Now that I have the Room Designer, Zone Builder and Realm Explorer all linked together and working with one-another, I have started working on adding Room Linking within the Zone Builder. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of various ways to implement this feature, and I still haven’t decided on a solid method of doing it yet. I really like the drag and drop method of it, but I’m not sure how to build on to that idea. It’s not a new concept for me, as my previous Mud Designer IDE that I replaced with Mud Designer used a drag and drop approach, and it’s really simple to implement, however it would require me opening up the Zone to accessing the Realms. It would need to in order to allow Rooms to be linked to Rooms/Zones within other Realms and I don’t want that. I’m trying to keep each editor segregated from their parents. Realms can access Zones but not Rooms as that is a child of the Zone. Zones can access Rooms but not Realms, as Realms manage and control the Zones.
So how should I approach the Room linking? I’m still not sure, I’ve started with trashing 80% of the Zone UI, as it wasn’t going to cut it. Not that there was a whole lot to the UI in the first place, but it had to go. I’m thinking of adding a ‘Realm Exit’ property to doors, or something along those lines, at which point the Realm can select the Zone and view all of it’s Realm Exits. Users can select a Realm Exit and link it to a Realm Entrance within another realm. I think this is the best approach to take, but implementing it is going to take some serious thought. It sounds fairly simple, but I need to make sure that the implementation of it is well planned. I don’t want to do a whole lot of re-work on this, and I want to make sure that the classes are built correctly. It’s very time consuming to do re-work within the editors when I remove or change an engine class. I spent close to 2 hours re-working the editors after I decided to remove the Engine class earlier this week. I’m trying to avoid that this time around with some better planning.
I was hoping to release a tech preview of the toolkit in a binary form this weekend, but that’s not going to happen sadly. Hopefully next weekend something will be ready, but until then people will just need to download the source and compile it in order to take a look at it.