Visual Level Design Tool

Official forum for the Chipmunk2D Physics Library.

Visual Level Design Tool

Postby anup.sarode » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:24 am

Hello Chipmunk Lovers,

N00b here.

I have recently joined the forum and is new to iOS game development. I found Chipmunk Physics Pro appealing and hence have decided to use it for my upcoming game.

I have few questions and any help on the same will be really appreciated
- What are the tools available to visually design levels. Can we use Inkscape and some SVG parser to utilize the power of visual designing? I have purchased this awesome tool called 'Level Helper' but as per the developer, we are not getting support for Chipmunk Physics Pro anytime soon :(
- How do professional game developers design levels? I believe they must be using some sort of visual tools for sure.
- Feed me oil game has awesome liquid physics. Is that something inbuilt or the developer built it himself on top of Chipmunk?
- Has anybody used Chipmunk Physics pro in conjunction with Kobold2D. I think it will work, but just needs to confirm.

Regarding licensing, I hope I can use the Objective C wrapper of Chipumnk Physics Pro for development without really purchasing the license and buy the license before releasing the game.

I would really appreciate help from you guys. Thanks in advance.

Best,
Anup Sarode
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Re: Visual Level Design Tool

Postby hidas » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:34 am

Hi,

Although I'm a noob myself I can hopefully answer some of your questions about level designers.
First of all, you NEED a good tool in order to make good levels. It's imperative. One that can allow you to quickly test the level and/or load it into a running game would be best. I'd be willing to bet that any game developed by someone other than a twelve-year-old kid has a powerful level editor. I'd also be willing to bet that most development teams spend the same amount of time coding their level design tools and such as the actual game. Ocarina Of Time was only so good because the developers had a great level design tool.

In regards to using something like Inkscape, I found some articles on the Internet about parsing svg files in C#:

http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/48582-Reading-SVG-files
http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/csharplanguage/thread/a65b9b4a-9ccf-4bbf-bc8e-14b554fc8cf3
http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/UploadFile/mahesh/ReadWriteXMLTutMellli2111282005041517AM/ReadWriteXMLTutMellli21.aspx

Another option is just rolling your own, like I did for my games:
http://pygame.org/project-K2-2232-3862.html
http://www.pygame.org/project-Shmup-2076-.html

I'd recommend building your own because you can optimize it for your game and you specify how levels will be stored. That means you can easily parse level files.

As for your other questions, I have no idea.

Hope this helps!
-hidas
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Re: Visual Level Design Tool

Postby cjhorton » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:38 pm

Hidas is right on about the importance of a level design tool.

Level Helper is very nice, but as you mentioned it doesn't support Chipmunk currently...perhaps nowhere in the near future. Personally, I think the $20 for the app is a steal (I'd pay MUCH more if it had some other features and chipmunk support), but it may not be enough to keep the development wheels turning fast enough.

Check out Cocos Builder. It is linked on the main Cocos2d site. It isn't nearly as feature rich out of the box as Level Helper, but it is a good place to start with a custom tool (open source).

Some other ones to check out as well:

GLEE2D - http://gleed2d.codeplex.com/

Tiled Map Editor - http://www.mapeditor.org/
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Re: Visual Level Design Tool

Postby cjhorton » Sat May 05, 2012 2:15 pm

Updating this post with an Inkscape SVG file parser. Here is a link that talks about it. Nexus6 links to a sparrow page that provides the code to the parser. Breskit provides utilization code on the first page.

http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/forum/topic/28647
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