Tile Editor for Unity: Part II

As I mentioned before, for those who only want to use the editor, as soon as the Asset is available in the Unity Asset Store, you will be able to download it for free and use it.

This is the second part of a series of posts about a small tile editor I’m creating for Unity. If you haven’t read the first part yet, you can check it out here.

The whole explanation is divided in the following parts:

  1. Editor Window Creation
  2. Saving Status
  3. Menus
  4. Game Objects Actions: Create, Delete, Edit
  5. Layers
  6. Grid
  7. Snapping
  8. Transformations
  9. Snapping: Extended

This week we are going to cover point number 3: menus.

Menus

This section includes the concept of game object menu, which is an abstraction of a group of game objects (represented by prefabs) that are loaded inside a menu for the user to dynamically create instances of them in the editor.

As you can see in the picture above, this section was called “Game Objects” and represents a list of menus used to add new prefabs to the editor. It’s possible to add different menus, each one with a set of prefabs to add to the scene, it’s also possible to customize the menu a little to better organize the elements inside of it and remove it if necessary.

In the previous post, we created the main class file for out extension “LevelCreatorEditor”, which handles how the menus are created, all the operations for each menu and general operations as well. As we mentioned before, all the menus are rendered inside the method “OnGUI” and for this new section we added the “BuildMenuObjects” method.

  1. List menus;
  2. EditorObjectsMenu objMenu;
  3.  
  4. void OnGUI()
  5. {
  6.    if (menus == null)
  7.       menus = new List();
  8.    //Header
  9.    BuildMenuHeader();
  10.   //Objects
  11.   BuildMenuObjects();
  12. }
  13.  
  14. void BuildMenuObjects()
  15. {
  16.    int curSel;
  17.    List removedMenus;
  18.  
  19.    //If the group is empty, we disable this section
  20.    EditorGUI.BeginDisabledGroup(layers.Count <= 0);
  21.    //You can change the label if you want
  22.    GUILayout.Label("GAME OBJECTS", EditorStyles.boldLabel);
  23.    //Add menu button
  24.    if (GUILayout.Button("Add Menu"))
  25.       menus.Add(new EditorObjectsMenu());
  26.    removedMenus = new List();
  27.    //GUILayout.BeginVertical();
  28.    gameobjectsScrollPos = GUILayout.BeginScrollView(gameobjectsScrollPos, false, true);
  29.    //Menus
  30.    foreach (EditorObjectsMenu m in menus)
  31.    {
  32.       //Title
  33.       GUILayout.Label("Menu: " + m.folder, EditorStyles.boldLabel);
  34.       //Columns
  35.       m.columns = EditorGUILayout.IntField("Columns", m.columns);
  36.       //Folder's location
  37.       EditorGUILayout.BeginHorizontal();
  38.       m.folder = EditorGUILayout.TextField("Folder Name", m.folder);
  39.       if (GUILayout.Button("Load"))
  40.          m.LoadPrefabs();
  41.       EditorGUILayout.EndHorizontal();
  42.       //Load elements
  43.       if (m.tiles != null && m.tiles.Length >= 0 && m.columns >= 0)
  44.       {
  45.          curSel = GUILayout.SelectionGrid(m.selGridInt, m.tiles, m.columns, GUILayout.Width(position.width - 20),GUILayout.Height(100));
  46.          if (curSel != m.selGridInt)
  47.          {
  48.             m.selGridInt = curSel;
  49.             objMenu = m;
  50.             DeactivateMenus();
  51.          }
  52.       }
  53.  
  54.       //Remove menu
  55.       if (GUILayout.Button("Remove"))
  56.          removedMenus.Add(m);
  57.    }
  58.    GUILayout.EndScrollView();
  59.    EditorGUI.EndDisabledGroup();
  60.  
  61.    //Clean menus
  62.    foreach (EditorObjectsMenu m in removedMenus)
  63.       menus.Remove(m);
  64. }
  65.  
  66. void DeactivateMenus()
  67. {
  68.    foreach (EditorObjectsMenu m in menus)
  69.    {
  70.       if (objMenu == null)
  71.          m.selGridInt = -1;
  72.       else
  73.       {
  74.          if (objMenu != m)
  75.             m.selGridInt = -1;
  76.       }
  77.    }
  78. }

Menus are logically represented using a List of “EditorObjectsMenu” which is a new class that has handles all the functionality inside a menu: loading new prefabs and converting them into usable icons, serializing the data to store changes for future use, etc.

