06 August, 2011

The Editor

Finally, after a long period of writing a lot of code without being able to share the results, I have a big (actually, gigantic) update for my StoryEngine. It's the in-game editor. While playing, you can just click on the small new  Button labeled "edit" and directly enter edit mode. All the complex XML is parsed and shown with a pretty GUI, and you can click buttons to add rewards and such!

Actually, it's rather ugly, but serviceable. Getting everything to show on a limited screen was a big challenge, because Actions can be very complex beasts.

Some things could be more convenient, such as auto-completion of item names, but I had to force myself to write most of the rather boring GUI code, and didn't want to wait until I had all the neat features that I would like to.

The Compile-button will show the XML that is generated from the GUI. This was mostly for me to debug with. When you save, the program will store the data from the GUI directly in the file that the action is from. In case the id was changed, it will create a new action with this id. Note that it will not yet appear during play, because the engine only loads Actions at program launch.

Caveats and known issues and bugs:

  • Not all features are yet supported. Some of the more complex (like chance modifiers depending on requirements) are not visible at all.
  • It is of questionable visual appeal.
  • Only actions can be edited, no locations, stats, items or rules. On the other hand, actions are about 99% of all content, and the other things are so damn simple that the lack of editor should not matter. As an example: locations pretty much come down to a triplet of name, description and picture.
  • Stuff is very untested.
  • It is not required to know the XML schema to be able to use it, but certainly a big advantage.
  • Icons do not load.
Due to issues with my usual download, here are two less practical links:

The v4 XMLs should be pretty much compatible though, I've fixed a few bugs at best.

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