Thanks, OT, you've pointed out some of the other concerns around this topic. It's a bit of a FAQ for each time you write a game, isn't it? Do I write a new editor? Do I release it if so? Do I allow people to play levels, or require they are submitted to me, and then *I* will pacakge them and distribute?
(nb: to anyone wondering about the validity of the last Q, have a look through the Your Games Here on this board, for the 2D side-scrolling planes dogfighting multiplayer game; someone created a map that made some blatant in-your-face *ahem* extremist comments on stuff like the two towers and racism. Although it had nothing to do with the author, a lot of people mistook it for an official level
Level editor looks good, but I thought this was a 3d game? Is it just easier to use J2D for the editor for some reason?
aha! It's all part of my Cunning Plan!
One person working on 3D renderer. Different person working on level-editor. Means that by the time the 3D renderer is complete enough to use seriously for level editing, the level editor is already complete enough to create levels. Makes no difference on 1-man projects, but where you have several people, the parallelisation makes a HUGE difference.
(as you will hopefully see when I get around to parts 1-3 of my dev-diary for this project (on JGF: http://grexengine.com/sections/externalgames
), this decision actually saved our bacon - had I not been doing the editor independently, we would not have had any levels by the time the compo ended!)
based levels in a text or hex editor!) but the jump from internal tool to an actual public release is much bigger that it first seems.
Yeah, it's a veritable Chasm...
Equally, you've got to add some sort of protection to stop users tinkering with the 'official' game maps, yet allow custom maps to be dropped in without too much effort.
Well, if I can, I'm going to:
- update the highscores system you and I talked about, and put a "first draft" version into this game (but probably, at this rate, not until AFTER the competition), and then you and I can hopefully convert that into a usable API
- ...and then have a go at cloning and extending that into a level-distribution system. Although that starts to move much more firmly into the realm of Valve's Steam-Engine (and I don't really see a future in competing with the authors of Half-Life...