  1. public class EditorObjectsMenu
  2. {
  3.    //Default folder that appears in the folder field
  4.    public const string DEFAULT_FOLDER = "Tiles";
  5.    //This will change depending on the folder's name
  6.    public string name;
  7.    //Folder's name
  8.    public string folder;
  9.    //Selected element
  10.    public int selGridInt;
  11.    //To organize the elements graphically, number of columns
  12.    public int columns;
  13.    //Textures of each prefab (from SpriteRenderer)
  14.    public Texture[] tiles;
  15.    //Prefabs that represent game objects
  16.    public Object[] prefabs;
  17.  
  18.    public EditorObjectsMenu()
  19.    {
  20.       selGridInt = -1;
  21.       name = DEFAULT_FOLDER;
  22.       folder = DEFAULT_FOLDER;
  23.       columns = 3;
  24.    }
  25.  
  26.    /// Load all the prefabs in folder "folder"
  27.    public void LoadPrefabs()
  28.    {
  29.       GameObject obj;
  30.       prefabs = Resources.LoadAll(folder, typeof(Object));
  31.       tiles = new Texture[prefabs.Length];
  32.       for (int i = 0; i &lt; prefabs.Length; i++)
  33.       {
  34.          obj = ((GameObject)prefabs[i]);
  35.  
  36.          if (obj.GetComponent().sprite == null)
  37.          {
  38.             for (int j = 0; j &lt; obj.transform.childCount; j++)
  39.             {
  40.                if (obj.transform.GetChild(j).GetComponent().sprite != null)
  41.                {
  42.                   tiles[i] = obj.transform.GetChild(j).GetComponent().sprite.texture;
  43.                   break;
  44.                }
  45.             }
  46.          }
  47.          else
  48.             tiles[i] = obj.GetComponent().sprite.texture;
  49.       }
  50.    }
  51.  
  52.    /// Get the the selected element
  53.    public Object GetCurrentSelection()
  54.    {
  55.       Object sel;
  56.  
  57.       sel = null;
  58.       if (selGridInt != -1)
  59.          sel = prefabs[selGridInt];
  60.  
  61.       return sel;
  62.    }
  63.  
  64.    /// Transform the object's parameters into a string (to save the state of the object)
  65.    public string Serialize()
  66.    {
  67.       return name + "," + folder + "," + selGridInt + "," + columns;
  68.    }
  69.  
  70.    /// Takes a serialized string and loads all the parameters of the object
  71.    public void Deserialize(string data)
  72.    {
  73.       string[] attributes = data.Split(',');
  74.  
  75.       name = attributes[0];
  76.       folder = attributes[1];
  77.       selGridInt = int.Parse(attributes[2]);
  78.       columns = int.Parse(attributes[3]);
  79.    }
  80. }

The EditorObjectsMenu class has properties such as: name, folder, selGridInt, columns, tiles and prefabs. Name and folder are the same but one is used to display the id in the GUI and the other to decide where should the prefabs be loaded from; selGridInt represents the selected element (prefab); columns, is there to customize the number of columns each menu displays; tiles is an array of textures that are mapped to the prefabs and help to display the prefabs buttons inside the menu.

LoadPredabs takes the folder path (which should be inside the physical folder “Resources” and loads all the prefabs inside that path. This data is stored in the textures and prefabs arrays to be displayed in the menu.

GetCurrentSelection just returns which of the current element was selcted by the user and with that we can create instances of that object in the editor.

Finally Serialize and Deserialize were created to easily convert the data to strings and store it as we explained in the previous post.

Going back to the previous method “BuildMenuObjects” now that the EditorsObjectMenu is defined, we can see that the new attribute called “menus” is a list of elements of EditorsObjectMenu class. With this variable we represent logically all the menus that are rendered in the GUI.

Adding Menus

We create a new button inside the GUI called “Add Menu”, the code can be seen in the “BuildMenuObjects” function above:

  1. if (GUILayout.Button("Add Menu"))
  2.    menus.Add(new EditorObjectsMenu());

Here we just create a new instance of the class and add it to the menu list and it automatically will render the information and inputs for that new menu.

Rendering Menus

All the menus are rendered inside a foreach instruction that handles each input of the menu separately:

  1. foreach (EditorObjectsMenu m in menus)
  2. {
  3.    //Title
  4.    GUILayout.Label("Menu: " + m.folder, EditorStyles.boldLabel);
  5.    //m.name = EditorGUILayout.TextField("Title", m.name);
  6.    //Columns
  7.    m.columns = EditorGUILayout.IntField("Columns", m.columns);
  8.    //Folder's location
  9.    EditorGUILayout.BeginHorizontal();
  10.    m.folder = EditorGUILayout.TextField("Folder Name", m.folder);
  11.    if (GUILayout.Button("Load"))
  12.    m.LoadPrefabs();
  13.    EditorGUILayout.EndHorizontal();
  14.    //Load elements
  15.    if (m.tiles != null && m.tiles.Length >= 0 && m.columns >= 0)
  16.    {
  17.       curSel = GUILayout.SelectionGrid(m.selGridInt, m.tiles, m.columns, GUILayout.Width(position.width - 20),GUILayout.Height(100));
  18.       if (curSel != m.selGridInt)
  19.       {
  20.          m.selGridInt = curSel;
  21.          objMenu = m;
  22.          cursorState = CursorState.Add;
  23.          DeactivateMenus();
  24.       }
  25.    }
  26.  
  27.    //Remove menu
  28.    if (GUILayout.Button("Remove"))
  29.       removedMenus.Add(m);
  30. }

 

Here basically we handle basic information for the menu: name, location. There is also a field called “Folder Name” that specifies the path of the data. After the user writes the name of thr folder down, clicks “Load” and all the prefabs will be loaded automatically inside the menu, using the SpriteRenderer’s texture as icon image. In case that the SpriteRenderer for a prefab is empty, the algorithm automatically searches inside the children of this prefab and takes the first non null texture and use it.

