Under the Bridge

Illustrator Level Design

This is an interesting read for you:

How to use Illustrator, SVG, TouchXML and XPath for simple level design, meshes and other game data

… we wanted to try using Illustrator as a level/track design tool. Whilst we could’ve easily used Vertex Helper or similar for the Dwarf Derby project, Dead West has a complicated, layered set of co-ordinate-based game data (that Illustrator is well suited to managing).

The plan (and thus far successful execution) was this:

  1. Create nav mesh (just triangles for the purpose of this) in Adobe Illustrator
  2. Export from Illustrator to SVG
  3. Load that SVG in-game using TouchXML
  4. Build whatever data structures we need in memory by querying the XML/SVG document with XPath statements

This required some specific methods and tweaks, so I’ve brought those together below in a deliberately basic how-to…

It seems not completely dissimilar from the approach taken in the LevelSVG cocos2d project mentioned here, which as we mentioned in the BallZOut writeup uses Inkscape as its editor …

… in which case it would be nice to merge the two. Really nice. As Inkscape is … well, there are more painful programs to work with, but not very many. And Illustrator is not numbered amongst them!

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