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Re: [Enigma-devel] Level Editor

From: Daniel Heck
Subject: Re: [Enigma-devel] Level Editor
Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 14:28:45 +0200

On Mon, 2004-05-24 at 21:03, Petr Machata wrote:
> Vlad Grigorescu wrote:
> > Hello.  My name is Vlad Grigorescu and I am interested in working on a 
> > level editor for Enigma.  I am curious as to whether anyone has already 
> > begun working on this and any tips or observations that they might 
> > have.  Also, are there any specific features that are not inherently 
> > obvious that I should be thinking about?  Python seems like a good 
> > language to write it in, unless someone already has a significant amount 
> > of code in another language.
> > Thank you, and I will try to keep everyone up to date with my endeavors,
> There were some plans to integrate editor to enigma itself. I can't say 
> if there was a lot of effort put into it, I didn't have a time to work 
> on enigma for last six months or so.

There is a little code for a level editor, but that wouldn't qualify as
"a lot of effort".  You can configure the CVS version with "./configure
--enable-experimental" to activate the menu entry.

On the other hand, I *did* put a lot of effort into making other parts
of Enigma reusable in a prospective level editor: the display engine,
image caches, etc. can be used with relatively little effort.  Michi
Hostettler had to rewrite all that from scratch for BlackBallEd, which
is  a little unfortunate.

> Then, Michi Hostettler (michihostettler2001 * yahoo.de) is working on 
> BBE, a BlackBallEd (http://www.blackballed.uni.cc/). The thing however 
> is, that BBE is written in Delphi/Kylix, and as such, it needs quite a 
> huge amount of libraries to run under Linux, plus I'm afraid you are not 
> lucky under anything outside the win/lin world. I may be mistaken.

That's also the reason why I would prefer an integrated Editor (which
does probably mean it has to be written in C/C++/Lua).  It might even be
a good idea to write as much of the editor in Lua, because the Enigma
source code has grown so huge and unwieldy.  An editor in Lua would make
the development cycle so much shorter, and it's so much easier to manage
the data structures needed by the editor and to import Enigma's .lua
levels... but just idea.

> For reading and writing LUA files, you could utilize some format more 
> orthodox than a classical non-formatted LUA file. Michi supports ant.lua 
> library, which may be just fine, however maybe it's a way too procedural 
> to be really useful. Ask him. There was some debate about changing level 
> format to something more data-oriented, but it didn't lead anywhere. If 
> you'l look to the history of this mailinglist, dated 2003-02-21 there 
> are a few mails labeled "New level format".

You can also download the CVS version of Enigma and take a look at
data/levels/*.xml . The two levels a sneak-preview of the data-driven
level format I talked about for so long.  The format is only preliminary
and far from complete, but it is as powerful as the .lua files but much
more amenable to automated processing.

> I'll love you, if your hypothetical editor will require nothing more 
> than enigma does. C++, Lua, SDL*, or at least if its required libraries 
> will be portable. Think about our Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and BSD 
> friends - they all want nice friendly editor!

Just take a look at all the platforms on which the Debian version of
Enigma runs: http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/enigma.html
I don't think we will ever see Kylix run on all of these.


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