Removing Menus

In the previous code we can see that a “removedMenus” list was created in additio to the general menus list. This is emptied everytime before the cycle for rendering menus starts so if the user removes a menu using the remove button, it will add it to this new list and delete all menus from the main list after the cycle finishes. This is done to prevent collection changes inside the cycle.

Deactivate Menus

Finally, this method verifies if any of the elements on any menu was selected and in case it was not selected it deactivates the whole menu. This was used to have only one element selected at the time, if we do not do this, then two different menus could have one element selected each and we don’t want that when creating new instances.

With the menu deactivation I want to close this post, I’ll continue explaining the rest of the code in upcoming articles. If you have questions, leave in them in the comments.

 

Tile Editor for Unity: Part II

Progress, Level Edition and Game Jam’s Feedback

This week I would like to talk about three different topics, the progress I’ve been making on the games I’m creating, the status of the Unity Level Editor and some thoughts on the past Ludum Dare 38 experience.

Progress

Fiery Squirrel is currently working on a couple of games. One of them is (tentatively) called Zin, which is the game that is benefiting from the new tile editor. There is also another game I mentioned in previous posts, Kuon’s Saga, developed in collaboration with Gabriel Uguet, illustrator and creator of Serpentarius, an online comic.

ZIN

Zin is a action-puzzle game that narrates the story of a little creature unable to move by itself due to a magic curse. The creature needs to recover its powers and escape from its captors. This is a very simple game for computer and consoles that involves mastering different kinds of abilities and gameplay mechanics.

The game is still in very early stage of development, I’m currently focused on designing and testing the first level, including concept art, sounds, etc. The game is divided in four different chapters, each one with four levels.

In case you are curious, you can play a very early prototype made for Ludum Dare some time ago in Newgrounds. The game now includes many more things and it’s bigger but the essence is still the same.

For this week, the focus was to create and test levels with the new editor, which is really helping a lot with the new tiles and perspective of the art. I hope next will show some new screenshots and progress.

Kuon’s Saga

This is a game that has been in development for some time, despite its simplicity and its casual nature, we created different versions of the game and tested too many things on a very slow development pace.

The game is planned to be released for free at some point next month and will include one level with 24 waves for players to enjoy. Progressively, depending on players’ feedback and reactions, we will keep adding new content with new levels and challeneges. This will be available for Android and iOS.

This week has been basically working on completing all the final elements for the gameplay, including graphical stuff and level design. By next week we will have a very solid demo to show.

Level Edition

I have good news about the Unity Tile Editor. All the basic functionality is already working properly and we submitted it for approval to the Unity Asset Store. The editor will be free and available for people to download.

This first version is a beta that will be expanded in the upcoming weeks, there are a lot of things to improve, from the functionality side of the editor to the usability, we plan to add new stuff to help automatize cumbersome tasks and create levels faster and easier.

For all of you that are interested in the details on how was the editor created, I’ll be posting details about the code in future articles. If you have specific questions, please let me know.

The video shows all the current features that will be available for people when the asset is approved on the Asset Store.

Game Jam’s Feedback

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was part of the Ludum Dare 38 three weeks ago. After playing a lot of different games and receiving feedback from people on the game I made, I have some thoughts that might be useful for people making games out there.

First of all I want to thank people for their observations, getting feedback is really nice and one of the reasons I like participating in this event. Comments from people really help improving our work, they show us a perspective that we probably do not have or just different ideas that enrich our way of thinking.

Feedback

When I talk about feedback, it’s not only players’ comments, ideas and bug reports. Feedback is also related to that concept of making your game react to the player’s input and be able to clearly show in the screen or  through speakers what is going on in your game.

I decided to talk a little about this because my most recurrent comment on other people’s games was exactly that: “it would improve a lot if it had more feedback”.

And this is something that I really think developers can easiy do. Feedback does not really require super high art making skills or 3D modeling years of experience, this is all about the feeling of the game, this is related to showing the status of the game in a very clear way.

In SORLD for example, although I know there is a lot to improve and much more feedback to add, the basic actions have clear feedback and they were implemented in very few time. Shooting, being hit, recovering, dying and making progress are some of the basic actions that this game includes and they were represented with particles, screen shake, sprite rotation, sound effects, etc.

Seriously, with few changes on the feedback side, adding particles, sound effects, changing the rotation a little, zooming in and out, in most of the cases make the game feel much better and meaninful and it’s not really a difficult thing to do.

Jan Willem Nijman from Vlambeer has more experience than me on this topic and he gave a nice talk about “Game Feel” which is related to what I mentioned here. Enjoy the talk if you haven’t already and hope this helps you make better games!

This was basically it for this week. A lot of things going on, I’m trying to keep people up to date about what we are doing here and get some comments on what would be interesting to talk about for future post.

Have a great weekend!

Progress, Level Edition and Game Jam’s Feedback