Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sprites and Cells

Ha! Less then a week later and I'm already posting again! Success!

The sprite editor which I discussed last week has come together pretty well. I ended up dropping the idea of display a list of the animations and decided to go with something a little flashier: animation previews. You can now see a preview of all animations in a sprite without having to click anything. This will hopefully be visibly appealing AND useful.

The Sprite Editor.
I've tried my best to make the interface intuitive. I know the application is only going to be used by me, but if I can't use my own software then what kind of developer would I be?

I've begun work on the map editor (referred to as a cell editor for reasons unknown to even me) and I am thus far pretty happy with it.

The Cell Editor.
Who knows if this will be the end result though. I've changed my mind in the past on how I want things to work. Maybe I'll even put the effort into changing the name 'Cell' to ... you know ... 'Map'.

I'm going to try to start posting more information about the code for this editor and my game. If nothing else I'd like this blog to serve as more then just a reminder to me that I have projects I should be working on. I'd love to be able to host guides and articles about game development in general. Today, however, I must focus on real work. I do have a full time software development job that takes precedence over everything game development related. A shame to be sure.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Editor

Yeah. So I'm not so great at updating a blog at regular intervals it would seem. A life lesson I guess.

Progess has been made on my current project "Frozenmoon" which is an action, dungeon-crawl in the same vain as Gauntlet and Dungeon Explorer.

I've begun work on a game editor (textures, tilesets, sprites, maps, etc) because I know that the if the process of creating content is difficult then finishing the game will be difficult. The editor will use a simple MDI approach to organizing internal windows. I'm kinda a fan of the MDI interface because of how easy it is to keep a large number of different windows contained.

An example of the MDI interface.

Since I'm using XNA I've made it my mission to use every pieces of the framework. The content pipeline component allows me to automatically serialize and deserialize information in both the editor and the game. This way I can build something in the editor and load it directly into the game without having to write my own Export/Import functionality. Score one for lazyness I guess.

So far I've been able to complete the texture and tileset pieces. Since both are relatively straight forward they were the first to be done.

An example of the Texture and Tileset components.

The sprite component is a little more complicated. It is essentially a tileset that also has a list of animations (start frame, end frame, fps, looping). I've made it so you can select a range of tiles and create an animation from them, but I'm struggling on how best to display animation information. Maybe a datagrid? Maybe a simple list? I'll have to experiment!

An example of the Sprite component.

Take Care!
(hopefully it won't be another two weeks until I update again)