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N Sane Trilogy level editor prototype
This will be a three part post. Part 1 - a progress update on how the editor has changed since I last posted in this thread. Part 2 - why the progress stopped progressing several months ago. Part 3 - a request for help in deciding what my next move should be.

Part 1

After the first version which I was using in the above video, I expanded the functionality of the editor to allow you to move objects other than crates around (they all use the same coordinate system) and you can see some demonstrations in this livestream from September: This version of the editor required the game to be running and could be used to modify levels while playing them, which made it easy to see what I was doing but it involved a lot of trial and error when working out what each object detected by the editor actually was, and updating object positions was pretty slow - it wasn’t ideal and clearly not what one would typically imagine a “level editor” to be.

So I decided to try putting together a standalone program that could show all the positions of objects in the level files and allow you to move them around in a 3D space and save the modified positions to a file compatible with the game. Here’s a kind of hybrid between the first version and the most recent version, once I had started experimenting with using Unity:

I built a GUI around that Unity concept and I had my standalone program. Because this editor just reads object coordinates from the level files and marks each of their positions with a model of a crate, rather than actually displaying the level in full the way it appears in game, I started extracting level geometry from my PS1 copy of Crash 1 using CrashEdit and using it within the editor to help with visualising where objects shown in the editor are actually located in the level. This video is a demonstration of that, in this case working with the Great Gate:

As I mentioned in that video, I wasn’t too sure about including the PS1 level models with the editor for a few reasons (slow and difficult process of rescaling and repositioning dozens of individual level chunks into something that actually resembles the original level layout, and concerns about copyright etc after Activision went after people who made Spyro fan games using assets ripped from the PS1 games) and I wanted to try adding the option to open a level PAK archive with the editor instead of an individual IGZ file, and let it automatically read coordinates from all compatible files in the archive, and display them all in the editor at once, each on its own photoshop-style “layer” which could be enabled or disabled easily, and all colour coded with their representative crates having outlines that matched the colour shown in the layer list. This is the most up to date screenshot I have, showing the editor after I had implemented the layer list but before I had added the crate outlines:
[Image: R11WETP.png]

Part 2

Pretty much as soon as I was finished getting the outlines working, the editor just kinda broke. Every time I launched it it crashed, and I couldn’t determine what the problem was. Because of my vast ineptitude with coding (of which I had no experience before I got into NST modding; everything I’ve learned has come from stackexchange and guesswork) and the complications that arise from the editor technically being two separate applications communicating with each other and being displayed on top of each other (the window with all the buttons and menus and the editor view itself which is actually a Unity game) it’s never been that easy to identify what the problem is when something goes wrong. I had managed to fix every disaster that had come before this one but this happened to coincide with my unexpected success in recovering hundreds of gigabytes of data that I thought I’d lost forever a few months earlier (it may be ironic that the reason for the data corruption in the first place was because I tried to increase the size of my Windows partition to make room for Visual Studio so I could start working on proper NST modding programs and I fucked up) so I got distracted by going through all those old files and working on stuff I hadn’t been able to access for a while. I also did a clean install of Windows for possibly the fiftieth time that month as I wiped my entire computer completely so I could start fresh and have everything partitioned properly, and most of the files involved with the editor were still sitting on external HDDs waiting to be transferred back, and most of the programs necessary for the development didn’t get reinstalled for a while. After that, plans I was making for my future (like, my life, not my level editor) required some serious attention, and then I was away from home for several weeks, and I just never got chance to sit down and look at the editor properly with all that going on. So as of right now, the editor is still broken, but I should be able to fix it somehow and if not I have a lot of old backups that I can turn to if I need to.

Part 3

Before I do get back into working on this project, I want to actually come up with a plan for it and not just make it up as I go along like I’ve been doing so far. A lot of people have shown a lot of interest in this editor and I don’t want to let them down so I’m asking anyone reading this to help me decide what direction I should take it in. Should I go back to trying to use the PS1 geometry and hope nobody sues me (a very very very very slow process for me, that may not even work for Crash 2 and 3, but it looks nice)? Should I keep going with the PAK import option so all compatible files can be modified at once, with this also being an alternative way to give a better idea of what the level looks like (the PAK import will be a very very very very slow process but will make editing several aspects of a level, or levels with extra crates, much easier)? Should I stop trying to overcomplicate everything and release a simpler version that just shows one IGZ file at a time, and tell people to play the game alongside the editor if they want some context for the object positions, like I did with that first Unity video? I just want to do whatever I can to help the people who are waiting for this thing to be released get working on whatever it is they want to use it for! So any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks for your patience <3
Neo_Kesha, Ewan's Elephant Games (EEG), solidpoke412, KlitLika like this post

Messages In This Thread
N Sane Trilogy level editor prototype - by ARD - 03-09-2018, 03:06 PM
RE: N Sane Trilogy level editor prototype - by ARD - 10-01-2019, 01:34 AM

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