Version 1.0 is now online!
The 1.0 release has enough features to allow you to make grid-based 2D games, loading in any images you want to use, creating your levels, and exporting it for use in XNA. On the XNA end, everything works pretty smoothly, and you can get your level loaded and running without much trouble.
Future versions of Realm Factory are currently in development. Changes and bug fixes will be made based primarily on suggestions from users, so if you see a bug, please submit it, and if you want a particular feature, please request it. Also, the list below shows a collection of possible future improvements that I am strongly considering. If any of these features would be beneficial, to you, please let me know, so I can begin to prioritize the list.
Some very likely features for the next, smaller release:
- Changing the name of tiles to objects.
- Showing your objects in a grid instead of a list, so that you can see more of them at a time. The list that is currently in use would be an optional alternative, but the grid would be the default.
- Rotatable objects. This would allow you to create far fewer tiles, when you have the type of game where objects can be rotated around.
- "Smart" objects that appear different, depending on their surroundings. This would have made the Pac-Man example much simpler, along with a ton of other games, because you'd basically be able to have a "wall" object, and just start drawing with it, rather than needing to worry about whether you should use a corner tile, or a straight tile, and so on.
- Some form of properties for levels and objects, which is data that doesn't belong in the level grid that is associated with the level or object. For instance, you could add a time in for each level that it must be completed in, or choose a speed for each object you add in, and so on.
Some other features that are likely a little further out:
- Objects that can span more than one cell.
- Layers. This would allow you to put more than one object in a cell in an organized fashion. This could be a useful way of adding in bonuses or hidden items, or combining multiple things together to form one look. For instance, a terrain layer, where grass, mud, show, etc. is chosen, and then a path layer above that, which indicates where the players can move.
Additional features that would be immensely helpful, but are likely to be a ways off still:
- Gridless 2D levels
- Hexagonal grid levels
- 3D levels
- Terrain importing/editing
- Time-based levels, enabling you to make games like Guitar Hero
- Wave-based levels, for things where enemies come in waves
- A way to attach the level editor to your game in a way that the level designer can simply push a button and (after a small amount of work from the programmer to wire everything together) the game can run on that level, for the sake of beta testing, as well as for play testing the levels.
I'm open to other suggestions as well. These suggestions can be submitted through Realm Factory's Help > Submit... > Feature Request, or by emailing me directly.