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Old 01-15-2008, 07:06 AM   #1
Aeran
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An area editor tool

Hello

Some 8 years ago or so I made a small area editor. It isn't that good and I am sure there are better ones out there. I was very new to programming. I thought I had deleted all the source code related to it. Seem I had one backup left if I ever wanted to look at it. So I have decided to show the tool to you, and I would like to hear what you think about it.

The editor was minimal. It only supported saving to a fileformat I had made up myself but it was also able to open .are files from many DIKU muds and atleast show the rooms and descriptions, though not save to them back as .are.

The editor was able to check for spelling errors in an area. In the picture I added two intentional spelling errors to show you how it underlined them.

The minimapper was added after the "full mapper"(shown below) was made. As the minimap updated as the area changed you always had a good idea how the area looked. it was also very easy to go to some room as all you had to do was click the room on the minimap and you would be taken there. The area shown was made entirely using the tool. Before using the tool I used to atleast map the area on a piece of paper before getting started.

There are many things that could have been done better in the interface. For example the navigation buttons are quite small but I believe back then I might have used some 800x600 resolution so it was tougher to properly find room for everything. The (!) buttons were used to create a new room in some direction while the checkboxes were used to define doors.



The full mapper was nothing special but was part of realizing that it was the minimap that I really needed in most cases. Though the full map is able to show rooms above/below your current level which makes it a good tool itself. I tried to enable that in the minimap but I never really quite got it to look well with the smaller room sizes. The remap button was needed because some areas might have these "islands" where you have part of the area isolated from the rest, perhaps because to link it from some other area in the MUD or have it as hideout for the builder .

The minimapper automatically recoloured overlapping rooms so you didn't need a separate button for it like in the "full mapper".
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Re: An area editor tool

Pretty neat. It is always fun to find old code and look it over. Gives you a sense of progress. I remember finding an old DnD roller program (even including initial item purchases and printable character sheets) a few years back. Was quite a chuckle walking through my code.

On a side not, I would love to get a mapper, which included diagonals and up/down, for my builders. Most cannot seem to use that ASCII Mapmaker for some reason or another. If you could pop out a simple 10 direction, save as gif/jpg mapmaker from your old code let me know.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: An area editor tool

This isn't exactly a mud tool but any mud builder might want to look at:

Interactive Fiction Mapper

Unfortunately it outputs to PDF but it does have some cool features otherwise.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: An area editor tool

Here's a slightly different take: I automagically generate a help "file" (on the right) from the objects in the integrated development environment. Part of the help file is a map, as well as links to objects in the room and superclasses, and documentation, etc.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:21 AM   #5
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Re: An area editor tool

Whoa. This stuff is really cool.

I bet that would be really easy to use by builders. How long did it take you guys to program something like this?
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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Re: An area editor tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
Whoa. This stuff is really cool.

I bet that would be really easy to use by builders. How long did it take you guys to program something like this?
I don't remember. A basic editor can probably be made quite fast. Perhaps minimally 1-2 weeks depending on how much you work on it and what features you want it to have.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:32 AM   #7
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Re: An area editor tool

Just thinking, you might also want to look at Inform's integrated development environment. Inform is for interactive fiction, but they do some nice stuff in their tools (although some of it is IF specific). One really interesting idea is that scripting is done in natural language (kind of).
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:45 AM   #8
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Re: An area editor tool

One of our Overlords at ArmageddonMUD has developed a web-based tool for area building...it's pretty neat. He has a YouTube demo of it for those who're interested.

YouTube - ArmageddonMUD -- RMBT Demonstration
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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Re: An area editor tool

It's also now an open source project -- downloadable at lemon lime software

Last edited by Sanvean : 01-22-2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Wanted to clarify
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:37 AM   #10
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Re: An area editor tool

Another good offline area editor is Ack!Mud Visual Area Editor
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