XNA Fantasy

   So I’ve been following EvilNando’s editor for quite a while now, and after coming back from Turkey I just had to see what he’s up to. Apparently he’s made his own wordpress blog, to my dismay. While he doesn’t seem to update as frequently as I do, he has put up his tile editor for download. So while eating my Honeycomb this morning, I sucked up my pride and checked his editor out.

   I’ll admit, the editor is visually stunning. The menus are intuitive and well-designed, and the tools run without bugs. What was really surprising was the addition of an Undo button, something I’ll probably never do simply because it would take too much time out of my working schedule. But I’m not one who likes to complement their potential rival, so I’ll going to compare his editor and mine in an old-fashioned comparison checklist:

  • Ease of Use for a First Time User – This goes to Nando. For as much as I try to put stuff in the right places, when a person other than me tries to use the editor, they can seem lost at first. My code is even worse. (Man I need to comment that shit.)
  • Layer Functionality – I have to slip this one in, this is major. My editor can have infinite layers. Infinite layers that each have their own respective tilesets. His editor is restricted to three that can only use one tileset. So you see why I put this one in.
  • Tilesets – Okay, so my implementation of tilesets requires you to not only add the tileset to the current project, but manually create 2 “overlay maps” (a collision and a transparency) outside of the editor if you wish to use the tileset ingame. His implementation only requires you to load a tileset on your harddrive – wait. Problem? Yes. People who lack the knowledge of what tilesize to use or where to get a tileset that will work for this editor will be lost. I have tilesets on my computer, simply because I’m making my own tile editor. But what about those who don’t?  Also, his implementation of tilesets does not account for putting the map ingame. So at least for now, I win this section.
  • GUI – My GUI sucks. I know it sucks because I hate it myself. So this one goes to Nando.
  • Map Files – Alright, confession – my map files are still a bunch of separate TXT files each representing a layer. Now, I could rewrite my enitre saving/loading code to change this, but I’m not the kind of person to do something boring like that. Right? Well, that’s my goal for today, actually. To compress the TXT layers into a single .map file. But for now, this one goes to Nando with a pat on the back as well. I don’t know XML, and his editor can export a map to it. So this one goes to him.
  • Ingame Application – I know I sound conceited, but my editor, hands-down. I’ve never seen his editor put a character in the map, let alone run it ingame. And I can’t just let this section go because his editor isn’t geared for it, because in reality, it is. While he may not say the editor supports this functionality, its a major part of why one makes a tile editor in the first place: to make maps for ingame use.

   So who won? Well, it looks like a tie. Seeming as I can’t come up with another category, I’ll leave it at that and leave you, the user, to make their own decisions on which is better. For now, I need to get back to work.

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~ by IG on July 11, 2008.

One Response to “XNA Fantasy”

  1. Nice review fatso.. just a clarification on layering:

    if you go to the menu you will see a resize option

    here you can change the number of layers the map can have

    right now the editor has a hardcoded limit of 200×200 and 10 layers, using these settings the application will eat something like 700MB of RAM

    It is just a matter of replacing that 10 by the number of layers you wish to have.

    But if you take a moment and think of a reason of why you will need such number of layers you will probably realize that:

    – It will take “some” time to produce a single render (assuming that you cicle all tiles inside frustrum view)

    – The need of such layers probably means that the tileset is missing tiles images to display certain “effect”, copy n pasting such tiles together to produce a single tile and then attach it to the tileset would be a more efficient idea

    my 2c

    PS: Oh of course I want to make a game, in fact Ive already had an basic engine running (xna framework 1.0) but the need of a visual editor made me stop all game development

    Ill post a development roadmap soon

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