Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Last week, I read an article about tools for game related purposes and it really inspired me to work on my level editor some.


As my game has been getting more complex, so has been working with the editor. Some of the new entities I have made, such as mobile platforms, require as many as 5 arguments in their constructors for determining their properties. Previously to make those in my level editor, you would have to select the base entity, platform, and then type each individual argument with a space between each one, with the argument order memorized.

So the first thing I have done is simplify the entity creation portion of the editor. I change it from requiring manual entry to a small system of drop boxes and input parameters.

This should make it much easier to make levels, since you won't have to memorize the parameter order. You still have to have some knowledge of the game though. For instance, in this case, the destination is two coordinates with a space separating them. In this case, the platform would move 10 tiles down. Also, the platform type is a simple enum, in this case with 2 being fully automatic.

Later this week, I hope to add new options for the tile map, such as being able to load one in dynamically, instead of having to hard code each one. However, I have a feeling that won't be as easy as adding a "load tilemap" button with the tools at the top. I am considering something along the lines of a C# Dictionary that it uses during a loading phase, which the tile engine can then copy a specific entry from each time it loads a new map.

However I do it, it isn't something that is covered in the book I have on XNA game development so I am going to have to do some research. It might be a good time to change the way level files are saved and loaded, since currently it is the only thing that keeps it from completely compatible with Xbox Indie Games.

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