Level creation, loading, management etc
Hey everyone. I'm relatively new to the programming world and I'm just starting out with some basic 2D games. I completed a Pong clone a few days ago using SDL and now I want to move onto something similar to the game BreakOut, if anyone is familiar with it.
The main hurdle for me is that I want this game to include a bunch of different levels with different layouts. For those who are unfamiliar with BreakOut, it's basically just hitting a ball off of a paddle upwards and hitting it off of a bunch of blocks to destroy them. So basically I want to load in different levels with different block layouts, backgrounds, colors etc. The only problem is that I have absolutely no idea how this can be accomplished :p
How are files saved in such a way that they can be read from and interpreted by a program? Say I wanted to store the level layout in an array. How can I store this array in a file in such a way that it can be read into my main program and then acted upon? I know there must be a way, since all professional games do it, but I'm just not sure how it's done. Do I need something like a level editor to accomplish this?
Thanks for any help on the subject. I would greatly appreciate it.