Zebra's Level Editor

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zebra
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Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 22 Apr 2013, 19:20

In the past few months I have been developing my own level editor. The original idea was to create internal-editor-looking editor with advanced options such as a tool to easily generate a basic battle level. Lately I haven't been coding too much and the development of ZLE has been very slow, but anyway, here it is, the first release version of ZLE :)

Please don't say that "why another level editor?". I wanted to go to the next level of level editing and examine level format a bit and make some things to the editor which I always wanted to be there. Just check the list below and find your favourite feature :)

Features:
- level generator
- original look and feel, including "old select mode".
- easy to use
- quick to generate battle levels
- automatic autograss generation
- automatic level name generation ;)
- full undo/redo
- polygon stretching and rotating
- copy polygon or its part
- save easily as next free filename
- make frames to a polygon

Other mentionable things:
- No external libraries needed
- No installation needed; just unzip the package wherever you want
- Supports EOL and its bigger limits

Drawbacks:
- Does not support pictures at the moment

Possible future plans:
- support for elma2 or even integration to elma2
- picture and lgr editing
- import image as polygon
- more level generation algorithms

download here:
ZLE_v1.0.zip
ZLE_v1.1.zip

Simple use case:
- Open the editor
- Press "generate lev"
- Press "Generate" (will also generate random level name)
- choose "select" mode and edit the level a bit to make it smooth to drive
- press "Save as"
- Enter "C:\path_to_your_EOL\Lev\test???.lev" to basefilename
- Press "Save". Grass will be automatically generated and next free filename will be automatically chosen. Battle level generating has never been this easy! :)

How to use the program (quick help):
- Zoom in our out with mouse wheel.
- In select mode, stretch selected items with SHIFT, rotate with ALT, collect with CTRL.
- To copy vertices and objects, use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.
- Autograss functionality ensures that you won't ever have to put grass yourself anymore.
- Also remember undo/redo buttons: Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Shift+Z.
- In save window, define basefilename to quickly save levels to elma folder.
- In ZLE there are no limits, but in level properties you can see current EOL limits.
- "Merge polygons"-button will merge all polygons with one click.
- Switch between old school editing and modern editing mode with "select" and "old select" modes.
- Edit polygon properties with "select polygon" mode.

Enjoy :)
Last edited by zebra on 13 Jul 2022, 09:34, edited 3 times in total.
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Ramone
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Ramone » 22 Apr 2013, 19:42

Ill try it out for sure. I tested ALE abit and that makes no sense to me. dont understand anything. I like you say how retor looks :)
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Lousku » 22 Apr 2013, 19:47

Honestly the only reason I use internal editor is easy testing (just "p" as opposed to save, alt tab and refresh lev). But this seems like a great candidate for Elma 2 editor. Generator seems very useful too.
then again i don't know anything
maybe easier not to think abouut alöl things thought than not things thought ... or something..=?

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by analcactus » 23 Apr 2013, 05:50

Lousku wrote:Honestly the only reason I use internal editor is easy testing (just "p" as opposed to save, alt tab and refresh lev). But this seems like a great candidate for Elma 2 editor. Generator seems very useful too.
exactle!
if it'll support autorun levels in elmatwo, will be great!
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Mawane » 23 Apr 2013, 18:28

stuff I really like about this editor (which makes me want this editor specifically instead of another):
-generating level
-new level have no polygon, start, flower. yes finally, dont have to make a stupid triangle at the beginning and move around start/flower
-coordinates, zoom
-arrow in gravity apple
-frame generation, fantastic! it ignores the thin parts and doesn't make intersections
-design of the editor, look really cool

stuff I like but that aren't unique:
-importing level
-switching orientation of poly with space
-no limits, still saves even if there are errors? (not tested)

stuff I dislike:
-draw polygon, because of the unsmoothness, would be better if the drawn polygon would be a draft and we could smooth it, but don't bother about it, not a feature I'm gonna use
-select polygon, clicking edges should work too, and it is too easy to move the poly accidentally when I just want to frame it
-add frame: undo shouldn't close the window, when you are just testing if it looks nice
-permanent poly/object properties on top
-merge polys merges ALL polygons and removes the middle
-filename pattern, my computer crashed some months ago, lost everything and now when i try the pattern, it starts me to 1 eventho im at mwb0630

