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Changing directions May 21, 2010

Posted by Jesse in : Game Development , trackback

In the last few days, I’ve been looking at the best way to start putting the art into the game. For characters, the new animation system seems to be working really well. For the static background elements that Mollie has been drawing, however, the tiled system aren’t really cutting it. She’s put together a bunch of separate little texture elements, and the only decent way I could have gotten them into the game would be to composite the graphics in photoshop, and then break them down into tiles and add them to the game. While that would work, it would mean a large number of tile sheets, and it would be very cumbersome to edit levels.

I was left with two options:

  1. Add the ability to attach textures to the custom objects in Tiled.
  2. Change to a different level editor.

Option one sounds reasonable, and the source code is really clean and pretty easy to edit. But I’d need to add a bunch of functionality to support rotation, scaling, and draw order for the textures. It would take me awhile. After spending so much time on Demina, I’m very tired of working on tools. I want to write my game!

So I asked my friend Google for help, and I wound up finding Gleed2D. I’ve spent a few days playing with it, and it seems really nice. It supports all of the features I was looking for. It has support for a few primitive types, so you can set up region boxes, or collision polygons pretty easily. You can attach custom properties to any element into the editor, so the automatic game entity creation system I used with Tiled works perfectly without much change. It also has support for parallax layers right in the editor. Nice!

There is a pretty big drawback to Gleed2D, though. The creator uploaded a flurry of updates during July of last year, and then went silent. On the forums (if you dig through the heavy spam) are a bunch of requests for updates or access to the source code. But there’s been no response. This isn’t an insurmountable problem, since the editor is in an easily usable state, but it still stinks.

It took me a little while to get it up and running, since I had to rewrite the collision system to allow for slopes, but it’s looking pretty nice. Here’s a new work in progress video. (The graphics are just random stuff I had lying around.)


1. Lotus - July 21, 2010

Awesome find with Gleed2D. I’m going to have to give it a look at myself.

2. Jesse Chounard - July 21, 2010

It’s far from perfect. It gets very difficult to manage when you’ve got hundreds of textures in a level, and there is very little to help navigating through them.

Since the developer seems to have vanished from the face of the earth, I’ve been forced to hack at the thing to fix bugs and add new features. When I start a new project, I’ll probably write my own editor or buy something that’s well supported.

Good luck!

3. Third Party Ninjas » G2DF - November 23, 2010

[…] up is my level editor. I’ve written before about using Gleed2D. Since writing that, the creator reappeared and uploaded the source code as an open source project […]