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» The Concepts of PHPObject
» How Leditor Works
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Video games are frequently tile-based. A “tile-based”
game uses a library of preset graphical objects to display the game’s
interface. One tile might contain graphics for a patch of grass,
while another could illustrate a square of cement sidewalk. Tiles
are designed to seamlessly mesh with surrounding tiles, so that
a large and varied gamespace can be created from a handful of tiles.
Popular games like SimCity and Warcraft are good examples, though
most side-scrollers and first-person-shooters are also usually tiled.
Tile-based games also lend themselves to level editors, graphical
interfaces that allow game designers to place game elements on an
actual level, rather than trying to create the level arrays with
hand-typed text. This also allows players to create their own levels.
These levels need to be saved somewhere for designers to retrieve
This whitepaper introduces a simple game level editor in Flash,
using Ghostwire's free PHPObject libraries to do "Flash remoting"
to save and retrieve data to/from a server. The official definition
of Flash remoting is that it enables "a powerful yet simple
programming model and runtime enabling Macromedia Flash MX to connect
to remote services exposed by application servers and web services".
In other words, Flash can now talk to your server without having
to encode and decode variables through loadVariables() or XML.sendAndLoad();
your ActionScript and your server-side language can simply refer
to the same sets of objects. Specifically, PHPObject allows Flash
and PHP to share the same object class as if it was native to the
You can play with this level editor on my
web site. It is not for a particular game, but serves as a good
vehicle for explaining Flash remoting. In this level editor, there
are seven possible tile shapes:
These represent open space, treasure, obstacles, walls and the
player. The level editor provides a grid of tiles, 20 on each side,
for a total of 400 tiles. After choosing a shape from the toolbox,
you can click on individual tiles to change them to that shape.
You could end up with a level like this:
This level could then be read into a game engine and rendered onscreen
as a birds-eye game (like Pac-man), an isometric game (like Warcraft)
or something else, using far more detailed tiles than those represented
in the editor.