comments:
-maybe there should be something to have a sense of dimension, because without any objects, its hard to see what size are stuff. maybe a dotted line to show max size of a level and a fake dotted frame object always on screen?
-needs more shortcuts! zoom fill, select, etc
-when hovering stuff, there could be property details shown somewhere
-add frame: width 1 could be the size of a wheel, and it needs decimals like 0,1 . There should be help about the options Avoid spikes, Avoid small edges.
--there are some weird bugs like this IMAGE
--spikes seem to appear in polys where there are intersections, not sure why would someone want those spikes
*there should be at least an option to make the frame inside or outside the polygon
*frame doesn't seem to work on polygons that are inside the main outside polygon
-generate level: There should be descriptions about the option names, like what is descend?
*how about not empty middle when merging polys? i mean like there could more than 1 polygon, just the overall frame is less exciting than with middle islands

In summary, I will probably use this editor only to generate levels, to add frames when tickness gets fixed and when pictures are supported, use it to import levels. I'll continue to keep using SLE for esthetics, unique features and internal editor for quick lev making/testing.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Igge » 23 Apr 2013, 19:44

Mawane wrote:yes finally, dont have to make a stupid triangle at the beginning and move around start/flower
Flower triangle is the essence of all that is elma :000

All jokes aside, it sounds like a good editor, but I'll stick to the internal one anyway)
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 23 Apr 2013, 21:24

Thanks mawane for testing the editor :) I hope you find it useful :) Some comments:
Mawane wrote: -select polygon, clicking edges should work too, and it is too easy to move the poly accidentally when I just want to frame it
you can always press Ctrl+Z to undo if you move the poly ;)
Mawane wrote: -add frame: undo shouldn't close the window, when you are just testing if it looks nice
--there are some weird bugs like this IMAGE
--spikes seem to appear in polys where there are intersections, not sure why would someone want those spikes
*there should be at least an option to make the frame inside or outside the polygon
*frame doesn't seem to work on polygons that are inside the main outside polygon
This framing algorithm was very hard to make and I tried at least 4 different ways how to do it. Still this algorithm isn't perfect and I know it. But it was the best I could make. Little edges cause much problems and in some cases there isn't any reasonable way even to frame a polygon, so this algorithm can't be perfect. I hope you can live with it :)
Mawane wrote: -merge polys merges ALL polygons and removes the middle
Isn't that usually what you want? I tried some other editors and for me the merging was too hard. I wanted to make as simple as possible.
Mawane wrote: -filename pattern, my computer crashed some months ago, lost everything and now when i try the pattern, it starts me to 1 eventho im at mwb0630
Good point. I could add "start from" number.
Mawane wrote: -maybe there should be something to have a sense of dimension, because without any objects, its hard to see what size are stuff. maybe a dotted line to show max size of a level and a fake dotted frame object always on screen?
Maybe there could be some kind of grid.
Mawane wrote: -needs more shortcuts! zoom fill, select, etc
ok, I can add those if you want.
Mawane wrote: -when hovering stuff, there could be property details shown somewhere
What do you mean?
Mawane wrote: -add frame: width 1 could be the size of a wheel, and it needs decimals like 0,1 . There should be help about the options Avoid spikes, Avoid small edges.
Wheel size is exactly 0.7
Mawane wrote: -generate level: There should be descriptions about the option names, like what is descend?
The generator creates a zig-zag-tunnel starting from the top. You can define tunnel width and layers (3 for Z-shaped tunnel). Bubbles tell how many bubbles will be drawn into level (over the tunnel). Descend tells how much the tunnel descends. 20 would make more like "sink" level and 0 doesn't descend at all. "Hardness" tells how steep tunnels the generator can make. After generating the tunnels and bubbles, it merges all the generated polygons.

I can make some fixes but can't say when I have time. So don't hold your breath. But anyway it seems that there are no severe bugs.

