Sweating the small stuff
I have a co-worker, Darius, who is creating a game for a small game system called the Meggy Jr. Watching him work on this, I was impressed with the tools that he came up with. He’s not a (really) a programmer, but still somehow can make tools that serve his needs pretty well. I’ll let him explain:
This is the level editor I’m using for a roguelike game I’m building for my Meggy Jr. The level is just a 16×16 bitmap array. Each cell of the array is a different color, and each color is a different object. 6 is blue, and it’s a wall; 5 is purple, and it’s a door.I built this level editor in Excel. I set the cells to be 20×20 pixels, big enough for me to work with conveniently, and I used conditional formatting to map the background fill colors to correspond to the Meggy Jr’s color mapping. If you look to the right, you’ll see that I’m using CONCATENATE statements to pull together the numbers into the bracketed statements that I literally just copy and paste into my array declaration in code. With this system I can make a level in a minute, and drop it into my code with a couple of mouse clicks. It only took me five minutes to build this level editor.I’m always pulling crap like this: I love using Excel to abstract things out and then generate code for me. I would never do it for a big project, but for my own hacking it saves me a ton of time.