Things are going well, but things are going slowly. You may have noticed there’s no screenshot of the current state of the map editor, and this is because it’s visually exactly the same. This is partially because I genuinely have been having difficulty finding the time to work on it as much as I need and, indeed, want to, but just as much because most of the changes I’ve been making are not very visible. I’ve been putting in a lot of work getting resizing of levels working correctly, I’ve put together a rough undo system, improved stability and flexibility, laid groundwork for future additions and, perhaps most importantly, updated the project to use Adobe AIR instead of Flash.
For those of you who are not familiar, Adobe AIR is the more powerful offline version of Flash. I’d actually intended to make this project for AIR all along, but when I started it my tools didn’t have good support for AIR so I used standard Flash to get development started. I’m already noticing tremendous improvements to framerate (and my code is still super-unoptimized) and using AIR is allowing me to control loading and saving of files much more closely. Now the map editor saves quickly and effortlessly instead of forcing a dialogue box each time I want to save, and soon the Level Editor will as well. I may eventually even segue into a system where it automatically saves every change, but obviously that comes with its own risks, and even more obviously it would be pure folly to start working on that before I have the bugs ironed out.
So, I’ve got my schedule worked out for the next week, and if I can stick to it even approximately this should be the last week I need to focus on the map editor. Even though these changes are, I know, not very visible from where you’re sitting, they’re exciting to me both as engineering problems to solve and as steps towards realizing a creative goal. Yes, it certainly has taken much longer than expected to develop this map editor, but I guess that’s game development for you.
Anyway, small update for this week. Hopefully next time I will have new screenies to show, for those of you who are interested in map editors, and will be able to talk about what I’m going to implement next.