network connection to your editor that then displays it, and you add some more network interfaces to handle editor commands, zooms, etc. The basic idea is that your engine/game becomes a network client of the editor rather than an integral part of it. I see this as an easier way to get an editor up & going; you don't have to expose your engine to script or higher level language, you just make a network interface layer.

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Finding a good GUI library is a pain in the ass, most solutions are just too hacky (multiple languages in the same aplication, etc.) or limited. I've investigated this in the past and found Qt to be the only decent solution. So, just go with Qt for C++, it works perfectly, is flexible and looks good. I've used it extensively in the past to develop a complex level editor so I guarantee you that it's good.

I don't even see any reason to use Python for this, I believe C++ is the native language for Qt so you'll get less troubles going that way because from what I've heard, Python is supported through wrappers which don't expose the entire API. (If I'm wrong then please someone correct me)

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I don't even see any reason to use Python for this, I believe C++ is the native language for Qt so you'll get less troubles going that way because from what I've heard, Python is supported through wrappers which don't expose the entire API. (If I'm wrong then please someone correct me)[/quote]

You are true when you say that you can do everything you want using c++ and that qt for python are just wrappers that don't expose the entire API.

I've tried both with c++ and python and just found PyQt was the easiest and quickest way to develop cross platform gui applications. Even if the entire API is not wrapped, the most used modules are wrapped (see the complete list here ). I've never missed anything using this wrapper.
I'm using it at work for internal tools and for personal projects (network tools, persistent build system, game editor,... ).

Also, using python brings you the entire standard python library and other third party modules easily. For example, you can do wonderful things like adding plugins management and scripting to a gui application with only a few lines of code. (This is also possible with c++ but I'm sure it will take you more effort and time) Edited by renega_666

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Now i have a scene structure (xml based) that i code by hand and lay things out. So the next thing i wanted to do was investigate creating a Level Editor which got me thinking. ...

  1. what language do they code the level editors in. I know the engines are written primarily in c++, but GUI in c++ is not fun.
  2. If i wanted this to only run on windows ( for now but possibly go cross platform ), what would you suggest

I suggest sidestepping the problem completely. Consider using blender as an extremely powerful editor.

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I suggest sidestepping the problem completely. Consider using blender as an extremely powerful editor.


My suggestion too.
Or a plugin to any other editor your 3D guy(s) like to use.

Writing UI:s is a lot messier then one might think, specially 3d stuff, and you can easily spend more time on this then on your engine.
Also, not having to switch program after making your models is a nice productivity boost, and no need to learn (and invent) a new UI Edited by Olof Hedman

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