Game Editor

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Game Editor
Game Editor.png
Developer(s) Makslane Rodrigues
Initial release February 7, 2003
Operating system Mac OS X, Windows, Linux
Available in English
Type Game development
License GNU General Public License/Proprietary
Website Game-Editor.com

Game Editor is a 2D game authoring package. It supports multi platform development to iPhone, iPad, Mac OS X, Windows (95-Windows 7), Linux, Windows-based Smartphones, GP2X, Pocket PCs, and Handheld PCs. Compatibility with these platforms is mentioned on Game Discovery,[1] a popular site for game developers, among other software like 3D Gamemaker, Darkbasic, and Game Maker.

Game Editor was created by Makslane Rodrigues, who has been developing it since 2002. The current version is 1.4.0. It is still considered to be a work in progress.

Features[edit]

Interface[edit]

The interface itself is relatively basic and is the same for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. Navigating the editor map (where the level is designed and executed) involves panning. The interface is composed of a main menu at the top, which shows the current position on the map, and icons indicating the mode(s) the user is in. The interface is window based. Each action and event has its own window, along with several settings windows.

Target platforms[edit]

Target platforms include Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Windows Mobile based Smartphones, GP2X and Handhelds. It is possible to make builds, or export game data only. This is useful when the designer wants the game, or parts of the game, apart in different files, but don't want them to be all executables. The editor itself runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

Scripting language[edit]

Game Editor uses a scripting language that bears similarities to the C programming language. Scripts are created through the script editor, defined as an action triggered by an event.

The script editor window gives access to the built-in names of objects (actors), variables and functions. It is capable of syntax coloring to make code easier to distinguish.

Actor concept[edit]

The objects in Game Editor are known as actors. Notably, this doesn't mean every actor has to be a character. You can add multiple graphics and animations to an actor from supported formats (listed below).

Game Editor recognizes alpha channels, to enable animation transparencies. In the case of all images, it recognizes the top-left pixel's color as the transparent color, and finally, there's a transparency value you can modify to set literally how transparent the actor will be overall, which gives various possibilities for adding visual effects to your game, e.g.: fog.

Actors can have either animations or text, which is handy for help sections, menu descriptions, and RPG talk. With actors you can also play sounds, sound effects and add music to your game. Again there are many file formats you can use.

Supported image files Supported sound files Supported music files
.tga .wav .wav
.bmp .voc .mid/.midi
.pnm .iff .ogg
.png .aiff .mod
.xpm .riff .s3m
.xcf .8svx .it
.pcx .xm
.gif
.jpg/.jpeg
.tif
.lbm

A very important aspect of actors, is that there are four types of them. The normal actor type is what the above talks about. The additional types of actors are Wire-frame, Filled Regions, and Canvas actors. Wire Framed regions can serve as borders for some collision, but they're not visible in game, and cannot receive mouse click events. Filled Regions are also invisible, the difference being they can receive actions from mouse clicks.

Canvas actors let you draw any line, image or other elements on them. Additionally, it allows the rotation and scaling of other images on other actors, as well as just a file on disk. Scripting knowledge is needed to perform these effects.

Events[edit]

The Game Editor engine is event driven. For something to happen in your game, Game Editor handles events you create using the interaction of actors, and other game elements, the mouse and the keyboard. In Game Editor, you can customize to a very high extent what actions happen on an event.

Events that can be triggered:

  • Activation event
  • Animation Finish
  • Collision
  • Collision Finish
  • Create Actor
  • Destroy Actor
  • Draw Actor
  • Key Down
  • Key Up
  • Mouse Button Down
  • Mouse Button Up
  • Mouse Enter
  • Mouse Leave
  • Path Finish
  • Out of Vision
  • Timer

And here is a list of actions you can select to be done on any of those events:

  • Change Animation
  • Change Animation Direction
  • Change Cursor
  • Change Parent
  • Change Path
  • Change Transparency
  • Change Z-Depth
  • Collision State
  • Conditional Action
  • Create Actor
  • Create Timer
  • Destroy Actor
  • Destroy Timer
  • Event Disable
  • Event Enable
  • Follow Mouse
  • Move To (path-finding included.)
  • Physical Response
  • Play Music
  • Play Sound
  • Script Editor
  • Set Text
  • To Anterior Position
  • Visible State

Level creation[edit]

Game Editor provides two ways for dividing the levels of the game. One is creating separate files for each level, and then linking them with 1 or 2 functions. But if the levels are small anyway, and you don't want to separate them so much, then you can put all levels into one file, and surround the levels with activation regions which defines the surrounded part of the file loaded in and out of the memory together, This loads and unloads actors and regions depending on whether the activation region is touching the view. If you have earlier created a separate level file, then you can merge projects together into one file, as long as the actor names merged are different.

Non-actor objects[edit]

Game Editor also allows you to create Paths, and activation events. Paths are marked as nodes in Game Editor interface, and can specify a route the actor will move on. The speed of the path can also be modified, and the path can be made up of Bézier curves and linear lines too.

Activation events are another important aspect. When one actor receives an event, then if there's an activation event on that actor for that event, then it triggers an activation event on the specified actor. Example: If in game play two cars crash, and there's a hintbox actor which comments in-game events, and we want the hintbox to say: "2 cars crashed" when they did, then we create an activation event one of the cars, and make the triggering event a collision with another car actor, and then set the activation event receiver to Hintbox, and finally, create an action for the activation event on hintbox, which is a Set Text, then we can specify the color, and font of the displayed text.

File extension[edit]

Game Editor, before exporting/building your game into an executable, can save your project, into a .ged file. All versions of Game Editor are backwards compatible. Game Editor also adds a folder named "data" into the directory in which you saved the .ged to store the related graphics, animations, sounds, and music files. To save your undo/redo possibilities, a .ged.undo file is created.

Reference and help[edit]

When using game editor, a documentation is accessible reached from the main menu's Help section. This documentation explains the basics of the editor to the concept of individual script functions. The game editor website supports a forum that answers more complex questions involving game design and demos to experiment from. The editor forum also gives access to additional files for the amateur to use.

Game Editor source code[edit]

The source code of Game Editor was made available to the public on October 2008. It was subsequently dual-licensed as of October 2009 under the terms of the GPL v3 and a commercial license [1] for use with proprietary projects.

The revenues are shared [2] with all developers that's have accepted contributions. It is hoped this can help increase the rate of Game Editor's development.

Known problems[edit]

Bugs have been known throughout game editor, sometimes they being rather conflicting. Game Editor can have problems if large numbers of scripts are present, where objects can behave abnormally. An example of this is that some objects will conduct an event at an undesirable time, and sometimes parts of scripts can be completely missed. This can make large levels in a single file close to obsolete; if large levels were to be created, it is recommended that these levels be divided up into separate files. Separate files can cause conflict with the user because these files are not universal, and much of the main game elements of what is in the other levels are expected to be the same for all levels. Game Editor lacks autonomous multiple file updating. Another problem that is experienced is activation region usage. When using activation regions, other parts of a game will not function if the view is out of those activation regions these objects take place in, which can be a disadvantage for large levels without using complex scripts to "blend in" with these effects.

System requirements[edit]

These requirements are for the Mac, Linux and Windows development environments.

  • Windows 95/98/ME/2000/2003/XP/Vista/7, Linux, Mac OS X 10.5
  • 200Mhz+ x86 (Pentium and above) or compatible processor
  • 32Mb RAM (More may be required, depending on what sort of game you would like to create.)

Please note that the system requirements for the (ARM-based) iPhone, iPad, GP2X and (various architectures) hand-held devices will be different.

References[edit]