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 Post subject: Level Up
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:24 am 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
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Working on ungame made me realize once again that good tools are rare. They often need ugly workarounds or break the workflow. Same with leveleditors.

Most of the time when i need to edit a level i'll just create a new mapeditor. Rudimentary features, crude to use, but functional. Then when i started doing a bit more flash i had to resort to tilemaps more often i was checking a few editors out. Most prominent would be OGMO and TilEd.

Both seem pretty good and usable, but they are basic and have their quirks and shortcomings; also i'm never satisfied.

For every mapeditor i wrote i kept gathering ideas in my head, which never happened to see the day of light. But that will change *climaxing musik*.

I present to you (well not yet) LevelUp \o/

A tilemap level editor focused on usability and versatility that provides you with the most basic features and some nifty stuff on the side.

I've set up a wiki page on my domain to keep track of features and progress on the development.
http://wzl.vg/wiki/index.php?title=LevelUp

This baby is only 2 days old and cannot walk quite yet, but i'll get there. And in the next few days i might be able to publish a demo.

Now my question for you:
What irks you the most with leveleditors you tried or made.
And what features would you wish to have at your disposal?

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Exactly as I anticipated. Sooner or later weezl would mention a tool deficiency regarding Ungame, and then post a topic asking for suggestions about it. :)

Quote:
What irks you the most with leveleditors you tried or made.

Very hard to describe. Note that I've been preparing a topic for GameDev.net for several months about level editors and tools, but now I think I'll put it here instead.

Quote:
And what features would you wish to have at your disposal?

Vague question, sorry... This is merely a tilemap editor? Yeah, I don't have any ideas. Can I ask you about how you plan to store/export the tilemaps? That is where I would start my discussion regarding your implementation of a "better" tilemap editor.

I know this isn't very helpful, but personally, I can't think of any input until I try your demo. Meanwhile, here's some screenshots of old map editors I made in Game Maker (2-3 years ago, though some screenshots are fresh):

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:54 pm 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 1814
Location: burrowed
Pieman wrote:
Exactly as I anticipated. Sooner or later weezl would mention a tool deficiency regarding Ungame, and then post a topic asking for suggestions about it. :)


Am i that predictable? :P

Ah well, sorry about not being elaborate on the concept.

Yeah this is mainly a tilemap editor, importing tilesheets, placing tiles on the map using different kinds of tools. This will be the main feature set basically.

Additionally there'll be support for other game related features such as specifying locations (for spawn points or entities like coins etc), trigger areas (goals, death zones) and line-paths (could be used for collision or enemy pathing or whatever else).

Pieman wrote:
Quote:
And what features would you wish to have at your disposal?

Vague question, sorry... This is merely a tilemap editor? Yeah, I don't have any ideas. Can I ask you about how you plan to store/export the tilemaps? That is where I would start my discussion regarding your implementation of a "better" tilemap editor.


Well, it is vague because i am asking for general features suggestions. Things like different brush tools, tile picker, things you found missing in other editors, like the aforementioned triggerboxes and locations missing in other editors that actually made me start this project. Anything that comes to mind regarding 2d tilemaps and their uses.

The export formats will include xml and json for now but i'm open for suggestions.
I plan to include basic loading/rendering template code for a few prominent engines and frameworks.
For a detailed featurelist you can check the wiki link in the first post.

I think that i can creat a better tilemap editor simply for the fact that i ask people who use that stuff what they want.

Well, i've got a bunch of features on the list already, and it looks pretty much complete from this point. Of course there might be more changes and features to be implemented once people play with it, but this is still the planning phase.

Does that explain it well enough? :D

nice shots. the map maker looks kinda cool :D

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:15 am 
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Quote:
Am i that predictable? :P

No, I'm just that experienced with how game development projects usually happen, given their circumstance of production. No really. I sound conceited or something, but that's my explanation.

Quote:
Things like different brush tools, tile picker, things you found missing in other editors, like the aforementioned triggerboxes and locations missing in other editors that actually made me start this project. Anything that comes to mind regarding 2d tilemaps and their uses.

Alright, I know exactly what you need... a "microwave frozen pizza" button!


In reality, there's really no way I can give you decent suggestions from how it's standing. Here's my options:

1. Conceive of an entirely novel tilemap editor myself and then explain why I designed it the way I did.
2. Guess what its like to use your tilemap editor and try desperately to make a good feature suggestion based on my guess.
3. Tell you how I would want a map editor to be like. That's a completely different story.
4. Wait for you to release the demo. (<-- that's the best option right there man 8))

I have had one small idea: about a year ago, during the 3 days that I developed a complete Javascript/HTML5 platformer engine but dumped it (yeah completely deleted everything :() due to a profound hatred for Javascript/HTML5, I dealt with map composition in an interesting way. First of all, the game world could consist of many tilemaps with arbitrary tile parameters, world-relative position, depth-layer and tilemap dimensions (i.e. width and height in tiles). I had planned for parallax support too, but I never got to it. One cool thing was that this was designed to support dynamic management of the tilemaps, so that the game world could be continuous and very large. After providing a comprehensive access system to enable intuitive integration of gameplay into this powerful format of world composition -- in a way which simplified tasks such as implementing collisions etc. in an efficient way -- I started building a map editor that was directly integrated into the game engine. Unfortunately Javascript managed to piss me off enough to abandon my HTML5 game-programming experiment and even delete the files. I hated the experience, though I never thought it would be nice to share my work. Soorry.