Igge, I know what you mean. I will also stick to internal editor in some cases because it's just so much easier to test the level there.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Mawane » 23 Apr 2013, 23:45

-select polygon, clicking edges should work too, and it is too easy to move the poly accidentally when I just want to frame it
you can always press Ctrl+Z to undo if you move the poly ;)
-ye, only issue is that when i noticed i moved it, just slightly, like 20 steps further... xD
-----------------------------------------------------
-add frame: undo shouldn't close the window, when you are just testing if it looks nice
-there are some weird bugs like this IMAGE
-spikes seem to appear in polys where there are intersections, not sure why would someone want those spikes
-there should be at least an option to make the frame inside or outside the polygon
-frame doesn't seem to work on polygons that are inside the main outside polygon
This framing algorithm was very hard to make and I tried at least 4 different ways how to do it. Still this algorithm isn't perfect and I know it. But it was the best I could make. Little edges cause much problems and in some cases there isn't any reasonable way even to frame a polygon, so this algorithm can't be perfect. I hope you can live with it :)
-sure, such small amount of manual fix doesn't really matter, sure would be nice to be fixed, but probably not worth spending like a month finding the bug. still some other points could be fixed?
-----------------------------------------------------
-merge polys merges ALL polygons and removes the middle
Isn't that usually what you want? I tried some other editors and for me the merging was too hard. I wanted to make as simple as possible.
gotta say im used to see merge 1 by 1, liking it because i can see if theres something i dont like immediatly. but the inside islands would be nice to have, instead of a big empty chunk in the middle, then u still have to fill it with something else usually
-----------------------------------------------------
-filename pattern, my computer crashed some months ago, lost everything and now when i try the pattern, it starts me to 1 eventho im at mwb0630
Good point. I could add "start from" number.
ye, that or from the last number
-----------------------------------------------------
-maybe there should be something to have a sense of dimension, because without any objects, its hard to see what size are stuff. maybe a dotted line to show max size of a level and a fake dotted frame object always on screen?
Maybe there could be some kind of grid.
ye, or idk about my idea
-----------------------------------------------------
-needs more shortcuts! zoom fill, select, etc
ok, I can add those if you want.
yey!
-----------------------------------------------------
-when hovering stuff, there could be property details shown somewhere
What do you mean?
like when hovering apple, it would display at the bottom like animation 1, gravity: none.
on poly, would say if grass or regular poly
on picture, would display all settings
-----------------------------------------------------
-add frame: width 1 could be the size of a wheel, and it needs decimals like 0,1 . There should be help about the options Avoid spikes, Avoid small edges.
Wheel size is exactly 0.7
good to know, would make more sense if the value represents something, like height of the bike, size of wheel, fraction of those, etc
-----------------------------------------------------
The generator creates a zig-zag-tunnel starting from the top. You can define tunnel width and layers (3 for Z-shaped tunnel). Bubbles tell how many bubbles will be drawn into level (over the tunnel). Descend tells how much the tunnel descends. 20 would make more like "sink" level and 0 doesn't descend at all. "Hardness" tells how steep tunnels the generator can make. After generating the tunnels and bubbles, it merges all the generated polygons.
good, would be nice to have that info in the editor too ^^
-----------------------------------------------------
I can make some fixes but can't say when I have time. So don't hold your breath. But anyway it seems that there are no severe bugs.
np, as you read my summary
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by jonsykkel » 24 Apr 2013, 05:19

zebra wrote:Wheel size is exactly 0.7
isent it 0.8
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Pingywings » 24 Apr 2013, 17:18

the generator is 10/10, just made a FF with it which went down pretty well, seemed like it was made by hand to me! i'm sure you're hiding a levmaking sweatshop somewhere zebra
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Zweq » 24 Apr 2013, 17:33

did some nab battle in morning in few mins.

nice simplistic design and (seemingly) well done program. 'editing mode' panel felt a bit weird, but pasibel get used to those after a while, especially if there are / will be hotkeys for them.

extra + for automagic lev indexing, but i havent used smibu's and totem's editors so I can't say if it was a new idea
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 24 Apr 2013, 18:41

jonsykkel wrote:
zebra wrote:Wheel size is exactly 0.7
isent it 0.8
Yes you are right, it is 0.8. It's also the maximum grass height :)

And thanks for the positive feedback :) The generator is good for making first finish battles :)
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by John » 26 Apr 2013, 11:02

Nice work zebra, however:

- I really miss some kind of reference for how large the polygons are. I started to create some random polygon and when adding start it was like "oh, the poly was this large?!".

