Matter – Level Editor

The Matter Level Editor is an application I developed while working on Matter, to facilitate the creation of levels for the game. I worked closely with the two designers on the project in order to match the application as closely as possible to their requirements. The level editor is capable of creating levels as seen in Matter in their entirety; including changing the data on each trigger, sensor, door, field or any other triggered behaviour. This tool is also used to place the zones and portals for rendering performance, and by artists to decorate the finished levels.

The design of the editor uses elements popular in other 3D modelling and level design packages. It allows for relative or absolute position, rotation and scaling. It has intuitive camera controls, and a large number of hotkeys specific to the design of the program which allows the design team to rapidly create levels. It also features an efficient autosave system (which is actually used as the basis for the undo/redo system) which means that in the event of power failure, accidental closure or (rarely) a crash, the last autosave remains on the hard drive, which makes losing work very hard to do.

This tool is a Winforms application developed using MOGRE (Managed OGRE), and written in C#. Levels are exported in an xml format, which has allowed both efficient debugging during development, but also for designers to combine elements of two levels where required. This readable format also allowed both coders to quickly test various behaviours in work in progress levels without opening the Editor application.

Currently, Matter doesn’t support custom levels, but the editor is available for download here. Please note that in order to test any levels created you will have to replace the original files in the game folder. Also, please note that this folder was used as a production tool, and was not designed for public use. It is therefore not cleaned up: there are old/irrelevant media files, leftovers from the OGRE media libraries, etc. Changing any scripts could cause the program to stop functioning correctly.

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