Hello Everyone!

[* Coucou = Hi] I’m going to explain to you the very beginning of the development of Wakfu, and the design of its map editor.

One of the first things we wanted to add to Wakfu was the Scrolling. This quickly implied the necessity to create the world differently. Indeed, it could no longer be created map by map but had to be created in its global nature so that we wouldn’t have to worry about map connections and therefore work faster on the different areas.

After a few reflections about which technologies we should use, we decided that the combo C# / DirectX would offer us interesting perspectives to conceive a quick and ergonomic editor. We had first set up our technical hopes on the latest version of Flash and of its Action Script 3 since the game client had been started in Flash. But one of the first problems we came across was that we couldn’t use the sprites made under Flash by our graphic artists with a DirectX display…

We therefore tried to schematize each sprite in the editor with symbols and colors, but it ended up being unusable since we didn’t have a real preview of the map. We eventually succeeded to use the Flash generated files and display them as Bitmap in the editor, which was a lot better… Once we fixed this problem, we (Julien and I) started to work on the design of the editor’s core, while Bo was doing his best to create a flowing Flash scrolling and another part of the team started to rewrite a game server in a stronger Java. When the editor started to run properly, we noticed that even if the Flash scrolling of the client was working, the editor had better performances because it benefited from the 3D acceleration and had a rendering close to that of produced by vectors.

That’s when we decided to rewrite the game engine in Opengl to have performances close to that of DirectX and then keep the portability towards Mac and Linux.

During several months we added new functionalities to the editor, one of which was to enable us to work in collaboration on the map. Therefore, we had to write a server to manage the transactions between the different instances of the editor then creating some sort of "Online Sim-City", where the graphic artists in charge of the map designing were messing around destroying their neighbors’ trees and chat thanks to bushes…

This type of entertainment didn’t last long as we had a lot to do to end the first island of the game! Even today, Julien is often being harassed to add new tools to the editor (Copy/Paste, Color, reduction of the differences in height, etc.) and we can tell you for sure that’s it’s not over yet!


Category: Community