Back to the drawing board. Well back to the keyboard at any rate.

Okay so like two people I think tried my program, which is ok, not many people could actually play it anyways because it runs on XNA and C#. But I did learn a few things. Ultimately I found out that making my game is going to be a lot more pain that I had hoped. So to make life bearable, I decided I wanted to create some tools first. First being a map editor. It seems map editors are rites of passage for game programmers, and I’ve been putting mine off long enough.

So the goal is three-fold, A) is to make a tool for Hypno-Joe, B) is a tool that will run on windows and the xbox 360 via xna/c#, and C) the ability to include a level editor into my future games.

I have several features planned.
Full featured map editor, utilizing layers, arbitrary positioning with grid snap, maps made out of chunks of “tiles” put together, arbitrarily shaped “tiles”
Eventually I will have a collision map creation tool, character creation tool, object placement, animated tiles, etc… In other words a full on level editor, but right now of course I just want to create the map editor.

I even created a new project and had it draw something on the screen. Here’s a screenshot of “Uhf-Edit”:
Uhf-Edit in glorious black and white.

Great huh? By the way that’s not a dark gray rectangle, it’s a black transparent rectangle. I wanted to do something different than xna’s default cornflower blue. So I decided that light gray suited it better. In any case, this many not be even the start of anything, it was merely to get me to do some coding the other day.

Originally I was going to use a book called Building XNA 2.0 Games by James Silva and John Sedlak, but the more I used it, the more I realized I was going to need to modify it. And even though I was typing in the code, I didn’t really know it well enough like my own code. See the reason people tend to re-invent the wheel, is because most great minds don’t think alike. In other words I know how all my own code works because I recognize the thought processes I used to come to that piece of code. I don’t have the mind of some other programming, so I don’t really know what they were thinking. The book is great, in fact I’m still going to go through it. It’s given me a lot of great ideas about how to approach my own tool.

Since I was starting over I was going to go ahead and build myself some proper tools. Well there ya have it.

I’m actually going to blog about it quite a bit. You could sort of use my posts as a tutorial of sorts. I’m not going to really give you any code, but I’ll show you the process I go through, and who knows maybe you will want to write your own. In the next post I plan on dumping my “notes” (a bunch of ideas typed into notepad). I’m also going to start organizing the tasks into steps so when I get to actual coding, I’ll know exactly what I’m doing. Along the way I’ll show notes and progress and maybe example code. So stay tuned.


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