Level Editor - Discussion / Suggestions

Discussion in 'Features' started by J Squared, May 24, 2010.

  1. J Squared

    J Squared Level 7: Bloober

    We now know that SMBC, at some indeterminate point in the future, will have a level editor. Quoth the rabbit:

    Rejoice and be glad! Don't expect it to be coming too soon though; do realize Jay is doing this freely, and that it'll be done when it's done. So, now that we know a level editor will exist one day, how should it work? Do you have an idea that you think would help improve it? Then by all means, suggest away. To encourage the free flow of ideas, let's not argue with one another. If you don't like an idea someone suggests, don't bash it, just move on.

    Personally, I think a level editor with frontend functionality similar to Lunar Magic would be easiest with which to work. Lunar Magic has a drag-and-drop-oriented interface. You click a 16*16 tile, drag it to its position, and it snaps to the grid. Dragging one of four sides of a tile to clone it in that direction (or one of four corners, to clone it in two directions) would expedite the level editing process. If the user were able to highlight multiple tiles by clicking and dragging his or her mouse from the upper left to the lower right of said tiles, similar to a rectangular selection in an image editing program, this would open the door for more LMish functionality like performing a batch operation on those tiles (e.g. moving. deleting, or copying them all at once). Right clicking when a tile is highlighted could clone that tile. I'd encourage Jay to download Lunar Magic and try it out himself to see what a nearly perfect level editing frontend looks like. In my opinion, a good frontend improves the user experience a thousandfold.

    A good backend is also important. If your name isn't Jay, then just skip to the last paragraph of this post.

    [as I'm working more directly with Jay on implementing level data compression schemes, and as Jay doesn't want his game code posted on the board, I felt it'd be appropriate to remove what was here]

    So, how about you guys? What suggestions do you have? I know berserkx33 had some suggestions in another topic that reminded me of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. All suggestions are welcome here!
  2. berserkx33

    berserkx33 Level 3: Paratroopa

    Repeating from Feature Reques:

    Plus added, i was thinking about the way megaman powered up level editor work, and if it would not be to hard, for jay to put some enemies in the packs too, and a boss.
  3. supersorrieo

    supersorrieo Level 0: Newbie

    A problem I've had with SMB Utility while I was making my Peach version hack was that once you placed a question block you could never tell what was inside at a glance. You had to enter the enemy editor first and then click on it to see it's value. I think you should make it so you can mouse over any object and have the values shown in text without having to enter a separate editor. That way if I wanted know if it was a powerup block or a ten coin block I could check it very quickly.
    Something I like about this editor that you might also consider is the addition of the SMB 2(Japanese) objects. It can be done fairly easily because most of them are minor changes and the only real sprite changes are for the backdrop objects bushes etc. , the Poison mushroom, and the red Piranha plant.
  4. apineda

    apineda Level 1: Goomba

    Jay Squared: I like the idea of the draggable corners, I never thought of that when developing my map editor, I just did paint brush style. Neat. I think that keeping it simple is important, and your ideas of streamlining levels with hypertext is awesome. You probably well know that optimization comes last, though it is nice to keep in mind and the ideas are good.

    Now here is an idea of straightforward editing, the reality however may have to skip some features (I'm not sure).

    Jump in, click New Map, click a floor piece, put it down, stretch it to clone (as Jay stated) and make my first platform. Put down a Destructible Block, stretch it to form the first "rack" of blocks (I wish I had proper terminology with me now). Then I would delete the center block or just plop a Question Block on top of it; On mouse up, a context menu appears with items that represent what the Question Block is. Click one and done. Alright, lets get a feel for what's going on in the level. Zoom out with the mouse wheel. Excellent. Zoom back in. Continue working with the flow.

    I could go on but I don't know what platform the editor will be in so I have to hold back. However I think the general idea is there. It's nothing amazing but it's simple fun and fast. I hope this helps.
  5. apineda

    apineda Level 1: Goomba

  6. mattex66

    mattex66 Level 6: Lakitu

  7. Groover

    Groover Level 5: Spiny

    We'll still have to wait until the 2046th. ~.~
    luigiman64 likes this.
  8. jpbrawler2

    jpbrawler2 Level 0: Newbie

    I personally have never used Lunar Magic so I don't know how it works and all but if you want a good level editor, try doing what what Super Mario 63 did on Newgrounds. I can't remember what his name is it begins with R. Go and see the level editor that is what htis gae should be like. Just you know with the high limit and width limit being however you plan it to be.
  9. J Squared

    J Squared Level 7: Bloober

    While I don't find the SM63 level editor to be as intuitive and efficient as that of Lunar Magic, I do especially like the tutorial that pops up when the user enters into it, which Lunar Magic does not have. A similar tutorial for the SMBC editor would make the experience better. Perhaps even an interactive one, like many of the Mario games themselves have? Wouldn't it be cool if it walked you through building a level, making use of different features, and requiring you to use various functionality to progress in its construction?

