Animation Editor

Animation Editor

We started working on the animation editor in the 2nd week of January, 2009. This task was assigned to one of our programmers. He started off with learning about the animation editor from various games, online tutorials and also took reference from books of James Silva.

After gaining basic knowledge about the animation editor for a week, he went on with coding in the succeeding week. Initially, he was coding in form based application and developed the application to load sprite sheet and divide the sheet into frames which took him few days. He moved ahead by creating a class which fetched the positions of the frames.

Another class was created in which animation name, frame sequence for respective animation and FPS were its members. Following it, a binary file was created which was updated with all details of the animation.

A  GUI application was created which could save all animations for a single character. He further coded for loading and running animations on XNA screen. Initially a new animation file was generated for every character but later it was changed to a single file for all characters and their all animations. This helped to increase the performance of the application.

The main issue we faced was of synchronization of FPS between the XNA screen and main window based application. Same FPS gave different output in terms of speed. Animation ran slower in preview window and faster in XNA screen which was later solved.

Finally the animation editor is ready for use in our game. After code review and other small modifications it would be totally complete, reliable and robust application which we will be able to use for our game support. We hope these changes won’t create any new major problems and would be done with as soon as possible.

Zatun Team.

Level Editor

Level Editor

The level editor is a major part of our game.

One of our programmers was working on the Level Editor for over a month. He went through the online tutorials about tile map and had a look at the videos of the Tile Map Editor on YouTube. The Level Editor was finally ready last week and with some more additions and changes it was complete this week.

The Process

The programmer realized that whole images of maps cannot be fully loaded at the same time and so the game will need a tile map editor. He initiated the work by reading tutorials from http://www.ziggyware.com which helped to decide as how the application will be built. The first and foremost problem he faced was of tackling windows application and XNA together  in same screen.

There were two options for that:

1) Either generates buttons of windows form in XNA OR

2) Merge windows application in XNA.

He chose the 2nd option  and started working with the help of this project and used those classes  in the project itself.

Initially, there were difficulties in understanding the co-ordinate geometry of XNA screen but this problem was solved.  The next task was to work on grid formation on screen and make the grid dynamic.

One issue which came up was of mouse click to save the entry from the user for drawing the tile map which didn’t work perfectly.  This issue was solved in a few days.

Minor issues related to file I/O also arose and they were solved within 1-2 days and with all this ups and downs and finally a robust and reliable application are ready for tile map editor.

This Level Editor can be used for RPG games as well as platform games. It supports virtually infinite number of layers which is at present very much appropriate for our game.

Zatun Team.