In summary: Store tilemaps like bitmaps and just let the tilemaps have arbitrary attributes (comparable to position, dimension and scale). Then create utility to make it easy to handle various tilemaps of your format in any Flash game project. How do you like this idea? Note: scale actually refers to the uniform size of tiles in a tilemap... that's what I meant in part of my analogy to bitmaps... a grid arrangement, 2-D array, strided array or whatever term I just screwed up on choosing.

Quote:
Does that explain it well enough? :D

As your doctor, I'm very sorry to tell you, but you have a deficiency in basis-for-suggestions. Inherently, all of your children will be elephants and it may be necessary for you to wear spandex whenever you are in public.


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:13 am 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 1814
Location: burrowed
Not sure i understood most of what you explained. I'm so tired, will check again tomorrow ;)

I set up a build, it doesn't have save or export features yet but you can test usability.

http://wzl.vg/src/LevelUpv0.4.zip

More info:
http://wzl.vg/wiki/index.php?title=LevelUp

Quote:
Usage: Press the [Add] button to the right to add a tileset, there are two test sets in the folder.
A,S,D changes tools (see titlebar)
Leftclick - Draw
Rightclick - Select (see tilematrix to the bottom right)

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:31 am 
Digerati

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Location: burrowed
I've uploaded a new version. It includes saving to xml and loading and some general fixes.

Image
Image

Here's the download: http://wzl.vg/src/LevelUpv0.5.zip

Don't get too attached to your map files, there's no guarantee they'll load in later version :P

Pieman: in terms of dynamic maps, i'm not restricting the mapsize, and try to avoid any restrictions that might prevent people to work on their maps. There's a long way ahead still though :P

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:53 am 
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Something about the .NET runtime... I'll have to try it on my computer which has .NET. I may do that tormorrow, but it's getting late now. From the look of it, you've done a very good job. I can't wait to try it. :)

Quote:
Pieman: in terms of dynamic maps, i'm not restricting the mapsize, and try to avoid any restrictions that might prevent people to work on their maps. There's a long way ahead still though

Well I mean, it would be nice to have the ability to divide the global map into very arbitrary tilemap constituents and background stream them behind active gameplay to practically support extremely massive game worlds with minimal memory consumption and quick gameplay bootup (very short loading screens). Grammar note: Is that a run-on sentence or something? Oh noes!

Edit: Good night everyone! (or good morning, or good day)


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: burrowed
Pieman wrote:
Well I mean, it would be nice to have the ability to divide the global map into very arbitrary tilemap constituents and background stream them behind active gameplay to practically support extremely massive game worlds with minimal memory consumption and quick gameplay bootup (very short loading screens).


That is a fantastic thought. Definitely considering it, putting it on the list, although i'm not sure how different frameworks handle mapstreaming. I can imagine it's quite bad in flash.
Additionally: streaming maps can be entirely implemented on the client side, so probably no need to clutter the format. I'll give it some thought

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:38 pm 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 1814
Location: burrowed
New version 0.5b includes export to XML. Also here's the import template for FlashPunk.

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:18 am 
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Bug report: Press Load, then press Cancel.

The keyboard scheme is a bit difficult to learn. You need to provide some real buttons for your tools with the corresponding shortcut keys displayed in their tool tips. The delete key should yield an empty tile in the selection for the case when no empty tiles are visible (and also for people who don't realize that's how you can select the "eraser" to delete tiles). You also need a "Help & Info" button to launch http://wzl.vg/wiki/index.php?title=LevelUp in a web browser.

Quote:
[ ]funkytiler - automatically placing edge tiles for rough level skulpting

First of all, you spelled *sculpting wrong. Is this supposed to be a feature where the tile matrix will be augmented with icon-tiles or abbreviated labels for like <top-left convex corner>, <top edge>, <top-left concave corner> etc. and a wildcard tile will automatically select from these, and the interior area will be selected randomly from the remainder (non-special tiles) of the tile matrix? Also, you need to program this in a way that is flexible to support the cases when not all edge tiles are filled in the augmented tile matrix, where they will be substituted by the best match (e.g. your tilesets don't have concave corners, so concave corners can just be filled by the interior-area tiles).

