Content Creation

With the Dream Build Play project “Complete,” I’ve turned my attention to a few items that will aid in the creation of not only Meir, but any future RPG I write. Content creation is a tricky subject, as the goal is to create something flexable enough to re-use in any RPG project, but dynamic enough and easy enough to use so if I had a few people working on any given project, they would know what to do.

Well me and a buddy from the shacknews chatty decided that he didn’t want to use TileStudio anymore, but wanted something more suited for his game.. so we started colaborating on an editor that would be built specifically for XNA games, but flexable enough to use in any project. Obviously this editor will have to support several major features of basic RPGs, but how in depth are we going to really go with this thing?

Create and edit tile maps? Basic feature, has to be included.
Exporting XML in the same style of the XNA Content Pipeline? Basic feature, has to be included.

but what about features like adding a “tile” to the texture, and having the map build the texture and exporting that to a PNG file? What about creating a system that can export to multi dimensional or single dimensional arrays based on the project needs? How about a dynamic XML system that lets the user edit how their XML should look, then hitting “Export XML” and having their XML formatted correctly? There are many many more ambitious goals we wish to include, and we’re thinking a bit larger scale then just these… but its pretty interesting to see what we could come up with. As always, I’ll keep everyone up to date on whats actually going on. 

So if you had to pick and choose a few “Must Have” features of a game editor, what would you want included?


2 comments so far

  1. J on

    Well, I think a tile selection box like in EvilNando’s editor is important. Personally, I thought EvilNando’s editor looked pretty good, but as a programmer, I had to make my own anyway. It really isn’t that difficult to do, and the payoff is huge.

    Dynamic Xml would also be very useful. That would ensure that you don’t need to use a format that you don’t like.

    In the editor I made, I also spent a fair amount of time ensuring I had plenty of ways to draw. Make a fill that only overwrites certain tiles, rectangular selection fill, mouse = top left of selection vs the other 3 corners, etc.

    You might also want to consider having multiple tilesets per layer. I haven’t done this part myself but it’s still on the chalkboard.

    Oh yeah, and make sure it’s stable. No one likes spending an hour on a pimped out 100×100 map only to have some looming bug bring it all to a crashing hault. (personal experience lol)

  2. Craig on

    I agree, I used Nando’s editor when working on my DBP project.

    We’ve discussed the multiple tilesets per layer, and we think we have a solution to this that doesn’t involve having a ton of tilesets that can be imported, but it will take some time to put together correctly.

    Right now our primary goal is to have the exported data be “plug and play” compatible with the XNA Content Pipeline. After working with the content pipeline with my project, and porting it to the 360, having something you can just create and plug into your project would be invaluable. :)

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