I had originally planned to have the character moving across the map, monsters spawning and basic combat done by the ten-hour mark. I have failed at that, but I still think the project is on track. My editor turned out pretty darn good:
You’ll want to right-click and choose “View Image” to get the full effect.
The big work area on the left represents an entire 64×64 map on one screen – no scrolling. All the in-game terrain types and objects are icons in the upper-right. The numbers 1, 2, 4 and 8 control the brush size (only when painting terrain, of course). Save and load work perfectly, and the “Undo Item” and “Undo NPC” buttons allow you to undo the dropping of items and NPCs in the world.
I initially was going to have a set of “Clear to Terrain” buttons that would have given you an instant water, stone, grass or lava canvas to work on, but it’s almost as easy to just paint the map with the terrain you want using brush 8. I was also going to have a “New Map” button, but closing and reopening the program works just as well. The save buttons always saves to a map called “default.map”, and the load button loads this map, so once you’ve saved your work you’ll want to find that map and rename it to something else, lest your next save overwrite it. Very clunky, but just writing a simple system to input your save game name would have taken at least another half-hour. This is dirty, yet functional – exactly what I was shooting for.
There is one thing this editor doesn’t do, and that is map links. But coding that would take longer that just adding the links to the map by hand (most maps don’t have very many links) so I’m willing to call it done.
The map you see here was made in under five minutes.