Realm Factory 1.0 is Here!
What is Realm Factory?
Realm Factory is a simple level editor for XNA games. Realm Factory will make it so you can quickly start making levels, using a graphical interface, separate from your game, and load them in using the standard content pipeline, all effortlessly!
Realm Factory 1.0 Features
- Perfect for grid-based 2D games, like Breakout, Pac-Man, and even platformers like the classic Super Mario Bros.
- Load an image set in, to use as tiles (objects) in your game.
- Create as many levels as you want, with any number of rows and columns, ad any size of cells.
- Load your levels through the content pipeline (it works like magic!) to quickly and easily use in your XNA games!
What 1.0 Doesn’t Have
It’s truly rare to see a software product site list what a program doesn’t do. At first glance, that would seem to be a poor business decision to point out a product’s weaknesses or limitations, but my software development philosophy is that honesty and trust between the developer (me) and the users (you) is critically important. I strongly believe that if you know I’m being open and honest with you, and looking out for your needs and wants, you’ll keep coming back in the future, as the program becomes more awesome, even if this version isn’t exactly what you need yet.
So without further ado, here’s some of the features that haven’t been put into this version of the program, but may be included in future versions:
- Anything in 3D. Sorry. It’s too much for version 1.0. I’d love to add it in a future version. Note though, that just because Realm Factory doesn’t support 3D doesn’t mean you can’t do 3D drawing in an XNA game, based on the levels you load in from Realm Factory.
- Non-grid-based 2D levels. Everything so far must be grid-based. You can’t place objects anywhere you want. Again, I can easily see this in the future, but I needed to keep things relatively simple for the initial release, or I’d never get it out the door. Multiple things in a cell. Right now, you can only put one tile (object) in a cell. This is a feature that will likely be added to version 1.1, but it won’t be added to version 1.0.
- “Smart” tiles. One feature that would definitely be useful is a “smart” tile that can look different, based on its surroundings. For example, in the Pac-Man sample, you currently need to think carefully about what tiles to use to make the borders line up correctly. You can’t just draw a wall and allow the system to figure out what specific image should be drawn. This is another feature that is very likely to be added in version 1.1.
- Skins. Another missing feature is one that would allow you to apply different “skins”, or entirely different appearances for a different tile. Imagine, for example, that you have a set of levels, but that each level belongs to a particular world. You might have a Jungle World, and a Lava World. In the current version, you can load in a set of tiles for each, but if you want to move a level from one world to another, you’d have to basically recreate the entire world with a different set of tiles. Providing “skinnable” tiles would make switching between worlds, or any other visual theme an extremely simple task. For a more detailed discussion on when you might see some of these features, please check out the Future Plans page.
Is It Really Free?
Yes. It is. The whole program is free. And I don’t mean, “free demo”, nor do I mean “free, but if you want to actually do anything with it, you’ll need to buy add-ons”. I mean, truly, genuinely, free.
I intend on finding a way to bring in some income on this program in the future, but I can promise you that you will get all of the features you see here for free, as long as you want it for. I’m not going to trick you into using this program, and then get you to pay for it in the future.
I don’t yet know the details of how this will work, yet. It may be that you’ll get this free, while others in the future will have to pay for it, or that I’ll only charge for more advanced features, later on, but anything you start using, and get attached to, you’ll be able to keep using for free, as long as you want to.