Chestnut is a tiled map editor, written by a friend of mine, @Tom_Cashman. The problem? It’s written in C# and uses .Net 4.0 and the Windows Presentation Foundation and was closed sourced and that’s just cruel. I firmly believe that the world would be a much better place if it was cross-platform compatible, open-sourced and backwards compatible with Tiled.
Well, I’m in luck because after a very brief talk with Tom, he open sourced the C# code he wrote under the BSD license and will help me out turn this cross-platform compatible and was already planning on making it backwards compatible with Tiled.
And I know what you’re wondering. If Tiled exists, why do we need yet another map editor? While Tiled is a great tool, while working on the ceased-and-desisted Pokenet we found it quite troublesome in these areas:
- Dynamic map loading of maps at runtime often resulted in minor lag due to required decompression.
- Loading over 250 maps at once (e.g. on the game server) would result with insane amounts of RAM being used up. We’re talking GBs here.
- Mapping teams often messed up when linking maps together since they could not visually see the maps beside each other. They kept track on an XLS spreadsheet. It was chaotic.
I know I’ll hit a couple dozen blocks when porting the code over to Java, I doubt I’ll finish the project in a weekend, but I’m willing to try it anyway.
So this is my Random Hack Of Kindness: Porting Chestnut to all important platforms that run Java and maybe later, getting it packaged on Fedora.