    By the way, SM63 is an amazing game. It deserves its own thread, really, if anyone feels up to making one.
    Xman321 likes this.
  10. Jay

    Jay Level 13: ER Team

    I just thought I'd chime in on this topic real quick. The way the level editor is designed is pretty easy to use. It's sort of like the mouse is a paintbrush. You click on the type of tile you want, then you click on the tile on the level and it will change into that. You can just click and drag to create multiple copies. And there are two modes. One mode is for the layout of the level, and the other mode is for placing items and enemies. Everything is easy to use except for pipe transportation. I will definitely have to change that when I release it because it's too confusing right now. But yeah keep giving ideas. If I ever get around to making tutorial videos, the level editor will probably be in one of them.
  11. J Squared

    J Squared Level 7: Bloober

    The best advice I could give for the frontend is to download and learn how to manipulate objects in Lunar Magic. A paintbrush is fine but Lunar Magic is like a paintbrush on steroids. I've used around 50 different level editors in my day, so I'd say I have a pretty wide range of experience in this matter, and in my opinion no frontend can begin to compete with that of LM. It's basically a more functional extension of your existing frontend, so I think downloading and working with it would give you ideas that would benefit both yourself and the fan community. If you need more information on setting up and working with LM, just shoot me an e-mail.
  12. Icalasari

    Icalasari Level 0: Newbie

    Considering that this is for a suggestion, I don't think I would be breaking any rules by posting in this thread, despite the date of the last post

    Maybe make the level editor a separate "game" entirely? When you make the level and save it, it would save it as a file on the user computer. To use it in SMBC, you would then just have to click load game and select the file in question (it could start off with a section at the top that is like the current save files, to allow for some freedom there)

    This way, you don't have to worry about how to fit the level editor into the game itself, or any reprogramming you may have to do to get it to work in the game (I have little programming knowledge, so for all I know, making it separate may be harder)
  13. silentshadowxp

    silentshadowxp Level 7: Bloober

    I'm not sure if your level editor allows this (I know there are no such levels Mario 1), but a nice thing to have would be the ability to have a level scroll up or down similar of Kid Icarus or many of the Metroid areas. In other words, no height limit. That way we could create levels from those other types of games. Games where you not only move to the right to finish a level, but can also climb up or go downwards in a level to get to the end.
  14. rednukleus

    rednukleus Level 3: Paratroopa

    Will it be possible for levels to scroll vertically, or is that outside the bounds of this game's programming? It would be much fun to have some climbing levels reminiscent of the gameplay in Kid Icarus.

    Edit: LOL :oops: well that's what happens when you don't read before posting, ladies and gentlemen. Great minds think alike, eh?
  15. silentshadowxp

    silentshadowxp Level 7: Bloober

    And on the same day at that! haha
  16. Ravior

    Ravior Level 8: Hammer Bro

    I do like Lunar Magic, but there are quite a few complicated things in there that only programming-nerds would know. (I'm not using the word nerd in an insulting way. What I mean is someone who is smart in a particular thing.)
  17. J Squared

    J Squared Level 7: Bloober

    My 2ยข is that Lunar Magic, on the whole, is very easy to use. It streamlines the level editing process to the point where some 7-year-olds could make stuff with it. I'd say making levels in LM requires zero knowledge of programming. Problems you have with it probably result from an unfamiliarity with its features rather than with programming. It's so far removed from any actual programming that I wouldn't dream of calling anyone who makes anything in it a "hacker." FuSoYa is the hacker, and with his impressive knowledge, he created a tool that does the hacking for people.

    By the way, when I speak of LM in the OP, I refer just to the level-editing frontend. More specifically, I refer to how level elements interact with the mouse features, i.e. left clicking, right clicking, clicking and dragging, and so forth. It's very intuitive and allows for very quick and efficient level design.

    Re: the word "nerd," I'm not a big fan of it because, based on the collective way in which it's been used by others, it carries a negative connotation which aims to associate shame with intelligence. In so doing, I feel it's a byproduct of an anti-intellectual culture. It's a scheme invented by the dumb in order to take ownership of and pride in their dumbness, and to paint smartness as a quality to be avoided. While I'm no Dr. Seuss, I should invent other words like nerd and see where they go. For starters I'll invent the word "dogul." It means "a self-made man who, by working like a dog, becomes rich." Except it's bad, and if you encounter a dogul, you can dismiss their opinion by calling them a dogul. An example of a sentence in which it's used is, "Get out of here, you f!@#ing dogul." This strange example will somehow make sense once accepted by the greater culture.

    (I don't personally take issue with what you said, I'm just giving my opinion on the word)
  18. Ravior

    Ravior Level 8: Hammer Bro

    Oh man, I didn't know that's how the word originated. I should have used the word "expert" instead.

    And about Lunar Magic, maybe some of the problems I have might be from certain extensions that I need to download. Or perhaps I'm not paying attention very well. It mostly involves all of the buttons that are on the far right side of the bar. I can't seem to find the way to use those correctly.
  19. J Squared

    J Squared Level 7: Bloober

    Would you mind providing an example of one of these buttons?
  20. Ravior

    Ravior Level 8: Hammer Bro

    These buttons:
    I also have troubles with the over world editor, as well as the whole warping thing with the pipes. And I don't like how you can't place any enemy you want in all of the levels. I should be able to put a large Boo in, say, level 2 on Yoshi's Island.

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