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LAID: A dedicated C2 Tilemap Editor

  • Hey guys!

    I'm working on a dedicated advanced C2 tilemap editor (herein referred to as 'the Editor' or 'Laid').

    FEATURES

    Advanced tools like 9-patch, random fill, layer operations, copy and paste, and a 'smart brush' which automatically tiles areas of any shape - so you can tilemap even faster!

    Designed for Construct 2 tilemaps, able to export in JSON and TMX formats for easy importing into your C2 app.

    Highly transportable data: Projects can be saved in their entirety (including layers, metadata, brushes, etc), or exported as PNGs with transparency; individual layers can be exported and imported as TilesJSONs; brush presets can also be saved separately; metadata can be exported as array JSONs.

    Tile metadata tool allowing the developer to pass information about tiles back to C2 to help easily develop dynamic and interactive levels.

    DEVELOPMENT

    I've been working on the Editor since Tilemaps were first introduced to C2, as a tool for my own development. It's only in the last few weeks I've started consolidating all of the features into a single build after I forked it several times to work on specific projects - and it gathered a name along the way: 'Laid'. Most of the work the last few weeks has gone into user interface, usability features, and so-on. If there are any feature requests leave them here and I'll get back to you ASAP <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile">

    If you want to follow development more closely I've got a Twitter feed where I'll post gifs, murmurings, and occasionally polls - it's here: http://www.twitter.com/chilly_durango

    FORMAT

    It currently comprises of a single application (no plugins required!) which can work entirely independently of Construct 2. The user can create a tilemap in the Editor, and import it into C2 either as a TMX in the layout, or as a TilesJSON in the event sheet. Importing metadata is slightly more complex so I will include example .capx's to demonstrate usage.

    RELEASE

    I'm still not completely satisfied with the stability of a few features. Stability is key, naturally, as this is a tool - there has already been pressure for me to release early and I want to stress this will not happen. I'm sure we all know how frustrating it is to work with a tool you can't rely on.

    I am keen to hear from anyone who wants to be involved in testing, though - please send a PM if you regularly work with tilemaps, have used other tilemapping applications (such as Tiled), and are interested in testing this application before release.

    Edit: I've set up a Tumblr where I'll discuss, explore & explain various features of Laid, you can find it here:

    http://chillydurango.tumblr.com/

    TLDR:

    I made a tilemap editor dedicated to C2 users.

    When? Soon.

    Want to follow development? http://www.twitter.com/chilly_durango

    Want to be a tester? Send me a PM or tweet.

    Feature requests? Reply here.

  • Awesome! I'm actually interested in this. Especially with Tiled being... the way it is. Are you planning on releasing a web version or will this be dedicated to desktop builds?

  • Awesome! I'm actually interested in this. Especially with Tiled being... the way it is. Are you planning on releasing a web version or will this be dedicated to desktop builds?

    What's wrong with Tiled?

  • PandaCookies it's been a while. Honestly, I don't remember what my gripes were, just that I didn't care for it and working directly with Construct 2's (though stripped down) tilemap editor was quicker for my projects.

  • What's wrong with Tiled?

    I'm aware this question was aimed at another commentor but it deserves answering by me anyway

    Tiled can be a little impenetrable for new users. This is partly due to it having advanced functionality that's not supported by Construct 2. Between those two things it seemed to me that there was room for another tilemap editor that forms a halfway-house between the inbuilt C2 tilemap editor and Tiled in terms of usability - and hopefully on-par with Tiled when it comes to Construct-compatible features. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Tiled - but perhaps there's something a little bit right-er for C2 users

  • PandaCookies

    Tmx (tiled) is not compatible to C2's tile map editor.

    For example,

    1. tiled support multiple tile layers, C2's tile map editor only have one layer.

    2. structure of data is incompatible. tmx could not be loaded into C2's tile map object directly ( I had made a plugin to load tmx into tilemap already).

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  • 1. tiled support multiple tile layers, C2's tile map editor only have one layer.

    forgot about that! Being limited to one layer was frustrating. Seeing the functionality of Tiled unusable in Construct 2. That and not being able to load tilemaps at runtime was a bit of a letdown.

  • DatapawWolf

    Using mutiple tilemap objects for each responded tmx layers.

  • rexrainbow oh don't worry, I learned that a long time ago. I've even gone so far as 4 tilemaps for 2 different layers. Two for the visual and two for the collisions, whatwith the inability to turn off collision for a single C2 tilemap tile, another feature I so desire.

  • Regarding that issue - Laid (as you may have noticed) does have layers, which are always exported separately. Lots of opportunities for handling multiple tilemaps!

  • Does it have shortcutkeys/hotkeys? to easily switch between tools, or actions?

  • It does! Only a few at present, but the full list planned for release is:

    All basic tools (single strokes of letter keys - rush, [E]raser, [K]rop,

    atch, catter, [C]opy, [V]aste, dropper)

    Previous/Next Patch ( [ / ] )

    Layer selection (Ctrl + 1/2/3)

    Save/Open project (Ctrl + S / O)

    Undo/Redo (Ctrl + Z / Y)

    Thanks for giving me a good excuse to write those down by the way. You may have noticed the ability to store 'patches' for convenience - it would be nice to be able to hotkey some patches, but I'm sure that would require ground-up rewrites of some areas so may have to wait for now. Thanks for the question!

  • cool,

    can you give us more info on the tile metadata stuff? How can that be used?

    I'd think it'd be useful to be able to mark certain positions with custom data, like enemy spawn positions, etc- and somehow use that data in construct to be able to load things at runtime. Like custom objects that you can assign custom values to- i guess similar to the way you can position objects in c2 editor and give them instance variables. That way you could potentially do all your designing in the tilemap editor without having to see it in the c2 editor.

  • Looks nice! I'll follow your project closely, it may prove very useful. Keep up the good work!

  • This looks promising and simple, good luck with the project!

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