Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Level Editors are Boring in Space

It's true! Writing a level editor isn't super fun. Burn down the level editor:

The fire still works! Kinda.
First, a quick update before we get on to the level editor. I am (not) secretly a fuel cell system controls programmer. Recently, a company I've previously contracted for contacted me to do some crazy-not-enough-time rapid fuel cells programming; and also you have to build the whole system by yourself because the other engineer is harvesting his crops (not a metaphor). In my efforts to quit my job and make video games, I have become a fuel cell system engineer. Oops. Luckily, it's only for the next week or two, so progress on Bad Things should be more exciting after that.

Also, Unity 4.2 is officially out. Now I can talk about all the beta secrets! Err, well, I pretty much did that anyways. I am not the best with confidential information. I am slightly surprised they released with this version because some stuff is still broken (TC particle settings don't show up). Also also, I've finally purchased a Unity pro license, so no more sneaking by on 30 day trials and beta keys. $1,500 is a lot, but the Unity team deserves every cent of it. Oh, and If you check out the release notes, near the very bottom it says:

  • Shuriken: Fix collision module such that trigger objects do not cause particle collisions.
You can thank me for that. I reported that bug and harassed the developers for the fix. I've made my mark on the world.

Level editing

Light directions as textures!
I find that I am less productive if I don't have a feature set in mind, so I'll put down some features here to help clear that up:

Lay out tiles for rooms.
Make walls from tile selection and group section into a room.
Make doors from walls.
Automatically create necessary oxygen system components.

Not done:
Make roof pieces.
Make walls from doors.
Be able to save and load layouts.
Unroom walls and tiles.
Select from a set of default room names (via drag and drop??)
Go back to tile editing mode after the tiles have been cleaned up.
Finalize level, removing level editor garbage.

That's all?

Chameleon, cobalt, and misty rose
Yeah, totally. I'm pretty sure I'll get roof pieces, and walls from doors done fairly quickly. I think saving layouts is a good place to start for the rest of the stuff because of some intangible hunch. Also, once the level editor is done, I'll release a unity scene file with all the level editing stuff so you guys can play around with it if you want. As always, questions and comments are appreciated.