As some of you know, Nicoli_s and I have been working on a 3rd party editor since before GE came out. We want the initial version of this editor to be a complement to GE and offer features GE does not. This is our progress so far:
Ability to edit Galaxy scripts directly. Easily import multiple scripts into a map. *
Autocomplete for Galaxy, including custom function names and galaxy calls. Intellisense-style hints for function definitions (coming soon). *
Real-time syntax checking and error detection(courtesy of Zoxc and his Legion compiler) *
Export/Import the Heightmap of a map into a image file. *
Export/Import the individual texture masks for each terrain texture. *
The combination of of the two features above can let map makers create terrain that is virtually impossible in GE. You will be able to take 2D images and turn them into awesome 3D maps with any image editor and a few clicks of a button.
3D preview of terrain after import *
Future support for custom cliffs, importing pathing map from an image, etc *
XML-based data editor. XML is intelligently merged from different data sources. *
Edit data as XML text and in a modern property grid simultaneously. *
Open and view multiple data objects at the same time. Easily navigate between them. *
| Report Triggers/Data that makes the game crash on the forums!
| Patch 14 Undocumented Editor Changes: http://bit.ly/ae5PmH
| Beta staying open 'til 6/7
| Idle in #MWE for Milky Way Editor!
The data is still fundamentally separated into different XML nodes, but we do hope to offer better ways to navigate links between them.
For example we'll probably offer a visual graph that shows how any given data relates to other nodes. We will also let you search through all the files simultaneously instead of one at a time, and eventually hope to offer wizards to accomplish repetitive tasks.
Have you considered looking at community-made Starcraft 1 tools to help you design your interface? Such as Datedit?
They may help you gather an understanding of how our editors were built through years of perfection, and how our experiences may assist you in designing your own editor. :)
Actually, I just grabbed DatEdit the other day to take a look at how they set stuff up. Someone actually suggested that as well. I didn't do much modding, I was more of a mapper, so I was more into SCMDraft/StarForge and the old GUIedit.