One big problem:
The tilesets are not arbitrary. The tiles all seem to be 16x16. You need options to customize tilemaps as soon as you implement the arbitrary/disconnected tilemap idea I had from my earlier posts i.e. Layers that can have the following attributes: int x-origin (px), int y-origin (px), uint tile-width (px), uint tile-height (px), bool bounded, uint bound-width (in # of tiles), uint bound-height (in # of tiles).


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:23 am 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 1814
Location: burrowed
Pieman wrote:
Bug report: Press Load, then press Cancel.

The keyboard scheme is a bit difficult to learn. You need to provide some real buttons for your tools with the corresponding shortcut keys displayed in their tool tips. The delete key should yield an empty tile in the selection for the case when no empty tiles are visible (and also for people who don't realize that's how you can select the "eraser" to delete tiles). You also need a "Help & Info" button to launch http://wzl.vg/wiki/index.php?title=LevelUp in a web browser.


Thanks for the bug report. I'm currently busy enough to implement new features, so a little external testing helps tremendously <3

Yeah i will reimplement a delete key, or maybe one that just selects an empty tile in the tilematrix.
I also plan for customizable keys, but this is a feature i will probably tackle a little later on. Probably once there's more than 3 buttons to press anyways.

The help and info button is a great idea!

Quote:
Quote:
[ ]funkytiler - automatically placing edge tiles for rough level skulpting

First of all, you spelled *sculpting wrong. Is this supposed to be a feature where the tile matrix will be augmented with icon-tiles or abbreviated labels for like <top-left convex corner>, <top edge>, <top-left concave corner> etc. and a wildcard tile will automatically select from these, and the interior area will be selected randomly from the remainder (non-special tiles) of the tile matrix? Also, you need to program this in a way that is flexible to support the cases when not all edge tiles are filled in the augmented tile matrix, where they will be substituted by the best match (e.g. your tilesets don't have concave corners, so concave corners can just be filled by the interior-area tiles).


Heh, the k sneaked in due to my german heritage :P
Yeah it's pretty much that. will be somewhat more tricky to build but it's one of the core features i want to have.

Quote:
One big problem:
The tilesets are not arbitrary. The tiles all seem to be 16x16. You need options to customize tilemaps as soon as you implement the arbitrary/disconnected tilemap idea I had from my earlier posts i.e. Layers that can have the following attributes: int x-origin (px), int y-origin (px), uint tile-width (px), uint tile-height (px), bool bounded, uint bound-width (in # of tiles), uint bound-height (in # of tiles).


And yeah, the tilesize is something that needs to be fixed asap. I only tested for 16x16 tiles, so i completely forgot about it :P I need to rebuild the whole saving loading interface so i'll add a dialog for tilesize.

Thanks for the feedback man :D

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:22 am 
Digerati

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 1814
Location: burrowed
v0.6 just released. This is a major milestone. It implements all of the basic features necessary to create a map and use it ingame :D

Quote:
Interface overhaul
Restructuring
Skins
Collapsable project and tool panels
Variable tile size (at last)
Autoreload tileset when it's been modified


Image

More info and download: http://wzl.vg/wiki/index.php?title=LevelUp

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:39 pm 
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Quote:
Skin change
Project Management
Support for mutliple maps per project
Texture management
Convenience forms for save/load etc.
Entity creation and placement
Draws the selected entity types on the map
Supports custom attributes
Performance increase due to buffering mapsections
Added a config file and some basic settings
Recently saved projects
Grid background color


Image

Download and stuff
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:07 pm 
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That is a crazy good crapload of improvements! :evil


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Now i need to unshittify the looks of it :D

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:02 am 
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Nice work!

I'm also just starting work on a level editor... what are the odds? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:47 am 
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The odds? Tools are important, babe!


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:32 am 
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Meneliki wrote:
Nice work!

I'm also just starting work on a level editor... what are the odds? ;)


Just use levelup, it's the betterest thing out there :D

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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Quote:
Just use levelup, it's the betterest thing out there :D

I frown upon that statement. Not everyone makes tile-based games. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Level Up
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Levelup 0.8 just went up!

0.8 Changelog wrote:
Frontend
-Cleaned up the interface
-Custom layerlist
-Disabled skinning
-Implemented custom color themes
-Uses custom font (Tempesta seven regular)
-Preview selection when using the stamp tool or placing entities
-Printing system messages console style
-Tips of the day

Backend
-Unlimited undo! [ctrl][z]
-Implemented colored Triggerboxes (deathzones etc.)
-Render map to image (and save to file)
-Removal for Entity- and TriggerTypes

Changed Keybindings:
-[b] tilebrush
-[a] areabrush
-[s] stampbrush
-[e] eraser
-[t] trigger
-[n] entity
-Added Refill to fill the last drawn area with different random tiles [r]

Exportformat
-Exports triggers with name, position, size and attributes.


Image

New url: http://lup.wzl.vg

Also someone has uploaded it on softpedia. That surprised me D:
http://games.softpedia.com/get/Tools/LevelUp.shtml

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