Ultimate map editor

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KIRA
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Ok you might think I am actually gone crazy by the time I spend thinking about this game but, what can I say? I love it and want it to become better and better.

I was thinking to a major improvement to the map editor (the one that allows to draw the terrain by hand).
This improved version would allow the player to draw the terrain like the default one do and, in addition would allow the player to decide where each object of a given theme would be placed by moving (and maybe rotating?) the object.png in a map where the terrain is already displayed like generated with all the land texture and background and this stuff.

If the hedgewars frontend wouldn't be compatible with this genre of changing I was thinking at another solution that would solve the problem: an unofficial application like the one that Kobewi did for the theme editor for this particular goal. I was thinking that the map, once completed could be saved like an image map, I dont know if this is a good idea tho.

But I already imagine you asking: "Why?"

Well the answer is not what you expect, in fact I dont want this feature for the classic "it would be cool" motif but for achieving the goal of Balance in relation to Map Design.
Keep in mind that when I talk about these things in the back of the head I have the dream of Hedgewars being played in a complete balanced and competitive enviroment (the gamemodes I keep in mind are the The Specialists modes).
So I started thinking what are the limits right now that prevents this dream to become true. The first thing that came to my mind was the map imbalance.

A randomly generated map (imagine a maze map) could bring imbalance for different causes:

1.one side (left/right) is more advantegeous than the other;
2.the top half of the map is always more powerful than the bottom half for more than 1 reason, for example the classic highground advantage and the sudden death mechanic advantage (regarding this point I actually think it would be better for the water not to rise from the bottom but to slowly drop from the top, but it would be weird so).
3.random objects placement generates random power positions (by power positions I mean spots that guarantee some sort of balance between safety from attacks and offensive opportunities).

All these problems could be solved with this improved map editor. In fact the advantage of the top half of the map could be counterbalanced by the addition of power positions in the lower half but this can happen only in a map where the objects are placed by a map designer and not randomly placed.

What do you think?

KoBeWi
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You could easily use any image editor for this, e.g. GIMP. You can fill the map shape with land texture as pattern, and then just drag and drop land object images onto the canvas. The most difficult part would be land borders.

The only advantage of using some dedicated app would be a more friendly interface, designed for making maps. Such app would be rather easy to do (maybe except land generation).

KIRA
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Thanks for replying, yea I think a dedicated app would be much better and not only for the borders reason. What do you mean by Land generation? I was thinking at hand drawn terrain like the editor in game. Do you think It will be possible to create this app or is It too difficult?

sheepluva
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I like the idea.

If it was part of the official Frontend, then sharing the map would be much easier.

Since you are mostly concerned with balancing, let me throw in two additional suggestions:

* Mirrored map drawing:
You only draw in one half and the right side is a mirror image of the other side.
(Probably not that hard to implement on top of current map editor, but would also have engine recognize mirror mode, so that it can place mirrored land objects accordingly)

* Spawn location placement
You can specify where the hedgehogs will spawn. If you don't place spawn points for all teams/hogs the rest will be chosen at random.
Would be nice in combination with mirror mode
(If you place Team 1 spawn at left or right half, it could automatically add a spawn point for the Team 2 in the other half or something)

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KIRA
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Hey sheepluva, I love your ideas. Even if It doesnt suit perfectly for the specialists matches It Will be useful for different scripts, Capture the flag comes to mind. Thanks for answering

KoBeWi
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Quote:
What do you mean by Land generation? I was thinking at hand drawn terrain like the editor in game.
Ah, then it won't be a problem.

Quote:
Do you think It will be possible to create this app or is It too difficult?
As I said, it shouldn't be very difficult. But you need to integrate it with Hedgewars files (i.e. read theme), allow placing elements, create all the UI stuff etc. so it just requires quite a bit of work to make everything work properly.

KIRA
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Nice. Unfortunately I m a total noob in computer stuff so I cant make It. Thank you anyway

Wuzzy
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Yeah, the current map editor in general lacks a lot of feature. An interesting idea for sure.

Some other features that are missing:

- Placement and editing of "special points" (those are used by Racer as checkpoints)
- Set initial water height
- Better preview (use theme texture for example)
- Zooming?
- Better/more tools to draw (the current ones aren't very powerful)
- Import image file to convert it to HWMAP

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