Tilemap object questions & concerns

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:39 pm

[QUOTE=digitalsoapbox] The short answer to all of this discussion is, really, use Tiled/TMX Importer. A majority of the feature requests are already implemented, and the big one that isn't - using big custom collision areas - is so inefficient as to be unnecessary.

Place tiles and use other, invisible tiles to set up collision in Tiled. If you want to build a tile-based game, that's the way it's done, and if you want it to be easier to build without having to wait on new C2 features, that's the way you should do it.[/QUOTE]

You can't post games using unofficial plugins on Arcade, so, that's not a big deal...

Also, ask for and show why is a better way to improve Our tool, while sitting and using it, feeling how it's perfect and never desiring it better is the best way to have an outdated and unfocused tool, because the developers will never know where they are lacking and/or missing with their community.
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:41 pm

[QUOTE=digitalsoapbox] The short answer to all of this discussion is, really, use Tiled/TMX Importer. A majority of the feature requests are already implemented, and the big one that isn't - using big custom collision areas - is so inefficient as to be unnecessary.

Place tiles and use other, invisible tiles to set up collision in Tiled. If you want to build a tile-based game, that's the way it's done, and if you want it to be easier to build without having to wait on new C2 features, that's the way you should do it.

@TELLES0808: You can do animated tiles with Tiled already. Have a single tile with custom properties set up in Tiled that tell C2 (through events) that the tile is animated and the name of the animation to use. Using multiple tilesheets works in a similar way.[/QUOTE]
Dude, no. While Tiled has a bunch of tile-based features it's overall kind of a crappy editor.

>You have to hard-code every single object, property, background, tileset, effect
>You need to keep a giant hand-typed list of object names, types, properties
>You get no visual representation of the objects you're working with and can only edit them one at a time
>You have to use sprites acting as tiles which is awful on performance, drastically increases loading times, and takes like 8 steps to update a single set.
>You don't get a single feature/object C2's layout editor provides
>You have to import every .tmx unless loading externally with node webkit

I have been using Tiled/TMX Importer for my last few games and it has the worst workflow imaginable. It was simply a workaround until C2 got its own tile support.

We, at long last, have a WYSIWYG level editor with both drag 'n drop AND tile-based functionality. With only a month or two of extra work C2's layout editor can be one of the best out there.MadFactory2013-11-05 17:52:40
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:52 pm

@TELLES0808: Arcade isn't really my concern and doesn't really seem to be a point of sale, so I'm unaware of any 3rd-party plugin issues that may arise when using it. I'm making games so that, hopefully, I can sell them. So, is posting to the Arcade a big deal? For me, absolutely not, and it may be better to be concerned with finishing a game than where it could, potentially, maybe, possibly, end up. Considering the literally hundreds of other places you could place your HTML5 game, not being able to put it in one specific place, so unless it's highly-trafficked - I'd put money on, say, Kongregate getting more hits - shouldn't be a big deal.

@Madfactory: Dude, yes.

> You have to do this in every tilemap editor I've ever used, and what I've used goes back to the early 1980's, so I think it's safe to assume that's a lot of them.

> I have no hand-typed list of properties. That's a) if you feel the need to do it, what spreadsheets are for and b) you don't really need to do it since you can just click on a tile to see its properties.

> What do you mean, no visual representation? I see them just fine. Are you talking about in C2? In which case, that's not really relevant, since it's your job to build the tilemap after import through the importer, and pretty much how full OO game development works, whether in C2 or Flash, Unity, C+, etc. I've had huge Flash AS3 projects go through from start to finish without placing a single object on-screen manually for reasons other than testing it looks/works okay.

> Tiles can be comped together into a single image using Canvas. If I'm able to figure out how to reduce 20,000+ tilemaps down to 800 or so (for collision/active objects), I have no doubt you can as well, not to mention the same multiple-object issue would exist with a built-in editor. I haven't been using C2 all that long - and other than the usual beta software quirks, I have yet to hit a wall in terms of making it do what I need it to do.

> Just because C2 has a layout editor doesn't mean it has to be used.
> As for importing TMX files at runtime, you answered your own question there. I expect there are other ways to make it happen as well, since you can pass a variable value as a filename to the AJAX object.

As for Tiled's workflow: Want to see a bad workflow? Look up Cosmigo Pro Motion, the go-to for pixel art/animation. I'll just say this: be glad Tiled is as easy to use as it is, and that it supports highly advanced 2D map-making features completely unavailable elsewhere, all for the cost of FREE. There's a reason (lots of them actually) game studios working on 2D tile-based game often default to using Tiled if they don't plan on a user-facing in-game editor.

I've had zero issues with the workflow of the TMX Importer. I do have a good bit of development experience though, so I haven't had any workflow issues and found it only took a few hours to get it doing exactly what I wanted it to do, mostly because I had to learn the associated events.

I think a lot of this discussion just sounds like people aren't aware that more often than not, no single program is the be-all end-all solution to every request. I think you'd have nightmares or at the very least break out in hives about some of the programs that you have to use in AAA game development if you expect C2 to do everything for you.
digitalsoapbox2013-11-05 18:13:02
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:12 pm

I felt in the right of edit the Github of TMX maps to add the Construct 2 official links =]

https://github.com/bjorn/tiled/wiki/Support-for-TMX-maps

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Reading the past posts about the animated tiles, @MadFactory said enough.

