• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Remote game editor - Web-based or Native code

2 posts in this topic

Hello all,


I have been tinkering with the idea of a remote game editor/framework to service the game engine I am currently working on during my spare time & have been looking into various ways of doing it. I have read about Insomniac's Luna server, Bitsquid as well as a blog post which is what brings me here : 


I have decided to go "remote" for a couple reasons : 

  • I like the approach & have had the chance to "try it out"
  • Ability to attach the editor to the game at any point in time (provided the game is running a server)
  • Separation of processes between the editor/game-engine
    • Better flexibility in the event of bugs/crashes
    • Loose coupling favours a plugin architecture & enables easier parallel development

I am currently using SFML as my core library and thought I would mess around with TCP sockets to get something basic up and running. The result is a game communicating with the editor.

Establishing a channel to send messages around was piece of cake, but I actually feel like I wasted most of my time trying to get the editor up and running (using wxWidgets) least to say looking nice : I cannot fathom building a flexible plugin-friendly editor this way...


Although my web knowledge is quite rusty, I am quite intrigued by the additional benefits that a web-based editor would give, namely :

  • Ability to run the editor from any modern device (tablets included)
  • No compilation - simply edit in the text editor of your choice
  • Easy to turn into a plugin architecture / edit to add new features
  • Customizable themes (JQuery UI looks pretty slick already)
  • Database/data friendly - just pick any : SQL, MongoDB, etc.


All in all, I was hoping you guys would share your thought and opinions about the following questions :


  • Has anyone got any experiences using either HTML5/JQuery with websockets or TCP/Native code to build a game editor? 
  • Did it work for you? 
  • What kind of issues did you experience or had to work around? 
  • If you could do it again, would you flip sides?




References : 

Edited by Althar

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on what you understand as editor. I'm a big fan of web-based engine tools, my engine includes a basic web-server and I wrote some javascript/html5 tools to tweak the ingame properties (animation speed, color selection, debugging etc.). It works great, but on the other hand it is slow at times.


If you want a fully featured game editor (to design levels etc), then I fear that this approach is quite complex and prone to low performance. It all depends on what your goals are.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Thanks a lot for your reply. What I meant by editor was, as you rightly point it out, more like a service/window to the game engine. Essentially, the editor should be able to ask the engine to do various things; that being said, I would like to avoid having an editor that dictactes what features the engine should have.


The kind of features I am considering are :


  • GameObject/Property tweaking
  • "Hand of god" : i.e. being able to manipulate a debug camera & feed back any selected elements back to the editor
  • Debug Console
  • Asset live-editing/compilation : currently my engine loads resources separately; there is no compilation/packaging step involved yet but being able to notify the Engine of a resource change to trigger asset recompilation would be useful.
  • Plugin system with "slave" scripts : to be sent over to the engine for execution. I am not too sure yet whether this will work well in the long run, but I am hoping this will help with engine/editor decoupling. Writing a new plugin/tool should then just be a matter of writing a "slave" script that uses the engine's scripting API & have the engine download it prior to using the tool (either every time the editor connects to the game, or saved to a cache for later re-use). 

As you can see, I am not planning on having any time-critical behaviour/ data-heavy processing to take place between the editor/engine.

My game will be mostly procedural, so level editing shouldn't be of much concern, as I only expect it to be restricted to a bunch of sliders, rather than a myriad of hand-placed assets. 


Bitsquid, and more specifically Insomniac games with their Luna Server seem to have manage to leverage a complete web-based editor suite. That being said, they seem to have embedded their native code into a browser, rather than built it entirely as HTML5/Javascript. 


When you say slow at times, do you have any particular case-scenarios you would like to share? Is it due to the large amounts of data you have to send/receive in certain cases or just the overall speed of the web backend? 


I am currently veering towards my TCP solution for the time being, since I already have a basic implementation up and running - provided I play my cards well, substituting for a different protocol should be fairly trivial from the game side. 


In the meantime, I am very happy to hear more about your web-based tools and/or if anyone else would like to shine their light on the subject.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0