This past week, I started learning Flex. For real this time. I’ve done simple tutorials in the past, which were straightforward and easy to follow. But really, I don’t think you can’t learn a language until you really set out to build something that doesn’t exist. It’s the trials and errors that teach the nuance of the language.
So then, Plotty! Plotty is essentially a Flex-based app that will allow users to create / load new tilemaps for a game engine I’m working on. My original idea was to leverage the existing Tilelist component, but quickly found out its columns and rows have a mind of their own and would not work for something that requires the precision we need. This left me with two options: build my own or figure out the complexities of the Grid component, which may have done the job with a proper ItemRenderer. Grid seemed straightforward for small layout stuff, but not something that would eventually hold 1000×1000 tile maps.
The conclusion I came to was to build my own Component in ActionScript instead. It’s still a work in progress at this point, written over the course of Saturday afternoon and Sunday night, but it loads tilemaps, allows the user to modify them, then export the map (XML). This will all get tied in to the Flex app, but for now works well enough for local purposes.
The version below was built in Flash. I’ve since refined it to work in Flex, and should have something good to show this weekend.
[kml_flashembed movie=”/wp-content/flash/TileMap1/TileMapTest.swf” height=”600″ width=”800″ /]