Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scene editor

I have been busy building an alternative scene editor and incorporating it inside a software package which is part of a game design tool project. I intend to invest more time on the editor so that more people can get involved with the scene building without having to learn XML and the I2B script. As the first step, I have developed the following functions:
  • Load XML and format if necessary. It will overwrite the existing XML file and 'empty element tags' to full ones. (My parser does not read empty element tags)
  • Load the Class Dictionary
  • Load Assets and populate sprites in a list
  • Load Prototypes and populate an entity prototype list
  • Create entity instances a scene (After selecting a prototype in a list which turns creation mode on )
  • Drag entity instances around (After escaping creation mode by pressing escape )
  • Rename the instances
  • Visualise their bounding box area, anchor point and center point
  • Save the scene file

The next step will be correct bugs and tidy things up. The main problem is the fact that the engine reduces images larger than 4096 pixels in height or width. I will provide a means to work with glyphs, more than 1 layer and large scene areas with different parallax settings. Provide a means to create prototypes, edit properties, create classes, load scenes, edit sprites, edit actions, edit events and anything else required to develop I2B scenarios quickly.
The program uses two executable; a main interface and a scene canvas. The attached zip file contains GDesign.exe in the root folder which is all that needs to be run, Direct X 9 would need to be installed for it to work. It should then ask you to specify where your scene folder is stored, EG: c:\I2B\Repository\Binaries\Spacecraft\.

To operate, you simply need to select an asset file in the file browser. You must first select a file such as LotusAssets.xml, then it will display 'Assets' as the file type if the program recogonizes your selection as an asset file. Then you double click to load. You will see a list of assets appear in the asset browser, which will take a while to load, especially if you are loading many assets.
Next you need to load a prototypes file, such as LotusEntityPrototypes.xml, in the same fashion as done with the assets file; the difference is that the entity browser is loaded with entities you can insert. Once you select one, you can select the canvas and plot the entity in the scene. You can edit previously created entities after pressing the escape key to exit creation mode.

I will be uploading the latest editor in the group page.

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