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StoneMask

Loading level information based on a parameter

4 posts in this topic

Before presenting the question proper, I'll provide the train of thought I went through, if only to try and figure out different reasoning on the way there.

 

I made a virtual base class for game objects, Entity, and I have two basic objects that derive from it: Player, and Block. Each owns several variables, amongst them an LPDIRECT3DTEXTURE9 member that stores their sprite's information. So I started thinking about how I was going to store surfaces; for instance, the background, or maybe a foreground layer. For a foreground in specific, it would require both a transparency value and a position. So I thought to make a Surface class to store that information. So then I started to work on my SceneManager's class for iterating through my list of game objects and having them drawn to the screen, and I started thinking about how to load the background image for the level. I realized that it would be clunky to make a subclass for every use of a background, because they aren't distinct enough to warrant making a subclass for them per level and I felt there was a [much] better way. So I thought, why not make a Level class? This is where I started to run into further difficulties.

 

So in case one, I thought I would make a virtual base class for Levels that other levels would derive from, since I've been really into this whole inheritance thing, but then thought about it for a little bit and figured that might be a bad move; if I was going to have practically identical levels that accomplish the exact same things-- providing a background tileset and providing positions for certain objects to go, with no behavioral differences other than aesthetic, then why would I make classes for each one I need? What if there are a hundred levels? I wouldn't want to make Level1, Level2, Level3... Level(n) subclasses.

 

So I figured that my other option was to have a single Level class that stored generic information about a level. But then I thought about implementing this; if I start up SceneManager.Init() and I feed it a value of say, 5, for Level 5, how would my generic Level class know exactly what to load? Surely I wouldn't hard code this information in like, a switch statement? I'd probably load in a text file for the tiled backgrounds, but how would I know where to load objects depending on the level? Would I need an array of data for information regarding position and object type?

 

Any suggestions or helpful input?

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No, this makes sense; I just wasn't sure if I was required to read information from a file or if there was some dreadfully clever way to do it without having to jump through too many hoops. Thank you! This has definitely made my path a bit clearer. I'll research into making binary files.

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That's great you understood it.

Also if you need help with binary files, i can help too, they aren't that much harder than text files.

 

I have one final piece of advice, although it wasn't solicited.

Although binary files have the advantages of being more efficient in terms of speed and space, keep in mind that text files are much easier to edit by hand (which you'll probably do unless you make some level/map editor).

So perhaps during development, unless you build a custom level/map editor that creates the binary files automatically, you may want to use text file, for the easiness of use.

 

Good luck!

Edited by __SKYe
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Although binary files have the advantages of being more efficient in terms of speed and space, keep in mind that text files are much easier to edit by hand (which you'll probably do unless you make some level/map editor).

So perhaps during development, unless you build a custom level/map editor that creates the binary files automatically, you may want to use text file, for the easiness of use.

 

Well stated. I typically leave things in ASCII format until I've either got everything working or else I've decided to make a level editor. Abstracting your load/save routine can help a lot there, since you can just swap it out when-and-if you decide to move to a serialized format.

Edited by Khatharr
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