Monday, December 12, 2005

Marauder's Map: First Look

posted by John Blanco @ 9:04 PM


It was some time ago, about 1.5 months ago, when it was determined that I needed to write my own map editor for Chess Avatara. The one I hoped to use, a free download named TileStudio, failed miserably. It was buggy, didn't know how to handle PGN's, and exported MAP files in a manner that was hard to predict.

So, I resolved myself to writing my own. I really hesitated, because I didn't want to spent so much time writing a "tool," but now that I'm near completion of Marauder's Map, I'm happy I did it. It will make level design MUCH easier in the future!

Here's a first look at the application. First, it's written in pure Java. Second, it uses a JDesktopPane to make an MDI look-and-feel. What you see in the screenshot are two maps, one is a saved file and the other is new. I created both maps by selecting tiles from the selected tileset (does not appear), and did the save on one.

Marauder's Map does in fact support saving and exporting! In fact, the export filename is given in a properties window (does not appear), and so everytime you save the file it will automatically export. Neat don't have to worry about forgetting to sync them.

If I wanted, I could make maps right now for Chess Avatara, but there's some work left to do. First, I have a page full of bugs/features I need to address. The application has gotten a lot prettier over the last day, hence my willingness to do a screenshot. :-) Dialogs have been organized, the grid lines cleaned up, the internal windows of the MDI are auto-sized, and more. Still, I need to validate that the multiple windows don't conflict...and little details like when you close the tileset window, then try to open it again -- but it won't -- those things need to be cleaned up, too. ;-)

Once done, I will sync the new export data format to Chess Avatara, and we'll have maps! Then, finally, I can get back to work on Avatara...with my first added feature being a chat system. (Cause it's fun!)

Making progress, baby....


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