Tutorial Step 3 – Set up the game skeleton

Tutorial Step 3 – Set up the game skeleton

Once you have collected the graphics for your tutorial game, it’s time to learn some basic coding. So open your favourite text editor such as Window’s Notepad.

We recommend using Notepad++ or Textpad or PSpad instead of Windows Notepad. These utilities are small, free to use, and much more better than Windows Notepad.

Copy and paste this text below in the text editor. Soon we will understand what this text means.

 

WORLD

NAME           Testland

IMAGESFOLDER   /dimx/testland/

AUTHOR         Your Name

 

 

‘ ***** This is a comment

ROOMS

 

ROOM park DEFAULT

NAME           The park

DESCRIPTION    A beautiful park stands before my eyes.

IMAGE          scnLunetta1.jpg

 

 

ROOM bungalow

NAME           Bungalow front

IMAGE          scnBungalow.jpg

 

 

ROOM bedroom

NAME           Bungalow’s room

IMAGE          scnBungalowStanza.jpg

 

END_ROOMS

 

 

END_WORLD

 

Now save this file inside your DimensioneX WEB-INF/ system folder (remember step 1) and name it testland.dxw. The extension is not actually very important (it can be also .txt or whatever) until you remember the name you have actually given to your game file when you will configure for testing at the bottom of this page.

 

Understanding the basics of the game definition

Games running on DimensioneX are written using the DXW format. DXW is actually a text format but the syntax has been specially defined for designing games. The keywords WORLD, ROOM etc. are completely explained in the Developer’s Reference – you should have this document at hand.

Here you just need to understand a few things.

  • The first part (WORLD) tells you that what lays in between is the definition of a world (typically a game)
  • The values after the WORLD tags NAME, and AUTHOR can be changed as you like (write your name there)
  • The value for the IMAGESFOLDER is very important as it tells the game engine where the game graphics is. A wrong value here will result in images not being displayed during the game.
  • Any comments can be inserted in the text after the symbol ‘
  • The section ROOMS … END_ROOMS defines the rooms of the game.
  • Each ROOM definition defines a room. Please note we have indicated the images names here, and they need to be correct. The NAME of each room can be changed.
  • More information can be found on the Developer’s Reference.

Remember: While editing a game file, please note the spacing is optional, that is, it doesn’t matter how much spaces or tabs you put in the text. Please note also that the positioning of carriage returns DOES matter, so don’t merge lines!

 

Testing it

Now it’s time for a test run. Only once, you need to edit the DimensioneX configuration file worldnav1.properties, you will find it in your DimensioneX system folder, and modify the worldFile setting as shown below, so this tutorial game is loaded at startup:

worldFile=testland.dxw

If your game file is different (i.e. has .txt extension then specify it)

Now stop and restart the web server (If you tried the sample game The Beach you already know how to do this) and open your browser. You now can connect the game by means of the following URL:

http://localhost:8080/dimx/servlet/multiplayer?game=1

Your browser should show the following (if not, see troubleshooting at the bottom of this page):

Tip: Add this page in your browser’s favorites or – even better – in the links bar. This will save you time when developing.

Now enter a nickname and click Connect. You will enter the game and unfortunately can do very little more, as the system does not know how the rooms are interconnected.

tut3h2

If it worked until here, let’s proceed with the next step.

tut3h3

If not, then read the section below.

Troubleshooting this step

If an error message appears over a white background, then it means that DimensioneX could not load the game, hence the game won’t start.

Problem Solution
The game engine always loads “The beach” and not “Testland”
  • Did you forget to stop and restart the webserver? This is necessary so that the properties file for new settings to take effect (in the next step we will see how to do this by simply using the admin panel).
  • If the previous still didn’t fix the problem, then you surely did not save the modified worldnav1.propeties file to the correct name and folder. Are you sure you actually saved the worldnav1.properties file? Are you sure you saved it in the correct folder, thus replacing the existing one?
  • To make sure, close the text editor and try re-opening the file. It seems that sometimes the text editor appends a .txt extension to the “worldnav1.properties” filename, thus making it impossibile for DimX to load. Making Windows Explorer to show file extensions (check Options/Hide extensions should be unckecked) will greatly help you avoiding this problem.
Once connected to testland you can’t see the images Either you stored your game images in the wrong folder, or the IMAGESFOLDER setting in your game file is wrong.

  • Right click any image placeholder, choose Properties from the pop-up menu, check the what image’s URL should be:
  • Is it wrong? In that case fix your IMAGESFOLDER setting and retry.
  • Is it right? Then you have stored the images in the wrong folder.
The game file cannot be found
  • Check carefully your testland.dxw file: Is it saved in the system folder? Is the game file name or extension misspelled?
  • Ask yourself: Could I have done some mistake when editing the configuration (worldnav1.properties) file? Open it and check the settings you have changed.
The game won’t load because of errors Check carefully your testland.dxw file: Did you misspelled a tag? Are there any keywords missing?
Other
  • Look carefully the browser window and try to diagnose what happened by reading the error message you have got.
  • If you see no error message try opening the logfile debug.log in the system folder. Scroll it to the very last line and try to understand what it went wrong.

If you cannot overcome the difficulty, then go to our Support section and ask for help.

When ready, let’s proceed with the next step.

Tutorial Step 4 - Add the links between rooms
Tutorial Step 2 - Collect the scene's graphics
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