- Got some weird bug when I tried to frame a very basic rectanglish shape. The frame became ultrathin and only kinda laid on top of the poly (like grass almost).

- Can't merge a polygon that has been framed without the frame disappearing. Not a problem (could just frame again) unless you import a level with a custom frame that you really want to keep. Maybe should have the possibility of different framing methods. See this picture.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Luther » 12 May 2013, 22:56

Very nice Zebra! it's the first time ever I've seen this kind of thing. Very cool I must say.

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 13 May 2013, 06:01

Thanks Luther :) I hope I'll find some time to fix bugs and make new features. But at the moment I'm busy with other things :)
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Lousku » 14 May 2013, 11:31

Maybe remove autograss as default. Just wanted to quickly resize lev and had to spend a few mins finding thin polygons to delete. Not that it matters much, can get used to unchecking that box, imo it just shouldn't be a default setting to add something extra to the lev.
then again i don't know anything
maybe easier not to think abouut alöl things thought than not things thought ... or something..=?

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by John » 16 Jun 2013, 14:27

Lousku wrote:Maybe remove autograss as default. Just wanted to quickly resize lev and had to spend a few mins finding thin polygons to delete. Not that it matters much, can get used to unchecking that box, imo it just shouldn't be a default setting to add something extra to the lev.
Was just going to write about this. I was testing some JoPi51 stuff and needed a few vertices to be moved as a whole, thought I could try doing it in ZLE. After saving I went back into EOL and saw grass polygons and a ZLE tag, watefak...
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 17 Jun 2013, 09:28

The program should work so that if the level doesn't have grass, it's automatically added. If user has added grass herself, then it shouldn't add any autograss. I hope it's working like that :)
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Lousku » 17 Jun 2013, 09:40

zebra wrote:The program should work so that if the level doesn't have grass, it's automatically added. If user has added grass herself, then it shouldn't add any autograss. I hope it's working like that :)
Yes but the problem is that we don't want grass in every level we run through ZLE.
then again i don't know anything
maybe easier not to think abouut alöl things thought than not things thought ... or something..=?

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by pawq » 19 Jun 2013, 23:43

Lousku wrote:we don't want grass in every level we run through ZLE.
I agree, it's a weird idea, some people are known not to use grass at all, this is in a way forcing them to do so :/

I like grass tho

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 20 Jun 2013, 08:13

Majority of people like grass, and they who don't, usually use low details in elma. I want the program to work like this. Anyway, it's just one click if you prefer to have non-grassed level.

Actually my original plan was that the editor should also add pictures automatically (some trees, wedges and stuff here and there). But I didn't add the picture support yet, so this is only a future plan right now.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by ville_j » 20 Jun 2013, 10:00

To me it sounds like you are developing features (and forcing people to use them) just because you can and not because people want them or they are needed. And that is breaking the rule #1 in software development.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 20 Jun 2013, 10:56

Don't be so angry :( All I wanted was to create my own level editor. You don't have to use it if you don't like it.
I had a clear vision what kind of editor I was gonna make and one thing was to reduce the amount of ungrassed battle levels.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Lousku » 20 Jun 2013, 11:30

This is just a funny issue. I think levs are essentially art, so ez compare it to music: you don't like music without drums so it's a good default position to add generated midi drum tracks to every drumless file that's run through some audio editor. But yes, that's perfectly fine since it's your editor. What we're doing here is called feedback.
then again i don't know anything
maybe easier not to think abouut alöl things thought than not things thought ... or something..=?

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Zweq » 20 Jun 2013, 13:19

grass is like adding a coca-cola sticker on a chess board.

graphics add gameplay value only to the first playthorugh i think, but when serious businiess starts, also known as höyling, I think (shiny) graphics are only a nuisance, polygon art may be a different story. I'm very bored of default.lgr. Also the way elma graphics and lgrs are implemented, it's pretty mongo to make custom graphics and actually make an effort into making some unique atmosphere. First you need a channel to distribute the lgr and then hope people give a fak and download teh.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Lukazz » 20 Jun 2013, 13:27

what lgr is mr. zweq using?
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by pawq » 20 Jun 2013, 22:12

Lousku wrote:Yes, that's perfectly fine since it's your editor. What we're doing here is called feedback.
That's pretty much everything I wanted to write after reading zebra's post.

