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Thread: [Beta] Stone Goose Level Object

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    Clicker Fusion 2.5 DeveloperAndroid Export ModuleHTML5 Export ModuleSWF Export Module

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    [Beta] Stone Goose Level Object

    I am releasing the Stone Goose Level Object as an early beta in order to get some feedback. Originally the extension was capable of creating backdrops by name, but instead I took this responsibility out of the extension and moved it to a different extension - collaborating with Anders on the Create By Name extension.

    Object Name
    "Stone Goose Level Object"


    Object Author
    "Matt Esch"


    Object Copyright
    "Copyright © 2012 Stone Goose Studios"


    Object Comment
    "Saves level information to an XML level file, and loads the data back with callbacks for object recreation."


    Motivation

    When making games I am fed up of having duplicate copies of code. If you have a 25 level platform game which uses the same platform engine in all of those levels, and then you discover a bug in the engine, you have to update the engine 25 times. The best solution is of course to make a level editor and to load your levels dynamically into your game. This is a somewhat advanced task but I don't see why it should be. The MMF level editor gives us a nice way to build up levels. What it doesn't do is give us a method for creating multiple levels for one set of events. The Stone Goose Level Object exports the names and positions and a series of other bits of data about the objects in your level to a file. When you load this level file it triggers an event for each object that was in your level, allowing you to add it to the frame. It's very easy to do. Saving can be done with as little as one action and loading can be done with 3 events (3 actions using Create By Name).


    Currently noted:


    • We can't create quick backdrops by name (yet).

    • It's only available for the standard windows runtime at the moment.

    • JSON would be nicer than XML (smaller files) but will be negligible if compressed. Possibly add both options.


    You can find the latest version at http://www.mattesch.info/click/SGLevelObject.zip

    To run the example you will need the latest version of the Create Object By Name extension which you can find on Anders' site http://www.andersriggelsen.dk/mmf2_extensions.php

    Please post any questions or bugs you find, or suggest features you would like to see added to the extension.

  2. #2
    Clicker Fusion 2.5 DeveloperAndroid Export ModuleHTML5 Export ModuleiOS Export ModuleSWF Export ModuleXNA Export ModuleUnicode Add-on
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    Great. I might find it handy. Still looking forward Other Stone Goose extensions.

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    Clicker Fusion 2.5 DeveloperAndroid Export ModuleiOS Export ModuleSWF Export Module

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    Very cool extension!
    If this extension gets ported to the other major runtimes like IOS and flash then I'll use it on EVERY project!

    great job guys.

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    Clicker Multimedia Fusion 2 DeveloperSWF Export Module

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    This is a great extension thanks, it seems to work well when i tested. I have seen your OpenGL objects project on TDC and those look great also.

    My only suggestion for now is to maybe rename the example folder Stone Goose Level Object instead of SGLevelObject as it makes it quicker to find things when the folders are the same as the extension name (In the editor).

    About changing it to JSON i think rather than replace the current mode simply add a Sub menus for Load And Save with multiple modes instead as having the option to use different formats like that is great for making level editors. I usually use XML more myself so it seems good as it is right now because it's easily readable and when not for game projects that could be quite useful so with compressed XML that would be great but better as a separate option also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattEsch View Post
    JSON would be nicer than XML (smaller files) but will be negligible if compressed. Possibly add both options.
    +1

    Smaller files is one advantage, not looking ugly is the other. :p

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    +1

    Smaller files is one advantage, not looking ugly is the other. :p
    At the time of writing I figured people were not going to go through it and read the file. The choice was made purely on the level of support for the format and the associated libraries. This extension is using tinyxml. It handles all the parsing plus all of the file loading/saving stuff I don't want to care about. Given that the level files are more likely to be read by a computer, and given the proliferation of support of xml, it seemed like a good idea despite objection to its ugliness. JSON would make it better to read and instantly smaller, but it might be a little less accessible currently, unless of course you are reading with JavaScript. My optimism for JSON support relies heavily on your library :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Atom View Post
    This is a great extension thanks, it seems to work well when i tested. I have seen your OpenGL objects project on TDC and those look great also.

    My only suggestion for now is to maybe rename the example folder Stone Goose Level Object instead of SGLevelObject as it makes it quicker to find things when the folders are the same as the extension name (In the editor).

    About changing it to JSON i think rather than replace the current mode simply add a Sub menus for Load And Save with multiple modes instead as having the option to use different formats like that is great for making level editors. I usually use XML more myself so it seems good as it is right now because it's easily readable and when not for game projects that could be quite useful so with compressed XML that would be great but better as a separate option also.
    This never occurred to me. I have renamed the folder since you think it would help. With regards to the OpenGL stuff, this extension was semi-inspired by what I found to be the need for greater control over the level editor while working on the OpenGL extensions. Really I would like to have more control over the level editor than I currently have in order to make the OpenGL extension work well. I (or someone else) can potentially use these level files for external editing. I have been considering adding values per instance but I don't quite know how that would work yet, but an external editor would be helpful. The whole point of this extension however is that users know how to use the level editor and it works perfectly fine. External editors can be painful to use so it would be really nice to make use of the tools we already have. Another added benefit is that getting information out of MMF is important if it is to be a successful rapid prototyping tool. Either way you look at it, a mobile application is going to be more efficient if you code it yourself (unless you're a really bad programmer...). MMF does make things much quicker however, so it is a nice platform for testing out ideas. It would be more useful if we could reuse the work that we have already invested into building the prototype, particularly in terms of assets (music, graphics, level design). All of these things do sound like they will be addressed in MMF3, but don't quote me on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattEsch
    JSON would make it better to read and instantly smaller, but it might be a little less accessible currently, unless of course you are reading with JavaScript.
    JSON is supported pretty much everywhere, and out of the box in most high-level languages (including Python, PHP, etc). We're actually considering using it for most of the MMF3 file formats.

    http://json.org/ (scroll down for the list of implementations).

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    Would you recommend any specific implementation for C/C++? Stability is quite important (a feature apparently lacking in quite a few of those cited implementations). Many XML implementations are as old as the hills. My concern wasn't about the underlying format, I just wanted stability and a self contained api, including the file handling. I haven't found the equivalent JSON implementation to tinyxml yet.

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    Links are working fine now

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