Started work on the Bert Engine and I am very temtped to make a level editor prior to making the platform engine. I quite like the idea of a common engine and levels held in files.
I made a level editor years ago in TGF1 so i know the process there abouts although this time round i will use APO and tilesets.
My only concern is felxibilty (say i want moving platforms, level specific objects, talking event triggers, swinging balls/swinging platforms etc etc). I have already decided on a level type control (i.e. map, level, boss, race) then upon loading a level file it selects the appropiate engine.
What are everyones views on editors ? Decided I want to try to do one anyway
Level editors are quite nice. Not only does it speed up level creation on your end, but it makes things so much more efficient since you only need one frame to load many levels. It also means the players could potentially make levels. ;D
It does depend on many factors whether you should make an editor. If it its quicker and easier to do it without an editor do it without.
The game I'm making at the moment is so complicated I'm better off designing a good editor first to speed up level creation.
I decided to have internal tiles for my editor which makes it much simpler to create specific objects with all their attributes included in the MFA. Although I also use just one frame so even though there might be level specific object they're all sitting in the main game frame with 'create at start' unticked.
I find the editor is great for quickly producing levels without worrying about having to copy events or objects. Also because i don't like how quickly the MFA size increased with each new frame having a nice small 5kb level file sitting outside the main game is great.
IMHO, main use is if you plan on having people edit maps. So you can get a codemapmonkey to draw them for you. Or if your maps are very repetitive, like lots of tiles. Otherwise, they're more of a burden. Unless you enjoy making them, of course
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That was my thinking, unless a map is like Super Mario Bros 1 I can see the editor becoming quite complex.
I still want to do one though as i do think it will speed up making levels, reduce file size and if the engine turns out any good - be re useable... If it turns out too much of a burden I will forget it and just make the game tho
Like Muz said, it's really about whether it's a repetitive level design or not full of crazy unique objects to each area or level. If you need a lot of custom objects and things coded specifically for a certain level, maybe level editor is not the path you want to take.
The only major limitation of level editors is that you can only create 20,000 backdrops at a time. Other than that, they are great for most multilevel games. And after you make one, you can modify that one to fit other games as well.
Probably the best editor i've seen is the one for the underside.
The Way Ive approched Sk8r Boy,
was to make the movement engine, then an editor, my idea was like most ppl, to speed up the level design sections in the end,
Ive gone for an ini file per level as a save, and it saves the item number, and the x and y position, its been a bit of a pain to pull it to a nice working point, but its working nice, and the bonus idea that made me pick ini for the save is that levels could actually be posted on forums and copied off, because its only text.
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