@Ashley, the way Gravity did it on their editors, like IGMaker, is setup some tiles of a tileset to a desired sequence inside the grid, with a timer.



But I mean it's pretty standard for every game maker who have support for tilesets, like GameMaker, Stencyl, and so on.
TELLES08082013-11-05 18:21:34
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:13 pm

@digitalsoapbox: With all due respect, the hard way / "the way it always has been" isn't always the best or most efficient way. Last time I checked, Scirra has gone to great lengths to make it seem like C2 is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use, and all-in-one game creation programs out there, and pride themselves on ease of use. All we're trying to do is nurture this app to give it that extra edge it needs.

Call me crazy, but I feel that having a robust and easy-to-use in-engine tilemap editor without having to resort to a 3rd party app helps give C2 that extra edge and would be an extremely big selling point.Infinitys End2013-11-05 18:14:47
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:17 pm

[QUOTE=Infinitys End] @digitalsoapbox: With all due respect, the hard way / "the way it always has been" isn't always the best or most efficient way. Last time I checked, Scirra has gone to great lengths to make it seem like C2 is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use, and all-in-one game creation programs out there, and pride themselves on ease of use. All we're trying to do is nurture this app to give it that extra edge it needs.

Call me crazy, but I feel that having a robust and easy-to-use in-engine tilemap editor without having to resort to a 3rd party app helps give C2 that extra edge and would be an extremely big selling point.[/QUOTE]

I never said "the way it always has been." Obviously things change over time, and hopefully for the better. Try comparing Deluxe Paint to Photoshop, and then apply that comparison to a tile editor from the 80's and Tiled. Obviously, much better.

It's also not an issue of "resorting" to a 3rd-party app. You use the tools that are best for the job at hand...you're not going to use a hammer to drive a screw into a piece of wood because you'd have to go find the right screwdriver and don't feel like you should have to. Unity isn't a 3D model editor/creator. MSPaint isn't Photoshop. Construct 2 isn't a self-contained game development platform, it's one of many tools you can use, if you want to, to make games.

I think my point is that it's not actually that hard, and it's far more efficient/realistic, to use the tools available instead of pining for features that may appear at some point down the road. I don't see anything wrong with C2 having an in-game tile editor, but at this point there are other options - and they're really not complex options (3 events maybe), and I'll even go so far as to happily provide code on how to do it, if anyone wants it, though it'll take me a little time to package it up and strip out my game code - that accomplish the same or better than imaginary features that currently only exist in our heads.digitalsoapbox2013-11-05 18:23:19
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:19 pm

@Infinitys End, nice point, maybe sorting the animated tiles as a feature for paid license maybe can give Scirra a good plus.
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:21 pm

[QUOTE=Infinitys End] @digitalsoapbox: With all due respect, the hard way / "the way it always has been" isn't always the best or most efficient way. Last time I checked, Scirra has gone to great lengths to make it seem like C2 is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use, and all-in-one game creation programs out there, and pride themselves on ease of use. All we're trying to do is nurture this app to give it that extra edge it needs.

Call me crazy, but I feel that having a robust and easy-to-use in-engine tilemap editor without having to resort to a 3rd party app helps give C2 that extra edge and would be an extremely big selling point.[/QUOTE]

quoted for the truth, I dont see what can be more urgent other than tile mapping, now that the debugger is working, since its an essential feature to make lenghty games.
Auto-tiling, better collision control, animated tiles, flipping/rotation controls and runtime controls arent gimmicks o.o
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:30 pm

[QUOTE=sheepy]quoted for the truth, I dont see what can be more urgent other than tile mapping, now that the debugger is working, since its an essential feature to make lenghty games.
Auto-tiling, better collision control, animated tiles, flipping/rotation controls and runtime controls arent gimmicks o.o
[/QUOTE]

Two things, because these arguments I'm hearing here and all throughout this thread for not figuring things out how to do things for yourself and wanting everything presented to you on an effortless fully-featured silver platter just don't make any sense.

1: Just because you think they're the most important thing doesn't mean they are. While I'm also making a tile-based game, there's a long list of other features that I'd consider more important, like killing some physics/collision quirks, which also affect tile-based games.

2: All of those things are entirely possible right now, as I've said. See above in the thread for some short example code.digitalsoapbox2013-11-05 18:31:45
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Post » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:49 pm

IMO the most important things are: Animation support, Custom Collision per tile(on the tileset), and events/runtime commands/editing.

Other than that it's all graphical (rotation) and convenience and low priority as tools like TILED and Pyxel Edit have more focused features. (Not to say rotation and stuff wouldn't be useful, just low priority due to lack of use(rotated tiles provide less creative freedom))

I personally use Pyxel Edit as it's focused more on making tiles/art rather than being a pure tilemap program (you still make tilemaps, but not as many superfluous features as TILED).

I doubt there will be total TMX support, as TMX files have more than just tiles in them. In time with the tilemap plugin more feature complete, someone can code a level-editor in C2 to use for more accessibility as limiting someone to making levels in C2 is counter productive. This way Scirra doesn't have to re-invent the wheel because even if they did, it would be closed off in the jungle of features that is the entirety of C2.

Basic necessary feature support for editing is the most efficient thing they can do.
Even if it had advanced edit-time features I'd use my more reliable and focused programs anyway as they would have less bugs and run better. (which is why the image editor doesn't need to be fancy)Thndr2013-11-05 20:04:39
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