Eve DevBlog 1

So this is pretty intense.

Pretty much as soon as I announced Eve, I got hit with a rush of adrenaline which has yet to subside. I’ve been sleeping 4-6 hours a night, and I wake up feeling like shit, but then once I get back to working on and thinking about the project I get another burst of energy and another sleepless night. Of course, FTL contributes to lack of sleep as well…

Anyway. This week I’ve been focusing on getting the map editor working– so unfortunate there won’t be much in the way of pretty new art, just a screenshot of the map editor as it is now and some relatively dry technical stuff.

First, some of you may be asking: Your announcement said the level editor was done and the map editor in progress, what does that mean? What is a map editor in the context of a 2d platformer? I’m having to invent the terminology to describe the solutions I use, and probably other people who have solved similar problems have used different terms. Here’s a brief glossary of the terms I’m using, so I can describe what I’m working on:

Tile: A unit of level space. Tiles describe both the collision information for the space and the graphic used in depicting it: Most tiles are either full or empty, but some tiles are half-full (though I prefer to think of them as half-empty) with a sloped surface. See the screenshot of the level editor for a better idea.

Level: A bitmap image where each pixel is converted into a tile when the level is loaded.

Room: A screen’s worth of level. So, for instance, if each tile is 25×25 and the resolution is 800×600, the room size is 32×24

Map: An arrangement of levels, holding where each level is relative to the other

So basically, it goes: Tile < Room < Level < Map

Anyway. Here’s what the map editor looks like now:

The perlin noise background was added just recently to make it easier to differentiate where levels had been placed and where they hadn’t– before this there was just a black background, and an empty level would easily disappear on that background. The blue border visible there denotes the edge of the map, so the user doesn’t try to place levels outside its bounds (a better solution might be to automatically resize the map).

I’ve roughed in the map edit menu, though it’s not visible here. I’m still deciding on exactly what the interface is going to look like, but the user is going to need to be able to change maps, create new maps/levels, resize levels, and place special level blocks that teleport them to another part of the map or load a separate map.

So that’s it for this week’s update. Hopefully by next week most of the stuff I’m talking about will be implemented, and I’ll be ready to program the next game tool: The Entity editor.

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