Level Creator initial framing

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filbo
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Level Creator initial framing

Post by filbo » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:24 am

When entering the level editor, the upper left corner of the view window is positioned at [-1,-1], on the implied steel border. It seems to me that this is done to provide a framing context for the level.

However, stylistically, many (most?) existing levels have a real steel border. The game is even aware of this, in the variable BorderElement.

I'm wondering if the editor could start the view window at [0,0] if the level already has an internal border.

Context: all or most of the EMC levels have dimensions 64x32, and most have an internal border (levels that don't usually require horizontal wrap, and thus don't work in RnD...) With a 32x32 editing view window, EMC levels always start one step away from seeing the entire vertical span of the level; every time I enter the editor on such a level, I have to scroll one step down...

I'd even prefer if the editor couldn't be scrolled to the -1 and N+1 horizontal / vertical positions when the border is complete. Which should be computed dynamically, so poking a hole in an existing complete border would suddenly shrink the scroll bar "thumbs" slightly, or sometimes jump the view window one position.

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Holger
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Re: Level Creator initial framing

Post by Holger » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:52 am

I'm wondering if the editor could start the view window at [0,0] if the level already has an internal border.
Sounds reasonable. And should be easy to change that way.
I'd even prefer if the editor couldn't be scrolled to the -1 and N+1 horizontal / vertical positions when the border is complete. Which should be computed dynamically, so poking a hole in an existing complete border would suddenly shrink the scroll bar "thumbs" slightly, or sometimes jump the view window one position.
I'm a bit unsure about this, although I tend to like the idea. The main problem I see with this is what you already mentioned: Drawing border tiles could cause the level editing area to "jump" one tile in some direction. Even though I would implement it in a way that it won't jump unless the mouse button is released, I do not like the idea very much (from a usability point of view) that the drawing area moves around under the mouse pointer without the user explicitly scrolling the drawing area.

A possible alternative solution would be to be able to configure the level editor (in the setup menu) to never draw the static border around the level playfield in the level drawing area, as experienced level designers already know in which case a static border is added to a level when playing the game, and therefore do not need this visual hint.

filbo
Posts: 357
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:06 am

Re: Level Creator initial framing

Post by filbo » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:34 pm

experienced level designers already know in which case a static border is added to a level when playing the game, and therefore do not need this visual hint
-- but this might make things more confusing for inexperienced designers. You might say ah, but the option would be off by default and they wouldn't turn it on; but I say, yes, they (some of them) would turn it on since it makes the editor nicer and they wouldn't know any better.

I'm not an experienced designer (I've made a few levels, nothing fancy). I don't know under what conditions an automatic border is supplied. Maybe that could be displayed in "Info"? Or maybe not, since I think it isn't something that could be independently toggled.

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