I still think setting such things as default is a little bit peculiar, but as it has been said, who are we to decide it for you :p To be honest I am still yet to try your editor, probably quite soon when I return home. The features you mention may actually fit my (shit) style :)

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Kopaka » 20 Jun 2013, 23:10

Could just make some setting that decides the default behaviour, so people don't have to remember to uncheck every time, but just can set a general setting for it.

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 21 Jun 2013, 08:22

Yes, probably I can make such a setting to next version.
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by iCS » 5 Feb 2016, 10:26

Wow, downloaded it for the the lev generator and it seems pretty smart!

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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 13 Jul 2022, 09:29

Hello! After 9 years, I made an update to my level editor! Can you believe it :)

New features:
- New generator options: Generate triangles and apples to levels
- Better generator settings at startup
- Seed number for generator (mainly for debugging)
- Start saving levels from a specific number
- Scrolling always possible with Ctrl+Shift+MouseWheel

Bug fixes:
- Remove duplicate points from generated levels (Thanks Sla for pointing this out)
- Remove sharp spikes from generated levels (Thanks Sla for pointing this out)

I think that this new version is now already very good for generating battle levels. 90% of the generated levels are finishable and most of them are maybe even enjoyable :)

Download here: ZLE_v1.1.zip
Enjoy :)
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Sla » 13 Jul 2022, 20:36

Wow can't wait to try it out! Ill be able to do it tomorrow.
Can't imagine how better is now =)

ZLE was already incredible good for making battles rapidly. Way better than those lazy/random/annoying hand made levs.
Of course some changes and test were needed.

I recommend 200% ZLE to make templates/battles for those lazy players. There should be way more battles taking into account how ez and good is the result with this tool.
All Holy9xxx, Sla99xxx, Pipa, FSla9xxx (FF, One life) are made only in a few minutes thx to ZLE.


Thank u very much zebra for hearing suggestions and improving this great tool!

Dorknoob
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Dorknoob » 13 Jul 2022, 21:18

is open source?

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Pocho
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Pocho » 13 Jul 2022, 23:40

Error: Virus detected... I'm sure it's because unrecognized software(?) but needs some fix imho.

Couldn't get Chrome to DL it even if disable security options in settings and even if clear cache and restart Chrome :/
Image

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zebra
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 14 Jul 2022, 06:45

> ZLE was already incredible good for making battles rapidly. Way better than those lazy/random/annoying hand made levs.

Thank you Sla! I'm also very satisfied with the generator. Sometimes it generates very interesting levels :)

> is open source?

Not really, but if somebody wants, I'm ready to give him the source codes. You will need RAD Studio 11 (C++Builder) to build the program.

> Error: Virus detected... I'm sure it's because unrecognized software(?) but needs some fix imho.

Try this alternative link: ZLE_v1.1.zip

I can't really do anything about virus scanners... I can guarantee that ZLE does not contain a virus.
A winner of 4 GAA's (mc2 included), winner of mkup206, and a proud member of team TAP.
Play uni levels: http://koti.mbnet.fi/zebra/uni.html
Homepage: http://koti.mbnet.fi/zebra/elma.html

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Sla
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by Sla » 14 Jul 2022, 19:28

zebra wrote:
14 Jul 2022, 06:45

> is open source?

Not really, but if somebody wants, I'm ready to give him the source codes. You will need RAD Studio 11 (C++Builder) to build the program.
ZLE Lev generator in SLE? :)

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zebra
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Re: Zebra's Level Editor

Post by zebra » 16 Jul 2022, 19:00

Sla wrote:
14 Jul 2022, 19:28
zebra wrote:
14 Jul 2022, 06:45

> is open source?

Not really, but if somebody wants, I'm ready to give him the source codes. You will need RAD Studio 11 (C++Builder) to build the program.
ZLE Lev generator in SLE? :)
I think they wouldn't be so easy to merge... :D
Anyway I guess you can generate levs with ZLE and then edit them with SLE and that's mostly the same thing.
A winner of 4 GAA's (mc2 included), winner of mkup206, and a proud member of team TAP.
Play uni levels: http://koti.mbnet.fi/zebra/uni.html
Homepage: http://koti.mbnet.fi/zebra/elma.html

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