Little survey about Map Editors

Monkey Archive Forums/Monkey Discussion/Little survey about Map Editors

Shinkiro1(Posted 2011) [#1]
Okay, so I'm working on one as some might know (
It's a general 2D level editor but not tile-based, so objects are not bound to a grid.

I thought I might ask some questions before implenting features nobody really needs ...

1) Do you use a Map Editor at all?
2) If so, do you make your own editors or use a 3rd party one?
3) What are the most important features you are looking in an editor?


slenkar(Posted 2011) [#2]
one of the most important things is having the author be responsive to requests, and not feeling like the product is being ignored

Armitage1982(Posted 2011) [#3]
1) Yes, mine.

2) I started using Tile Studio ( ) and gently add missing features to a point I seriously cannot use Tile Studio anymore. If I should ever start using a 3rd party one for Monkey it would probably be but if it's BlitzMax I like what
Matt Merkulov is doing with DWlab.

3) Humm, level editor are very intime to any games so it's probably the tool that need to be the most flexible and open.
A great tool is the Object Inspector. I like being able to add colored entries, corresponding to Field that will transform the behaviors of the object. So it's more thinking about the generic framework behind every object, Reflection is very useful for that.
Since you can attach behaviors and names to object, it's a good idea to be able to directly choose in a list rather than mano typing them (and making mistake). But of course all of this is very specific (kind of "next gen" idea).
At least you can always resolve this by implementing a Dynamic fields feature :)

In terms of tools I saw some nice features in the Monocle engine ( ) there is a video available here : and it's good for you to have a look since they making tools similar to the kind of level editor you try to achieve.

I also find this paper with interesting ideas maybe :

Being able to set parameters for a Parallax is good too.
Playing with UV point since there is no tile system.
Align buttons (Align to object by: left, right, up, down, middle, vertically & horizontally)
A match size buttons.
A Polygon editor to define level collision (chain edges object in box2d for example) but also to define object collision polygon, circles, square, line, vector, light and pathfinding too.
Saving in different format, XML, XML Compressed, etc.
A good documentation on how loading map in your game (it's basic but sometimes it's missing).
Categories assets: static sprite; animated sprite; particles; objects tree; layers tree; etc.

Hope this help...

Neuro(Posted 2011) [#4]
1. yes
2. I would rather use a well made 3rd party one, since i don't quite have the time to sit and build one out.
3. What slenkar said. Also : Grid snappable, layers, parallax, documentation on how to use/load the map into my game, and most of all, simple easy to use interface.

wiebow(Posted 2011) [#5]
I am working on my own map editor. Tile based, but not for the game objects.
It is being developed in Max, but the map loader and renderer will be ported to Monkey.
It will also feature flexible map objects. You will be able to add your own properties to map object and attach scripts to them.
Well, that is the plan :) I'll get there.

Shinkiro1(Posted 2011) [#6]
Thanks for all your responses, it will definetely help me.
Also thanks to Armitage1982 for your detailed answer, this Monocle thing looks interesting.

Some features like grid-snapping and saving to XML are already implemented. A small, straightforward engine for monkey is also in the works (and porting to BMax should be very easy).

@wiebo: looks like we have a similar plan.
How do you plan to support scripting in monkey? Because some targets like html include external files.

AdamRedwoods(Posted 2011) [#7]
That monocle editor is niiiiice, mainly the path tool and parallax.

The thing I'm noticing though, is that editors are being closely tied with a framework and engine. Unity, Shiva, torque, etc.
So if you make an editor, you may need a framework/engine to go with it and the ability to "compile and run" from the editor.

muddy_shoes(Posted 2011) [#8]
I put high value on being able to rapidly iterate on map/level design. The game I'm working on now has a very rustic editor built into the game itself for this reason.

In future I'll probably look into writing an external editor (in a language with a full GUI lib), or using a 3rd party app if one suits, and making the game capable of replacing the level definitions on the fly.

wiebow(Posted 2011) [#9]
@Shinkiro1: probably not for all targets.